The Cuzamá area of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is known for its cluster of cenotes, or underwater sinkholes, which are unique in their methods of access. The three main cenotes are Chelentun, Chacsinicche, and Bolonchojol, and getting there is half the fun—the trip from Cuzamá’s town square to the cenotes is via traditional horse-drawn cart.
Cuzamá’s cenotes have clear, bright blue waters and excellent visibility. Stalactites hang from above, and a refreshing dip in the calm water grants views of the rock formations of these underwater caverns and rivers. Locals provide transportation to the cenotes in modified mine carts, called “trucks,” which horses or mules pull over rail tracks. In the past, this type of rail truck was used to transport henequen (a type of agave plant).
Visit Cuzamá independently or as part of a day trip from Mérida that explores the three underground cenotes and affords time for swimming. If you want to avoid the hassle of renting a car in Mexico, opt for a tour that includes transportation.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Cuzamá’s cenotes are a must-see for nature lovers and first-time visitors to the region.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces, and tote a swimsuit, towel, sunblock, and dry change of clothes.
- The cenotes are not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The town of Cuzamá is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Mérida; the drive takes about 45 minutes. Horse-drawn carts depart from the town square and stop at each of the three cenotes. Be sure to negotiate a price with your cart driver before departing.
When to Get There
This area of Mexico’s Riviera Maya and the Yucatán is not nearly as popular as the resort cities of Cancun or Playa del Carmen, so you can visit just about any time without having to worry about crowds. Tours of the cenote operate daily and in all weather conditions.
While in Cuzamá, set aside some time to see the unique Gothic-style church in nearby Eknakán. This small village is the site of one of many haciendas, or plantations, in the Yucatán. The Eknakán Hacienda was dedicated to the the production of henequen, which was transported in the rail trucks that are now used to transport visitors to the cenotes.