12 Best Cenotes In Mexico To Visit in 2023

12 Best Cenotes In Mexico To Visit in 2023


Have you ever swam in a crystal-clear sinkhole amidst a lush jungle? Swimming in a cenote is a singular expertise, solely discovered in Mexico and one of many issues it’s best to positively check out throughout your journey.

Cenotes are largely discovered on the Yucatan peninsula in the southern a part of Mexico. The nice Mayans knew in regards to the cenotes lengthy earlier than they turned a bucket-list attraction, and so they used them as a supply of water in addition to in their non secular ceremonies.

Top Cenotes in Mexico

Top Cenotes in Mexico

If you wish to go to among the most wonderful cenotes select Valladolid cenotes or cenotes close to Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Most cenotes in Mexico are open to the general public, and lots of supply actions like swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving. You can both be a part of one of many cenote excursions from Tulum or different cities of Riviera Maya in case you take pleasure in a hassle-free tour or lease a automobile and go to independently.

The alternative is absolutely huge, as there are lots of of cenotes in Yucatan, however after studying this publish, you’ll uncover which cenotes in Mexico are really unmissable.

What are cenotes in Mexico?


If you haven’t been to Mexico but, you’re most likely questioning, what’s a cenote?

Cenotes are swimming pools of water that kind when porous limestone bedrock collapses, and since there may be loads of limestone in Yucatan, there are lots of cenotes there. Some cenotes are a part of giant underground river techniques, and others are related to the ocean.

Cavern cenotes are the youngest cenotes the place the limestone roof hasn’t eroded but. These sinkholes are closed and resemble a cave. They obtain minimal pure gentle and are darkish and mysterious, so swimming in one of many shut cenotes is a very distinctive expertise. An instance of a cave cenote is Cenote Suytun.

Open cenotes are a lot older, with their roof eroded away through the years. They are open to the exterior world, lit with pure gentle, and usually lined with lush vegetation. Most cenotes in Yucatan are open cenotes, they’re enjoyable to go to and nice for swimming. Examples of open cenotes embrace Gran Cenote and Cenote Ik Kil.

Best Mexico Cenotes Dos Ojos

We even have historic cenotes which might be the oldest in Yucatan. An instance of an historic cenote is Cenote Azul or Cenote Cocalitos in Bacalar, which resemble a lagoon or a lake with each roofs and partitions eroded away.

In the Mayan tradition, cenotes performed an vital function. They had been seen because the bridge between the earthly and the divine worlds. They had been thought of sacred locations and had been used for spiritual rituals, together with human choices in some instances.

Today, visiting a Mexican cenote is just not solely a enjoyable exercise but in addition one of many some ways you may discover and perceive the traditional Mayan civilisation.

1. Gran Cenote

Best Cenotes in Mexico Gran Cenote

Just just a few kilometres away from Tulum, you will see one of the crucial widespread cenotes in Mexico – the Gran Cenote.

Gran Cenote is an open cenote with crystal clear emerald water, two swimming pools, and a cave. If you’re in diving, it is a great spot to do it. If you wish to snorkel, which I like to recommend doing, snorkelling gear is included in the ticket value. Just be sure to convey an ID, which is required as a deposit.

The waters of Gran Cenote are teeming with tropical fish, and you may even spot right here lovable tinny turtles. A number of-meters lengthy cave connects the 2 swimming pools of the cenote, and as you swim by it, look as much as admire historic stalactites. And in case you’re fortunate, you would possibly even spot some bats hovering by the intricate formations.

Getting to Gran Cenote is straightforward; you may drive a automobile, or because it’s solely a 5 km journey, you may also trip a bicycle, which is a typical mode of transport in Tulum. Since the cenote is without doubt one of the hottest cenotes close to Tulum, the most effective time to go to it’s in the morning, proper after it opens at 8 am.

If you would favor to leap on a tour this non-public Cenote Tour takes you to three totally different cenotes in a day together with the Gran Cenote. It is the proper day journey.

Opening instances: 8:00 am to 4:15 pm

Entrance ticket: 500 pesos ($28)

2. Cenote Suytun

Best Cenotes in Mexico Suytun Cenote

Cenote Suytun is a cave cenote which incorporates a round platform proper in the center of its cave. At round noon, the platform will get illuminated by a lightweight beam coming by a small opening in the cave ceiling, creating a unprecedented sight! 

This picturesque cave cenote has captured the hearts of Instagrammers worldwide, and it’s not onerous to see why. If you wish to take a photograph of the platform, put together your self to attend in a queue.

