Stella's Shadow of the Tomb Raider Walkthrough - For Windows PC, PlayStation 4, & Xbox One

SAVING, CHECKPOINTS & TECH SUPPORT: This game incorporates autosave checkpoints. If you only rely on one save slot, you may run into trouble if you get stuck, encounter a bug, or if your autosave becomes corrupted. To avoid problems, I highly recommend changing your save slot in the pause menu at least once per level. If you encounter a serious bug, I encourage you to visit the Official Shadow of the Tomb Raider Support Forum and or put in a support request with Square Enix. PC save files are available for download here.


Updated: 9/17/21()

Weapons/Gear: Bishop 600 Shotgun, Overhang Climbing Gear
Camps: 4 (Cenote Vista, Collapsed Temple*, Cenote Temple Ruins, Cenote Tomb*, Cenote Climb)
*The second camp is found in the Challenge Tomb. The third camp appears after you leave this area and allows you to fast travel back to the cavern with the huge stone gate in case you missed anything. Neither of these is counted in the total on the in-game map.
Challenge Tombs:Challenges:Treasure Chests: none  Crypts: none  Relics:Documents:Murals: none  Survival Caches:Monoliths: none  Archivist Maps:Explorer Backpacks:
Annotated Level Map: Cenote

If you've already completed the Cenote but missed a few collectibles, check out the section below on Revisiting This Level Later in the Game and the separate CENOTE Collectibles Guide.


OBJECTIVE: Find the Silver Box of Ix Chel

After dropping into the cenote, collect some aquatic plants on the bottom of the pool. Then swim through the opening to the northwest. (screenshot) Surface in the next room, gather more plants, climb the ledges, and then follow the path down to the edge of the cliff. Slide down the zip line to the Cenote Vista Base Camp. (screenshot)

NOTE: For skill recommendations, see below.

CLIFFS ABOVE THE CENOTE: Go through the doorway near the campfire to find a document (1/6), Journal of T. Serrano 2 (The Missionary) sitting on the ground, along with some hardwood and a resource container. Collect what you need and scramble up into the opening on the left. (screenshot) As you follow the path, Lara comments on the unusual decorations, which she says are neither Maya nor Inca. Continue to the bottom of the path, gathering a few more resources on the way.

OBJECTIVE: Dive into the Cenote

Jump into the pool far below. If only every goal were that easy to achieve!

OBJECTIVE: Find the Silver Box of Ix Chel

SUNLIT POOL: There are quite a few useful items scattered around the bottom of the pool but also a school of piranhas. Fortunately they tend to patrol a certain area, the deep trough along the east side of the pool, so you can avoid them if you're careful.

There's no need to put Lara at risk for minor pickups like aquatic plants, but there 5 small treasure chests on the bottom. Each contains some jade ore, and opening them also counts toward a Challenge: Sunken Treasure. The locations of these treasure chests are shown in these screenshots and marked with yellow dots on the annotated level map.

There's also a survival cache (1/8), a relic (1/5), Crucified Figure (Mam/Homecoming), and a vein of jade ore near where you first splash down. (screenshot) These items are marked on the map as well. Watch out for the patrolling piranhas, especially when going after the relic and survival cache. There's also another jade deposit embedded beneath a rocky ledge just north of the large, squarish rock that protrudes above the surface on the southeast side of the pool. The locations of the jade deposits are also marked on the map with green dots.

On the south shore of the pool, you'll find another buried survival cache (2/8). You should be able to spot it when standing on the squarish rock or swimming around that area. (screenshot) Just to the right (west) of the cache there's a tattered effigy (1/5) hanging from a wooden frame. Use a rope arrow to pull it down and initiate this level's second Challenge: Respected. (screenshot) The rest of the effigies are found later in the level. All are marked with red dots on the map.

Now enter the crumbling structure to find an explorer backpack (1/1) (screenshot), which reveals the location of several other survival caches on your in-game map. (If you missed the first cache, this will help you find it.) There's one more major item in this area. Swim across to the crumbling archway on the north side of the pool, opposite the archway where you found the backpack. (screenshot) Use a rope arrow to pull down the wooden barrier. Behind it is an archivist map (1/1). (screenshot) Examine it to reveal the locations of a number of documents and relics.

FLOODED CAVERNS: When you're ready to move on, swim through the square doorway on the west side of the pool. Follow the natural passageway forward, crack open a salvage crate along the way, and continue to a pocket of trapped air. Use this as a base to get the various pickups nearby. Start by taking a breath then swimming back to the east and downward through the opening in the floor to find some healing plants, a resource canister, and some jade embedded in the wall near the canister. There's also a second air pocket in this lower passageway to the west. Use it if you need it. Then return to the first air pocket, in the passageway above. (It's marked on the map in case you get disoriented.) (screenshots)

Once again swim back to the east. This time, swim past the opening in the floor and the ledge where you found the salvage earlier. Swim down the slope and around to the right to find a survival cache (3/8) buried on the cavern bottom. It will be marked on your in-game map if you found the explorer backpack earlier. Dig up the cache and return to the air pocket. (screenshots)

Take a breath then swim down to the left (south) to find a relic (2/5), Knight's Morion (Gates of Hell). Grab it then surface in a small cave with some jade and a painting containing information about the Box. As Lara is examining the mural, something creepy and human-shaped moves behind her, casting a shadow across the mural. (screenshots)

Jump back in the water and swim through the tunnel to the right to find another resource canister. Then continue around to the left to get back to the first air pocket. Take a breath and continue forward (west) into the next flooded cave. Turn right at the huge, carved skull. Swim into a side tunnel then straight up to the surface. Climb out of the water on a ledge with some jade and a document (2/6), A Warning (Gates of Hell). (screenshots)

Now, if you don't care about getting 100% completion, swim out of this creepy cave, drop all of your gear, charter a plane, and head back to England immediately!!! Not an option, you say? All right. In that case, swim down out of the side area where you found the document. Approach the giant stone skull, turn right (west), loot another resource container, and follow the tunnel to a larger cavern, where you can climb out of the water. (screenshot)

CAVERN: Advance cautiously; there's a spear trap ahead. Cut the tripwire to trigger it. Then scramble under the spears and continue to the edge of a chasm. Lara looks up toward an archway decorated with a dangling corpse. Guess that's where we're headed. Jump across the gap toward the carved wall, scramble up to grab a handhold, then jump up and latch onto the climbable wall above. As you climb, a scrabbling off to the right draws your attention to some jade sitting on a nearby ledge. You can't reach it from here, so you'll have to wait to get it later from the other side. For now, continue climbing up and to the left. Then jump across to the left to grab the top of the wall made of rectangular stones. There's more scrabbling, and the ledge crumbles a bit but holds. Climb around the corner to the left, then down onto the rough climbing wall. Rappel down until Lara is hanging in space. Swing back and forth to build momentum, and jump to grab the ledge ahead. Pull up, loot a resource container sitting beside the path, and continue forward into the cavern. (screenshots)

As you squeeze through the narrow opening at the top of the path, another creepy creature looks down on Lara from a ledge just ahead, squeals alarmingly, and disappears deeper into the cavern. You're also notified of a nearby challenge tomb. If you'd like to explore the optional tomb, head to the right (east). (screenshot) To continue along the main path, turn left (west). (screenshot) Skip the next paragraph.

SAN CORDOBA CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE: Follow this link for the SAN CORDOBA CHALLENGE TOMB WALKTHROUGH, which includes the Collapsed Temple Base Camp; a document, Captain's Note (3/6); 2 relics, Primitive Doll (3/5) and Rusty Sword (4/5); and 3 survival caches (4-6/8). Examining the tomb stele unlocks the Scavenger Skill Caiman's Breath II, which further increases Lara's breath capacity.

