The Best Cenotes in Mexico: Ultimate Guide

What are the best cenotes in Mexico? Yucatan is known to have the world’s most widespread range of underwater sinkholes and caves called cenotes. Some of these cenotes are open like a lake, others completely closed with only a small opening. There are more than 6000 of them in the Yucatan, so you have plenty of options to choose from.

Leer este post en Español.

What Is a Cenote?

A cenote (Mayan dzonot, “well”) is the word used to describe a natural pit made with limerock that has groundwater underneath. They were formed by naturally-acidic rain filtering down over thousands of years and dissolving away the limestone.

Mayans believed that cenotes were an entrance to the underworld, so they were often used for sacrifices, both human and material ones. In fact, at the Sacred Cenote found within Chichén-Itzá, archeologists have found many important ceramics, jewelry and bones.

Each cenote is inhabited by colorful fish, some have cliffs to jump from or you can even find a zipline. Whether you’re staying in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum or near Merida you can easily find a few cenotes around. Here is my list of best cenotes in Mexico – enjoy!

At the cenotes in Mexico, you’ll be asked to swim without any lotions or creams on your skin at all, as can poison fish, sea plants, and other delicate marine life. However, you can get a biodegradable sunscreen at some cenotes.

Please note: all prices are in Mexican Pesos (MXN).

Jardin del Eden

TABLE OF CONTENTS (updated for 2019):

  1. Best Cenotes in Mexico for Diving & Snorkeling
  2. Best Cenotes near Tulum & Playa del Carmen
  3. Underground Cenotes
  4. Off-the-Beaten-Path Cenotes
  5. Best Cenotes for Activities
Cenotes Placeholder

I highly recommend skipping bus tours to cenotes and getting a taxi or rental car instead. That way you’ll be able to spend more time at each cenote and won’t be arriving with a big group of people. Some cenotes are big, so it can get really crowded when a tour bus shows up.

If you want to rent a car, the best site to book your car is They offer competitive rates as it searches all the big car rental companies and finds the best price. You can read more about what to pay attention to when renting a car in Mexico and things to know before renting a car in Mexico in my other article.

Best Cenotes in Mexico for Snorkeling & Diving:

Dos Ojos

Located just 15 minutes drive from Tulum, Cenote Dos Ojos is one of the largest and probably one of the most famous cenotes in Mexico. The cave system of the cenote is known to be at least 61 km and 118 m deep. As the name ‘two eyes’ indicates this cenote is divided into two sections: one with blue waters perfect for snorkeling and the other dark one for diving.

  • Open: daily 9am-5pm
  • Price: 300+ for snorkeling + 130 for diving
  • How to get there? You can take a colectivo from Tulum towards Playa del Carmen and ask the driver to drop you off at the cenote.Dos Ojos

El Pit

Located in the jungle, The Pit is an exceptional cenote that’s part of Dos Ojos. It’s also one of the deepest in the area. The entrance is steep and narrow what makes the whole experience even more exciting. El Pit continues deep below the cloud and narrows into darkness down to over 40m so you’ll need a flashlight.

  • Open: daily 9am-5pm
  • Price: 140 Pesos (free if visited the same day as Dos Ojos)
  • How to get there? Once you take a colectivo either from Tulum or Playa del Carmen, ask them in basic Spanish to drop you off at The Pit Cenote. However, you’ll most likely go diving there so your diving school will offer you transportation.

Carwash Cenote

This cenote with a mysterious name is in Tulum, on the way to Coba. I was convinced that someone named it after many amazing plants, but I was wrong. This cenote is so close to the main road that people used to wash their cars there! Fortunately, it’s not happening anymore and now you can snorkel and dive in it.
Carwash has some incredible caves, so make sure you do some diving. However, even if you snorkel you’ll see a ton of fantastic water lilies, turtles, and fish.

