Mexico is a country made up of several states, thus delimiting a vast territory. This last one contains several paradisiac places distributed a little everywhere in the country like the archaeological zone of Chinkultic which hides also many secrecies but also magnificent places like the cenote of Chinkultic.

The ruins of Chinkultic and its cenote : Oasis in the jungle of Chiapas

Cenote Chinkultic

This cenote attracts many tourists every year in Chiapas because of its location but also because of the treasures it contains. So, do you want to know the secrets of this site and its cenote? Do you wonder what the Chinkultic is? What is the particularity of its cenote and how to access it? Find the useful answers in the following lines…


The archaeological site of Chinkultic: presentation

Located in the south of Mexico, in the state of Chiapas, the archeological site of Chinkultic is a true masterpiece of architecture because its construction was made in such a way that the blocks of stone could adapt to the topography of the ground. Part of the Lagunas de Montebello National Park located in the middle of the jungle, this site was founded around the 3rd century by the Maya. It is certainly not the most visited Mayan site in Mexico compared to the Mayan city of Palenque but it has an importance not to be neglected especially because of its shape, its different parts and especially its cenote.

Note that the site is divided into four parts A, B, C and D:

  • Part A, the highest, contains the acropolis or El Mirador and from there you can practically see the whole site and even the mythical cenote.
  • Part B houses the magnificent Plaza Hundida of 57 square meters and three pyramidal platforms.
  • In part C, there is a large platform and a ball game. In this area you will also find the largest number of stelae.
  • Finally, in part D, there is another platform with large stones and a pyramid base.

In addition, the site contains about 200 structures, ancient remains such as ceramics (Plumbate Tohil), 38 stone stelae that represent the rulers of this site and sculptures with hieroglyphic inscriptions.

If you want to bring back some souvenirs from Chiapas after your visit, check out our article “What to bring back from Mexico”. And if you didn’t have time to do some shopping during your trip, check out our store for souvenirs from Mexico!

The Cenote of Chinkultic: reasons to visit this mythical place

When we talk about the cenote of Chinkultic, there are three words that come to mind immediately: magnificent, heavenly and spectacular! It is located in the middle of the jungle and comes from the lake Tepancuapan and the lake Chanujabab which are twins and connected by a tributary crossing the archaeological site. This cenote gives the name of the site because Chinkultic means “staircase cenote” in Mayan language.

Once at the top of part A, you can have an exceptional view of the cenote. The cenote of Chinkultic is sacred. It has a dark appearance, the water is dark in color and the guardians of the area mention that offerings of all kinds have been found, including humans, since the Mayan era.

This very quiet place is therefore a used setting to breathe fresh air while enjoying an impressive view. It is clear that this mythical and beautiful place is well worth the detour; a landmark recommended to adventurers, swimmers and nature lovers.

Finally, if you want to go there, note that the archaeological area of Chinkultic is located in the municipality of Comitan is located about 45 minutes from the area. The opening hours are from 8am to 5pm. Do not hesitate to go to this fabulous site during your next stay in Mexico!

When to go

Temperatures in this region can be hot and humid all year round, so the best time to visit depends on your climate preferences. The dry season runs from December to May, which is the best time to visit if you prefer to avoid the rains and enjoy a more pleasant climate for exploring the ruins. The rainy season is from June to November, if you prefer a cooler climate, you might prefer to visit at this time of the year. Also, if you want to avoid the crowds, it is best to plan your visit outside of school vacations and avoid weekends.

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Vous rêvez de découvrir les ruines de Chinkultic, mais vous ne voulez pas dépenser une fortune en billets d’avion ? Utilisez notre comparateur aérien pour trouver les meilleures offres pour vous rendre à Tuxtla Gutiérrez (la ville la plus proche de Misol-Ha) et rendre votre voyage au Mexique possible ! Trouvez un billet d’avion bon marché ici : réservation en ligne, annulation flexible et billetterie électronique – réservez votre place dès aujourd’hui !

