In Lepán, a town near Mérida, you find a wonderful door to history at Hacienda Lepán and Cenote Ch'a Chaac. Many times in this Yucatecan land, a cenote serves as an excuse to get to know a town and its history.

The first time we went to Lepán to visit Hacienda Lepán, one of the many haciendas in a state of abandonment that you can visit on your own. It was once in Lepán that we learned about the Ch'a Chaac cenote, and we lacked time to go to see it.

Then we had the opportunity to learn more about it by walking the Camino del Mayab, a long-distance trail of 111 km through Yucatan. We leave you the information in case you are interested in this adventure, we love the tourism proposal? Mayab road.

Lepán and cenote Ch'a Chaac were a nice surprise along the way, one of many in this land that we want to share with you. The Parador Turístico de Lepán began its journey in 2014.

lepan cenote ch'a chaac


Lepán is located 45 kilometers from the city of Mérida. It is located in what is known as the Cuxtal Ecological Reserve. This area is full of old haciendas and cenotes, a place to explore and where the inhabitants and nature can enjoy. The Ch'a Chaac cenote is located just 2 kilometers from the center of Lepán.

  • HOW TO GO TO THE CENOTE CH'A CHAAC BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: From Mérida buses leave from San Cristóbal on Calle 50 between 67 and 69. It takes around 1 hour to get there.
  • HOW TO GO TO THE CENOTE CH'A CHAAC BY CAR: It is reached by secondary roads so drive carefully on these narrow roads. You can find a hole in the road, animals are crossed and you pass through towns where children and animals are usually near the road.
Hacienda Lepán and the magic of Cenote Ch'a Chaac 1
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The Parador Ecoturístico de Lepán, where the cenote is located, is less than 2 kilometers from downtown. It is reached by a dirt road by mototaxi. Important DO NOT GO BY CAR, because the road is narrow, and you must leave the car before. If you notify them they will look for you in a mototaxi, that's why we'll leave you the contact later.

  • MOTOTAXI PRICE: they charge 100 pesos to take you to the cenote and return to the center
  • BICYCLE RENTAL: you can rent a bike for 30 pesos at the house of Lorenzo Dzul, one of the members of the cooperative. His house is located in one of the entrances to the town, the one to the east. We'd better leave you his cell phone number 999 449 9958.
Hacienda Lepán and the magic of Cenote Ch'a Chaac 2


Lepán is one of the towns where a community grew up around the Hacienda due to the large number of workers on the estates. Once the haciendas were abandoned, the owners continued their businesses elsewhere, and a large part of the workers were left to their own devices.

In a diameter of about 80 kilometers away from Mérida, many of the cattle ranches developed, later henequers and farmers. They are very captivating landscapes, where we can peek into history, with farms in a dilapidated state, colonial-style houses and towns where the trace of the Haciendas can still be seen.

What we like the most about these places is the living history, the possibility of talking with the residents about the time of the Haciendas. With kindness and respect, it is easy to talk about the old days with the locals, who explain to you first hand or from their parents and grandparents, an earlier time.

There are windows open to this past, the curious travelers are going to enjoy this humble Yucatan where every corner treasures a story or legend.

As an anecdote, Hacienda Lepán has left the legacy of a local school that subsidizes Koreans. What are Koreans doing in Yucatan? Well, many Koreans who fled the war in their country, came to Yucatan as labor for the Haciendas.

Those were the years of the Social Revolution, better known as the Caste War (1847-1901), and the Mayans broke out in revolution due to years of abuse. Many left the haciendas and took up arms to change the oppression. At that time the landowners brought labor from other countries, including Koreans.