CONTINUING THROUGH THE CAVERN TO THE NEXT BASE CAMP: If you're rejoining the main path after exploring the challenge tomb, the next document (4/6), Journal of T. Serrano 5 (Gates of Hell), will be lying on the ground just beyond the wooden barrier you must break down with your axe. (screenshot) If you skipped the tomb, this document will be just ahead on the right. (screenshot)

After examining the document, use the handholds to climb the slippery stone wall ahead. Sidestep along the narrow ledge until you can't go any farther, then jump to the climbing wall on the far side of the chasm. Climb down as far as you can. Then rappel down to the wall-running area below. Run back and forth to build momentum, then jump to the climbing wall on the left. Climb up and to the left. Then scramble up to grab the narrow ledge above. Climb around the corner to the left until Lara is hanging below another section of craggy climbing wall. Jump up and latch onto it. Climb then jump to the top. Now there's one more ledge between you and the archway with the dangling body. Scramble up the wall to grab the horizontal handhold, climb to the right, then pull up onto the ledge. (screenshots)

BASE CAMP WITH MASSACRED TRINITY SQUAD: Cut the rope suspending the dead soldier.

Lara rolls the decaying corpse over and takes his weapon: the BISHOP 600 SHOTGUN.

Crack open the salvage crate and have a rest at the Cenote Temple Ruins Base Camp. You can probably make a few upgrades to your new gun, and you may have a couple Skill Points to spend. If you purchased the Croft Edition (or other DLC including shotguns), you'll unlock the SEDGEWICK 707 SHOTGUN at the same time. It does a bit less damage per round than the Bishop, but it has better stats in other areas.

If you have skill points to spend and you haven't already unlocked the Puma's Feint Skill (Warrior), I recommend doing so now. It will be very helpful going forward. If you'd rather rely on weapons, go for the Serpent's Glint (Scavenger), which lets you craft flare rounds for the pistol using black powder and fat. If you already have it, maybe go for Heart of the Jaguar I, II, and/or III (Warrior). The first of these enables Lara to use Endurance mixtures, which reduce damage from both melee and ranged attacks. The advanced versions reduce damage from fire and explosions, and increase breath capacity when swimming, and increase the length of time these protections apply. Otherwise, choose what appeals to you.

There's also an effigy (2/5) hanging from the side of the archway just east of the camp. Use a rope arrow to pull it down for the Respected Challenge. (screenshot)

If you like, you can return to the other side of the chasm to break down that shotgun barrier you saw earlier to get the jade ore behind it. (For details see this page with screenshots.)

INTO THE WARREN: When you're ready to move on, select your new shotgun (4 on the keyboard or D-Pad Left on the controller) and use it to blast the shotgun barrier to the west of the campsite. Squeeze through the narrow opening into the next room. Gather various supplies here and continue to the west through the low tunnel lined with branches.

Near the end of the tunnel Lara catches sight of a humanoid figure rushing along a perpendicular passageway. As you emerge from the tunnel, turn left to follow the creature. It casts a frightening shadow on the wall of the next room, but the actual enemy actually comes from ahead on the left. (screenshots)

The Uruk-hai looking dude rushes out screaming and tackles Lara. The wooden floor gives way and Lara and the strange warrior tumble into the room below. Lara kicks him off of her, scrambles to her feet, and retrieves the shotgun.

OBJECTIVE: Survive the Ambush

BONE PIT: When you regain control, aim and fire the shotgun to kill the attacker. (Later we will learn these people are called the Yaaxil.) Perhaps drawn by the noise, more of them appear in ones and twos from the tunnels around the edges of the room. There will be 16 enemies in all, though this number may vary with the combat difficulty setting. I played on medium (Rite of Passage). You won't have to fight them at once. The next enemy (2) comes from the tunnel directly opposite the starting position at floor level. Since the shotgun works best at close range, aim as the enemy approaches but wait until he's fairly close before firing. Then one or two shots should kill him. This is more effective and helps conserve ammo. (screenshots)

Four more cave dwellers (3-6) appear in the raised opening in the southeast corner. They are courteous enough to jump down and rush at Lara one at a time. So, again, wait until each one gets close before firing. Or, if you've unlocked the Puma's Feint skill, use it to kill them without expending any ammo. The page with screenshots includes details. Or, if you've unlocked the Serpent's Glint, you can fire flare rounds with your pistol. One of these will kill a charging Yaaxil.

