Homun Cenotes: BEST Cenotes Near Merida

by | Oct 21, 2023 | Mexico, Travel

The best day trip you can take from Merida is a visit to the Homun cenotes. Located an hour’s colectivo ride from Merida, Homun is a small town with over 20 (yes 20!) drop-dead gorgeous cenotes.

The only problem is that it’s hard to find accurate, complete, and up-to-date info on how to visit the town and its cenotes. So, in this blog post, I’m going to share with you EXACTLY how to get to Homun, what cenotes to visit, how much it costs to visit 5 of them in 1 day, and what to bring to the cenotes.

For more ideas on what to do when visiting Merida, check out my list of the 23 best things to do in Merida and for ideas on more things to do around the Yucatan, you can read my list of 15 best day trips from Merida.

I have updated this post to reflect October 2023 prices and other current information that my readers have informed me about. PLEASE let me know in the Comment Section at the end of this post if you notice any other changes! THANK YOU!

For more info on travel in Mexico, check out my other travel guides to Mexico.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate and a Bookshop.org Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Please see this website’s Disclosure for more info.

map on how to get to Homun

How to get to Homun from Merida

There is very little information on the internet on how to get to Homun from Merida. What there is on the internet is wrong or out-of-date, so hopefully, this information will help you get to Homun.

Here is how I got to Homun on June 1, 2021. This information is verified as still accurate as of October 2023 – I have updated prices and some scheduling info to reflect what is true as of October 2023.

parking lot for colectivos to get to Homun

I took a colectivo (a white van) from a colectivo parking lot near the Noreste Bus Station (Terminal de Autobuses Noreste). The colectivo parking lot for Homun is on Calle 52 (between Calle 65 and Calle 67). If you walk down Calle 52, look for a parking lot entrance and a sign on the wall at the entrance that says “Homun.”

colectivo to get to Homun

You can also just ask people on the street, ‘Donde esta el colectivo a Homun?

I arrived at the colectivo parking lot a little bit before 9:00 AM on a Tuesday. There were eight other people waiting for the same colectivo.

Colectivos for Homun should leave every 30 minutes.

The drive came at 9:10 AM.

As of October 2023, it costs $34 pesos to get to Homun. The driver collected the fair before each person got into the colectivo.

We left Merida at 9:15 AM and arrived in Homun an hour later.

Just be aware that the last colectivo back to Merida is at 6:00 PM.

Now you can rent a car and drive to Homun if you want. Lots of people do it and it will probably give you more flexibility than taking public transportation.

What cenotes TO visit in Homun

The Yucatan peninsula is home to over 7,000 cenotes. That’s because 66 million years ago an asteroid hit the earth off the coast of Yucatan not far from Merida.

This asteroid caused a chain reaction deep in the earth, creating underground chambers or caves across the Yucatan peninsula. The asteroid specifically created this ring of cenotes encircling Merida. Homun is directly on this ring, so it has tons of cenotes. But there are no cenotes in Merida.

how cenotes are formed

Because the Yucatan Peninsula is made up of very porous limestone, rainwater was able to seep into these underground chambers. Over time, the ceilings of some of these chambers collapsed to reveal these sources of water. Even today there are some cenotes that are yet to be discovered.

The water of many of the cenotes is perfectly clean. The water is so clear that it’s like swimming in your bathtub. It’s that way because there is no flora or fauna to dirty the water.

The water is also refreshingly cool. The average temperature is 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit). That might seem cold, but trust me it’s not. After being out in the sweltering heat and humidity of the Yucatan, a dip in a cenote is heaven.

You can see on the map below there are over 20 cenotes in Homun. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out which cenotes to visit. Hopefully, this post will help you decide which ones to visit.

map of cenotes in Homun
Click here to view the map in Google Maps

The other problem with planning your trip is trying to decide between going to Homun or Cuzama, two towns right next to each other. Lonely Planet recommends visiting Cuzama, but a friend told me to visit Homun and recent reviews on Trip Advisor also recommend visiting Homun instead of Cuzama.

