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Is Ik Kil Cenote Worth it? A Complete 2024 Guide

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There are so many incredible cenotes in Mexico, and one of them is perfectly paired with one of the World Wonders, Chichen Itza. But is Ik Kil Cenote worth it?

We have had this cenote on our bucket list for years, and saw so many Instagram posts of this picture-perfect place. Unfortunately though, it was closed during the pandemic so we weren't able to go on our big Mexico road trip. But this time, we were determined to check it off of our bucket list.

We dreamed about floating in the tranquil waters, flying our drone, and having the most epic experience at Ik Kil Cenote.

Finally, we made it, and we're here to give our honest feedback about the experience, so you can decide whether you think Ik Kil Cenote is worth it for you.

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Where is Ik Kil Cenote Located?

Ik Kil Cenote is located in the Yucatan Peninsula in the south east of Mexico. It is just 10 minutes east from the famous Chichen Itza, and 45 minutes west of the city of Valladolid.

How Do I Get to Cenote Ik Kil?

There are quite a few ways to get to Cenote Ik Kil. You can either rent a car, take a colectivo (local shared van), or you take a tour from Valladolid, Tulum, or Merida.

Renting a Car to Get to Cenote Ik Kil

The easiest way to get to Cenote Ik Kil is by renting a car from Cancun, or renting a car from Merida. Alternativeley, if you are staying in Valladolid, you can rent a scooter, although the drive is bit long (there are no rental cars in Valladolid).

How to Take Public Transportation to Ik Kil Cenote

If you are coming from Valladolid you will find local colectivos that pass by Cenote Ik Kil, heading in the direction of Merida.

This is the cheapest option, but you'll have to allow yourself a bit more time since the colectivos only leave once they are full.

Colectivos are 35 pesos, and leave from calle 39 in Valladolid.

Tours to Ik Kil Cenote

Taking a tour is definitely the easiest way to get to Cenote Ik Kil. Is Ik Kil Cenote worth it on a tour though?

From our perspective, we don't think so. However, that's because we try to avoid crowds and are photographers.

If you want an easy option to simply enjoy Chichen Itza and to cool off after, the combo tour to Ik Kil Cenote may be worth it for you. This is also a good option for those that are staying in cities further away, and are looking for a day trip.

How to Get from Chichen Itza to Ik Kil

In order to get from Chichen Itza to Ik Kil, we suggest taking a tour that does both of them. 

If you would like to go on your own and don't want to rent a car though, you can get a taxi waiting outside.

Just remember you may have to ask around and try to bargain for a deal, as most drivers will try to overcharge you.

How to Get to Ik Kil Cenote from Tulum

If you want to visit Ik Kil Cenote and Chichen Itza from Tulum you can either get a combo tour, rent a car, or take the ADO bus from Tulum to Valladolid, and then get the colectivo from there.

Is Ik Kil Cenote worth it from Tulum? Truthfully, only if you are pairing it with Chichen Itza. Otherwise, the trip is entirely too long to just visit the cenote itself.

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Is Ik Kil Cenote Worth It? What to Expect

Now that you know about the logisitics of getting to Ik Kil, let's dive into the fun stuff!

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Is Ik Kil cenote worth it
Is Ik Kil cenote worth it
Is Ik Kil cenote worth it

As soon as you walk in you'll have to purchase your tickets (in cash). 

The cenote is located right in the center of the complex, and surrounding it our all of the Ik Kil amenities. You can enjoy the view from above the cenote, or you can go down the stairs to experience it down below.

Ik Kil Cenote is an open cenote, so the sinkhole is underground, and has a big opening at the top where you'll be able to see it from the top with all of the greenery and roots hanging down.

Cenote Ik Kil opening
Ik Kil Cenote

You'll have to walk down a set of spiral stairs to get down to the cenote, and they're pretty slippery so make sure to watch your step.

When you get down you can swim at your leisure, snorkel, or jump off the platform, and spend as much time as you'd like.

Keep in mind that this is nature, so you will see fish swimning around, who may even nibble at your feet. They are completely harmless, and the majority of them are little catfish. 