After this, Lara says, "More coming," and you have a moment to regroup. If you need shotgun ammo, there's a box sitting next to the square pillar to the right of the starting position. You'll also find 2 boxes of rifle ammo near the left pillar, and you can search the bodies for health and endurance herbs, and possibly a few arrows. You don't have much time, though. Grab what you can and take cover behind the left pillar. (screenshots)

The next 2 Yaaxil (7-8) are an archer on the upper left platform, who shoots deadly green arrows, and another warrior that emerges from the lower passageway and circles around to flank you from the left. If you stay behind the pillar, you're safe from the archer. Again use the shotgun or dodge kill to deal with the enemy on the ground. One fire arrow will take care of the archer, but you can use regular arrows, rifle, or pistol if you prefer. Then quickly turn your attention to the next 2 enemies (9-10) in the upper right opening. You can detonate the green orb on the ledge to kill them both. If you only kill the archer, the other will drop down and rush toward you. Deal with him using your preferred weapon/technique. (screenshots)

Meanwhile, 3 more of the painted warriors (11-13) emerge one at a time from the ground-level tunnels: one from straight ahead, one from the right, another from straight ahead. The first and third may come at you straight-on or circle around the left pillar. Keep blasting/dodging and run away and heal if necessary. (screenshots)

When you've taken care of those three, a short cutscene shows four enemies rushing the wooden gate in the southwest corner.

In the actual game, I only encountered 3 more Yaaxil (14-16), not the 4 shown in the movie, though this may vary with the combat difficulty setting. If you ready a fire arrow while they attempt to break down the bars, you can shoot the green container, just inside the gate on the left, as soon as they bust through. The resulting explosion may kill all three. If not, you can shoot any stragglers. (screenshots)

Once you've dealt with these three, the fight is over, and Lara says, "Time to move." Be sure to loot the corpses and pick up the shotgun and rifle ammo near the pillars if you didn't get it earlier.

DEEPER INTO THE WARREN: Climb into the passageway where the last enemies came from and proceed to the southwest. When you come to the shallow pool lined with bones, pick some mushrooms and use a rope arrow to pull down the effigy (3/5) for the Respected Challenge. (screenshot)

OBJECTIVE: Find the Silver Box of Ix Chel

FLOODED PASSAGEWAY WITH SKULLS AND BONES: Wade into the pool and continue through the passage to the southwest. A few more of the creepy cave dwellers pass by above, but they don't notice Lara. Soon the passage widens into a small room. Climb out of the water on the right, loot the resource canister, and break down the wooden barrier in the back corner to find a relic (5/5), Brigittine Rosary (The Missionary). (screenshot)

FIRST WATER WHEEL PUZZLE: To exit this area, start by dismantling another wooden barrier beneath the water with your axe. Then climb back onto the ledge, stand near the winch, and shoot a rope arrow into the axle of the wooden wheel to tether it to the winch. Crank the winch to rotate the wheel until the opening lines up with the opening below the surface where you just cleared the debris. When the wheel is lined up correctly, Lara says, "There we go," and you get a few XP. Swim into that opening. Wait for the opening in the moving wheel ahead to line up with the first opening, then swim through. (screenshots)

FLOODED PASSAGEWAY: Swim forward along the left side of the passageway, cracking open a salvage crate and mining some gold along the way. Then surface for air. Turn around and swim back down. But instead of following the passage along the right side, head down and to the left to find a survival cache (7/8) buried in a little dead-end cave. (It should be marked on your map if you found the explorer backpack back at the beginning of the level.) Return to the surface for air, swim down to loot a resource canister in the right (northwest) corner. Then climb out of the water and follow the passageway to the south. (screenshots)

TRAPPED TUNNEL AND CAVERN BEYOND: Proceed cautiously. There's a spear trap just ahead. Cut the tripwire to trigger the trap, then scramble under the spears. As you round the next corner, one of the painted people drops down from above and rushes toward you. Shoot him or use the Puma's Feint/Dodge Kill. Then loot the body for health and endurance herbs. Before attempting to climb across the cavern, examine a document (5/6), Journal of T. Serrano 7 (Gates of Hell), lying on the ground near the left wall. (screenshots)