I had no definite plans on what to do when I got to Homun. From my research, I thought I had two options. One was to go to Santa Barbara Cenotes, which is a developed complex with 3 cenotes, changing rooms, showers, and a restaurant. It would cost between MXN$350 – $470 (October 2023 prices).

The other option was to hire a moto-taxi driver for the day to take me to 3 to 5 cenotes around Homun for a fixed price of around MXN$300. That does NOT include the entrance fee of cenotes and life jacket rental – expect to pay MXN$60 – $100 for each cenote.

I decided that wherever the van went, that’s where I’d go. Either option was fine with me, but I did really want to see the Santa Barbara cenotes because lots of reviewers raved about them.

parking lot of Santa Barbara cenote

The colectivo made the decision for me. As it got to the outskirts of Homun, it turned off the highway and drove into the Santa Barbara Cenote parking lot (above photo). So, I decided to go there first.

I don’t think colectivos always drive into the Santa Barbara Cenote parking lot. I suspect they did it that time because they were dropping off a manager who worked there.

If you plan on going to Santa Barbara first, tell the driver when you get in the colectivo to drop you off at Santa Barbara. It’s about a 30-minute walk from the center of Homun.

When you’re ready to leave Santa Barbara and go back to Merida, you can ask the front desk at Santa Barbara to “order” a colectivo pickup for you at the resort.

map of Homun cenotes I visited
View map in Google Maps

I visited 3 cenotes at Santa Barbara and I walked to 2 additional cenotes. You can see in the above map which cenotes I visited as well as the colectivo stop in Homun.

Here is a run-down of these 5 cenotes:

1-3. Santa Barbara Cenotes – MXN$350 without lunch; MXN$470 with lunch; life jacket was included in the price (October 2023)

  • Cenote Cascabel – underground; October 2023 is closed for renovations but should open during high season
  • Cenote Chacksikin – underground
  • Cenote Xoch’ – open air
  • Cenote Pool Cocom – a NEW cenote that recently opened; it didn’t exist when I was there.

4. Tza Ujun Kat – MXN$50 + $40 to rent a life jacket, which I used at Tza Ujun Kat and Pool  – underground (2021 prices)

5. Pool Uinic – MXN$50 – underground; you can visit in the evenings (2021 prices)

HOMUN Cenotes Itinerary

Here’s a detailed description of my day visiting the Homun Cenotes. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas on what to do and it will give you the confidence to visit on your own.

Homun Cenotes 1 -3: Santa Barbara

I highly recommend starting with Santa Barbara, especially if it’s your first time visiting a cenote.

First, the staff spoke pretty good English, so they were able to tell me about cenote etiquette and the history of the cenotes in Homun. I also got info on what other cenotes to visit in the area and how to get back to Merida.

Second, the facilities are clean and in good condition. There are changing rooms, showers, and bathrooms. They also provide life vests without you having to ask for them.

Third, the stairs going down to the cenotes are in better condition (less slippery) than the other cenotes I went to later in the day.

a map of the Santa Barbara cenotes in Homun

Also, since the 3 cenotes (now 4 cenotes!) were within a 1 to 2-minute walk from each other, it saved me lots of time and I could see more cenotes that day.

You might be turned off by how developed the place sounds. Perhaps you want something more rustic and natural. But not to worry. The actual cenotes are as natural and undeveloped as you’ll find throughout Homun.

The only downside to Santa Barbara is that it’s popular, so it might get busier than other places. However, when I was there in the morning, there were only 5 other people.

How Much Does the Santa Barbara Cenotes Cost?

When I checked in at Santa Barbara, I was given two options (prices are as of October 2023):

Option #1 – MXN$350 (US$19.19) – You can visit the 3 cenotes (now 4 cenotes). A life jacket, transport within the complex, use of their changing rooms, showers, and toilets, and WiFi are included.

