What is there to do while visiting Espita, Yucatan?
Are you going to be visiting the charming and authentic town of Espita? If you have already heard about Espita, you are probably the type of person who likes connecting while traveling. Espita is perfect for those looking to get off the beaten path and explore a little more. Since Espita has some nice boutique hotels, it can be a good thing to relax and use Espita as a base to explore the area. Here are some suggestions and a map showing where things are in relation to Espita. The furthest things on the map are about one hour and this is Chichen Itza and the beaches to the north.
Our map of things to do while visiting Espita
We like making visual maps for our readers. In this map we have labeled everything of interest nearby Espita. We have color coded the markers to help you find things faster. The blue marker is for cenotes, dark brown for Mayan ruins, green for baseball field and parks, purple for Catacombs, and orange for towns with tourist attractions.
All the best cenotes to visit while in Espita
The name of Espita in Mayan is translated to “the place of little water”. Most likely the significance of the name is the fact that no surface water and not too many cenotes are accessible locally. With that being said, there are not a ton of cenotes close by, but enough to keep you entertained and cooled off. Here are the cenotes in relation to the distance from Espita.
Tip: Since most locals have off on Sunday, this is the busiest day for cenotes, second would be Saturdays. Weekdays except when there is a holiday, you have a good chance of being the only ones at most of these cenotes.
This is a small ranch outside of town (1.5km) that has a cenote open to the public with a reservation (you must call ahead because there is not always someone there to allow you to enter). The cenote is a small cave with lights. It is interesting that they found Maya artifact there and even some dinosaur bones. To enter you go down a steep stone stairs. Headlamps can be provided for you and there are also lights in the cenote. This cenote is good if you want something close and intimate. Ask here on their Facebook page to set up a visit. https://www.facebook.com/ERSantamaria
This is a cenote outside of town that is possible to reserve the whole cenote and have a private swim. The cenote is large and open with a high place to jump. You can drive the dirt road to the cenote or arrange a ride. This cenote is good for a group that wants the cenote to themselves to swim. For more information about visiting here, check out their Facebook page here. They also have camping, horseback riding and other activities available.
This is a small cenote that is in a cave. The entrance is carved into the stone and some landscaping has been done here. Normally there are not too many people here. This is not our first choice of cenotes to visit but maybe combine it with Cenote Acancun for a day of swimming. You can check out more on their Facebook page here. This is about 26 a minute drive from Espita.
Cenote Acancun (aka) Cenote Azul and Cenote El Toro
This cenote is one of the closest and nicer cenotes. It is semi open cenote and in the middle of the day the light passes directly for the water. This is important because it is said the cenote is 50 meters deep. The water is very clear here and when the sunlight hits just right, you can see deep into the cenote. There is one place to jump and there is a shower of water that falls into the cenote.
The other cenote has been inaccessible due to the high water and low ceiling in the cave. This cenote is about 28 minutes from Espita. For more on this cenote you check out their Facebook page here.
This cenote is in the area of Sucila and is also 28 minutes from Espita. This cenote is on a ranch and has several small caves to see. There is a tour of the property that you can take. the main cenote is nice. It is semi open, but they have covered it with a screen, so it keeps out leaves and dust to keep the water looking cleaner. See our article here for more information.
This is the cenote that is attached to Ek Balam ruins. The cenote is down a trail from the entrance of the ruins. Most people rent biked to make the trip. At the cenote you can swim, rappel, take a zip line and a few other activities if you wish to add on to your experience there. it is about a 36-minute drive from Espita. For more about this cenote, see our article here.
This is a large, closed cenote in Temozon. It has a large area to swim and services since this cenote get tour groups by bus. This cenote is often visited by tours to Ek Balam. This cenote is about 38 minutes from Espita. See our article for more information and photos about Cenote Hubiku. You can also see their Facebook page here for the cenote.
Important note: The following three cenotes have bad cell reception in the area. It is best to download the map for driving because you will have no connection and you don’t want to miss the handmade signs.
Cenote Sac Aua
This cenote is worth the drive of 49 minutes. This was a closed cenote, but the roof collapsed and created an island in the middle of the cenote. It is beautiful and one of our favorites to visit locally. For more about visiting Cenote Sac Aua see our article here.
