Home Feature Meet Panchito, the croc who swims with tourists in a Tulum cenote.

Meet Panchito, the croc who swims with tourists in a Tulum cenote.

by Yucatan Times
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Through an Instagram video, you can see a crocodile swimming very close to some tourists in the crystal clear waters of a cenote in Tulum.

TULUM QUINTANA ROO (Social Media) – The crocodile’s name is “Panchito.” He is of the Moreletii species, also known as “Mexican crocodile” and he is the inhabitant of the Cenote Manatí or Casa Cenote.

In the video -which has reached 490 thousand reproductions and 8 thousand 195 commentaries- youcan see Panchito peacefully swiming near the tourists.

Some users talked about the anxiety they felt seeing Panchito so close to the tourists, while others joked that the crocodile was a vegetarian. But the animal’s passivity, it is said, is because this species is considered harmless; moreover, they claim that he is used to human company.

Who is Panchito?
In the video shared by the youtuber and tiktoker Sebitas Trip, you can observe Panchito swimming among the tourists without attacking them. This is because the crocodile came to the waters of the Cenote Manatí five years ago searching for fish. Since then, it has become common to see him in this place.

Photo: Tiktok

Panchito is a swamp crocodile that is characterized by being very territorial. Its diet is based on small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, so, according to Sebitas Trip, humans are not seen as food. The only scenarios in which this species would attack a person are if they invade their territory or if their offspring are nearby. But Panchito is already used to the human presence.

The Manatee Cenote
The Manatee Cenote is located on Federal Highway 307 on one side of the residential area Tankha, in Riviera Maya, in Quintana Roo, between Puerto Aventuras and Tulum.


According to the site’s Facebook page, this cenote received that name because it was home to many manatees. Here you can find crystalline waters with different plays of light due to the natural illumination.

It has a depth of six meters, and you can see in its surroundings mangroves, coral reefs, rock formations, and cracks in the limestone. In the Cenote Manatí, you can also find a cave that flows into the sea.


If you decide to go to this cenote in the future, don’t forget the importance of respecting the Riviera Maya’s animal species, such as the Panchito crocodile.

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