Option #2: – MXN$470 (US$26) – The same as Option #1 plus a meal in the restaurant (not including drinks). I was given a choice of 8 local dishes (poc chuc, sopa de lima, etc.). I got a lot of food, but the quality of the food was average. You have to decide when you check in whether you want lunch or not. You don’t need to decide what you’re going to eat, though.

I chose option #2 because I heard that the food was good (actually, it was just ok). I also didn’t know where I could get a meal given the fact that Santa Barbara was on the outskirts of Homun. Eating at Santa Barbara also saved me time, allowing me to see more cenotes that day.

There was supposed to be WiFi but there was a power outage when I first arrived. The receptionist told me that power outages happen frequently.

Where Can You Change Your Clothes?

There are changing rooms and bathrooms next to the reception area. You can rent a locker for MXN$20 (US$1).

There are bathrooms at the actual cenotes but there are no changing rooms.

I wore my swimsuit under my clothes, so I didn’t need the changing room.

Where Do You Get Life Jackets?

I’m not a good swimmer, so the life jackets were no pun intended a life saver for me. You are required to get one but a few people didn’t wear them in the cenotes.

Santa Barbara cenote interior with 2 people sitting, people trying on life jackets and rows of bikes

Cenotes can be really deep. I’m not sure how deep the ones at Santa Barbara are. The ones in the Yucatan, are on average 49 feet or 8 to 5 meters deep.

How Do You Get to the Actual Cenotes?

You have two options for getting around Santa Barbara: bike or horsecart.

horse cart on train tracks

I did the horse cart. Basically, you get on a cart that’s on a train track and a horse pulls you along. When Santa Barbara was a sisal hacienda, the workers used the horsecart and train tracks to get around the plantation.

#1: Cenote Cascabal

The first cenote, Cenote Cascabal, was a ten-minute horsecart ride away from the entrance.

Cenote Cascabal showers and resting area

There was one staff member at the cenote guiding people and giving them information if they asked. You’ll need to shower before going down into the cenote. There are showers and bathrooms at Cascabal.

According to the attendant, Cenote Cascabal was discovered five or six years ago when the earth above the cenote collapsed to reveal.

I put my water shoes on before going down and brought my backpack with me. But you can leave your backpack in a covered waiting area on the surface (the structure in the above photo).

entrance to Cenote Cascabel

The entrance to the cenote is a small hole in the ground.

stairs going down to Cenote Cascabel

But the stairs are very sturdy and easy to walk down. At the bottom is a deck that is unfortunately covered in water up to your ankles. I set my backpack down on the second to last landing.  

When I was there at 10:30, there was only one other couple. It was absolutely PERFECT!

Cenote Cascabel in Homun

This cenote is pretty incredible. It’s not too big. The water is crystal clear. There are no birds or bats dropping their poop in the water. The reason the water is so clean is that there’s no flora or fauna contaminating the water.

The temperature of the water is refreshingly and comfortably cool. Not too cold.

According to my readers, Cenote Cascabal is currently closed for renovation (October 2023) but it should re-open at the start of high season.

If you have snorkel gear, make sure to bring it.

#2: Cenote Chacksikin

The next cenote, Cenote Chacksikin, was just a two-minute walk from Cenote Cascabal. It was the most beautiful cenote of all the ones I visited that day. Beautiful stalactites hang from the ceiling.

There are no facilities here like bathrooms, showers, or changing rooms. There’s also no staff or anyone around to watch your bags or tell you what to do.

stairs going down to Cenote at Santa Barbara Cenotes in Homun

The opening to the cenote is bigger than the previous cenote, but it is also underground. The stairs going down are sturdy and well-built and easy to get down.

Cenote Chacksikin

This cenote is much bigger than Cascabal. The water is crystal clear and blue like the first one and only just slightly cooler. There are birds flying around, dropping poop in the water at times.

Cenote Chacksikin

Like Cascabal, there were only a handful of people there. So it was also PERFECT!

You can put your bag on the deck, which was dry so I wasn’t worried about it getting wet. However, if there were more people and/or it was later in the day, I think I’d be worried about it getting wet.