The Korean school that is located on the esplanade in front of the Hacienda Lepán is the sample of this link of many Korean families who stayed in Mexico.

hacienda lepan yucatan
Hacienda Lepán entrance
hacienda lepan
lepan korea
Korean ties in Lepan
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  • ABOUT YOUR NAME: Ch'a Chaac means ask for rain in Yucatec language.
  • CHARACTERISTICS CENOTE CH'A CHAA: it is a cave cenote which you access by descending some wooden stairs. Stalactites, columns and stalagmites await you in these crystal clear waters karstic landscape. In this land of cenotes it is a pleasure to discover so many natural beauties.
  • WHAT WE LIKE THE MOST: the accesses to the cenote are not at all intrusive with the nature of the place, something that we love. We have a soft spot for cenotes run by local cooperatives, such as the Ch'a Chaac cenote.
  • WHAT WE LIKE LEAST: they lack details, for example to camp they rent you the tent but they don't have a mattress or sleeping bags.
  • A LITTLE SECRET: it is one of the stops of the Mayab road, 110 kilometer trail that runs through Yucatan. Thanks to the interaction that the locals have had with this fantastic project, they have been able to greatly improve the tourist management of the cenote. It is an example of the footprint that the components of the Camino del Mayab are leaving.
lepan cenote ch'a chaac


Several locals joined together as a cooperative to manage their natural resources. In this case, the Ch'a Chaac cenote is the perfect excuse to make the visitor enjoy together with other tourist proposals.

Cenote Ch'a Chaac Hours

They open every day from 9 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon.

Ch'a Chaac cenote services

ESSENTIAL SERVICES: There are restrooms, changing rooms, and a shower. Also life jackets.

CAMPING IN EL CENOTE: 100 pesos per person.

RESTAURANT CENOTE CH'A CHAAC: they offer regional food in the restaurant of the tourist inn. If you do not go on the weekend, let them know so they are prepared.

OTHER SERVICES: rest area with hammocks. You can bring your own food to eat in the specified areas.

ROUTES: they offer a 10 km walking tour for 250 pesos with access to the facilities with food and soft drinks. Another more complete tour that they offer for a cost of 300 pesos that includes food and a walk through the Municipal Palace of Tecoh, its church, the market, the caves of Tzabnhá, Lepán (including the former hacienda) and the Cha'c Chaac cenote. .

Ch'a Chaac cenote price

Entry of 50 pesos for nationals and 100 pesos for foreigners.

Contact cenote Ch'a Chaac

We leave you their page on Facebook of the Tourist Parador so that you can contact them. Likewise, we leave you the cell phone of Lorenzo 999 449 9958 and Rafa 999 148 6287, they are two of the members of the cooperative.

We recommend notifying you at least one day before visiting the cenote, especially if you are going to visit them during the week and require restaurant service. The same if you are going camping, notify at least one day before. Many times they do not answer quickly, be patient with the Yucatecan rhythms?

For more information, see the Facebook Lepán ecotourism circuit.

cenote ch'a chaac
lepan cenote ch'a chaac


  • WEAR A VISOR: if you go to the cenotes always wear a mask or visor to see underwater, I assure you that it gives you a different and beautiful view of the cenotes. If you have a water lamp, I recommend that you take it.
  • COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR: access to the cenotes is very varied, it can be dirt roads, sometimes slippery stairs, some enter the water stepping on stone. Go with a closed shoe that fits, if it can get wet better.
  • CASH: only pay in cash, if you have a small bill better.
  • GO IN THE SHOWER/SHOWER: Always go in the shower to remove chemicals from the body.
  • THE SWIMSUIT: of course the swimsuit, and also a towel or pareo to dry off. Like a change of clothes to change as you schedule the day.
  • RESPECT THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT: do not hang from the roots of the trees, do not scratch the walls, do not touch the stalactites or do any other idiocy that damages the place. Collect all your garbage, do not eat or drink in the cenotes, do not touch or subtract flora or fauna.
mexico cenotes


This area is full of good surprises that alternate more well-known places with corners that are not so crowded. Among cenotes, old haciendas, caves, churches and archaeological sites you can be well entertained for several days. It's a great place to get lost

  • in the nearby town of Tecoh are the caves and cenotes of Tzabnah
  • there are three fantastic cenotes in pixyah (15 km)
  • archaeological area Acanceh (17 km)
  • archaeological area Mayapan (12 km)
Hacienda Lepán and the magic of Cenote Ch'a Chaac 3
Go to the map of cenotes of merida

Do not miss the best cenotes in Merida on your trip through Yucatan

I don't know how many cenotes we know, the good thing is the emotion I feel in each one of them. You enjoy all the cenotes in a different way after a good day of adventure, in good company, a photographic outing. Everyone paints a little story within the canvas of cenotes. One day we will edit a book/guide to cenotes, we are still working on it.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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