Yucatan’s Secret Oasis: The Allure of Cenote Oxman
Needless to say, my favorite activity in the Yucatan Peninsula is swimming in Cenotes, with Cenote Oxman being my top choice.
Located just 10 minutes from the picturesque Magical Town of Valladolid, Oxman is one of these beauties that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting more than once.
It is also one of the several cenotes in Valladolid with a restaurant.
About Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman
Cenote Oxman has one of the peculiarities that very few cenotes have: it is part of a Hacienda, the well-known Hacienda San Lorenzo.
In this Hacienda, you can spend a whole day relaxing and enjoying not only the cenote -its waters, its surroundings, and its activities- but also the restaurant and the outdoor pool filled with water from the cenote.
In my opinion, the San Lorenzo Oxman cenote is an excellent alternative if you don’t want to find yourself in a crowd.
As can happen in the most popular and frequented cenotes where large groups of tourists arrive every day.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this cenote also receives bus tours. However, they usually arrive in the late afternoon, so you will probably have the cenote to yourself if you go in the morning.
Cenote Oxman top view
You will see how deep and vast the cenote is from the top, with all the tree roots hanging over the side.
After admiring the views for a while, you head to the small entrance, where you will find the 73-step staircase that leads to the cenote water.
Once down, there are several places to leave your belongings.
If you are going for a swim, you can either enter the water via the wooden steps or jump down the hanging rope.
When the rope reaches the maximum height of its arc is so exhilarating that you will climb the stairs and jump again and again.
How deep is Cenote Oxman?
This is an open-type Cenote, which is 20/25 meters underground, and according to one of the employees I talked to, it is approximately 45 meters deep.
We were determined to enjoy the pool all afternoon and the margaritas and mojitos that some folks we had met recommended to us.
Getting to Hacienda San Lorenzo, Cenote Oxman
On this occasion, my friends and I spent the whole day at the Hacienda to rest a little from so many trips back and forth. And to get there, we took a cab for 100 pesos one way.
So we left the car in which we traveled at the hotel and went to the Hacienda by cab.
As you can see on the map, the trail is straightforward; it can be done on foot, by bike, or by renting a scooter.
- If you go by car or cab, it takes between 15 to 20 minutes
- If you go on foot, it can take about an hour
- If you go by scooter, it will take you about the same time as by car
- If you go by bike, you can take a little more time to walk around. However, it won’t take you more than 30 to 35 minutes to get there
Parking in Hacienda San Lorenzo (Cenote Oxman)
Like many Cenotes, the first thing you will find when you arrive at Hacienda San Lorenzo is its ample free parking.
So, if you travel by car, motorcycle, or bike, you will have a place to park without any worries.
Visiting hours of Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman
The cenote is open daily from 08:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Keep in mind that if you arrive close to closing time and are hungry, you will not be able to eat in the restaurant because they close the kitchen at 4:30 pm.
In the past, Cenote Oxman was one of Yucatán’s best-kept secrets; nowadays, the tour buses make regular stops in the late afternoon.
That’s why I recommend arriving in the morning to swim in the cenote, then eating a delicious lunch at the Hacienda’s restaurant and spending a few hours by the pool.
Also, the position of the sun in the late afternoon makes it quite difficult to photograph the cenote from above.
Earlier in the day, you will have better lighting conditions to take better pictures.
If the weather is bad and it’s raining, don’t worry, because you can see how the rain falls through the roots of the trees, making a pleasant and relaxing sound.
How much is the entrance to Cenote Oxman?
When you arrive at the parking lot, you will walk down the short path to reach the colorful Hacienda.
There will be a small table at the main entrance where you can pay your entrance fee.
Bring cash! They don’t accept credit or debit cards, so be sure to bring some money when you visit the cenote.
At Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman, there are three different price points:
- 70 Pesos (3 US) – Access to the cenote only. No discount at the restaurant
- 100 Pesos (4.50 US) – Gives you access to the cenote and a 50 pesos discount at the restaurant
- 150 Pesos (6.50 US) – Gives you access to everything and a 100 pesos discount at the restaurant
In Valladolid, we met 4 Chilean friends who suggested we eat here, so we arrived planning to have lunch and drink some margaritas by the pool.
For us, the best option was the 150 peso entrance fee.
The lunch was delicious, and the margaritas while sunbathing by the pool were a marvel!!!!
Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman: History
We didn’t know until we were told that the beautiful Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman was built in 1746.
It used to be a henequen plantation that is now a place to spend the afternoon, sunbathe, have a bite to eat, and swim in the cenote.
I liked the care of the place, not only of the historic building and restaurant, the bar and pool area but also of all the surrounding grounds.
After spending a few hours in the cenote and getting hungry, we were ready for lunch (some delicious chicken nachos).
After lunch, we sat down to rest for a while in the shade, waiting to digest, and then went back to the pool.
What came next were some margaritas and mojitos that we bought at the local bar.
The “Bee” situation
If you are going to cool off in the pool, beware of bees. These flying fellows are very important to Yucatán, and honey is one of their major products.
There are often bees enjoying the water around the pool. Just be careful not to sit on one of them, and don’t hurt them, please!
We had a great time eating and drinking, swimming in the cenote, and then drinking some more. There we met people from different countries.
It was a beautiful experience, with people of all ages relaxing together.
At the end of the afternoon, we took the cab back to Valladolid, just in time to enjoy a coffee and watch the sunset in the central plaza.
Swimming in the Cenote Oxman
To get to the cenote, you can walk straight past the pool and turn right. From there, you will see the cenote from above.
The showers and the stairs to the cenote are behind the bar.
Once you arrive, you will be asked to shower and remove any insect repellent or sunscreen you may have on your body.
The cenotes are part of a delicate ecosystem we want to preserve and enjoy for generations to come.
To get to the water, you go down the wide staircase – very well built – to the cenote platform, which is 3 meters above the water level.
Once you reach the platform level, you can either jump into the water with the rope or go down the wooden ladder that drops you right into it (be careful because it may be slippery).
The water is pleasant, not as cold as you might expect, and clear.
Snorkeling is an excellent activity to enjoy at Cenote Oxman; the water is very clear, ideal for it.
Although, if you want to enjoy this activity, you must bring your gear since they don’t offer rentals.
Try to buy a colorless plastic mask, because if it has any shade of color, it won’t do you much good in the cenotes.
Rules and restrictions of Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman
As I mentioned before, visiting the cenotes is a little different from a traditional swimming pool, so there are some essential guidelines to follow when you arrive.
In this case, the rules at Cenote Oxman are as follows:
- Showers: you will be asked to shower before swimming. I believe it is “requested,” but it is an “obligation.”
- Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: You are not allowed to use sunscreen or mosquito repellent before entering the cenote. This is to preserve the quality of the water for everyone to enjoy. For this reason, you must shower before entering the cenote
- Food and beverages are allowed in restaurants, bars, pools, and parks. From the access to the stairs leading down to the cenote, they are prohibited
- Diving: Diving is not permitted
- Drones: Unlike most of the cenotes I’ve visited, drones are allowed in Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman -at least that’s what we were told- although I recommend you check before and ask permission from the administration
Changing rooms and lockers
There are changing rooms near the entrance to the cenote, but there are no lockers on site – most of us who went down to the cenote left our belongings in the spaces around the water.
Life jackets are available at the cenote and are included in the entrance fee.
When my friends and I visited, there were 30 vests available, so keep this in mind because if too many people arrive before you, you will be left without one.
It’s not a bad idea to always carry your life jacket. Especially when traveling with children.
Thanks for reading this article. I hope this guide helps you get the most out of your visit to this magical place.
Should you have further questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to post them below.
See you next time!