To cross the huge pit of spikes, start by jumping to grab the narrow ledge on the right wall. Climb to the left then jump and latch onto the climbable wall. Climb down as far as you can. Then rappel down to the wall-running area. Run back and forth to build momentum, then jump toward the ledge on the left. Grab the edge and pull up. Examine another document (6/6), Journal of T. Serrano 6 (Gates of Hell), to the left of the tunnel entrance. Just inside the tunnel on the left is another resource container. Continue to the opening in the floor. Jump across it and latch onto the climbing wall. Rappel down through the opening. (screenshots)

In a short cutscene, Lara surveys the elaborate construction below and wonders what might lie beyond the large, round door. Then she cuts the rope and drops into the pool.

OBJECTIVE: Open the Gate

ANCIENT GATE WITH WATER WHEELS AND SPIGOTS: There's a salvage crate and a few other resources on the bottom of the pool, as well as a few items behind wooden barriers that you can't reach yet. Swim under the wooden axle connecting the two large wheels, and climb out of the water in the far left (southeast) corner. Dig up a survival cache (8/8) buried beneath the collapsing stone arch. (screenshots) Lara goes into a defensive crouch here, but the area near the cache is safe for now.

OPENING THE FIRST GATE – WEST SIDE WATER WHEEL: If you look across the pool toward the doorway with the green orb, you'll spot one of the Yaaxil lurking there. You can shoot him from a distance or explode the orb to set the enemy on fire. Swim across to that area, collect some cloth, mushrooms, and herbs, and loot the corpse. When you enter the room where the enemy came from and start up the stairs to the right, another enemy smashes through the wooden wall ahead and attacks. Blast him with the shotgun, a flare round from the pistol (if you've unlocked the Serpent's Glint skill), or use the Puma's Feint/Dodge Kill as described in the previous section. When you've killed that one, a third enemy also approaches from the north. Take care of him. Then turn around and pull down the effigy (4/5) in the southwest corner for the Respected Challenge. (screenshots)

NOTE: The annotated level map shows the Cenote Tomb Base Camp here, but it does not appear until you've finished the level and moved on. It will allow you to fast travel back to this area later in case you miss any collectibles.

Turn around again and move up the first set of steps to the north. On the right is a wooden barrier you can pull down with a rope arrow. This isn't strictly necessary, but it'll make it easier to swim back to this area if you fall in the water later. There are also a few resources at the bottom of the pool here. At the top of the second set of steps is a winch and several columns, one of which has shotgun, handgun, and rifle ammo arranged around its base. Grab what you can. (screenshots)

Stand near the winch and face south. Notice the 3 golden spigots shaped like serpents' heads. Each has a rope coil that you can tether to the winch in order to turn the spigot, but the the coil on the upper level is blocked by debris. The goal is to move the spigots to direct the flowing water down to the water wheel below. Start by shooting a rope arrow into the coil on the middle spigot, tethering it to the winch. Then crank the winch to rotate the middle spigot so it faces right. (screenshots)

Follow the wooden walkway along the right wall toward the end of the spigot you just moved. As you near the green orb, another Yaaxil emerges from the opening next to it. Blast the enemy or the orb, or use the Dodge Kill maneuver. Then continue to the end of the walkway. Jump to grab the spigot you just turned and pull up. Climb onto the ledge above and use your axe to clear the wooden debris from around the upper spigot. When you finish, another enemy charges from ahead on the right. Deal with him. Then go into the area where he came from to find a resource canister. Turn around and drop down on the right, behind the upper spigot to find another resource canister. From there, you can drop down once more into the room where you shot the first Yaaxil and pulled down the effigy. Then return up the stairs to the winch. (screenshots)

This time crank the winch in the other direction to turn the middle spigot all the way to the left, so it's aligned with the lower spigot. As you do this, a couple of Yaaxil climb around the ruins in front of you. You can ignore them for now. Use another rope arrow to tether the winch to the upper spigot. Crank the winch to turn the upper spigot to the right so water runs down into the middle spigot, then the lower one. Now tether the lower spigot to the winch and turn the lower spigot to the left, so the water runs down onto the wheel. (screenshots)

As the wheel turns, it opens the first huge, circular door. It also attracts the attention of several enemies. Lara takes cover behind the winch as 2 archers open fire from the ledges near the spigots.

