Situated a few miles south of Chichen Itza lies one of the Yucatan’s most beautiful geologic wonders - a giant sinkhole or cenote called Ik Kil.
Often overlooked by tourists in search of maya ruins, giant cenotes like Ik Kil dot the landscape across the peninsula. Created out over thousands of years by underground freshwater springs, these otherworldly caverns are a great place to explore and cool off in the sacred and refreshing waters found at their base.
Ik Kil is one of the more accessible and popular cenotes in Yucatán. It is also one of the most beautiful. Its proximity to Chichen Itza provides an excellent opportunity to cool off after enduring the burning sun under Kukulkán pyramid.
Enveloped by thick jungle on all sides, the experience begins as you descend into the cenote via its stone stairs cut into the limestone walls. A natural soundtrack of animals like birds, frogs, monkeys and crickets accompany you as the crystalline waters come into view 300 feet below.
Once you reach the bottom, take a dip in the amazing natural swimming pool complete with fish, vines dangling from above, and overhead rain shower (most afternoons in summer).
Ik Kil is 30 minutes from Valladolid and an hour and a half from Mérida. Most however arrive after touring Chichen Itza as transportation is offered between both locations. The cenote is equipped with showers and dressing areas and a restaurant.
The cost is about $6 USD. The park is open from 8:00 AM to 5 PM.
(Images: Ik Kil)