mani chan cenote homun

Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde – two must-visit cenotes in Homun

If you are looking for more hidden cenotes where to swim alone in the jungle you may love Cenote Mani Chan and Cenote Cleotilde two of the recently discovered cenotes in Homun.

If you are not familiar with the area, Homun is a small town in the heart of Yucatan, that became very popular for its fortunate location by the Anillo de Los Cenotes, where the major concentration of cenotes has been found.

Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde have been recently discovered if you compare them to the others in the area that have been on the map forever.

We just went to explore these two hidden gems and in this detailed post, we will tell you how to get there and to make the most of your trip.

If you love to be in a cenote on your own, you will love Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde as your chances to have the cenotes all for yourself are pretty high. We were also very lucky to enjoy them as our private natural pool.

Cenote Mani Chan
cenote cleotilda
Cenote Cleotilde

Things to know about Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

Both cenotes are cave cenotes located a few miles from each other and they are managed by Don Felipe the lovely owner of Cenote Mani Chan. You will arrive at Cenote Mani Chan where you will be welcomed by Felipe’s lovely wife in a nicely decorated garden with sitting areas and facilities.

From there you can purchase your entrance tickets for both cenotes or add another one, Cenote Caliskutz, if you like.

Felipe, or one of his helpers, will take you there by a motorbike that has been remodeled into a cart, like in the pictures below.

The three cenotes are totally worth the visit and can make a great day trip from Homun or from Merida.

If you love cenote hopping like us, you will still have time for another couple of cenotes in the area or, you can just hang out at Cenote Mani Chan and enjoy a delicious local lunch, and the jungle vibes.

Cenote Mani Chan
Cenote Mani Chan
Cenote Mani Chan
Cenote Mani Chan

Cenote Mani Chan at a glance

Cenote Mani Chan is a spectacular cave cenote. To reach the water you need to enter a cave and walk down some natural stairs. You will see a spectacular natural sinkhole shaped like a giant crack into mother earth. It’s quite a tiny cenote but spectacular.

The crystal clear water is turquoise in color due to the limestone bottom. If you swim further down the cave you will find an entrance to a passage that leads to a dead end where you can actually touch the sandy bottom and admire the coral fossiled into the limestone wall.

So peculiar and neat. This is a very precious and unique cenote.

cenote mani chan
Cenote Mani Chan
Passage that leads to a dead end
Cenote Mani Chan coral

Cenote Cleotilde at a glance

Cenote Cleotilde is bigger than the Mani Chan Cenote with more space for a nice swim. There is an easy entrance with wooden man-made stairs that are quite steep.

Once you are on the platform you can easily step down into the water. At one meter from the platform, there is a sudden drop where you cannot touch the ground.

However, there is a cord that stretches across the natural pool which you can hang on to.

The water is crystal clear and surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites, and spectacular giant roots hanging from the majestic Alamo tree watching over the cenote by the entrance. You can also admire a lot of fossils on the cenote walls.

cenote cleotilda homun
cenote cleotilda

How to get to Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

The best way to explore Yucatan is without a doubt by car because you have the freedom to travel around at your own pace with no specific schedule other than the one you decide.

And this especially applies to Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde which are located a bit off the beaten path and public busses won’t take you there while local taxis will be more hesitant to drive you.

When renting a car in Mexico we recommend Discover Cars because on their website you can compare different companies and their prices and you can choose between their car insurance or the ones offered by the car rental directly, or both.

When you choose your rental car we recommend including full insurance with 0 deductible so you will drive with no stress.  On Discover Cars you can purchase that too. Make sure you read the fine print.

How to get to Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde by Car 

To get to Cenote Mani Chan you will need to follow the direction on Google Maps to find the cenote. From Merida, you will need to follow the directions to Homun. Between Cuzama and Homun, right before getting to Homun, you will need to turn right.

The opposite is coming from Valladolid or Cancun.

Here below we’ll show you the Google Maps Screen Shot for your convenience. Cenote Cleotilde is not on the Map but once you get to Cenote Mani Chan they will take you to Cleotilda. Make sure you don’t miss it. They are very different and beautiful.

Mani Chan Cenote
Photo © Google Maps

How to get to Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde by Local Bus 

From Mérida the bus leaves (medium van) from the colonial Centro (calle 52 x 65 y 67). Mini-vans from Mérida to Homún start running from 6 in the morning, and the last departure is at 5:30 pm.

From Homún to Mérida, the first departure is at 5:30 in the morning and the last between 5 and 6 in the afternoon. The price is 34 pesos per person.

