There is an insane amount of cenotes throughout the Mexican Caribbean area, many of which are easily accessible and open to visitors. Some are free or fairly cheap and some are part of a more extensive park which can cost substantially more. From a relaxing swim to extreme dives, cenotes offer a rich history and otherworldly beauty. With a surplus of cenotes throughout the Mexican Caribbean, visitors can enjoy this unparalleled experience again and again.
Cenotes are a sinkhole you can access and swim in, pronounced seh-NO-tay. Cenotes have a deep history of health and wellness in the Mayan community. Mayans thought the waters were believed to purify and protect the soul, thus cenotes have served as the site for traditional rituals.
The Mexican Caribbean area is large, so I’ve broken these down into the various areas where you can find them. Some of these are two hours from Cancun, but I used Cancun as the main point because that is where the main airport is. This whole area is stunning, so it would be a shame if you only went to Cancun. Hopefully, this list will inspire you to go out and explore.
I recommend getting the car at the Cancun Airport, it will make it way easier to get to these. This entire area is easy to drive around in. Get a Cancun car rental for $11 a day!
Table of Contents
Cenotes in Cancun
1. Cenote Fantasma
Cenote Fantasma also known as Cenote Ghost is a large closed-in cenote with stalactites, cool clear water, and bats fluttering around. There is a place to change clothes and buy snacks such as water and chips. The cost of entry is 50 pesos and you can rent a life jacket for 20 pesos. This is a great stop on the way to Chichen Itza or Ek Balam Mayan ruins or on your way back.
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Cenotes in Tulum
2. Cenote Angelita
A truly unique cenote, owing to its stunning halocline (a cloud of hydrogen sulfide that divides the freshwater from the saltwater). This cenote is 180 feet deep.
To get here take highway 307 south from Tulum towards Chetumal about 15 km on the left side, look for a big rock on the right side about 8 miles (13 km) from Tulum you are getting close.
3. Cenote Calavera
Cenote Calavera also known as the Temple of Doom named for its resemblance to a skull is 50 feet deep. To enter the water you walk down a path about 200 feet long and then jump in from a height of eight feet! To get out, there is a sturdy wooden ladder.
It’s easy to get to this cenote from Tulum. Drive out of town on the road to Coba for about five minutes. You can easily ride a bicycle here if you are only planning to snorkel. You will see a sign with a skull on it (the word calavera means “skull” in Spanish) showing you where to access the cenote. There is a gravel parking lot close to the road. After this, it’s a short trek through the jungle. If you’re diving here, the dive tables are near the parking lot, so most people load up with their dive gear and do the walk fully equipped.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 9:00-16:00
Admission: 100 MXN ($5 USD)
4. Cenote Gran Tulum
Gran Cenote is a popular limestone cenote & cavern with snorkeling areas, equipment rentals & boardwalks. They also have changing stalls. It’s only three miles (five kilometers) from central Tulum. They allow visitors from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Entrance to the cenote costs 180 pesos (or about $9.50). A great place to stop after visiting the Tulum ruins.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00-16:45
Admission: 200 MXN ($10 USD)
5. Cenote Manatí
Located between Puerto Aventuras and Tulum, it used to be the home for manatees. It’s 6 meters deep (19.6 feet) making it is an incredible place to snorkel and swim where you can find reef formations and a big cave that connects to the sea.
6. Cenote Casa
7. Cenote Jaguar
Cenote Jaguar is off of the Dos Ojos road. It is an open water cenote with three different jumping platforms as well as a zipline. You have to pay to zipline across the cenote. Life jackets are provided free of charge. Snorkel and mask (MX$70) and locker (MX$50) rentals are available. Open daily from 8 am -5 pm. Admission is MX$250 per person, ages 7 and up. All visitors must stop at the Parque Dos Ojos Visitor Center and pay admission.
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Cenotes in Puerto Morelos
8. Cenotes Zapote
The Zapote cenote is part of an ecological park located along the ‘cenotes route’ in Puerto Morelos with three cenotes. Cenote Zapote has a jump platform with a height of 8, 10, and 14 meters high. Cenote Palmas is also located here. It has an aquatic zip line. Cenote Abuelo Cheche is a closed cave-like cenote where you can appreciate the stalagmites and stalactites formed for more than 1,300 years and enjoy snorkeling. You should visit this website in advance to make a reservation ahead of time.