Apart from taking the Insta well-known picture, be sure to discover the cave and its hanging stalactites and stalagmites that fashioned over hundreds of years. If you wish to swim, you can be required to take a bathe and put on a life jacket.

Cenote Suytun is positioned 8 km from the centre of Valladolid. If your itinerary doesn’t will let you keep a few days in this space of Yucatan, you may ebook a tour beginning out of your resort in Cancun or another Riviera Maya city.  Combine a go to to Suytun with Chichen Itza and the city of Valladolid for a day filled with fascinating sights. 

This is an ideal cenote tour that features Valladolid and Chichen Itza as effectively. Check Availability right here.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

3. Cenote Azul, Bacalar

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Azul Balacar

Being one of many high points of interest of Bacalar Lagoon, Cenote Azul is without doubt one of the high cenotes to go to in Mexico. It boasts a wonderfully round form, and as it’s an historic cenote, it extra resembles a lagoon or a lake than a cenote.

Cenote Azul has a darkish blue color because of its depth, which reaches an unimaginable 295 ft. Swimming in this cenote is a unprecedented expertise, and it’s very refreshing. If you’re not a robust swimmer, be sure to lease a life jacket and revel in floating in its waters carefree. Alternatively, you may also discover this massive cenote on a kayak.

Bacalar lies in Quintana Roo, a 4-hour drive south of Cancun. You can discover Cenote Azul 4 km south of Bacalar downtown, and the easiest way to get there may be by rental automobile. It can be attainable to get to Cenote Azul by taxi, or in case you’re up for some cardio, you may also stroll or cycle. A Cenote tour can be a simple approach to discover these wonderful pure wonders. This non-public tour takes you to Bacalar Lagoon.

Opening instances: 10 am to six pm

Entrance ticket: 25 pesos ($1.40)

4. Cenote Oxman

Best Cenotes in Mexico Oxman Cenote

If you’re in search of a cenote the place you may spend a enjoyable day, Oxman is ideal. It is an open cenote with lush vegetation rising on its partitions. 

Cenote Oxman is understood for its Tarzan gown swing. Grab onto the handles and swing to the center of the pool to leap into the cenote. The first bounce is a little bit scary, however belief me, you’ll want to do it many times!

Also, convey your snorkelling masks (or lease it out) to discover the underwater world of the cenote, which is inhabited by vibrant fish.

Cenote Oxman boasts implausible amenities. In addition to the cenote entrance, you may also take pleasure in their solar loungers and pool. There can be a restaurant, and in case you’re wanting to remain right here for lunch, be sure to decide on a ticket that features their buffet lunch.

Hacienda Oxman is positioned a 6-km drive from downtown Valladolid. You can drive right here or take a taxi. It can be widespread to cycle right here and go to two different close by cenotes alongside the way- Cenote Dzitnup and Saamal.

Opening instances: 8 am to five am

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

5. Laguna de Kaan Luum Cenote 

Best Cenotes in Mexico Laguna de Kaan Luum Cenote

Laguna de Kaan Luum is without doubt one of the distinctive locations to go to close to Tulum and a very good vacation spot for nature lovers.

There are many animals residing in this space, together with agoutis, jaguars, and badgers. Additionally, you may see parrots, woodpeckers, and iguanas which might be vibrant. 

In the center of the lagoon, there may be an 80-metre-deep cenote, which you’ll be able to spot from a raised viewing platform. The water in the cenote has an intense blue color resulting from its profound depth, and sadly, swimming inside it’s not allowed.

The lagoon itself presents implausible swimming situations in its heat, shallow waters. Don’t overlook to convey your snorkelling masks and a rush guard to guard your physique from solar publicity, as carrying solar cream is strictly forbidden.

The finest approach to get to Laguna de Kaan Luum is to lease a automobile or scooter and make your means independently. The lagoon is positioned a brief drive away from downtown Tulum, however since it’s tucked away from the primary street, deep in the jungle, it’s best to keep away from taking taxis or public buses, which is able to drop you off on the primary street.

Opening instances: 9 am to 4 pm

Entrance ticket: 300 pesos ($16.75)

6. Cenote Ik Kil

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Ik Kil

Situated close to the New World Wonder Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil is a well-liked vacationer cease but in addition one of the crucial picturesque swimming holes in Mexico. It is an open cenote with lush vegetation and lianas rising on its partitions and cave ceilings fully eroded away.

Taking a refreshing dip in the cenote’s cool water is an actual deal with after touring Chichen Itza underneath the blazing Mexican solar. The cenote has a most depth of 150 ft, and life jackets are obligatory if you wish to swim. And in case you dare, there may be additionally a 5-meter excessive leaping platform, which is bound to present you an exhilarating adrenaline rush.