Ignore the archers for now. Switch to the shotgun shoot the Yaaxil warrior who climbs up onto the ledge to the right of the winch, or use the Puma's Feint maneuver described earlier. Then take cover behind the column where you found the ammo earlier. Switch to the bow or rifle, aim around either side of the column, and take out the first archer near the upper spigot. Remember, if you're behind cover and have a bad angle, press Left Shift on the keyboard or click the left stick (L3) to shoulder swap. (screenshots)

Now wait behind the column for 2 more warriors to approach, one at a time, from the right. Use the Puma's Feint to dodge, then melee kill, the first one. Or, if you don't have that skill yet, shoot him with the shotgun or a pistol flare round as he approaches. Do the same with the second warrior. If Lara takes damage during the fight, stay behind the column and heal (press F1 on the keyboard; hold L1/LB and press X/A on the controller). Then take out the second archer above the lower spigot with a fire arrow, regular arrows, or rifle. (screenshots)

There's still one enemy left: a third archer high on the right (west) side. If you lean out around the left side of the column, you can target him or the green orb next to him from relative safety. After this, Lara stands up straight, indicating there are no more enemies nearby. You can relax a bit, pick up the ammo near the column if you didn't get it earlier, and search the corpses. (screenshots)

OBJECTIVE: Open the Second Gate

OPENING THE SECOND GATE – EAST SIDE WATER WHEEL: Dive into the pool and swim down to the moving wheel on the left (east) side. Wait for the opening in the wheel to align with the opening in the wall behind it and swim through into the east section of the pool. There are a few resources on the bottom. Take what you can carry and climb out on the north ledge. The last the effigy (5/5) for the Respected Challenge is at the top of the stairs here. Use a rope arrow to pull it down and complete the challenge. (If you like, you can also pull down the wooden barrier to the left of the stairs. This leads back to the center walkway.) Loot the resource container in the alcove at the top of the stairs. (screenshots)

Climb onto the higher ledge on the east side of the cavern. There's another winch here, but it's not safe to use it yet. Take cover on the left side of the stone column, as 2 archers appear on the ledges to the south. Use your bow or rifle to take them out. Then move to the top of the stairs on the left. Two Yaaxil warriors approach from below. They come one at a time, so you can shoot with bow, rifle, or even pistol as they approach; or wait until each one gets close and blast him with the shotgun or use the Puma's Feint/Dodge Kill. Loot the corpses and gather arrows and shotgun ammo between the stairs and the winch and more shotgun and rifle ammo near one of the columns. (screenshots)

Now to get the water wheel on this side of the pool moving. This time the upper spigot does not move, so you only need to rearrange 2 spigots. Start by using a rope arrow to tether the left spigot to the winch. Crank the winch to swing the left spigot around to the left, filling the pool below. Dive in and use your climbing axe to clear the debris from the base of the right spigot. Gather some resources on the bottom. Then climb out of the water onto the wooden raft. Pick up arrows and shotgun ammo on the right. Then return up the stairs to the winch, where there are a few new enemies waiting. (screenshots)

If you take a few steps forward after reaching the top of the stairs, you can meet the first Yaaxil warrior as he charges toward you from ahead on the left. A second warrior also charges from the left. Shoot the green orb when the enemy passes next to it, or wait for him to charge and shotgun or dodge-kill him as well. Now adjust Lara's position so the columns shield her from the 2 archers that now arrive on the scene, one above and behind where the warriors came from, the other on a ledge above and to the left of the spigots. If you can avoid being struck with arrows, you can concentrate on fighting the next 3 enemies. One comes from the same direction as the first two. The second and third come up the stairs from the south. When you've dealt with them, shoot the green orb on the ledge to the north to kill one archer without exposing Lara to his arrows. Then shoot the second archer on the wooden ledge above the spigots. (screenshots)

