Sandy beach
No
Cliff jumping
No
Hike-in Required
No
Sensitive Habitat
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Cenote Santa Rita is an example of the thousands of small cenotes lying throughout the Yucatan area of Mexico that haven’t been developed to cater to tourism and heavy use. Instead, lying just a few minutes south of Ek Balam Archaeological Site, Cenote Santa Rita sits at the outskirts of a small pueblo and has just enough development to make it functional as a place to swim and quietly admire the underground rivers surfacing within a sinkhole cave.

While it appears it was once more developed, the adjacent stone building has fallen to ruins. The stone steps leading to the narrow ladder that descends into the cenote seem to be about the most well-preserved part of the area. Once below ground, a small wooden platform sits above the dark waters. Bats circle the air inside the cave, stalactites descend from the roof, and only a couple floodlights illuminate the cavern.

This spot is off the beaten path, and it’s likely you’ll only find locals here. While the experience doesn’t compare to the more well-developed cenotes throughout the area, Cenote Santa Rita is worth the trip if in the area and looking for a swim or a peaceful sit in an underground cave that lacks any form of pretense. There are no lifeguards or equipment rentals of any kind here. There are no posted hours or prices. The cenote is on private property, so if the friendly owners are at the driveway, definitely offer them a donation.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

No crowds. In a small village.

Cons

Only simple improvements. Still water.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Family friendly
Cave

Location

Field Guide

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