Hoyo El Cimarrón

Cenote del Cimarrón

Useful Information

Location: Franja Transversal del Norte.
35 km from Nénton. 6km from the border, between Finca La Trinidad and Gracias a Dios, at the coordinates (16.019470, -91.701515). 2.5 km walk, 150 m uphill, 45 minutes.
(16.003808, -91.709263)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: Adults GTQ 10, Car GTQ 20.
Classification: KarstTiankeng
Light: n/a
Dimension: D=150 m, D=200 m, A=1285 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Hoyo El Cimarrón, Km , Franja Transversal del Norte, Tel: +502-56373324.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


2015 first recorded descent by Xplorando Guatemala.


Hoyo El Cimarrón (Cimarron Pit) is often called Cenote del Cimarrón, which is wrong, strictly speaking. Ceontes are a subgroup of collapse dolines, where the bottom is filled with water, because the collapsed cave system is a river cave. They are quite common in this area and the term is actually from the local indigenous language, nevertheless the geological term is well defined, and this is not a cenote. Actually it's another subgroup of a sinkhole or collapse doline, a tiankeng. This term is Chinese, because China has the biggest dolines of the wolrd, and by definition it means a doline with a diameter and depth above 100 m. Many of the dolines in the area actually qualify as tiankeng. The Cimarrón doline is almost circular, has a diameter of 150 m, at the widest point 170 m, vertical limestone walls and a flat floor covered by dense rainforest at a depth of about 200 m.

The site has so far not been scientifically explored, neither from the biological view nor from the speleological. As a result there is not much known about the origin of the tinakengs and if there are caves at the bottom. The legends on the other side flourish very well. There are stories about vanished underground streams and lost lakes. Some even think the place is haunted, and people who reach the bottom go crazy. Some even tell the site was created by aliens.

A less spectacular legend is the story of a wealthy local farmer who was followed by group of thieves, who tried to steal his treasure. So when he reached the rim of the Hoyo El Cimarrón he jumped off the rim, because he thought this fate was better tan being caught by the criminals. The treasure has never been found.

A strange story, but the hidden treasure motive is quite popular all over the world. The story is quite unlikely, the first exaggeration is probably the "wealthy local farmer" part. And treasure legends attract treasure hunters which get lost, never return from their descent, so one weird legend leads to the next.

If you plan to descend into the doline, you should definitely book a tour with abseil from a local company. This trip requires physical fitness and you should have no fear of heights. But most important: you need special equipment including a 200 m long static rope. The abseil is actually the harmless part, the climb up is exhausting. And the walls of the doline are home to bees, snakes and scorpions, so you should be very careful. A have no fear to go crazy, if you are into this kind of fun, you are already crazy.

The Franja Transversal del Norte is an important road which connects Guatemala with Mexico, and the Hoyo El Cimarrón is located only 6 km from the Mexical border. The area south of the road is a karst area which is riddled wit huge doline, obviously a huge cave system close to the surface has started to collapse. Some dolines are close to the road, some are used as fields as the floor is fertile, flat, and a little more humid. About 6 km from the border, between Finca La Trinidad and Gracias a Dios, at the coordinates (16.019470, -91.701515) a narrow road turns south. This is the entrance to the area called El Cimarrón with its dolines. It's a 2.5 km hike on a gravel trail, we guess it's actually a road, but while its a comfortable walking trail, it's and extremely poor road. The trail ends at the Hoyo El Cimarrón.

The site has no infrastructure and so there are generally no fees and no restrictions. Most people visit the site with soe kind of guide or day trip, which obviously costs some money. Some visitors said there was a small fee for parking and the visit, but we have no idea how it is collected and if it is actually legit.