Loot the bodies and pick up any ammo you may not have been able to carry before. Then return to the winch. Use a rope arrow to tether the left spigot to the winch once more. Crank the winch to rotate the left spigot to the right, so the water pours down onto the right spigot. Now use another rope arrow to tether the right spigot to the winch. Crank the winch to swing the right spigot around to the right. (screenshots)

The water flows down onto the wheel, operating the mechanism that opens the second door. The Yaaxil don't seem quite sure what to make of this. As Lara moves through the doorway, they gather around but do not attack or even attempt to cross the threshold. Their leader, an imposing woman made up to look like Queen Amidala's evil twin, makes her way to the front of the crowd. She and Lara size each other up, but neither makes a move as the huge door rolls shut between them. Lara moves further into the hall and discovers a mural depicting the Yaaxil, goddesses of protection, who may have forged the Silver Box of Ix Chel and now protect it.

Lara moves out into a large, sunlit chamber. She brushes the vines away from the central dais to reveal an eclipse-and-heron motif, similar to to the one in Unuratu's tattoo. But when she uncovers the compartment where the box should be, it's empty. A tremor then shakes the temple, destroying the circular door. This displeases the Yaaxil leader greatly, and she shrieks a signal for her warriors to attack. Lara takes off running out the other side of the temple.


OBJECTIVE: Escape the Cenote

FLEEING THROUGH THE CAVERN WITH WOODEN WALKWAYS: When you regain control after the cutscene, you receive 250 XP and a new objective. There's no need to fight. Just keep moving and avoid the Yaaxil who try to attack you as you run along ledges and rickety wooden bridges through the cavern. The way ahead is fairly obvious, but in case you need help, here's the sequence:

Run forward and grapple-swing across the gap. When you land, veer right to avoid the Yaaxil converging from the left. Run forward through the rough wooden doorway, keeping ahead of the pursuing enemies, and avoiding the detonating green orbs on your left then right. Scramble up the wall onto the ledge above. Follow the wooden walkway as it curves around to the left, jumping across a collapsing section near the end. Climb up another wall to trigger a short cutscene. Lara scrambles onto the ledge and regains her footing. A checkpoint registers here. (screenshots)

NOTE: If Lara dies before this checkpoint, the game reloads near the temple exit with Lara facing the wrong way. (screenshot) She'll say, "They must think I destroyed it," meaning the Box. Don't bother fighting the Yaaxil who surround her. Just turn around and start running, as described in the section above.

Continue up a short flight of steps to an area with a circular, carved stone floor. Then continue around to the left. Grapple-swing across a wide gap in the wooden walkway to the next checkpoint. Jump across a smaller gap, grab the edge of the slightly higher walkway ahead, and pull up. Run up the wooden ramp and jump across another gap onto another wooden walkway. Turn left and continue along the walkway, jumping across several missing sections and avoiding the enemies who try to stop you. All the while the Yaaxil shoot arrows at Lara and explode green orbs along her path. You can heal as you go, but as long as you keep moving and don't fall through the gaps, Lara should be OK. (screenshots)

Where the wooden walkway ends, follow the stone ledge up and around to the left. At the top, the path splits. Two enemies block the short path to the left, so continue forward up the slope. Run out onto the wooden ledge and jump toward the cave opening below. (screenshots)

In a brief cutscene, Lara scrambles away from a hail of Yaaxil arrows and slides down into a pool.

OBJECTIVE: Return to Paititi

FLOODED PASSAGEWAY: Swim down through the opening to the south. Follow the flooded passageway to a pocket of trapped air. Take a breath and continue southward. The tunnel slopes upward until you can surface in a cavern.

NOTE: An on-screen notification says you've re-entered THE HIDDEN CITY, but if you check the map, this area still reads as being part of the CENOTE.


CAVERN WITH STEEP CLIMBING WALLS: Follow the path up to the south. Lara spots a ledge high above. That's where you're headed. Follow the ledge along the left side of the cavern, jumping across the gap. Before climbing higher, go into the little side cave on the left to find a resource container and mine some gold ore. (screenshots)

Exit the side cave, scramble up the wall on the left, then jump up to latch onto the climbable wall. Climb upward and to the right. Jump across to the next climbable area to the right. Climb to the right as far as you can. Then jump to the ledge beyond. Move through the gap in the stalagmites and approach the body to trigger a short cutscene. (screenshots)

Lara retrieves the OVERHANG CLIMBING GEAR from its unfortunate previous owner.