Just a little way from Cenote Sac Aua is Cenote Dzalbay. This cenote is not as popular as others in this area, but still nice to visit in combination of another cenote. This cenote is very large. When you are inside you really feel the size of it. It is still enclosed but parts of the roof have fallen making most of the water of the cenote to be only on one side. There are holes in the roof to let in light and they even have reflective panels that shine light around the cenote. The water is pretty clear, it just does not have a super large area to swim. The current cost of entrance is 100 pesos per person.
Cenote Palomitas and Cenote Agua Dulce
These two cenotes are side by side and run by the same people. These cenotes are very similar, so no need to visit the two unless you want to spend the day in one spot swimming. There is more infrastructure at these cenotes. For example, there is one of the only restaurants in the area. So you might want to include here on your daytrip.
Mayan ruins nearby Espita
Mayan ruins are a big part of the attraction in the area. There are two large Mayan ruin sites close to Espita to visit. There are even smaller sites that are off the beaten path and can lead to an adventurous day exploring.
The most popular ruins to visit on the peninsula is Chichen Itza. These ruins are a one-hour drive from Espita. This is a good half day trip and can be combined with some of the cenotes nearby. See our guide to visiting Chichen Itza here.
Ek Balam ruins is about 38 minutes from Espita. These ruins are not the largest but are large enough to appreciate. This is also one of the last ruins that you can climb the main temple and get a great 360 view of the area. These ruins are great to be combined with one or more of the local cenotes. There is even a large cenote next to Ek Balam ruins.
This is a small town 33 minutes away from Espita. There is an old abandoned colonial church and a Mayan pyramid next to it. You can climb up it and take a few pictures, but that is about it. For more about visiting Tahcabo, see our article here.
These ruins are so far off the beaten path you will feel like an adventurer visiting here. You can reach these ruins after about a 1 hour and 20-minute drive. These ruins recently opened to the public but are still rough around the edges. Kuluba ruins is on a ranch, and you can see cows nearby grazing. There are three large buildings to see here. Some of them have detailed ornamentation on them. For more about visiting Kuluba, see our article here.
Other attractions locally
On the map there are three orange markers. These are beach towns and the closest beaches to Espita. Each of these towns has a little something different. Here is a description of these three places.
San Felipe is a small and colorful fishing village. There is a boardwalk where you can see the fishermen coming and going all day from. There is also a nice beach here and some eco tours to see here. See our article here about San Felipe and our video of eco tours from San Felipe below.
This is the largest of the three beach towns. This is a fishing village that offers eco tours as well. Of the three places listed here for beach destinations, this one offers the most for tours. The best tour is going up the ria and seeing wildlife. then you can bath in the mud and wash off in a cenote.
You can also hire a boat to take you to the virgin beaches located on an island Infront of Rio Lagartos. Rio Lagartos has about 6 restaurants to choose from, seafood being the most popular option.
This is the area famous for the pink lakes. This is also where salt is produced since the time of the Mayas. Here you can visit to snap some photos or take a small tour to see more of the pink lakes. South of La Coloradas is a nature preserve. In town you can hire a guide to show you around. Las Coloradas is also a good place for a beach day if you like long stretches of beach with hardly anyone nearby. In town there are a few restaurants, but it is limited.
Other thing to do in Espita or nearby
Eco Park El Monte is a natural area that preserves the forest and local flora and fauna. At this park you can take a walk, camp, or best of all, bring a bike! There are trails here that are designed for off road bikes. This park gets more visitors on the weekend as far as Merida and Cancun just to come and enjoy some outdoor time. This park is about 26 minutes from Espita and is located between Sucila and Tizimin. There is only one small blue sign at the entrance. See more on their Facebook page here.
Sundays in Espita are a busy day in the morning at church and the market. Then in the afternoons people either spend time with family or playing baseball. Watching a game can be a great activity and you will feel like a million miles from the rest of the world. We have one green marker in Espita for one of the baseball fields. This is Campo Alvaro and is the largest field. It is not always used, but usually someone will know where the game will be on a Sunday.
Tizimin is the largest and closest city. Tizimin has a few attractions for visitors to Espita. One of the interesting things to see is the catacombs. These are not real, nor do they contain bones. This was a project of someone in their backyard. There are different rooms and passageways, some of them with carvings or religious figures or animals. This takes a few minutes to see and just a few pesos. It is one of those odd and curious things you find when exploring. To read more about the catacombs of Tizimin, see our article here.
We hope you have a great time exploring the area around Espita. If you have a questions or comments, be sure to post below and we will respond as soon as we can.