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How to get there

📗 The roads in Chiapas are winding mountain roads, so be careful on your journey. There are several ways to get to the Chinkultic ruins from the city of Palenque, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. We recommend reading our Guide to Driving in Chiapas if you decide to rent a vehicle there. Here are some options:

Palenque to Chinkultic

  • By car: You can rent a car in Palenque and drive to the ruins. It takes about an hour and a half to get there. This is a convenient option for those who want to have some freedom of movement.
  • By Bus: There are regular buses that run between Palenque and San Cristobal de Las Casas. It is necessary to take a bus to San Cristobal, then a bus to Comitan de Dominguez, then you can take a cab to Chinkultic. It is important to check the bus schedules and routes before you leave.

San Cristobal de las Casas to Chinkultic

  • By Car: You can rent a car in San Cristobal de las Casas and drive to the ruins of Chinkultic. It takes about 2 hours to get there.
    By Bus: There are regular buses that run from San Cristobal de las Casas to Comitan de Dominguez. It is necessary to take a bus to Comitan and then a cab or private vehicle to Chinkultic. It is important to check the bus schedules and routes before you leave.r.

Additional route information 

  • If you are using GPS, simply search for “Chinkultic” 
  • Please note: Be sure to load the map on your phone first and do not make any changes afterwards, as there is no signal on the road.
  • The road is safe, but there are many turns. It is recommended not to drive at night on Chiapas roads.
  • This is not always the case, but there can be blockages from people in the indigenous communities, who put a rope in the middle of the road to ask for money. We recommend that you bring some coins with you. For more information on these tolls and how to react, read our Guide to Travel Safety.

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Entrance to the park and opening hours

  • The place is open to the public for an entrance fee of 30 pesos (about $2 / £1,40) per person from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. On holidays and Sundays, the entrance is free.

Our Tips

There are a few tips to follow to make your visit to the Chinkultic ruins as enjoyable and informative as possible:

  1. Plan your visit in advance: Make sure you have enough time to explore the ruins and find out about opening hours and entrance fees.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: The Chinkultic ruins are located on uneven terrain and it is important to wear shoes that allow you to walk easily.
  3. Bring water and snacks: There are no restaurants or food stands near the ruins, so make sure you have enough water and food to last you through your visit.
  4. Bring Sun Protection: The Chinkultic ruins are in a hot and sunny area, so be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes.
  5. Bring a flashlight: The electrical infrastructure is not developed in the ruins, so a flashlight is useful for finding your way around the ruins at night or in case of a power outage
  6. Respect safety rules: It is important to respect the safety rules in effect at archaeological sites and not to touch or damage structures or artifacts.
  7. Hire a guide: If possible, hire an experienced local guide to show you the best parts of the ruins and provide information about the history and culture of the area.

Buying travel insurance

Even the best-planned trips can be affected by the unexpected. But what will happen before or during your trip that travel insurance could help you with? Unforeseen events could disrupt your travel plans and cost you your vacation.


There is no accommodation available directly at Chinkultic, as it is an ancient archaeological site. There is no lodging on site and it is not permitted to stay overnight in the ruins. 

It is possible to find accommodations in the nearby towns of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Comitan de Dominguez, Palenque, and other towns near these tourist sites . There are options for all budgets, ranging from upscale hotels to hostels and campgrounds. 

It is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. It’s also important to follow the safety rules and guidelines of the accommodation owners or managers. If you would like to read our complete guide to accommodations in Chiapas, with options for every budget, click here.

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Where to eat?

The Chinkultic ruins are an ancient archaeological site located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, and there are probably no restaurants nearby. It would be best to bring food and drink before visiting the ruins to avoid any problems with refueling. It is important to follow the rules at archaeological sites and not consume any food or drink inside the protected areas. Read also: Mexican gastronomy in Chiapas

Do you have any questions about Chinkultic Cenote? Write to us!

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