The schedules of the buses are approximate as they leave when they are full. It is a very busy route, so it is easy for the bus to fill up quickly.

The ride is approximately 1 hour.

How to get to Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde by taxi

You should know that in general, you don’t need your car rental to explore the cenote near Homun, because you will find a lot of moto-taxis that will take you there.

If you are wondering they are not actual motorbikes, but motorbikes with attached 4 seating- carts.

They usually take you to cenotes that are closer to Homun town unless you have your own request for specific cenotes in which case you may need to negotiate the rate. Rates vary depending on the distance.

So if you want to get to this cenote you will need to ask one of these taxi drivers how much they charge.

The distance is 6.5 km (4 miles).

Cenote Mani Chan

Things to do in the Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

Cenote Mani Chan

  • Enjoy the crystal-clear turquoise water
  • Look for the corals fossilized on the walls
  • Admire the unique cenote shape and rock formation
  • Take amazing pictures

Cenote Cleotilde

  • Swim and chill – You can swim around the crystal clear waters, hang on the ropes look out for the multiple fossils on its walls, and admire the stalactites and stalagmites and the impressive roots of the huge almond trees
  • Snorkel – You can indeed explore the underwater world with some snorkeling. (bring your own snorkel)
  • Take amazing photos – Cenote Mani Chan is definitely a photogenic Cenote so if you love photography you will want to bring your camera as Sandra did. (The professional pictures on this post are hers)
cenote mani chan

Practical information 

Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde Facilities

  • Showers
  • Toilets
  • A restaurant is available on the Mani Chan property
  • Life Jackets
  • Palapas and sitting areas
  • Camping area 200 pesos per person, included both cenotes.

Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde Entrance fee – 

140 MXN ( 8 USD approx) . If you just want to see one of them, it is possible. But you are here, visit both 😉

Includes transportation from Man Cha to Cleotilda

Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde Opening Hours 

Open every day from 8 to 17

cenote cleotilda mani chan

How to visit Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde and respect the environment 

We would like the cenote (and nature in general) to stay as beautiful as it is and it’s not that difficult. Here are some simple rules to follow in order to do as little damage as possible to the environment. 

Because it is a fact that we do damage it just by existing, so let’s try to have as little of an impact as possible

  • Always take a shower before entering in a cenote (available at the entrance) 
  • Don’t hang on to the stalactites or stalagmites or any roots 
  • Don’t be loud
  • Don’t trash
  • Don’t use any kinds of cream spray or protectors on your skin as it would contaminate the environment (even the so-called – eco friendly) 
  • Just don’t do any foolishness that can damage the environment 

If we appreciate the environment we will learn to respect it. 

Mani chan cenote homun
Felipe and Sandra talking

What to bring to Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

  • Swimsuit
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel to dry off
  • Mosquito repellent to wear after you come out of the water as there may be mosquitos around, especially in the Summer or after it rained.
  • You can walk on your flip flop although we always like to wear closed shoes when we are in the wilderness, mainly to avoid bug bites. But it’s totally up to you

What we like about Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

💦 The extremely crystal clear blue water 

🗿 The incredible rock formations and fossils

👀 The fact that it’s in a cave

🤐 The silence, because we were the only guests

What we didn’t like about Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

Can’t think about anything at the moment. They were both magical and very well-kept.

Tips to photograph the cenote Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

The beautiful lighting that they have in Mani Chan cenote makes it much easier to take good photos.

mani chan cenote homun

Category – nature lovers

Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5

What to visit near Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

There are so many cenotes in the area that you can stay for a week and never get enough. The closest one is Cenote Caliskutz at a 5-minute distance.

Also, you will find the Mayan ruins of Acanche in the homonymous town and, at only one hour’s drive, the spectacular ruins of Mayapan.

Where to stay near Cenote Mani Chan and Cleotilde

The closest town to the cenotes where to stay is Homun. This small village has grown a lot over the years and you can now find many different kinds of stays from the simplest local hotel to more sophisticated luxury places. Here below we will share our hotel recommendations.

🏨 Hameki

Great laid-back luxury glamping just outside Homun downtown. Guests also love their pool and deck chairs and the on-site restaurant offering also vegan dishes.

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🏨 Hotel Santa Maria

Simple local hotel for a budget stay. The rooms are not fancy but spacious and clean. They have a pool and an indoor restaurant with local dishes.

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🏨 Reset Atemporal

Interesting luxury stay just outside Homun downtown. This new hotel offer luxurious cabañas equipped with thoughtful details

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