#3: Cenote Xoch’

The next cenote has a semi-open ceiling and was my least favorite one of the day for the fact that there were lots of birds pooping in the water, making it dirty.

At this cenote, there are bathrooms and someone selling drinks and snacks.

tunnel into Cenote Xoch’

You enter the cenote by a stone stairway. Put your backpack on the bottom steps before you enter a tunnel filled with water up to your calves.

Cenote Xoch’

After the tunnel, you’ll come to a medium-sized cenote with a large hole in the ceiling. There is a gorgeous tree on the edge of the ceiling with its roots hanging down into the cenote.

I didn’t spend much time here since the birds or bats were dropping poop in the water every 30 seconds.

#4: Cenote Pool Cocom

Cenote Pool Cocom is a brand-new cenote. It wasn’t there when I visited in 2021. You can see photos of the cenote on Santa Barbara’s website.

It’s an open-air type cenote with beautiful blue transparent water and an artificial waterfall. It’s accessible via stairs and even an elevator for those with mobility issues.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about Cenote Pool Cocom. Someone told me it looked artificial, while another person raved about the color of the water.

Why are some cenotes open and others closed? The cenotes like Cenote Xoch’ that are open are mature cenotes. Their ceilings collapsed hundreds or thousands of years ago. The ones with tiny openings like Cenote Cascabal have ceilings that collapsed more recently.


After the last cenote, I got on the horse cart and went back to the reception building.

You need to turn your life jacket in because you cannot go back and see the cenotes again.

I then went to eat lunch.

2 empenedas and sopa de lima

I was given a menu in English with a list of eight local dishes to choose from. I chose the sopa de lima with empanadas. The empanadas were delicious but the soup was not as good as I’d had at other places. It’s a lot of food and I couldn’t finish everything.

Drinks cost extra. I had a Jamaica fresca de agua for MXN$15 (as of February 2022, it’s MXN$20). There are alcoholic drinks on the menú as well.

I left the Santa Barbara cenotes at around 1:00 PM.

Homun Cenote #4: Tza Ujun Kat Cenote

The receptionist at the Santa Barbara cenote recommended three other cenotes within walking distance of Santa Barbara. They were Tza Ujun Kat, Pool Unic, and Santa Rose Cenote.

After five minutes of walking down the main road going into Homun, I saw a sign on the right side for Tza Ujun Kat, so I went to that one. There was a woman waiting on the side of the road. Once she knew I wanted to visit the cenote, she guided me to Tza Ujun Kat. She was in charge of Pool Uinic Cenote. She also helped me rent a life jacket, which you can do next to the Tza Ujun Kat cenote.

entrance to Tza Ujun Kat cenote in Homun

The white building in the photo above is the entrance to Tza Ujun Kat.

the stairs down to Tza Ujun Kat cenote in Homun

This is the actual entrance to the cenote. I paid these young guys 50 pesos and then walked down these slippery steps.

Visiting cenotes is quite an adventure because you never know what you’re going to get once you go down. It’s like getting a book with an ugly cover and boring title only to find when you open it and start reading that it’s the best book you’ve ever read. That is what I felt when I visited Tza Ujun Kat.

Tza Ujun Kat cenote in Homun

Tza Ujun Kat is huge! I was so amazed because the entrance was a tiny hole in the ground.

There were lots of places to store my backpack without it getting wet.

hole in the ceiling of Tza Ujun Kat cenote in Homun

Along with the hole in the ground for getting down into the cenote, there is another larger hole in the ceiling that gives light to the cenote. There were birds flying around but they weren’t pooping in the water. They did poop on my backpack, though.

water in Tza Ujun Kat cenote in Homun

The water was as beautiful and crystal clear as the ones at Santa Barbara.  Refreshingly cool. There are actually large rocks at the bottom of the cenote that you can stand on as well.

There were more people here but still, it was not crowded at all.

I stayed here until 2:45 PM.