9. Cenote Kin Ha
There are two cenotes here plus a slew of other activities like ATVs and horseback riding. Cenote Kin-Ha is the main cenote. It’s a gorgeous cave with an opening where light enters to reflect fun shapes throughout. To swim here it costs $23 USD.
10. Cenote Selvatica
The cenotes at Selvatica can only be visited by those partaking in the all-inclusive adventure they offer. They’ve got a zipline here that will blow your mind.
Cenotes in Riviera Maya
11. Parque Tankah
Parque Tankah is home to Cenote Piraña a cavern-like cenote. They also have a lake, zip-lining, and canoeing.
12. Kantun Chi
An eco-park with five incredible cenotes and an impressive underground river. It costs $26.10 USD to visit all five. The price also includes the use of life jackets, hammocks, sun loungers, bathrooms, showers, dressing rooms, and lockers.
13. Dos Ojos
Two bodies of water are joined by underground caverns, making this cenote ideal for guided snorkeling, just 15 minutes from Tulum. It is a perfect place to do snuba and snorkel to cross below the water to another adjacent cenote known as the cave of the bats. The water is a comfortable 25 degrees and the water is clear and refreshing. During an expedition to study this cenote more than 67 kilometers of underground routes were found.
Since this is an extremely popular cenote, the earlier you arrive the better.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday from 9:00-17:00
Admission: 350 MXN (around $18 USD)
Cenotes Dos Ojos in Yucatan, Mexico, CC BY 2.0, Link
14. Escondido Cenote
Escape the crowds and explore this hidden gem of Riviera Maya – Cenote Escondido! Get there early to have it all for yourself, or bring your family along because its shallow waters make it perfect for kids. Take a dip in the refreshing turquoise pool, spot some fish without needing snorkel gear & get an adrenaline rush by zooming off from the rope swing located just meters away from you. After cooling down with plenty of splashes, take some time out at one of the many spots available to relax and soak up those jaw-dropping views.
Mosquitoes are very common here, but make sure your repellant is biodegradable if you plan on going in the water – otherwise, skip the repellant until after you are done swimming.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 9:00-17:00
Admission: 120 MXN (around $6 USD) & includes access to Cenote Cristal
15. Cenote Cristalino aka Cenote Cristal
Located close to Puerto Aventuras and practically adjacent to the aforementioned Cenote Escondido, this cenote is like a giant pool where you can jump off from a cliff of 4.5 meters to swim in the crystal waters. You can also do zip lines, snorkel, and discover the biodiversity of tropical fishes living there.
Riviera Maya has so much to offer visitors looking for a serene getaway! Whether you want to enjoy the lush landscape with some refreshments at one of Cenote Cristal’s picnic tables, or take an exhilarating leap off its diving platform into glistening waters below – this is the perfect spot for relaxation and adventure.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 9:00-17:00
Admission: 120 MXN (around $6 USD) & includes access to Cenote Escondido
16. Cenote X’canche aka Ek Balam Cenote
Discover an ancient paradise at the spectacular Cenote X’Canche! Built by the Mayans in times long forgotten, this hidden gem holds wonders rarely seen: cool blue crystal waters, and winding tree roots sprawled below into mysterious depths of darkness. Stone walls linger beside wooden staircases leading to a bridge swing and zip line – all accompanied by scurrying iguanas for added ambiance.
They have showers on-site. And for those not feeling the long 2 km walk to the entrance there are pedicabs or bicycle rentals you can use to take you there.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday from 9:00-17:00
Admission: A a basic entrance ticket is 70 pesos. For bike rentals, rappelling, and ziplining it is 400 pesos. If you just want to swim and aren’t up for walking or biking to the cenote, get the 150 peso ticket that includes round-trip pedicab ride to the cenote. The Ek Balam ruins are among the most expensive in the area (over 400 MXN), so plan accordingly if you wish to visit both.
17. Cenote X’keken
Cenote X’Keken is an incredible spot with a legendary backstory! Legend has it, the cenote was discovered when a farmer’s pig fell into it while walking one day. During daylight hours, this majestic place of wonders allows for rays of light to traverse its limestone cave and create some stunning photos you won’t want to miss out on. And if that wasn’t enough — take in cool refreshing water surrounded by humidity along with small black fish swimming around; who knew heat and sweat could be whisked away so easily!?
Cenote X’Keken’s ethereal blue waters are breathtaking to behold. Containing a medley of dramatic effects, including ropes for the adventurous swimmers and a wooden walkway crossing one side – this special place is certainly worth visiting! The colors you see may look filtered or artificial, but don’t be deceived as it turns out they were created naturally by sunlight refracted through an overhead hole with some minor help from lighting inside the cenote.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00-17:00
Admission: 150 MXN (around $8 USD)
18. Cenote Clan Destino
For a unique and unforgettable experience, head over to Clan Destino Cenote in Riviera Maya. Located amongst the lush jungle, its stunning crystal-clear waters offer up some of the best swimming around – for free! All you have to do is grab something from the bar or restaurant first. And don’t forget about that rope swing encircled by sparkling blue water – just remember your beverage stays firmly on terra firma while swinging away! Unwind with an ice-cold cerveza or mezcal margarita as you linger beneath modern civilization’s forgotten secret jewel… though make sure not to take too long because there are many other majestic Mexican cenotes beckoning exploration.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 13:00-23:00
Admission: Free, but you have to make a purchase at the bar.
Cenotes in Valladolid, Yucatán
19. Cenote Samulá
Cenote Samula is a natural pool in a cavern sinkhole with dramatic hanging tree roots & stalactites. It costs 80 pesos to enter.
20. Cenote Suytun
Cenote Suytun is the cenote you typically see epic photos of on social media. Its most notable features include a monolithic cave filled with turquoise water and an idyllic stone pathway that leads out to the middle of this fascinating cenote.
It’s located just a couple of meters off the main road 180 going East towards Coba and Tulum. It costs 120 pesos to visit. A cave cenote like Cenote Suytun is unique since it has a hole in the roof which allows natural light to enter the cave. Although a few hanging lights illuminate the cave’s interior, the steps themselves are quite dark.
On the stone path extending out into the turquoise waters, you can walk and take some amazing photos. From various angles, it is possible to view Cenote Suytun. The most popular view is from the top of the staircase.
Cenote Suytun is best visited early in the morning, starting at 9:00 – try to be first in line if you want the perfect photo with no one else in the picture. Tourists swim in the water and everyone wants to take photos on the platform in the middle, so it can get very crowded.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday from 9:00-17:00
Admission: 120 MXN (around $6 USD)
21. Cenote Dzitnup
Cenote Dzitnup is a limestone cave with a single opening in the ceiling. It’s free.
22. Cenote Oxmán
Riviera Maya’s Cenote Oxmán is an adventure to not miss! Its enormous sinkhole, natural pool, and especially its epic rope swing make it a top destination for thrill-seekers. Make sure you experience the fun early in the morning before everyone else arrives – your photos will be so much better minus any sun glare caused by too much sunlight on the water later during the day time.
Children can enjoy this one safely as well with a little help from adults getting them up there first! It is approximately three meters below the top of the wall before you drop into the Oxmán Cenote. There are a few different options to enter the water. You can jump off the edge of the platform, use the rope swing, or use the staircase.
I highly recommend bringing goggles to Oxmán Cenote if you want to explore below the surface of the water. The water is about 45 meters deep, and there is great visibility.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00-18:00
Admission: 80 MXN (around $4 USD)
Cenotes near Chichen Itza
23. Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote Ik Kil is located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula and is part of the Ik Kil Archeological Park near Chichen Itza. It is open to the public for swimming from 8 am – 5 pm for 80 pesos per person. A wooden ladder is built into Ik Kil Cenote makes entering and exiting easier.
This structure is almost perfectly circular and has an interior concrete staircase, making access very convenient. Several viewpoints are worth stopping at while you’re walking down the steps. Leaves and vines hang from the top of the cenote and cover the walls until they reach the water.
Take a swim to the middle of the natural pool, float on your back, and marvel at the open-air circle above! It’s the perfect opportunity for you to sit back, relax, and take it all in.