Head down the slope past the dead climber's tent. Bear right here and jump across the gap to the climbable wall. Climb up as far as you can. The game will then explain how to Overhang Climb: jump up then quickly press Interact to latch onto the climbable ceiling. Climb along the underside of the rock ledge until you reach the top of the climbable area. Again, follow the tutorial text that explains how to Exit an Overhang Climb: jump straight up to grab the ledge above then pull up. Continue forward and to the right, past the cloth-draped totem. Scramble up onto the ledge ahead. Then move through the low tunnel. (screenshots)

There's another climbable wall ahead. Latch on and climb up as far as you can. Climb up as far as you can. Then jump up and press Interact to latch onto the rock overhang. Continue climbing to the right. When you reach the wide crack, follow the tutorial text for the Overhang Lateral Jump: Lean to the right, then press Jump, then Interact to latch onto climbable area beyond the crack. At this point you run out of climbable wall, so rappel down until Lara is hanging roughly level with the ledge ahead. Swing back and forth to gather momentum. Then jump over to the ledge, or latch onto the craggy wall below it and climb up. Follow the path forward, gathering a few resources along the way. (screenshots)

Scramble up the rock wall to grab the handhold at the top. Then jump to reach the climbing wall above it. Climb up as far as you can. Jump and latch onto the overhang, then climb to the left. Jump past the gap and latch onto the next section of climbable overhang. Climb up and out toward the edge. Then jump to grab the jutting ledge above and exit the overhang. Continue climbing/scrambling upward until you reach the next section of rough climbing wall above. Climb along it to the left as far as Lara will go. (screenshots)

This next jump can be a little finicky. It may help to move the camera behind Lara a bit before jumping out to the left and pressing Interact to grapple the climbable wall on the other side of the cavern. Once Lara latches on, climb the cable, then continue climbing onto the ledge above. Loot the resource container ahead on the left and follow the path. Climb through the narrow, horizontal opening. (screenshots)

ANOTHER FLOODED CAVERN: Move out onto the ledge and dive into the pool below. Swim forward, then down into the flooded passageway. Use your axe to destroy the wooden barrier blocking the way, then swim through. There's a school of piranhas patrolling the left side of the next flooded cavern. You can hide in the grass, like you did back in Kuwaq Yaku, or just avoid them entirely by swimming along the bottom on the left side of the cave. Continue eastward and upward to an air pocket. Take a breath then continue along the flooded passageway as it gradually slopes upward to a narrow gap with sunlight filtering in. Swim through the gap and surface in a small cave. Step out onto the riverbank at the north end of Paititi. The Fishing District Base Camp is just ahead on the right. (screenshots)

REVISITING THIS LEVEL LATER IN THE GAME: It is possible to achieve 100% completion the first time through the CENOTE, but if you missed anything, you can return later by fast traveling between base camps. The CENOTE Collectibles Guide can help. Note that the Cenote Tomb Base Camp appears in the cavern with the huge, round gate and waterwheels, once you've completed the level, making it much easier to get back there.

If you didn't explore the SAN CORDOBA CHALLENGE TOMB on your first pass, you may not have discovered the Collapsed Temple Base Camp yet. The next closest camp to the Challenge Tomb is the Cenote Temple Ruins Base Camp, where you found the SHOTGUN. To reach the tomb, fast travel back to that camp. Then follow the instructions on this page with screenshots.

[Previous - Mountain Temple]

[Main SOTTR Page]

[Next - Upper Paititi]

UPDATE HISTORY: 11/10/18 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
11/26/18 - Added skill recommendations.
8/20/21 - Fixed typo in header. There are zero murals other than the minor, decorative one mentioned in the text, which I have renamed 'painting' to avoid confusion.
9/2/21 - Added the names of the document and relics found in the challenge tomb, which is covered in detail on separate pages.
9/17/21 - Added the Quick Collectibles Guide.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to Richard S. for help with this level. He knows why. ;)

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