Homun Cenote #5: Pool Uinic

My last cenote of the day was just a minute away. The same woman who had guided me to Tza Ujun Kat cenote did the same for the next one.

I was contemplating skipping Pool Uinic, thinking it was not going to be anything special. I heard it was small and the name didn’t make it sound very appealing.

But I am so glad I didn’t skip it.

It might have been my favorite cenote of the day. A REAL gem!

ticket booth Pool Uinic Cenote Homun

This cenote cost me $50 pesos, but if you go between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM, it’s $75 pesos (2021 prices – If anyone knows the current price, let me know in the Comment Section below). This is one of the few cenotes that has electric lights inside and thus open in the evenings after dark

entrance to Tza Ujun Kat cenote in Homun

Like Tza Ujun Kat cenote, what it looks like from the outside doesn’t reveal its beauty underground. The opening is even more inconspicuous than the previous cenote.

stairs for Pool Uinic cenote in Homun

The stairs going down are also a bit trickier in places, but it’s still doable. I have bad knees and I was able to go down easily. I also suggest wearing good shoes when you go down.

There’s enough space at the bottom to put your bags and change into your water shoes.

Pool Uinic Cenote Homun

This cenote is really small, but the water is such a beautiful bright blue.

There was only one family in the cenote when I arrived. They left soon after. Unfortunately, a group of three came as the family was leaving so I didn’t have the cenote all to myself.

I left the cenote at 3:45 PM. I wanted to make sure I could find a colectivo in order to get back to Merida. In 2021 the last colectivo was at 5:00 pm, but I’ve been told that in 2023, the last one is at 6:00 pm.

How to get back to Merida

According to my readers, Santa Barbara Cenote front desk can call a colectivo to pick you up from Santa Barbara. Just wait outside for the ride back to Merida.

For me, my experience trying to get back to Merida turned out to be more complicated than it needed to be because locals told me the wrong information. I ended up going all the way into the town of Homun and waiting for a colectivo from the official colectivo stop. I could have just waited on the side of the road of the main highway going into town and flagged down a colectivo heading to Merida.

bus stop for colectivos to Merida

I got on a colectivo at 4:40 PM from the bus stop in the photo above. It did stop and pick up other people along the way. So you can catch one on the side of the road.

The colectivo drove back to the same parking lot near the Noreste Bus Terminal, arriving an hour later. It costs MXN$34 (US$1.50) as of October 2023. I paid the driver when I got out of the van.

The last colectivo is at 6:00 PM (October 2023).

What to bring to the HOMUN cenotes

If I were to do my trip again, I would have brought the following things:

  • Bottle of water
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Towel
  • Swimsuit
  • Water shoes
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Dry bag (My backpack didn’t get wet but it did get pooped on by birds; I think if there were more people around, it would have gotten wet)
  • Shirt to wear over my swimsuit
  • Rip skirt
  • Cash (I didn’t see any ATMs)

Don’t bring sunblock or mosquito repellant. You’re NOT allowed to wear them in the cenotes.

How much did the whole day at the cenotes in Homun cost?

As of February 2022, the total cost of my day including round-trip transportation, 5 cenotes, life jacket rental, and lunch would be MXN$570 pesos ($28.50). I would say the whole day was worth every penny and more. In October 2023, the price for the whole day would have cost at least MXN$708.

If I had gone to 5 separate cenotes and had a moto-taxi take me around for the day, it would have cost me at least MXN$758 (October 2023), NOT including lunch.

Where to stay in Merida

Hotel Las Monjas – (Booking.com | Agoda) I highly, highly recommend this hotel. Friendly and helpful staff. Comfortable, clean, and modern rooms. Excellent WiFi. Very good price for what you get. Includes swimming pool. And it’s located a few blocks from Parque Grande and 3 blocks from the ADO bus station.

bed in hotel room
toilet, sink and shower in hotel room

Final Thoughts

I hope this blog post helps you plan your trip to Merida and your day trip to Homun. I know when I was planning mine, I had a hard time finding the most up-to-date and accurate info on getting to Homun and choosing which cenotes to visit.