Ik Kil Cenote
Cenote Ik Kil

Can You Swim in Cenote Ik Kil?

You can swim in Cenote Ik Kil. However, life jackets are required, and you must shower before you go in.

Ik Kil Cenote life vests

There are stairs that lead up to a platform on the side where you can jump off of, and ladders that allow you to climb in and out of the water.  There are tons of employees surveilling the area - one at the top of the stairs, one at the diving platform, and several just walking around to ensure people are abiding by the rules.

I'm going to be honest - the place naturally is so serene and stunning, but the obnoxious amount of employees constantly talking on walkie talkies and staring at every move you make definitely destroys the peace we were looking for.

Ik Kil Cenote in Mexico
Ik Kil Cenote in Mexico
Ik Kil Cenote in Mexico
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Amenities at Ik Kil Cenote

We're not massive fans of how commercialized Cenote Ik Kil is. However, we will admit that they are well-equipped, and have everything you need to have a comfortable and safe visit to the cenote.

Lockers at Ik Kil Cenote

Lockers are included in the price of your tickets, and also must be used by everybody. 

This is because towels, shoes, and bags are not allowed in the cenote, so whenver you decide to visit the cenote, you'll have to go and get a locker from the staff. The keys are provided as well, so you don't need your own lock. 

Just make sure not to lose your key, or you'll be charged a fine. (They are provided on a lanyard, so you can put it around your neck).

lockers at Ik Kil cenote

Changing Rooms at Ik Kil Cenote

Right next to the lockers are both male and female changing rooms. Here you can go to the bathroom, change into your bathing suit, and wash up.

Showers at Ik Kil Cenote

If you plan on going swimming in the cenote, you'll have to rinse off beforehand. There are outdoor showers right near the lockers, and you can also wash up in the locker rooms.

showers at Ik Kil Cenote

Towel Rentals at Ik Kil Cenote

Most people bring their own towels, or will even bring one from their hotel room or cruise ship.

However, if you happen to have forgotten a towel, you can in fact rent one or purchase one.

towel rental at Ik Kil Cenote

Shops at Ik Kil Cenote

There are quite a few shops on site, and you can find everything from swimming accessories to souvenirs. 

You'll find a shop right at the entrance, people selling things right past the ticket booth, and also a shop right across from the life vest rental tent.

shop at Ik Kil
shop at Ik Kil

There are a few different shops on site.

Food & Drink Options at Ik Kil Cenote

Ik Kil Cenote has a few different options for food & drink.

They have a bar with drinks and snacks, an ice cream kiosk, and a proper restaurant serving breakfast lunch and dinner.

bar at Ik Kil Cenote
bar at Ik Kil Cenote
shop at Ik Kil
restaurant at Ik Kil Cenote

Medical Attention at Ik Kil Cenote

There is a medical facility on the premises, so if anything minor happens, you can see the doctor there.

Ik Kil Cenote Hotel

Hotel at Ik Kil Cenote

The reason there is a restaurant serving all meals at Ik Kil Cenote is actually because right on the premises is also a hotel.

This is definitely a cool place to stay if you want access to the property after hours, as well as being in a nice place close to Chichen Itza.

Ik Kil Cenote hotel
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Is Ik Kil Cenote Worth it? Price & Timetable

Now that you know what to expect for experiencing Ik Kil Cenote, let's go over the price and timetable, so you can decide whether Ik Kil Cenote is worth it for you.

How Much is Cenote Ik Kil?

There are two packages that you can choose from while visiting Ik Kil Cenote.

Package 1: 200 MXN for Adults/ 130 MXN for Children

This is the general entry. A locker, life jacket, and access to the cenote are included.

Package 2: 440 MXN for Adults/ 230 MXN for Children

This package includes the genery entry, plus restaurant service and one drink.

What Are the Opening Hours of Ike Kil Cenote?

Cenote Ik Kil opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm.

opening hours of Ik Kil cenote

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Rules/Tips for Visiting Ik Kil Cenote

If someone asks us if Ik Kil cenote is worth it, our answer lies in the rules.

There are so many rules and regulations that it really can ruin the experience. 

Here are all them, so you can properly prepare, and know if this experience is right for you.

Can You Swim in Cenote Ik Kil?

You can swim in Ik Kil Cenote. However, life vests are mandatory, and you can't even walk down the stairs without wearing one.

They're included in the price, but not optional to wear at all, even if you are a professional swimmer, diver, etc.

Ik Kil Cenote in Mexico

You can swim in Ik KilCenote but you need a life vest.

Rules for What to Bring to the Cenote

When you arrive to the cenote you'll be required to put most of your belongings in a locker. 

Shoes, bags, towels, and pretty much everything but phones and cameras must be checked into the lockers. On the brihgt side though, at least they're free.

Photography Rules for Ik Kil Cenote

As photographers, we found it extremely frustrating to be at Ik Kil Cenote.

We had seen so many gorgeous pictures of other people floating around without life vests, with beautiful lighting, and even some epic drone shots of Ik Kil Cenote.

Well, you can throw those dreams away, because drones are prohibited, and they're also very picky with carrying a camera with you. While you technically can have a camera with you, if you put it to the side for even a moment you'll hear them barking at you. 

We also suspect that eventually they'll end up prohibiting GoPros and phones, as some other cenotes already have, and others charge you if you'd like to use them.

More Rules for Ik Kil Cenote

  • Swimming is at your own rick.
  • It's mandatory to take a shower before going into the cenote
  • No lotions or makeup allowed to be worn
  • No swimming if you have been drinking
  • No eating or drinking inside the cenote area
  • No Smoking
  • No littering (of course)
  • No climbing or running
  • You can only jump in certain positions

*It's also important to note that the park is not responsible for any items lost or damaged.

info about Cenotes

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Other Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Ik Kil Cenote

Is Ik Kil Cenote worth it for you? If you believe it's still something you're interested in, then we'll cover a few more things so that you can properly prepare for your visit there.

Weather in Valladolid

Valladolid experiences hot temperatures year round, and is actually even hotter than the cities along the coast. We visited in May, and it was over 100 degrees Fahreinheit, and very sunny.


The Best Time to Visit Ik Kil Cenote

The best time to visit Valladolid is in the winter time, from December to February for beautiful sunny weather and mild temperatures.

As far as the best time of day to visit Ik Kil cenote, it would be ideal to visit very early in the morning, but unfrotunately they don't open until 9:00. We recommend visiting right when they open at 9 am. Tour groups start to arrive around 10/11:00, and by late morning the place becomes super crowded.

You can also opt to visit late in the afternoon before they close, around 4 pm, but we definitely prefer the early morning.

it Ik Kil Cenote worth it

What to Bring to Ik Kil Cenote

  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • Underwater Camera (we use the GoPro for underwater shots, and the Insta 360 with the extra long selfie stick for drone-like shots)
  • Camera - (we use the Sony A7Riii)
  • Wide Lens (we use the Sony GM 14 mm)
  • Waterproof Phone Pouch (we use the Case Mate Phone Pouch)
  • Make Up Wipes
  • Sunscreen (for after swimming)
  • Toiletries (to shower after)
  • Change of clothes
  • Cash (the entrance can only be paid in cash)
wide lens photography at Ik Kil Cenote

Having a wide lens allows you to capture the entire cenote.

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Is Ik Kil Cenote Worth It?

Having visited many cenotes and beautiful areas of nature around the world, we personally did not feel that Ik Kil Cenote was worth it.

It has become very commercialized, and there are tons of staff hovering over you at every moment, which truly takes away the peace and serenity from the place.

With so many rules, big crowds, and excessive infrastructure, we really felt that our money could have been used better in another place.

Rules at Ik Kil Cenote

Is Ik Kil Cenote Worth it For Anyone?

We understand we are pretty harsh critics, and don't want to dissuade people who may love the experience! 

If you are visiting Mexico for the first time, have a family with kids, or want to experience Chichen Itza on a tour, then these are all reasons that would make Ik Kil Cenote worth it for you.

Ik Kil is certainly a beautiful cenote, and is conveniently located next to one of the World Wonders. It's safe, well maintained, and a better choice for some than others.

Ik Kil Cenote in Mexico