Aventuras Mayas, the leading tour operator in Mexico’s Riviera Maya,announced today the opening of Hacienda Chukum, a new adventure travel destination near Valladolid, Yucatán with a 130-foot cenote (sinkhole) named Chukum-Ha. Named after the surrounding chukum trees indigenous to the area, the park features a number of adrenaline-filled activities for visitors, an open-air restaurant with local Yucatán cuisine, and a gift shop full of locally sourced artwork and souvenirs.The newly developed hacienda will serve as a must-see stop for travelers either visiting the charming colonial town of Valladolid, or on their way to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá and Ek-Balam from nearby vacation destinations like Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
“By developing Hacienda Chukum, we’re continuing Aventuras Mayas’ overall mission to promote the cultural and natural resources of Mexico through sustainable, unforgettable adventure excursions,” said Ricardo Díaz, project director of Aventuras Mayas.
“When we came across this beautiful property and uncovered its breathtaking, untouched cenote, we knew it should be shared with the rest of the world, which would consequently enhance and support the local community of Valladolid.”
Cenotes are a popular, natural wonder found throughout Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The pools are formed by Mexico’s intricate, underground river system that erodes porous limestone bedrock to create a subterranean world that local Mayans believe carries mystical powers.
“To the Mayans, cenotes are truly magical places and the literal entrances to the underworld,” said Díaz. “To respectfully comply with Mayan beliefs and rituals, we enlisted a shaman to bless the cenote and left peace offerings to keep the Mayan aluxes (a type of sprite or spirit) at bay in preparation for Hacienda Chukum’s development and opening.”
The 131-acre adventure park’s underground, cavernous cenote features three natural openings in its ceiling that allow the sunlight to illuminate its turquoise waters. It is fully equipped with zip lines, three diving platforms built at varying heights from 3 to 15 feet above the water, a rope swing, and a 50-foot rappelling experience through the cavern’s opening down into the water below.
Hacienda Chukum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with day passes priced at $10 usd for adults and $5 usd for children ages 5-11. Day passes include parking, access to the Chukum-Ha cenote, life jackets, and a locker for valuables. A rappelling experience from the top to the bottom of the cenote is optional at an extra cost of $5 per person. A full day pass for $25 usd per person includes a buffet meal of local delicacies such as Cochinita Pibil, a slow-roasted pork dish marinated in sweet orange and lime juice and served with hot tortillas and pickled onions; spicy and non-spicy Chicken Fajitas; and more.