If you want to enjoy a nature-filled day trip, we want to recommend Kantun-chi, a group of sacred cenotes and caves in the same natural park for you to explore in the Heart of the Riviera Maya. Here’s the ultimate guide to Kantun-Chi Ecopark in Playa del Carmen.
Where is Kantun-Chi?
First, to get to this paradise, you must take the Cancun-Tulum road, and just 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen, you will find this paradise. Its name in Mayan means “Yellow Stone Mouth.” The address is Highway 307, Cancun-Tulum, Km. 266.5. Accross the higway from the Barcelo Maya Hotel.
Things to do in Kantun-Chi
This place can be explored by swimming in the mystical crystal clear waters of the caves of the Mayan world; the park is full of tropical gardens, spider monkeys, rare bird species, raccoons, deer, and reptiles. However, the main attraction is the amazing cenotes and caves.
Kantun Chi Ecopark is home to several cenotes. Five cenotes are currently open for swimming or diving. To protect the fauna of these impressive cenotes, you’re not allowed to use any sunscreen oils or lotions, or mosquito repellents. The five cenotes open to the public are as follows:
- Kantun Chi:
This semi-open cenote is the first in your visit to the park, where you can take a relaxing swim, surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens.
- Saskaleen Ha:
This is the largest cenote of the four, which means “transparent water.” Here you’ll find a small Mayan shrine that was probably used in purification ceremonies by the ancient Maya.
- Uchben Ha:
This beautiful open-air cenote with magnificent colorful fish is perfect for snorkeling and enjoying a relaxing time while you rest in the hammock islands.
- Zacil Ha:
This impressive cenote in Mayan means “clear water,” where light enters through the limestone. Here you can explore every corner and discover the beauty of the natural formations and the clarity of its waters.
- Zihil Ha:
Its name means “Reborn from the Water” is an open cenote where you’ll find the rich beauty of the flora and extraordinary vegetation, which make this cenote a paradise.
The Grotto adventure is one of the most impressive parts of your visit to the magnificent Kantun-Chi Ecopark. The cavern consists of two cenotes connected by naturally formed paths. You’ll have a guided tour through the world of the dead known to the Maya as “Xibalba.” According to Mayan mythology, the Mayan underworld was ruled by the twelve gods of death, known as the Lords of Xibalba.
Your guide will provide safety equipment so your adventure through this beautiful place will be safe. The tour takes about an hour, and here you’ll observe incredible stalactites and stalagmites formations, as well as the stunning formations that fall from the roof frame. This is a unique magical journey through these Mayan natural wonders.
Tips for Your Visit to Kantun-Chi Ecopark
- Travelers with cardio-respiratory problems, hypertension, claustrophobia, pregnancy, or limited mobility cannot enter the caves.
- This adventure is not suitable for children under 5 years of age.
- You can’t bring food, coolers, alcoholic beverages, or pets into the park. You can bring water for hydration. There’s a restaurant on the premises.
- You can’t use cameras during the guided tours.
- Lifejackets are mandatory in the water experiences.
- They offer 100% organic repellent as a courtesy. Many areas of the park are covered with the shade of trees. If sun protection is required, we suggest bringing a long-sleeve or rash guard type shirt.
- No smoking is allowed on the premises.
Wedding Ceremonies in the Park
You can get married in this magical place surrounded by nature and by these incredible Kantun-Chi cenotes. You can book at any of their wedding locations in the Ecopark. You can choose from three different charming scenarios: the Grotto, Cenote Uchben, or Cenote Zihil Ha. Imagine your special day in paradise surrounded by trees, lush vegetation, sacred cenote as your backdrop that will make for unforgettable memories.
Hours of Operation and Entrance Fee
Kantun-Chi Ecopark is open from Monday to Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM (6 PM during the summer).
The guided Cenote Tour with Lunch is $44 USD for adults and $22.50 USD for children (5 to 11 years old).
The guided Grotto Adventure, cenotes, and Lunch is $71.10 USD for adults and $36 USD for children (5 to 11 years old).
You can book ahead of time directly at their webpage.
Enjoy this eco-cultural tour to the fullest, following trails through the jungle, visiting the stunning cenotes with crystal clear waters, full of life, that still preserve the mysticism and natural charm that the ancient Mayans admired in them.
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