Since Ik Kil is positioned close to the Chichen Itza Archaeological Site, most excursions cease on the cenote after a go to to the Mayan ruins. This signifies that the cenote is a little bit busy more often than not, however nonetheless, completely price it. If you want to take pleasure in it with out the crowds, select to go to in the early morning or late afternoon.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

7. Cenote Zaci (Zacil-Ha)

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Zaci

If you’re in search of the most effective family-friendly cenotes in Mexico, Cenote Zaci, positioned close to Tulum, is ideal. It is a small, open cenote, and what makes it an awesome cenote for teenagers is that it’s only 3 meters deep. The cenote Zaci additionally boasts a enjoyable zipline, which you let go of once you’re in the center of the water for an exciting bounce, and in addition a 3-meter excessive leaping platform.

The cenote amenities embrace solar loungers, a pool and a restaurant the place you may seize a lightweight lunch and a chilly drink.

If you might have an area in your itinerary, mix a go to to Cenote Zaci with Gran Cenote, cenote Calavera or Car Wash Cenote, all of that are positioned shut by.

You can drive to this cenote independently or, because it’s solely 8 km away, get right here by taxi. Get the variety of the taxi driver to be able to name them to choose you out once you’re prepared to return.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

8. Cenote Cristalino

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cristalino Cenote

Cenote Cristalino, because the title suggests, is understood for its crystal clear water, good for snorkelling and scuba diving. The cenote pool is sort of a large aquarium, filled with tropical fish of various species and colors. There can be a cave-like tunnel which is enjoyable to swim by and a leaping platform for thrill-seekers.

The lush jungle surrounds the cenote, so be sure to discover the entire website as a result of there are two extra hidden swimming pools with shallow turquoise water to be found.

Avoid visiting the cenote throughout the weekend, when the cenote will get actually busy with the native households flocking right here to spend their free time. Also, be sure to take a look at the neighbouring Cenote Azul, which is equally gorgeous.

Cenote Cristalino is tucked between Tulum and Playa del Carmen and could be simply visited from each cities. The finest to means get to the cenote is with a rental automobile, however it is usually attainable to take an area bus often called a “colectivo”. Make certain you inform the driving force the place you wish to get off, as stops are on demand.

Opening instances: 8 am to six pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

9. Cenote Calavera

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Calavera

Cenote Calavera is without doubt one of the most unusual cenotes in Mexico. Unlike different cenotes that always characteristic a big swimming gap, Calavera consists of some smaller holes and doesn’t have a staircase to entry its cave. Instead, you’ll both want to leap into the cenote or climb down an enormous picket ladder, which is a thrill in its personal proper!

The cenote gap with its ladder is without doubt one of the most photographed locations in Tulum, and once you see it, you’ll perceive why. Inside the primary pool, there may be additionally a swing, which is also a cool picture spot.

The cenote is surrounded by greenery and vibrant solar loungers the place you may dry off and catch some solar. There can be a snack store, and as at most cenotes – showers, bogs and altering rooms.

Cenote Calavera is located simply outdoors Tulum downtown, off the primary street to Coba Mayan ruins, and you may simply cycle to its entrance or seize a taxi.

Opening instances: 8:30 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 250 pesos ($14)

10. Cenote Car Wah

Best Cenotes in Mexico Car Wash

Located additionally close to Tulum (in the Mayan language – Cenote Aktun-Ha), also called Cenote Car Wash, is a picturesque open cenote completely price including to your itinerary.

Cenote Car Wash appears like a tranquil lake and boasts exceptionally crystal clear water, which is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and in addition diving. In the water, you may spot a lot of vibrant fish and small, lovable turtles. For the most effective snorkelling expertise, arrive in the morning when the turtles are probably the most lively.

There can be a 3-meter excessive leaping platform, which isn’t too scary hight however excessive sufficient to present you a little bit thrill. The cenote additionally has some seating and picnic areas, that are nice if you wish to spend some extra time right here.

Cenote Car Wash is positioned on the primary street to Coba, a 9-km drive from downtown Tulum. You can get right here both by taxi, rental automobile, scooter or bicycle. Make certain to additionally try different implausible cenotes in this space, similar to Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera.

Opening instances: 8 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 300 pesos ($16.80)

11. Cenote Cocalitos

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cocalitos Cenote

Famous for its giant stromatolites colony, Cenote Cocalitos is a must-visit cenote when travelling to Bacalar Lagoon. Stromatolites are billions-year-old fossils that are thought of to be the oldest life types on Earth and the primary organisms that produced oxygen.

At Cocalitos, you’ll have a singular alternative to get to those fascinating organisms shut, however be sure to observe the foundations and by no means step on them.

