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 novel expertise, solely discovered in Mexico and one of many issues you need 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, they usually used them as a supply of water in addition to in their religious ceremonies.

Top Cenotes in Mexico

Top Cenotes in Mexico

If you need to go to among the most superb cenotes select Valladolid cenotes or cenotes close to Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Most cenotes in Mexico are open to the general public, and plenty of provide actions like swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving. You can both be part of one of many cenote excursions from Tulum or different cities of Riviera Maya for those who get pleasure from a hassle-free tour or hire a automotive and go to independently.

The selection is basically huge, as there are tons of of cenotes in Yucatan, however after studying this submit, you’ll uncover which cenotes in Mexico are actually 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 type when porous limestone bedrock collapses, and since there’s loads of limestone in Yucatan, there are lots of cenotes there. Some cenotes are a part of giant underground river programs, and others are linked 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 mild 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 over time. They are open to the exterior world, lit with pure mild, 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 are 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 position. They had been seen because the bridge between the earthly and the divine worlds. They had been thought-about sacred locations and had been used for spiritual rituals, together with human choices in some instances.

Today, visiting a Mexican cenote shouldn’t be solely a enjoyable exercise but additionally one of many some ways you’ll be able to discover and perceive the traditional Mayan civilisation.

1. Gran Cenote

Best Cenotes in Mexico Gran Cenote

Just a number of kilometres away from Tulum, you will see that probably the most in style 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, this can be a great spot to do it. If you need to snorkel, which I like to recommend doing, snorkelling gear is included in the ticket worth. Just be sure you 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 lovely tinny turtles. Just a few-meters lengthy cave connects the 2 swimming pools of the cenote, and as you swim via it, look as much as admire historic stalactites. And for those who’re fortunate, you may even spot some bats hovering via the intricate formations.

Getting to Gran Cenote is simple; you’ll be able to drive a automotive, or because it’s solely a 5 km journey, you can even experience a bicycle, which is a standard mode of transport in Tulum. Since the cenote is likely one of the hottest cenotes close to Tulum, the perfect 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 personal Cenote Tour takes you to three completely different cenotes in a day together with the Gran Cenote. It is the right day journey.

Opening occasions: 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 via a small opening in the cave ceiling, creating a rare sight! 

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

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

Cenote Suytun is situated 8 km from the centre of Valladolid. If your itinerary doesn’t let you keep a few days in this space of Yucatan, you’ll be able to guide a tour beginning out of your lodge in Cancun or every other 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 occasions: 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 sights of Bacalar Lagoon, Cenote Azul is likely 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 due to its depth, which reaches an unimaginable 295 ft. Swimming in this cenote is a rare expertise, and it’s very refreshing. If you’re not a powerful swimmer, make sure that to hire a life jacket and luxuriate in floating in its waters carefree. Alternatively, you can even 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 one of the simplest ways to get there’s by rental automotive. It can also be doable to get to Cenote Azul by taxi, or for those who’re up for some cardio, you can even stroll or cycle. A Cenote tour can also be a simple solution to discover these superb pure wonders. This personal tour takes you to Bacalar Lagoon.

Opening occasions: 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’ll be able to 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 leap is somewhat scary, however belief me, it would be best to do it many times!

Also, convey your snorkelling masks (or hire 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 can even get pleasure from their solar loungers and pool. There can also be a restaurant, and for those who’re wanting to remain right here for lunch, make sure that to decide on a ticket that features their buffet lunch.

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

Opening occasions: 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 likely 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’ll be able to see parrots, woodpeckers, and iguanas which are vibrant. 

In the center of the lagoon, there’s 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 attributable to its profound depth, and sadly, swimming inside it’s not allowed.

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

The finest solution to get to Laguna de Kaan Luum is to hire a automotive or scooter and make your approach independently. The lagoon is situated a brief drive away from downtown Tulum, however since it’s tucked away from the principle highway, 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 principle highway.

Opening occasions: 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 additionally probably the most picturesque swimming holes in Mexico. It is an open cenote with lush vegetation and lianas rising on its partitions and cave ceilings solely 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 for those who dare, there’s additionally a 5-meter excessive leaping platform, which is bound to offer you an exhilarating adrenaline rush.

Since Ik Kil is situated 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 somewhat busy more often than not, however nonetheless, completely value it. If you want to get pleasure from it with out the crowds, select to go to in the early morning or late afternoon.

Opening occasions: 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 perfect family-friendly cenotes in Mexico, Cenote Zaci, situated close to Tulum, is ideal. It is a small, open cenote, and what makes it an important cenote for teenagers is that it is just 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 leap, and likewise a 3-meter excessive leaping platform.

The cenote amenities embrace solar loungers, a pool and a restaurant the place you’ll be able to seize a lightweight lunch and a chilly drink.