If you’re looking for more things to do in Merida, you can check out my guide to day trips from Merida. I include info on how to get to each place by public transportation.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the Comment Section below. And if you found the information helpful, share on social!


Are you on Pinterest?

Hey! How about saving one of these pins to Pinterest to read for later?

And feel free to follow me on Pinterest, where you’ll find lots of travel articles for everywhere around the world.

Homun Cenotes
Homun cenotes


  1. Hi, thanks for your info it was super helpful! I just visited Santa Barbara today. If you want to update some of the details,
    Colectivo ride is now $30 each way
    Santa Barbara is $250-350 with lunch (juice is $20)
    Colectivo back to Merida picked us up from Santa Barbara reception same as drop off, it was very easy.

    • Hi Sharon, thank you for the updated info! It’s good to know that the colectivo picks you up at Santa Barbara.

  2. Thanks for your detailed guide! We had a great day visiting Santa Barbara via collectivo. We also made use of the lockers at Santa Barbara – 20 pesos near the life jackets. It was great not having to worry about most of our belongings and money

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad that you found it useful and I’m glad you enjoyed your day at Santa Barbara. It’s good to know about about the lockers!

    • Thanks for all the details you have put into your blog. We have found them so useful for the different places we have visited in Mexico & will be using others in the near future. You are a real champ.

      • Thank you so much! I’m glad you found my Mexico content useful!

  3. Thanks for a a lot of valuable info! I want to visit some cenotes in Yucatan and as I understood, there are 3 main locations of them: homun-cuzama area, valladolid area, coba-tulum area. What do you prefer?

    • I’ve only visited the cenotes around Valladolid and Homun. It’s hard for me to choose which one is better. Both locations are great. I’d say that the ones around Homun get less tourists than the ones around Valladolid, so I’d go with the Homun ones.

    • I have been to all 3 areas. Tulum is the most expensive and overrated. Valladolid and Humun much prettier and reasonably priced with the latter having less tourists. However, because Valladolid is much closer to the Cancun airport than Homun/Merida, next time I will head to Valladolid.

      • I haven’t been to Tulum yet. I’ve been to the ones near Valladolid and they were amazing! Just as good as the ones in Homun.

  4. Hi, I am a solo female traveler as well. I don’t speak Spanish. Thank you for your detailed DIY info above. I used it for my September 2023 trip. I did cenotes for 2 days, one with a moto-taxi and another at Santa Barbara. There was a significant price increase which I noted below. Hopefully this info can help other travelers too.

    Moto-taxi: I lucked out and met 2 Mexican city tourists who had previously arranged a moto-taxi. Take colectivo (34 peso one-way) to Homun Centro. Meet pre-arranged taxi (cost: 300 peso). He takes us to his house to pick up the life jackets (50 peso). Went to 3 underground cenotes. Costs: 60+60+100 peso.

    Santa Barbara (cost: 350 without lunch. 470 with lunch): Take colectivo to Santa Barbara front gate. Visit Cenotes Chacksikin, Xooch, & Pool Cocom. Cocom was not mentioned in your article. It is above ground & shaped like a T. Amazingly beautiful with unreal blue water. When heading back, go to the front desk and ask them to call the colectivo. Wait at the front gate for the colectivo to arrive.

    • Thank you so much for these updates! I’ve made changes to the post based on your info! MUCH appreciated!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About the Bamboo Traveler

The Bamboo Traveler

Welcome to The Bamboo Traveler, a travel blog dedicated to helping those travelers who want to dig deeply into the history, heritage, and culture of a place. Whether it’s through the pages of your passport or the pages of a book, I’ll help you travel the world and uncover the history, culture, food, architecture, and natural beauty of some of the world’s most fascinating places.

Get Your FREE Japan Itinerary Guide Here!

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive the latest travel tips for Asia and get a free 4-page PDF version of my 3-Week Japan Itinerary.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest