Tulum is an exotic destination that almost anyone can find themselves melting into the magic that it holds. The slow, easy-going vibes encourage you to let go of the typical stresses of your day to day and be free and at peace in the moment, while the incredibly beautiful beaches, cobalt blue waters and abundance of great food nourishes your soul. If you’re looking to experience a mix of thrill and relaxation, Tulum is also home to over a dozen natural cenotes that will blow your mind and leave you feeling exhilarated and refreshed. Here are 5 Top rated cenotes to consider on your next trip to paradise.
A cenote, pronounced seh-NO-tay, are water-filled sinkholes that naturally occur when an underground limestone rock cave collapses in on itself and exposes the groundwater underneath. Ancient Mayan culture views cenotes as a sacred space and have used them in ceremony for centuries. Please keep this in mind and be respectful while visiting solo, or on a tour.
As you explore these ancient waters please keep in mind that regular sunscreen is prohibited. The chemicals are dangerous for the plants and marine life so please ensure that you bring biodegradable, reef safe sunscreen.
Other things to consider bringing:
- A Waterproof bag is always a good idea when adventuring around any type of water and natural elements.
- Waterproof camera or go pro to capture your memories forever.
- Water shoes in case the surfaces around the cenote are rough, rocky and slippery.
- A Quick dry towel.
- Your own Snorkel.
- Drinking water and a snack.
The very popular Gran Cenote is located just outside of Tulum. It is surrounded by lush greenery, wooden boardwalks, has crystal clear waters and is made up of a collection of different caves and caverns. This popular “Coba ruins pitstop” draws in divers, snorkelers and swimmers from far and wide. Keep your eyes out – you might even spot a sea turtle or two!
Tickets for Gran Cenote cost $9 USD
Address: Quintana Roo 109, 77796 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Cenote Car Wash is located between Tulum and Cobbs, next to Cenote Zacil-Ha and just a few minutes from the Gran Cenote – easy to combine them all in one swoop! It’s not far off the main road and is super accessible for those with kids and some mobility challenges. The cenote is surrounded by lush green vegetation so despite being so close to the road – it still has that jungle feel. This large, pond like, open air cenote has deep, clear waters which are the ideal temperatures for swimming. Don’t be surprised if you see fish, turtles or perhaps even a small, fresh water crocodile.
Tickets to get in are $2.50 USD – Cash only
If you’re looking to have the opportunity to leap off the side of the cenote into the crystal clear waters, or even zip-line and drop in from above – put Cenote Zacil-Ha on your list! This cenote also features regular swimming pools, hammocks and additional lounge areas. Easily accessible by rental car, taxi or Colectivo.
It will cost you $4 USD to enter.
Address: Coba km 8, México 180D, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Cenote Dos Ojos
Dos Ojos is part of a flooded cave system located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Tulum and is one of the best diving cenotes in the Yucatana Peninsula. The name translates as Cenote Two Eyes and refers to the two sinkholes connected by a boardwalk which look like two eyes. Many visitors choose to take a guided snorkel tour down into the caves while experienced divers opt to take a deeper plunge.
Cenote Dos Ojos is most accessible by rental car, Colectivo’s drop of at the entrance to the Dos Ojos park – so be aware, it is a 30 minute walk along a dirt road to the cenote from here.
Cost: $23 will get you access to all the cenotes in the Dos Ojos park (Cenote Sac Actun, Cenote El Pit and Cenote Nicte-Ha are also located there.) while individual tickets for Dos Ojos are $18 USD.
Address: Cenote Jaguar Rd, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Casa Cenote is one of the most unique cenotes near Tulum. Visitors can swim, kayak or paddle board in the cenote. With it only being 6 meters deep it is pretty family friendly. The underwater cave system that leads directly to the ocean is a definite diver favorite but snorkeling is also very popular here! The crystal clear turquoise waters here will take your breath away. Casa Cenote is surrounded by lush trees, mangrove and isn’t far from the beach and a restaurant to grab some grub after your adventure.
It will cost you about $6 USD to visit this spectacular cenote.
Address: 77770 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
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