Tsukan- An authentic cenote experience close to Chichen Itza
Tsukan is a new cenote that has opened close to Chichen Itza. Although, it is more that just a cenote, it is an experience of local culture and a tranquil spot to enjoy. Tucked away in the local forest you can find this quiet spot with gardens, an authentic Mayan house and nicely designed eco friendly park around a cenote. Here is everything you need to know about visiting here and the local area.
Our video of visiting Tsukan
Like everything on our website, we go and visit and experience it. This way we can give you the full details and answer any questions you might have. Here is our video from visiting Tsukan.
What can you see here?
When you arrive you will take the trail to the welcome center where you will register and pay. Here a guide will start a tour of the property for you. You will see some very large trees and gardens of local plants. A lot of effort has gone into developing this area for tourists. The entryway to the cenote has been carved out and planted with ceiba trees and other local plants.
There is a traditional Maya house that gives you an idea of how people lived in the area for thousands of years. Here you can even see tortillas being made by hand and you can taste them.
In the back of the Maya house are the gardens. These areas are traditionally the functional areas of food for the family. In the photo below you can see chaya and chilies being grown. The raised bed is called a canché. This is for growing herbs and plants that animals like eating.
What is the cenote like?
There is a large stairwell that has been carved into the rock that leads down to the cenote. There is also a small room caved into the rock right before you enter the cenote area. The roof on the cenote has three holes that let light in. The water is fresh and has small fish that are common in cenotes.
Since lifejackets are required here, you can float in the cenote and look up at the stalactites. It is a relaxing place to visit and a good place to cool off.
How much is the entrance to Tsukan?
The current price is 225 pesos for adults and children under 11 are 120 pesos. The entrance price included life jackets. Lockers and snorkels are for rent.
What are the hours it is open?
The cenote is open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm.
Where is Tsukan Santuario de Vida?
Tsukan is on the non toll 180 road between Piste and Yokdzonot. This is about 11 minutes west of Chichen Itza or 10.2 km. Since it is close to Chichen Itza, it is a good place to stop and break up your day.
What more can you see in the area?
Of course the most likely thing you will want to see in the area is Chichen Itza. This is the major tourist attraction in the area, but there are other things worth seeing in the area.
Other cenotes to see
- Cenote Ik Kil. This is one of the most visited cenotes on the peninsula because it gets many bus groups stopping after a visit to Chichen Itza. It is beautiful but often crowded.
- Cenote Chihuan. This cenote is close to Tsukan. It is an enclosed cenote with clear water. If you are a little Closter phobic, this might not be for you.
- Cenote Chan Dzonot. If you don’t want to deal with crowds, this cenote is more off the beaten path yet still in the area. It is a little bit of a drive into the wood but when you arrive you will find a tranquil open cenote.
800 year old cave
Balankanche Caves are an interesting place to stop if you are interested in history and culture. This is one of the touristic attractions near Chichen Itza that you can visit. The caves themselves are not that spectacular, but there is something special you can find here. The caves contain artifacts from the Maya that were used in ceremonies over 800 years ago.
Chichen Itza ruins and light show
The Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza are sure to be on your list, but there is also a way to see them at night also. This works best if you stay in the area. The show is at night and allows you to walk the central part before seeing a show of about 30 minutes. The light show is projected on the main pyramid in the center of Chichen Itza. The official website for booking tickets is here.
Other Mayan ruins in the area
Yaxunah is a place not many people have heard about. It is a town and ruins located near Chichen Itza. These ruins are in a state of ruin and are just next to the road. If you want to go there, it is good to enter the town and ask for a local guide to show you around. It is a totally different experience than going to Chichen Itza.
The best hotels to stay in the area
To really take advantage of what the area has, it can be good to stay in the area. There are two good options for hotels, one is in Valladolid and the other is the area surrounding Chichen Itza. Below are recommended hotels.
Hotels in Valladolid
Valladolid is a charming colonial city that is about 45 minutes east of Chichen Itza. Valladolid is much more charming than Piste, the town closest to the Chichen Itza area. In Valladolid you have more options for eating also. See our guide here on restaurants in Valladolid. For hotel recommendations we have a whole article here with photos the best places to stay in town.
Good places to stay close to Chichen Itza
There are not that many hotels near to Chichen Itza compared to the amount of tourists that visit everyday. Many people arrive by tour group and leave the same day. There are some roadside hotels in the area and some larger, more upscale hotels that are right next to the ruins.
- Hotel Chichen Itza. This is an older hotel in the center of Piste. It offers good value and more of a budget friendly option. Even though it is older, it has been updated. There is a pool, bar and restaurant on site. The restaurant is not the best, but it is convenient.
- Mayaland Hotel and Bungalows. This is a very popular hotel because it has a beautiful property, pool, and views of the ruins from the hotel. Some of the rooms are modern and basic but the grounds are very beautiful and there is a selection of restaurants on the property.
- The Lodge at Chichen Itza. Here you can find some romantic rooms and large gardens. This is a great place for a couple that wants a romantic location.
- Villas Arqueologicas Chichen Itza. This is a good hotel that has a local/Mexican feel. It is close to the ruins, but not as close as Mayaland or the Lodge at Chichen Itza.
- Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa. This is perhaps the most upscale and culturally engaging hotels in the area. The main building will take you back to the charm of old world Yucatan and the time of haciendas. Enjoy the lush gardens and restaurant here.
For more information:
See the official website of Tsukan here (It is in Spanish only now).
Thank you for reading our article about Tsukan. We are always out exploring more and adding information to our website. Let us know if you have any comments of questions below. We love hearing from our readers.