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Why Visiting Cenote Oxman, Valladolid | Hacienda S...

Why Visiting Cenote Oxman, Valladolid | Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman

Planning a trip to Cenote Oxman, Valladolid? Discover what to expect on your visit to the the Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman and the Cenote Oxman , and what makes it a worthy stop in Valladolid.

When planning a visit to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, you cannot afford to skip out on the cenotes. If you’ve been following this blog, you already know it. I keep talking about cenotes, I keep writing about cenotes, and you might think I’m obsessed with them… oh well, maybe I am. In my defense, cenotes are one of the top attractions in Mexico, known for their natural beauty and diving opportunities.

While there are many cenotes in Valladolid and even more in the region, there is one that I particularly liked: Cenote Oxman in Valladolid.

For an introduction, check out this short video that I made at Cenote Oxman.

But First, What Is a Cenote?

You might already know what is a cenote. After all, cenotes have become super popular these past few years. If that’s the case, feel free to skip this paragraph! However, many people don’t really know what exactly is a cenote, and in my opinion it’s really important to understand what is their significance to the Mayans.

A cenote is a natural sinkhole dating back several centuries. When limestone caves collapse they expose a natural pool. This pool then gets filled with rain water and with the water flowing through underground rivers, to which these sinkholes are connected to. Voilà, you’ve got yourself a cenote!

The word cenote comes from the Mayan term dzonot, which means well. But not all cenotes look the same. There are essentially 4 types of cenotes:

 Open Cenotes – Open cenotes are like natural, open pools, and they can be more or less deep. Some of the open cenotes are also connected to an underground river passage (which makes them great for diving!). An example of an open cenote is Cenote Jardin del Eden near Playa del Carmen.

 Semi-open Cenotes – As the name implies, this type of cenote has some parts that are exposed and some portions that are partially hidden by a cave. An example is the famous Gran Cenote located near Tulum.

 Cave Cenotes – This type of cenote can be accessed via a land-level entrance. Once you make your way in, it opens up to an underground pool which can have both shallow and deep areas. Cenote Oxman, which I’ll tell you all about in this post, is a cave cenote, and so is Cenote Samulà.

 Underground Cenotes – This type of cenote is the most difficult to reach as they are, in fact, underground. Only experienced divers can access underground cenotes. An example of underground cenote is the Pet Cemetery Cenote near Tulum.

Cenotes have great cultural and religious significance to the ancient Mayans, who believed that the cenotes were passages to the underworld. In fact, Mayans performed rituals in the cenotes and treated the sites as sacred.

This means that you should too. Please be responsible! Don’t litter the cenote, always take your trash back with you, and only apply biodegradable sunscreen before swimming in the cenote.

All You Need to Know About Cenote Oxman, Mexico

Cenote Oxman is visited by tourists for its natural beauty and crystal clear water – this is something you would expect from the cenotes you visit in Mexico. But Oxman is different from all the others because it is located within a hacienda property known as Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman.

Image by Andrea Schaffer via Flickr

The property wherein the cenote belongs in was once an agave plantation. This 18th century Hacienda Oxman keeps this hidden gem a secret, such that only those who know about this cenote are the ones who dare visit.

This is a perfect alternative to tourists who want to avoid the crowds. Most tourists will go to the same cenotes, but with over 6,000 cenotes in Mexico, you are sure to find hidden gems like Cenote Oxman, and just a short drive away from Valladolid, Mexico.

To get to the cenote, you must make your way through a cave entrance. There is a winding staircase that will provide a safe way to get down a rocky ledge and have access to the water. 

There is also a swinging rope that enables the bravest ones to swing off a platform and jump into the water. For thrill-seekers, this method of jumping into the water will surely catch your eye. You can go back to the swing as many times as you like, but that would depend on how many people are there. When the cenote gets crowded, there might be a long queue to try the swing. When we visited, we were around 10 people total, so it was pretty quiet and relaxed.

The cenote is a collapsed limestone cave with sunlight rays peeking from the holes above the cave ceiling. There are also roots from the ancient trees that crawl through the walls of the cave. It adds to that mysterious feel to the cenote, while also making it look even more stunningly beautiful.

Facilities Available at Cenote Oxman near Valladolid

Despite being relatively a hidden cenote, there is actually an impressive array of facilities available at Cenote Oxman. Overall, the cenote is well-kept, along with the hacienda grounds.

From the cave entrance, you will go down a set of stairs and there are platforms available for the rope swing. There are also railings from up the rocky ledge as a safety measure. The ledge also extends on both sides of the cenote from the entrance, so you will have some spots to place your belongings in. Make sure to bring a dry bag as you might have trouble finding a dry spot.

There are no locker rentals available to store your belongings in, but there are changing rooms and clean washrooms that you can use. 

Image by Canadian Veggie via Flickr

There is a swimming pool outside of the cenote, which provides another spot to relax in on the afternoon. There is a restaurant and a bar nearby, too. In fact, the entry ticket to the cenote can include credit for food and drink and use of the pool. The swimming pool area has several lounge chairs, plastic chairs, and tables with umbrellas.

The food is nothing out of this world but totally edible, and it’s a great spot to relax for lunch or drinks.

Practical Info for Cenote Oxman

How much does it cost?

At the time of writing, the cost of admission to Cenote Oxman is 80 pesos for the simple entry. However, if you are planning to buy drinks or eat at the restaurant, go for either the 100 pesos option that gives you a 50 pesos credit for the restaurant, or the 150 pesos option that gives you a 150 pesos credit.

Where is it located?

Cenote Oxman is located 4.5 kilometers southwest of Valladolid at Hacienda Oxman. To get here, you must take Calle 54.