Cenote Ik Il has changing rooms, restaurants, and toilets, which is rare as most smaller cenotes do not have these facilities.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday from 8:00-17:00
Admission: 80 MXN ($4 USD)
Cenotes in Playa del Carmen
24. Cenote el Eden
Also known as Cenote Ponderosa To get here drive south on the 307 highway from Playa Del Carmen. You will pass Puerto Aventuras and then about 5 minutes past there, you will see the main entrance to Barceló Hotel on the left. There is a large Cenote Jardin Del Eden sign and you follow the dirt road back to the cenote. If you take a cab they will drop you off at the entrance. From the entrance, you will walk 1/8 mile down a dirt road to the gate where a Mexican family lives. They charge 2 dollars per person to access. From there you will walk another 1/2 mile to the cenote. They have a few snorkel sets for $3 per person. There were people scuba diving here. The park offers bathrooms and life vest rentals, as well as small palapas where you can enjoy a picnic. There is no food or drink available on site, so be sure to pack some snacks. Alcohol is not permitted.
Opening Hours: Sunday-Friday from 7:00-17:00; Closed Saturdays (Sundays will be the busiest!)
Admission: 200 MXN adults; 100 MXN children ($10 USD / $5 USD)
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25. Cenote Azul
The beautiful open Cenote Azul lies approximately halfway between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. Cenote Azul is renowned for its clear blue water (hence its name), which makes it perfect for swimming.
Given its natural beauty and close proximity to both Playa del Carmen and Tulum, you can imagine how busy it can get. However, its stunning clear blue waters and the mix of dark and white rock formations underwater make it a worthy contender on the list of best cenotes in Riviera Maya.
There are bathrooms, changing rooms, and a small shop available on-site.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 6:30-17:30
Admission: 120 MXN (around $6 USD)
26. Cenote Chaak Tun
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path in Playa del Carmen, take a guided tour of Cenote Chaak Tun! A 15-minute drive away and only accessible via guided tours due to safety concerns – the tours last approximately two hours. – safety helmets and life jackets included with admission. You’ll learn all about this gorgeous underground formation from well-trained guides as they lead you through the caves (but beware: Bats may be lurking!). It’s certainly not for the faint of heart but an eye opening adventure that is sure to leave lasting impressions on those brave enough to venture out into its depths.
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday from 9:00-15:00; Sunday 9:00-13:00
Admission: 500 MXN (around $26 USD) – GUIDED TOUR ONLY!
Cenotes in Coba
27. Cenote Choo-Ha
Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, and Multun-Ha are a series of small cenotes close to the Mayan site of Cobá in central Yucatán Peninsula. All of them are accessible to the public for swimming. Choo-Ha has a small entrance of only about 3 by 4 meters and it is filled with stalactites and stalagmites.
28. Cenote Pac Chen
Pac Chen is a cool activity where you visit a cenote, kayak, zipline, and more. You have to rappel down into the cenote which makes it pretty unique. It’s part of a private property tour experience, so the only way to get to it is by tour. Nearby are the Coba Mayan Ruins.
Cenotes in Cozumel
I recently found out that there are tons of cenotes in Cozumel but I’ve only been to two so far, so those are the ones I am sharing.
29. Cavernas de Jade
Also known as Cenote Chempita this is a delightful spot with unbelievable stalactite formations. This lovely oasis has orchids and palm trees. This is a stop on several of the tours you can go on, including the ATV adventure with Wild Tours. It is possible to get here yourself, but the road is very much off-roading at times.
30. Cenote El Aerolito
Cenote El Aerolito is easy to get to, free, and accessible to everyone. This one has mangroves, Noah’s favorite.
Cenotes in Holbox
According to legend, divers in this cenote emerge feeling ten years younger. This is another one that is not easy to get to. The Mayans believed that cenotes held powerful suhuy ha’, or virgin water, an Cenote El Aerolito origin of life. In addition, for centuries these aquifers served as the main source of cold, naturally filtered water to nearby communities. Various minerals that filtered through the water over millions of years have created a backdrop of impressive stalagmites and stalactites.
If you are jumping off cliffs into cenotes you might want to consider getting travel insurance. I recommend Travelex insurance, because of the variety of options.
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