One thin stone walkway stretching out into a perfectly still pool of turquoise water has slowed thousands of thumbs as they scroll Instagram feeds. When I first saw a picture of Cenote Suytun, my first thought was I have to go here, and second, it reminded me of a scene from a Tomb Raider movie. Cenote Suytun is naturally stunning, but the simple stone pier that was placed inside the cenote makes it look so mysterious.
How to get to Cenote Suytun
Located a short distance from Valladolid and the world famous Chichen Itza it makes a great alternative to the beautiful busy Ik Kil Cenote that is often paired with the ruins. The best way to get to Cenote Suytun is to drive. Getting a rental car in the Riviera Maya is easy and very cheap – here’s how to do it.
- By car from Chichen Itza – Time: 50 minutes | Distance: 55km
- By car from Valladolid – Time: 13 minutes | Distance: 8km
- By car From Tulum – Time: 1 Hour 19 minutes | Distance: 94km
- See Map
Navigation Tip – If you do not have a Mexican sim or cell service in Mexico you can still use google maps without data. Before you leave your hotel make sure to load the directions while on WiFi. GPS will still work and help guide you even when you leave WiFi – just try not to get too far off track because it won’t re-route you.
By Tour: There are a few tours that visit Cenote Suytun as part of a trip to see Chichen Itza, or you can arrange a private tour to keep the group size small and more enjoyable.
- $91 Full Day Tour includes Cenote Suyton, Chichen Itza, and Valladolid. Includes breakfast, lunch, all entrance fees, hotel pickup & drop off, and a guide. Click here to book.
- Click here to browse all Suyton cenote tours
There are changing rooms and bathrooms located right after you pay the admission. Life jackets are mandatory to swim in Cenote Suytun. You can rent life jackets for 30 MXN pesos. The cenote has a nice paved staircase with a handle & ropes leading down to the water. When walking down it looks like you’re entering a dark hole and it could be considered steep to some people.
Hours & Admission
- Entrance fee 70 MXN pesos ($3.50 USD)
- Life jacket rental 30 MXN pesos (less than $2 USD)
- Open daily 9am-6pm
Suytun Cenote Structure
Cenote Suytun most closely resembles a Cenotes-aguadas or basin type cenote. The walls of the cenote are tall, but the main pool is relatively shallow which makes it a aguadas cenote. In addition to the pool of water, Suytun Cenote has massive open cathedral walls with its ceiling almost completely intact. There is only a small hole a few feet in diameter where trees and vegetation have started to break through to open the cenote.
Sunbeams in Suytun Cenote
This small crack instead of being a flaw is probably one of the cenotes best assets. The hole is located in a perfect spot that it shines light down right in the middle of the cenote.
What times are best for seeing the sunbeam at Cenote Suytun? In order to get visible beams of light you will need a bright sunny day with a few clouds, but just importantly you need to be there at the right time of the day. Early afternoon is the best time where the sun will hit the crack in the cenote and send a beam of light down into the main chamber.
Another factor of seeing the light beam is inside the cenote. You need a lot of humidity or some dust or particles in the air to make the beam visible – or else the floor will just look like a bright spot. If you are lucky the conditions will be right, if not you can increase the odds of seeing the beam by tossing some fine dirt into the air. If you want to try this only use material found inside the cenote to not pollute or damage the cenote. Also, if it’s crowded don’t be that person.
Cenote Suytun Pier
The owners of the cenote have constructed a stone pier that stretches out right into the middle of the body of water and if you time it right the sunbeams from the hole in the ceiling beam down to the round end of the pier. Talk about an epic Instagram. Even if the sun doesn’t cooperate this place is still a photographers gem.
Second Cenote at Suytun Site
Most of the attention goes to the main cenote, but there are actually two cenotes at this one site just outside of Valladolid. The second is slightly smaller and it’s top is much more open with shorter walls. Its openness is in stark contrast to the main cenote at Suytun. Different but still beautiful this cenote offers a different type of experience with more bird and plant life.
Suytun Cenote FAQ:
Q: Can you snorkel in Cenote Suytun?
A: Yes. Snorkeling is allowed in Cenote Suytun, you can also rent gear if you didn’t bring any and you are not on a group tour.
Q: Can you dive in Suytun Cenote?
A: No, Cenote Suytun is not commonly dove, it is a relatively shallow cenote.
Things to pack for a visit to Cenote Suytun
Biodegradable sunscreen – As we have said before the water and environment inside the cenotes is fragile and we risk losing some of the unique wildlife in these cenotes if we continue to use normal sunscreen here. Please use or biodegradable sunscreen or avoid using sunscreen at all inside cenotes.
Snorkel and Mask – Avoid having to rent a snorkel and mask at every cenote you visit and just bring a quality snorkel and mask, fins are helpful too if you are experienced with free diving.
Waterproof Flashlight – The interior of the main cenote can be dark, especially if the sun is not directly hitting the hole in the roof or if it is cloudy. Even when it is bright out there are many dark corners in this cenote and a good waterproof flashlight would be nice to have at Cenote Suytun.
More Cenotes to Visit
There are more than 6,000 cenotes in Mexico, we have visited most of the popular cenotes and put together this guide on the must-visit cenotes in Mexico!
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