If you’ve gotten 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 situated 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 in an effort to name them to select you out once you’re prepared to return.

Opening occasions: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

8. Cenote Cristalino

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cristalino Cenote

Cenote Cristalino, because the identify 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 also be a cave-like tunnel which is enjoyable to swim via and a leaping platform for thrill-seekers.

The lush jungle surrounds the cenote, so be sure you 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 through the weekend, when the cenote will get actually busy with the native households flocking right here to spend their free time. Also, make sure that to take a look at the neighbouring Cenote Azul, which is equally beautiful.

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

Opening occasions: 8 am to six pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

9. Cenote Calavera

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Calavera

Cenote Calavera is likely 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 wood ladder, which is a thrill in its personal proper!

The cenote gap with its ladder is likely one of the most photographed locations in Tulum, and once you see it, you’ll perceive why. Inside the principle pool, there’s additionally a swing, which is also a cool photograph spot.

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

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

Opening occasions: 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 value including to your itinerary.

Cenote Car Wash appears to be like like a tranquil lake and boasts exceptionally crystal clear water, which is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and likewise diving. In the water, you’ll be able to spot plenty of vibrant fish and small, lovely turtles. For the perfect snorkelling expertise, arrive in the morning when the turtles are essentially the most energetic.

There can also be a 3-meter excessive leaping platform, which isn’t too scary hight however excessive sufficient to offer you somewhat 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 situated on the principle highway to Coba, a 9-km drive from downtown Tulum. You can get right here both by taxi, rental automotive, scooter or bicycle. Make certain to additionally take a look at different implausible cenotes in this space, corresponding to Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera.

Opening occasions: 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-about to be the oldest life types on Earth and the primary organisms that produced oxygen.

At Cocalitos, you should have a novel alternative to get to those fascinating organisms shut, however be sure you comply with the foundations and by no means step on them.

Upon arrival, you will see that a big swimming gap with lukewarm milky-blue water and an unimaginable view of attractive jungle greenery. The cenote additionally options vibrant hammocks and swings in the water. The cenote is shallow, and it’s doable 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 automotive or scooter, or you’ll be able to simply merely stroll or cycle. Make certain you additionally take a look at Cenote Azul, which is located in the identical space of Bacalar.

Opening occasions: 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, gives probably the most pleasant swimming experiences in Yucatan.

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

Inside the water, you could find dozens of vibrant fish, making it a really perfect spot for snorkelling and admiring nature in its purest type.

This can also be an important spot for cliff-jumping – there are a number of platforms of various heights, and the very best one is 5 meters excessive. Jumping into the refreshing crystal water is a implausible expertise for those who dare to attempt it!

Cenote Azul is situated proper by Cenote Crsiatlino, so you’ll be able to go to each of them in at some point. Make certain you convey money with you, as solely money cost (in MEX pesos) is accepted on the entrance. You can hire a automotive or take an area Colectivo bus both from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Opening occasions: 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 below 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 situated remotely, with no close by ATMs, so be sure you carry sufficient money to pay for the doorway and any extras you might need to buy, corresponding to snorkelling gear or lunch.

Suncream shouldn’t be allowed – Most cenotes forbid guests to make use of suncream and different merchandise that will contaminate the water. If it is advisable defend your pores and skin, go for a long-sleeved rash guard. Before getting into the cenote pool, you’ll be required to take a bathe to clean off deodorant, physique moisturiser and different merchandise you might be sporting.

Wear a life jacket – The use of life jackets at some cenotes in Mexico is compulsory, whereas at others, it’s advisable however not obligatory. If you’re not a assured swimmer, you need 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 comply with the foundations. 

Don’t do something that can affect the setting, corresponding to bringing plastic to the cenote or leaving any litter behind. Also, convey with you a fast-drying towel made from microfibre materials, a pair of flip-flops, a snug 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 typically have very clear water that has been filtered naturally via layers of rocks and limestone. But, for those who’re not a powerful swimmer, you need to put on a life jacket.

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

One of essentially the most well-known cenotes is Cenote Suytun, with its iconic round platform illuminated by a lightweight beam coming via its ceiling. The photographs 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’ll be able to solely discover them in the Yucatan Peninsula. They are stunning pure swimming pools with crystal clear water, surrounded by lush vegetation. In addition, many cenotes are residence to distinctive wildlife, corresponding to bats, vibrant fish and even turtles.

Visiting Cenotes in Mexico: Wrap-up

Coolest Cenotes in Mexico

I hope you discovered this information to essentially the most epic cenotes in Mexico inspiring and helpful. Swimming in a cenote is an unforgettable expertise that you need 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 make sure that to additionally take a look at different Cenotes like Cenote Dos Ojos or Cenote Manatí simply to call a number of.

Enjoy your journey!

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