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Cenote Oxman, Valladolid: All You Need To Know [2024]

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, also known as Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman.

For an introduction, check out this short video that I made when visiting 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 very important to understand what is their significance to the Mayans.

From the top of Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman.

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 rainwater 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 an 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 and sacrificial offerings in the cenotes, and treated these 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 beauty and crystal clear water – this is something you would expect from most cenotes you visit in Mexico. But Oxman Cenote is different from all the others because it is located within a hacienda property known as Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman.

Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman, the hacienda where visitors can find hidden inside Cenote Oxman.
Image by Andrea Schaffer via Flickr

Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman where the cenote belongs 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.

Visiting Cenote Oxman is the perfect alternative for 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 without driving too far! Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman is just a short drive away from Valladolid, Mexico, a colonial town in the Yucatan peninsula.

To get to the Oxman cenote, make your way through the cave entrance. You’ll find a winding staircase that provides a safe way to get down to a rocky ledge and have access to the natural freshwater pool. This cenote is in fact completely underground.

Oxman Cenote and the ancient tree roots growing out of it.

Quite unique to Cenote Oxman, you’ll find a swing rope that enables the bravest ones to swing off a platform and jump into the cenote water. Perfect for thrill-seekers and for all those who don’t want to use the (rather sketchy-looking) wooden staircase to get into the water.

You can go back to the rope 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 rope swing. When we visited, we were around 10 people total, so it was pretty quiet and relaxed.

Oxman cenote is a collapsed limestone cave with an open roof and sunlight rays peeking from it. There are also ancient tree roots that crawl through the walls of the cave. It adds to the mysterious feel of 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 in Valladolid. Overall, the cenote is well-kept, along with the Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman 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 when visiting Cenote Oxman as you might have trouble finding a dry spot.

Life vests are available, and an area for swimming is cordoned off so there’s no risk of swimming where the rope swing people jump!

▶ At Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman there are no locker rentals available to store your belongings, but there are changing rooms, showers, and clean washrooms that you can use. 

⚠️ Remove sunscreen or insect repellent before entering Cenote Oxman to preserve its natural environment!

The pool at Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman near Valladolid.
Image by Canadian Veggie via Flickr

▶ At Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman you’ll find a swimming pool as well, 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 at Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman is nothing out of this world but totally edible, and it’s a great spot to relax for lunch or drinks.

Cenote Oxman | Practical Info

Inside Cenote Oxman near Valladolid.

How much does it cost?

At the time of writing, the cost of admission to Cenote Oxman is 150 MXN for the simple entry.

However, if you are planning to buy drinks or eat at the restaurant, you can buy an entrance ticket of 250 MXN which gives you 200 MXN in credit to use at the bar or restaurant. This way the entrance to Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman costs you only 50 MXN. Bring cash!

Where is it located?

Cenote Oxman is located 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) southwest of Valladolid, in the Yucatan Peninsula, at Hacienda Oxman. To get here, you must take Calle 54. Its location makes it ideal to stop on the way back to Cancun, Tulum, or Playa del Carmen from a day trip to Chichen Itza.

Other cenotes near Oxman Hacienda San Lorenzo that you can visit on the same day are:
• Cenote Ik Kil
• Cenote Suytun
Cenote Zaci.

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 Cenote Oxman 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 doesn’t rent snorkeling equipment, though, so you need to bring your own.

Cenote Oxman Diving

There are no diving opportunities available at cenote San Lorenzo Oxman. It does not offer cavern diving and is relatively small.

Best Tours 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, I highly recommend going with a tour.

➤ 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 the most famous ones: Cenote Oxman, Cenote Xkeken, and Cenote Samula. You’ll also visit the market of Valladolid and 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

➤ If you’d rather explore the cenotes with your own group of friends or family, check out the Best Cenotes in Yucatan Private Tour, which takes you to the beautiful Cenote Xux Ha, Cenote Suytun and Cenote Oxman for a swim and photos. You’ll also enjoy breakfast in historic Valladolid and some free time to explore the colonial town. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ If you’re coming from Cancun, the Day Trip to Chichen Itza and Valladolid is for you. You’ll explore the most popular archaeological site in Mexico with a professional guide and get to cool off at Cenote Oxman after the visit. You’ll enjoy free time at the cenote to swim and relax, and then head to Valladolid for lunch and a tour around the colonial town. Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Cancun is included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

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

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 to Cenote Oxman from Valladolid center.

Rent a bike

It’s possible to ride a bike to Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman, if you prefer this kind of transportation; you’ll find a few bike rental companies in the main square of Valladolid.

The average cost of renting a bike is 15 MXN per hour or 100 MXN per day, and it comes with a bike lock. 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 in Valladolid near the main square and you will find plenty of taxis waiting there. The taxi ride to get from Valladolid to Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman will take about 7 minutes, and the one-way fare costs around 100 MXN.

If you’re 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 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 a rental car.

Pros and Cons of Oxman Cenote

Pros of Cenote Oxman

  • This Valladolid cenote is 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 city 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 dthe 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.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you book something through one of my links I might get a commission, at absolutely no extra cost to you

Cenote Oxman FAQ

What is Cenote Oxman?

A Cenote is a natural sinkhole formed when limestone caves collapsed several centuries ago, forming the natural pool. Cenote Oxman is a Cave Cenote located near Valladolid.

How much is Cenote Oxman?

As of 2022, the entrance to Cenote Oxman is 150 MXN, although you could pay 250 MXN and get 200 credit to use for drinks or food at the bar, so the entrance fee is actually only 50 MXN.

What time does Cenote Oxman open?

Cenote Oxman opening hours are from 10 AM to 5 PM daily.

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

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.