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Shadow of the Tomb Raider guide: Cenote challenge tomb

San Cordoba

Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Cenote challenge tomb is along an offshoot of the path that takes you to the main story destination in the area. Like many challenge tombs, you have to explore to find it. You’ll get an intricate puzzle and a new skill for your effort.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to find the tomb, the location of the relics and survival caches along the way — and, of course, how to solve the puzzle.

How to find the Cenote challenge tomb

Begin at the Cenote Vista base camp and head west. Dive into the water, and swim underwater into the temple, continuing west and northwest. (For an overview of your path, see the arrows on the map below.)

After you leave the water, there’s only one path ahead. Immediately after you rappel down, head through the narrow passageway. Hop across the chasm, climb up the wall and use the shotgun to blast away a barrier and create a shortcut. (If you don’t have the shotgun, you need to the do the main mission that veers in the opposite direction of the challenge tomb.)

In the same area as the barrier you destroy with the shotgun, enter the water. Swim on the bottom, and look for the survival cache.

There are two exits from the water. One lets you interact with a breakable wall to create another shortcut. The other leads to the challenge tomb. Through the latter, you’ll enter a large room. Jump down into the water and exit to find the Collapsed Temple base camp.

Gather some resources from the pool of water near the camp, and then climb back out of the water. Climb up the wall near the camp, and walk through the narrow passageway.

In the next room, Lara will say that she needs “to find a way through this barricade.” Just push the mine cart aside and then push the canon to destroy the wall and create a path to the next room. Before you leave, check the room for items. On either side of the small staircase where you entered, you’ll find the primitive doll relic and a survival cache.

Enter the next room, and you’ll find the Cenote challenge tomb (San Cordoba).

Two collectibles first

This is the challenge tomb, but before you get to solving its puzzles, you should find two of its collectibles.

  1. Enter the water near where you came in. Search the ground underwater for a survival cache. (See the gallery above for the precise location.)
  2. Swim to the far side of the ship and look underwater for the rusty sword relic. (See the gallery above for the precise location.)

There’s still a document to collect, but that’s a few minutes off. We’ll get it it below.

The pirate ship (or galleon, if you prefer)

The pirate ship is an elaborate puzzle with many steps, so we’ll break it down into its discrete sections, which (thankfully) correspond to the parts of the ship.

Onto the ship to rotate the aft mast

  1. Swim to the shore on the opposite side of the galleon from which you entered, and kick the raft into the water.
  2. Jump on the raft and climb onto the pirate ship. This is the aft (back) of the ship.
  3. On the deck of the ship, turn the handle that rotates the mast until Lara says that the “falconet is in position.”

Swim to the bow (the front of the ship)

  1. Dive into the water that’s filling the belly of the ship, pry open the underwater metal doors, and swim through to the other side.
  2. Get out of the water, climb up the wall where Lara can grab onto a hole in the wall (look for the white paint that signifies where you can jump) and make your way to a handle like the one you turned on the other end of the ship.

The forward mast and climbing

  1. Walk on the horizontal pole that crosses the mast (which is evidentially called a yard) jutting off the side of the ship, and jump to the wall, grabbing on with your pickaxes.
  2. Climb up the wall, walk through the small cave and jump onto the mast at the other end of the cave.
  3. Use the contraption and your pickaxe to dislodge the yard.
  4. Climb up (optionally to the very top to collect some salvage at the very top) and jump from the higher yard into another cave.
  5. Collect the items inside the cave, jump out of the far side and rappel back onto another yard (and therefore back onto the ship).
  6. Drop back down to the deck of the ship.
  7. Use the contraption to rotate the mast so that it points to the end of the ship where you first climbed up. (We got super confused with this because you can rotate it the wrong way. If the mast returns to its original position after you rotate it, just rotate it the other way.)

Back to the aft mast

  1. Walk around to the far side of the mast, and hop onto the box, jumping onto the yard, another box and another yard.
  2. Climb up and use the rotating contraption to drop the canon, which creates a hole that leads into the captain’s quarters.
  3. Shoot a rope arrow to create a zip line and ride it down.
  4. Fall through the hole you created by dropping the canon.
  5. Inside the captain’s quarters, collect the Captain’s note document, two piles of gold and interact with the contraption to complete the tomb. For your trouble, you’ll earn Caiman’s Breath II, which “further increases breath capacity when swimming underwater.”
  6. Use a rope arrow to destroy the wall to the left of the contraption, and backtrack to leave.