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.

In our case, we went to Lepán to see Hacienda Lepán, one of 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 didn't have time to go to see it.

Lepán and cenote Ch'a Chaac were a nice surprise on the way, one of many in this land that we want to share with you.

lepan cenote ch'a chaac
hacienda lepan


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
lepan korea
Korean ties in Lepan
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Lepán is located 40 kilometers from the city of Mérida. It is located in what is known as the Cuxtal Ecological Reserve. This area is full of old farms and cenotes, a place to explore and where the inhabitants and nature can enjoy.

We had the opportunity to get to know it more thoroughly by walking the Camino del Mayab, a 111 km route that runs through this area, and that you can do by bike or on foot. We leave you the information in case you are interested in this adventure, we love the tourism proposal 👉 Mayab road

If you go by car, sign up for your way to visit the archaeological site of Acanceh and the caves in Tecoh. Very close, you still have the archaeological zone of Mayapán. You can search for these destinations on our blog.


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.

The Tourist Parador offers different services for visitors:

  • SERVICES: bathrooms, changing tables, shower and palapa with hammocks to rest.
  • CENOTE CH'A CHAAC RESTAURANT: they offer regional food in the restaurant of the tourist parador. If you don't go on the weekend, let them know so they are prepared. Later we will leave you their direct contact so that you can talk to them.
  • CAMPING IN EL CENOTE: 100 pesos per person.
Hacienda Lepán and the magic of Cenote Ch'a Chaac 1


The parador is located less than 2 kilometers from the center. It is reached by a dirt road by mototaxi. Important DO NOT GO BY CAR, as the road is narrow, and you must leave the car before. If you let them know they will look for you in a motorcycle taxi, so we will leave the contact with you 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.

lepan cenote ch'a chaac


Cenote Ch'a Chaac, what does it mean ask for rainIt is a cave cenote to which you access by descending some wooden stairs. Stalactites, columns and stalagmites await you in these crystal clear karst landscape. In this land of cenotes it is a pleasure to know so many natural beauties.

I don't even know how many cenotes we know, the good thing is the emotion that I feel in each one of them. You can enjoy all the cenotes in different ways after a good day of adventure, in good company, a photographic outing. They all paint a little story within the canvas of cenotes. Someday we will publish a book / guide to cenotes, we continue working on it.

cenote ch'a chaac


They open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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


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 that you notify 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 to camp, notify at least one day before. Many times they do not answer quickly, be patient with the Yucatecan rhythms 🙂

lepan cenote ch'a chaac

It is one of those local destinations in Yucatan that deviates you from the usual routes. For those who like to experience destinations closely, it is a great place to get lost.

Hacienda Lepán and the magic of Cenote Ch'a Chaac 2

Cenote Ch'a Chaac

LOCATION: Lepán is located 45 kilometers from Mérida. The Ch'a Chaac cenote is located in just 2 kilometers from the center of Lepan.
HOW TO GO IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Buses depart from Mérida from San Cristóbal de la calle 50 between 67 and 69. It takes about 1 hour to get there.
SCHEDULE AND SERVICES: they open from 9 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon daily.
PRICE: 50 pesos entrance to the cenote for nationals and 100 for foreigners. Includes vest.
WHAT TO BRING? Light and light clothes, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen (use it after bathing), closed and comfortable shoes to protect you from insect bites, some water always goes well. The swimsuit and a towel or pareo to dry after the bath. It is a good option to wear a diving mask to better appreciate the place.
THE LAW OF THE GOOD CENOTERO: To avoid contaminating the delicate water of the cenotes, do not use body creams, or protectors, or repellents before entering them. Do not hang from the roots of the trees or touch the stalactites or do any other idiocy that damages the place.

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.
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