Exploring Cenote Saamal in Yucatan: Dive into the Mystical Depths
Have you ever dreamed of discovering a magical, hidden place full of history?
Cenote Saamal, a captivating cenote in Yucatan, beckons visitors to embark on an extraordinary journey into the mystical depths of its turquoise waters.
As you prepare to dive into the enchanting realm of Cenote Saamal, join me on an unforgettable adventure as I uncover the secrets, legends, and sheer beauty that make this cenote a must-see destination.
Where is Cenote Saamal?
Located in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Saamal Cenote is located at Hacienda Selva Maya, in the municipality of Valladolid.
This cenote is a hidden treasure that invites you to explore its depths.
How to get to Saamal cenote? If you are in Cancun or Merida, you can get there by car following the signs to the Hacienda.
If you prefer a more local and economical option, the “colectivos” (public buses and vans) from Valladolid are an excellent choice.
What to expect at Cenote Saamal, Yucatan
One of the peculiarities of Cenote Saamal is its accessibility.
Unlike other cenotes, Saamal has a comfortable and safe stairway that allows you to easily descend into the water.
As you descend, you are surrounded by a cool atmosphere, and the view of the crystal-clear water invites you to a relaxing swim.
You may want to read – Valladolid’s Aquatic Treasures: The Ultimate Cenote Guide
The water in Saamal is surprisingly clear, allowing you to see the underwater fauna and rock formations below the surface.
You can find small fish and aquatic plants that have made the cenote their home.
Hacienda Selva Maya
But Saamal’s beauty is not limited to its pool. Hacienda Selva Maya (Saamal’s home), is a place steeped in history and nature.
Ancient stone structures, manicured gardens, and nature trails combine to create the perfect setting to explore and enjoy after a refreshing swim in the cenote.
In addition, the rules of the cenote are designed to minimize human impact and protect the unique ecosystem that has developed here, making it a fascinating environment.
This is a gorgeous open cenote, with lots of nature everywhere you look, and an artificial waterfall that gives it a nice and fun touch, and special for taking beautiful pictures.
As you may know, cenotes are an essential part of Maya culture.
The name “Saamal” comes from the Maya and means “clear place.” These places were considered sacred by the Mayas, being seen as portals to the underworld and places of rituals.
Imagine a cenote surrounded by vegetation and with the sound of water falling from an artificial waterfall.
How deep is Cenote Saamal?
Saamal is an open cenote, similar to a natural pool, which was formed due to the collapse of the roof of a subway cave.
The mouth of the cenote is approximately 60 mt in diameter, and the crystal clear, refreshing water reaches a depth of up to 50 mt.
Some parts of the cenote are covered by the shade of lush trees and plants, while others are bathed in sunlight, creating a truly enchanting environment.
When is the best time to visit Cenote Saamal?
Visiting Cenote Saamal can be a fascinating experience at any time of year, but depending on your personal preferences, you may find that some seasons are more appealing than others.
Here, I break down the conditions throughout the year so you can plan your visit.
・Winter (December – February)
Winter can be an excellent time to visit Cenote Saamal. During these months, Yucatán experiences its coolest time of the year, with temperatures ranging from 18 to 28 degrees Celsius.
The cooler weather makes it pleasant to explore and swim in the cenote.
However, this is also the peak tourist season in the region, which can mean larger crowds and slightly higher prices.
・Spring (March – May)
Spring brings warmer temperatures rising up to 34 degrees Celsius.
The good news is that the water at Cenote Saamal remains cool throughout the year, which can offer refreshing relief from the heat.
However, you should be aware that April and May can be particularly hot and humid.
・ Summer (June – August)
Summer in Yucatán can be very hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 30 degrees Celsius.
However, this is also when the area gets the most rainfall, which can add a magical feeling to your visit to Cenote Saamal.
If you don’t mind a little rain and enjoy tropical weather, summer could be an excellent choice for you.
・Autumn (September – November)
Fall can be a good time to visit Cenote Saamal, as the tourist crowds tend to thin out after the summer.
