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All about Cenote X'Batun in Mexico

Updated: April 22, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips

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Author: Tobias

The two small cenotes X'batun and Dzonbacal are located on the same site and a bit off the beaten path. Cenote X'Batun is about 50km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 55min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time tranquilly. The admission fee for foreign adults is about 100MXN. Different prices may apply for residents or children.

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Address:

Cenote X'batun, Carretera cenotes, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexiko

Website:

Category:

Trip

Phone:

-

Distance:

50km from Mérida

Travel Time:

55min from Mérida

Admission:

Mex$ 100

Price Level:

Inexpensive

Since:

-

Google Rating:

average rating is 4.6 out of 5, based on 1614 votes, Ratings

Opening Hours:

• Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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Cenote X'Batun

The two small and very different cenotes X'batun and Dzonbacal are located about 50 km south to southwest of Mérida to the left of highway 261 and a bit off the beaten path.


The cenotes are close together and belong to the small town San Antonio de Mulix, which is part of the municipality of Uman. Another cenote of San Antonio de Mulix - but a few kilometers away - is Cenote Yax-Ha.


Especially if you want to visit Hacienda Yaxcopoil or the Archaeological Site of Uxmal, you can combine the visit with the cenotes X'batun and Dzonbacal.


Cenote X'batun


X'batun is the better known cenote. It is an open cenote, but under the rocks it turns into a deep and elongated cave, making it suitable for a professional dive. The roots of the trees hang down from the edge of the cenote and reach into the crystal-clear water.


The trees mostly belong to the Ceiba species and other tropical tree species such as the Chaká or Chechen. These trees are known for their deep and expansive root systems, which enable them to draw water from great depths.


The surrounding vegetation provides shelter for various bird species, so the site is also suitable for birdwatching. The Yucatan Peninsula is home to over 500 bird species, making it one of the places with the most bird species in the world.


There are for example parrots but also oriols, bats, various fish or frogs. You will also find catfish and other small fish in the cenote that will nibble on your hands and feet if you don't move in the water. Other people have to pay money for this wellness treatment ;)


Blue parrot
Blue parrot

Cenote Dzonbacal


Dzonbacal is an semi-open cenote and is surrounded only by rocks. The water area at Dzonbacal is approximately 25m long and 15m wide. The waters are crystal clear.


Both cenotes are shallow in parts but are also several meters deep in some areas. The entrance fee entitles you to stay in each cenote for 45 minutes, which is more than enough.


The name Dzonbacal comes from the Mayan language and means "stone slide". This name possibly refers to the characteristic rock formations and structures that can be found in and around the cenote.


A pair of birds
A pair of Bulbuls

Facilities


There are rustic changing rooms just outside the cenote area, you can hire a bike for the tour, as well as life jackets or snorkeling equipment. The use of the life jackets is recommended, but it is optional.


In the small village San Antonio de Mulix there is a church, a store where you can buy a few snacks and something to drink and also a restaurant (Restaurante Búútuncito).


Fashion in the jungle
Fashion in the jungle

The world of cenotes


Some interesting figures about cenotes:


 
Interesting figures about cenotes
Interesting figures about cenotes
 

The formation of cenotes


A cenote is a natural cave or pool of water formed by the collapse of a cave ceiling and filled with fresh water. These geological formations are typical of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, but can also be found in other parts of the world, such as the Caribbean and parts of South America.


Cenotes are often filled with clear, turquoise-colored water. For the Mayan culture in Yucatán, cenotes had great spiritual significance and were revered as sacred places.


Spiritual meaning


The Maya believed that cenotes were entrances to the underworld, called Xibalbá, and were therefore sacred places. They served as a source of life and fertility, but also as sacrificial sites and ritual bathing places.


Cenotes were often found in Mayan ruin sites, and archaeological findings indicate that they were used for religious ceremonies where human sacrifices were made to please the gods.


The very best cenotes tour


If you are interested in getting to know the two best places with six cenotes and a 17th century hacienda in a private tour (Cenotes Santa Barbara and Hacienda Mucuyché), you should take a look at this Viator Tour. It's not really cheap, but a memory for life.


How to get to Cenote X'Batun from Mérida?


The cenotes are somewhat hidden. The last two kilometers you drive on a dirt road. It's a bit of an adventurous drive, but it's worth it. The place is a little off the highway 261 to Muna. At kilometer 39 you take the road to the west in the direction of the former cocoa plantation.


After 2.5 km you come to the San Antonio Mulix. The village consists of only two streets. At the crossroads you will find the Parque principal de San Antonio Mulix (San Antonio Mulix Main Park) with a small hut, where you pay the entrance fee.


After another 2.3 km on a dirt road in western direction you will reach cenote X'Batun. You can walk there, hire a bike or take the car. The two cenotes are about 900m apart and the entrance fee is for both cenotes.


Tips


Because cenote X'Batun is quite small (and no longer an insider tip), it can sometimes be crowded. In general, the earlier you arrive, the fewer visitors there usually are and it may well be that you have the cenote to yourself.

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Best Cenotes Tours

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Not either/or, but also!

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