Upon arrival, you will see a big swimming gap with lukewarm milky-blue water and an unimaginable view of beautiful jungle greenery. The cenote additionally options vibrant hammocks and swings in the water. The cenote is shallow, and it’s attainable to stroll round to discover all its corners.

Cenote Cocalitos lies 4 km away from Bacalar metropolis centre, and you may simply get right here by taxi, rental automobile or scooter, or you may simply merely stroll or cycle. Make certain you additionally try Cenote Azul, which is located in the identical space of Bacalar.

Opening instances: 10 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 50 pesos ($2.80)

12. Cenote Azul, Playa del Carmen

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Azul

Another implausible cenote located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Cenote Azul, presents one of the crucial pleasant swimming experiences in Yucatan.

The cenote itself is a gorgeous pool of turquoise, crystal-clear water surrounded by lush greenery. In addition to the primary pool, there are additionally a number of smaller swimming holes, so be sure to take time to discover the positioning absolutely.

Inside the water, you’ll find dozens of vibrant fish, making it a great spot for snorkelling and admiring nature in its purest kind.

This can be an awesome spot for cliff-jumping – there are a number of platforms of various heights, and the best one is 5 meters excessive. Jumping into the refreshing crystal water is a implausible expertise in case you dare to strive it!

Cenote Azul is positioned proper by Cenote Crsiatlino, so you may go to each of them in someday. Make certain you convey money with you, as solely money cost (in MEX pesos) is accepted on the entrance. You can lease a automobile or take an area Colectivo bus both from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

Tips for visiting cenotes in Mexico

Best Cenotes in Mexico Tips for Visiting

Visiting Mexican cenotes is as soon as in a lifetime expertise, and if you wish to take advantage of out of your go to, listed here are some issues to maintain in thoughts.

Bring money – You will want Mexican pesos to pay for entrance on the cenotes you go to. Most cenotes are positioned remotely, with no close by ATMs, so be sure to carry sufficient money to pay for the doorway and any extras you could wish to buy, similar to snorkelling gear or lunch.

Suncream is just not allowed – Most cenotes forbid guests to make use of suncream and different merchandise which will contaminate the water. If you’ll want to defend your pores and skin, go for a long-sleeved rash guard. Before getting into the cenote pool, you can be required to take a bathe to clean off deodorant, physique moisturiser and different merchandise you could be carrying.

Wear a life jacket – The use of life jackets at some cenotes in Mexico is compulsory, whereas at others, it’s really useful however not obligatory. If you’re not a assured swimmer, it’s best to get one, even when it’s not required. Floating in a life jacket is definitely an excellent enjoyable expertise!

Be respectful – Cenotes in Mexico are sacred locations, so behave accordingly, present respect and observe the foundations. 

Don’t do something that may affect the surroundings, similar to bringing plastic to the cenote or leaving any litter behind. Also, convey with you a fast-drying towel manufactured from microfibre materials, a pair of flip-flops, a cushty swimsuit and loads of water.

Cenotes in Mexico: FAQ 

Best Mexico Cenotes FAQ

Is it protected to swim in Cave Cenotes in Mexico?

Yes, it’s protected to swim in the cenotes of Mexico. Cenotes usually have very clear water that has been filtered naturally by layers of rocks and limestone. But, in case you’re not a robust swimmer, it’s best to put on a life jacket.

What is probably the most well-known cenote in Mexico?

One of probably the most well-known cenotes is Cenote Suytun, with its iconic round platform illuminated by a lightweight beam coming by its ceiling. The pictures of Cenote Suytun have gone viral on social media, and taking a photograph in its cave is a bucket-list expertise for a lot of avid Instagrammers.

What is so particular about cenotes?

Swimming in cenotes is a really distinctive expertise as you may solely discover them in the Yucatan Peninsula. They are lovely pure swimming pools with crystal clear water, surrounded by lush vegetation. In addition, many cenotes are house to distinctive wildlife, similar to bats, vibrant fish and even turtles.

Visiting Cenotes in Mexico: Wrap-up

Coolest Cenotes in Mexico

I hope you discovered this information to probably the most epic cenotes in Mexico inspiring and helpful. Swimming in a cenote is an unforgettable expertise that it’s best to positively add to your Mexico itinerary. From Cenote Suytun’s iconic round platform to the distinctive wildlife discovered at Laguna Kaan Luum and Gran Cenote, every Mexican cenote has one thing particular to supply. If you’re actually into exploring Tulum cenotes in Mexico be sure to additionally try different Cenotes like Cenote Dos Ojos or Cenote Manatí simply to call just a few.

Enjoy your journey!

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