Temperatures are still warm, but more moderate than in the summer, and rainfall begins to decrease.
However, it is important to remember that September and October are hurricane seasons in Mexico, so you may encounter some disruptions in the weather during these months.
Opening hours and fees
Cenote Saamal is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The entrance fee is 10 USD for adults and 5 USD for children. Be sure to bring cash in pesos, as they don’t always accept credit cards.
Things to do in Cenote Saamal
Swimming: Of course, swimming in the cenote is the main and most enjoyable activity. The crystal clear, cool water is perfect for a refreshing dip.
If you feel unsafe in the water, you can request a life jacket to enjoy the water with total peace of mind.
Explore the flora and fauna: In the cenote and its surroundings you can find a great variety of plants and animals, which makes it an interesting place for nature lovers.
Photograph the surroundings: Cenote Saamal and Hacienda Selva Maya are places of great beauty, perfect for taking some Instagram pictures.
Enjoy Hacienda Selva Maya’s facilities: After a refreshing swim, you can enjoy a meal at the hacienda’s restaurant, walk along its trails, or enjoy the rest areas.
What is NOT allowed in Cenote Saamal
Sunscreen and insect repellents are not allowed in the water: This is to avoid water contamination and protect the cenote’s ecosystem.
No jumping from the banks or rocks: This can be dangerous and is prohibited for safety reasons.
Do not touch or disturb the animals and plants: Remember that you are in their habitat and it is important to respect them.
Food and beverages are not allowed: Inside the cenote, you are not allowed to eat or drink in order to keep the place clean. At Hacienda Selva Maya you will find designated eating areas.
No trash: Trash containers are available. I suggest you help to keep the place clean and protect the environment.
These rules and recommendations are intended to ensure that we can all enjoy Cenote Saamal in a safe and sustainable way.
Where to store belongings at Cenote Saamal
For the comfort and safety of visitors, Cenote Saamal has a locker service.
For a small additional cost, you can rent a locker to store your belongings while you enjoy your time in the water.
It is important to mention that the number of lockers is limited, so I would recommend arriving early to make sure you get one.
In addition to the lockers, Hacienda Selva Maya has clean and well-maintained shower rooms and restrooms.
Other activities to enjoy near the Cenote
After visiting Cenote Saamal, you can take advantage of your trip to discover other wonders of the region.
Here are some of our suggestions for you to consider during your visit:
Visit the city of Valladolid: This colonial city is a jewel in itself. Its cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and historical monuments such as the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena or the Cathedral of San Gervasio will transport you to another era. Don’t miss the opportunity to get to know it and taste its gastronomy.
Visit other cenotes: In the Yucatan Peninsula, there are more than 6,000 cenotes, each with its own unique charm.
Near Saamal, you could visit Cenote Zací and Cenote Samulá, both famous for their beauty and the peculiar light that filters inside.
Explore the Ek Balam Archaeological Zone: This Mayan archaeological site, located just 30 minutes from Valladolid, is a must for history and archaeology lovers.
At Ek Balam, you can admire impressive constructions such as the Acropolis, the largest structure in the area, and learn more about the fascinating Maya culture.
Visit the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve: This natural reserve, located about two hours from Valladolid, is home to a great variety of bird species, including flamingos.
You can take a boat tour of the estuary and enjoy a great natural spectacle.
Cenote Saamal: Conclusion
Visiting Cenote Saamal is, without a doubt, an experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the magic of the Yucatan Peninsula.
From the unparalleled beauty of its natural pool to the history and nature that surrounds Hacienda Selva Maya, Saamal offers a complete experience for adventure, nature, and culture lovers.
But don’t forget that the region offers much more beyond this cenote. Take advantage of your trip to explore Valladolid, get to know other cenotes, explore Mayan ruins, and enjoy the unique biodiversity of this region.
Without a doubt, a visit to Cenote Saamal is just the beginning of an incredible journey through this magical corner of Mexico.