Oxman Opening Hours

Cenote Oxman is open from 10 am to 5 pm at the time of writing.

What’s the best time to visit Cenote Oxman?

The best time to visit is early in the morning, right after the cenote has opened. Most of the tours that come here do so late in the afternoon as the cenote is often a stop after a visit to Chichen Itza. If you cannot go early in the morning, make sure you arrive early in the afternoon before the tours arrive.

Cenote Oxman Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a good activity to enjoy in Cenote Oxman, and you will be able to spot some fish swimming in there. The cenote though doesn’t rent snorkeling equipment, so you need to bring your own.

Cenote Oxman Diving

There are no diving opportunities available in this cenote. It does not offer cavern diving and is relatively small.

How To Get to Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman

Cenote Oxman is located within the grounds of Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman. It is approximately 5 kilometers from the center of Valladolid.

READ ALSO: How to get from Cancun to Valladolid

There are a few transportation options available to get here from Valladolid center.

Rent a bike

It’s possible to rent a bike to get to Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman, if you prefer this kind of transportation. You can find a few bike rental companies in Valladolid. The average cost of renting a bike in Valladolid is 15 pesos per hour or 80 pesos per day. It comes with a bike lock. You can look for these companies in the main square of Valladolid. Depending on your pace, a bicycle ride to the cenote would take about 15-20 minutes from Valladolid.

Ride a taxi from Valladolid

You can go to the main street at the center of Valladolid and you will find plenty of taxis there. It will take about 7 minutes from Valladolid to get to the cenote. The one-way fare costs 70 pesos. If you are going solo, this can be an expensive option, but if you are traveling as a group, you can split the cost of the fare.

Drive to Cenote Oxman

In places like Europe I always recommend public transportation as it’s usually convenient, cheap, and a much more sustainable way to move around. Here in the Yucatan though, the best way to get around is definitely by renting a car. Driving in Mexico is easy, in this part of the country people drive pretty relaxed, and it’s pretty cheap to rent a car. If you’re planning to go on a longer Yucatan road trip, I definitely suggest coming to Cenote Oxman with your own car.

Best Tour to Cenote Oxman

Cenote Oxman can be easily visited on your own, but if you are staying in Valladolid and want to see multiple cenotes without the hassle of renting a car, there’ s a great tour I can recommend.

➤ On the Go Maya cenote tour by bike, you’ll get to swim at 3 of my favorite cenotes that are unique but not as crowded as some of the most famous one: Cenote Oxman, Cenote Xkeken, and Cenote Samula.

Your guide will also show you the market of Valladolid and bring you to a traditional Mayan village. Even better, the local tour operator donates 3% of your tour price to a local charity project. This tour also includes lunch. ▶ BOOK IT HERE

READ ALSO: 6 Best Cenote Tours from Valladolid [2021]

Pros and Cons of Oxman Cenote

Pros of Cenote Oxman

  • It’s not overly crowded like other cenotes in Mexico.
  • It’s well kept with a lot of facilities such as swimming pool, bar, restaurant, and a rope swing.
  • Cheap admission price.
  • It’s part of a beautiful hacienda that is an attraction worth visiting in itself.
  • It’s only 7 minutes by car from the center of Valladolid.

Cons of Cenote Oxman

  • No diving.
  • It’s a relatively small cenote compared to other cenotes in Mexico, so if you visit at the same time than a group, it can feel crowded very quickly.
  • It’s not walking distance from the center of Valladolid like Cenote Zaci, but still pretty close.

What to Pack for Cenote Oxman

This is a list of the essential items you should bring with you when you visit Cenote Oxman.

Swimwear: Of course. This is an essential item to pack with you when you visit a cenote! I’m currently in love with bikinis from ZAFUL – I kinda want to buy them all!

Biodegradable Sunscreen: Please make sure not to apply regular sunscreen before entering a cenote. Not only it’s expressly forbidden in many of them, it’s just really bad for the water and its creatures.

If you need to use sunscreen, only go for 100% biodegradable sunscreen. Help maintain the cenotes as beautiful as they are!

Snorkel Mask or Goggles: The crystal clear waters of the cenotes will make you want to take a closer look at what lurks beneath the surface of the water. Snorkeling gear is what you need to make this possible.

Water Shoes: It can be uncomfortable to walk barefoot on the jagged rocks that surround the cenotes.

I recommend investing in a pair of water shoes, nothing too fancy, so you can protect your feet from the rocks. 

Water Bottle: Mexico has tropical weather so you can expect it to be hot and humid. Try and bring a refillable water bottle around with you to reduce the consumption of plastic.

However, the tap water in Mexico isn’t generally safe to drink, so make sure to refill your bottle with safe water, or buy a LifeStraw water bottle that comes with a water filter so you can drink the tap water.

Camera: Because these cenotes feature one-of-a-kind natural beauty, it is hard to pass up the opportunity to capture them in photos.

Even better if you have an underwater camera or GoPro, so you can take it in the water with you.

Other Things to Do Near Cenote Oxman

I’ve spent quite some time around this area, so here are a few ideas for things to do once you’ve visited Cenote Oxman.

▶ Visit other less known cenotes near Valladolid – two of my favorite ones are Cenote Samula and Cenote Xkeken.

Visit the Chichen Itza pyramids, one of the 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

▶ Visit the pink lakes of Las Coloradas, a unique pink lagoon.

▶ Visit the colorful and traditional town of Valladolid.

Read More About Valladolid

Top Things To Do in Valladolid (and around!)
11 Beautiful Cenotes Near Valladolid
Cenote Samula: A Beautiful Cenote near Valladolid


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