  • Open: daily 9am-4pm
  • Price: 50 Pesos
  • How to get there? You can get a colectivo from Tulum towards Coba – ask the driver to drop you off at Carwash cenote. If you’re driving from Tulum towards Coba it will show up on your left side, very close to the road.

cenote carwash

Ik Kil

Ik Kil is probably the most photographed cenote in the Yucatan. While many visitors think it’s one of the best cenotes in Mexico, I tend to disagree. From the top, you can see a big hole surrounded by vines which is impressive unless you arrive after 9 am and you’ll see hoards of tourists in orange life jackets instead. We ended up not even getting in as human-made stairs and crowds made the experience not fun at all.

  • Open: daily 9am-5pm
  • Price: 80 Pesos + optional 30 Pesos for lifejacket
  • How to get there? Unless you’re on a tourist bus to Chichen Itza you’ll need a car to get to Ik Kil.Ik Kil

Gran Cenote

Gran Cenote is a perfect cenote for everyone with its sandy bottom and bats living in the cave. The center garden includes palm trees, water lilies and elephant ears with a platform for sunbathing. Keep an eye out for toucans if you happen to be visiting during January or February as they tend to pop out of nowhere sometimes.

  • Open: daily 9am-5pm
  • Price: 180 Pesos + options 30 Pesos locker rental

How to get there? You can take a colectivo from Tulum towards Coba and ask the driver to drop you off at the cenote.

Best Cenotes near TulumPlaya del Carmen:

Cenote Azul

Cenote Azul is one of my favorite cenotes. It’s 26 meters deep and has crystal clear water perfect for swimming in. You can also meet some iguanas living in the bushes around. Although the place can get quite crowded everyone can find a spot to either relax or jump from a cliff.
There are plenty of fish that will swim around your legs, so be prepared to be tickled a lot. If you can hold your breath for long enough there is a small underwater cave passage that you can free dive through.

  • Open: daily excl. Saturday 9am-5pm
  • Price: 100 Pesos
  • How to get there? All three cenotes (Azul, Eden, Cristalino) are just 20 minutes away from Playa by public transportation. In order to get there, you need to jump on a collectivo – a Mexican minibus. You can take them from a stand located on Calle 2 Norte between Avenida 15 and 20 and ask the driver to drop you off at one you want to go to.

cenote azul

Cenote Jardin del Eden

Considered one of the most beautiful cenote near Playa del Carmen. You can jump off the climb or even a tree and chill on a terrace right above the cenote. The water is clear and you can find huge rocks in the center where you can swim to and rest. While you sit there little fish will come to you and eat the dead skin – just like at the “fish spas” on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.

  • Open: daily 9am-5pm
  • Price: 100 MXN
  • How to get there? Look up Cenote Azul.


Cenote Eden
cenote jardin del eden

Cenote Cristalino

Cenote Cristalino is one of the groups of three cenotes next to each other, along with Azul and Jardin del Eden. This cenote has a half-cave you can swim through and see a contrast between the lighten up water and the one from the cave.

  • Open: daily 9am-6:30pm
  • Price: 100 MXN
  • How to get there? Look up Cenote Azul.

Best Underground Cenotes:

Cenote Choo-Ha

Deep inside the ground, 5 minutes drive from Coba ruins, you’ll find an incredible cenote called Choo-Ha. Stalagmites are everywhere what makes it a photographer’s dream. Surprisingly the water isn’t very cold and you can find some cool black fish swimming around.

  • Open: daily 9am-4pm
  • Price: 55
  • How to get there? If you came to Coba with a driver ask him to get you to cenotes – it’s just 5 minutes away. If you’re driving everyone can give you directions.

>> Read More about Renting a Car in Mexico <<



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Cenote Multum-Ha

Multum Ha is another cenote near Coba and the best for snorkeling as it has the clearest water, but I didn’t see any fish so I’m not sure if I would recommend it.

  • Price: 55 MXN
  • How to get there? If you came to Coba with a driver ask him to get you to cenotes – it’s just 5 minutes away. If you’re driving everyone can give you directions.


Cenote La Noria

La Noria is a cenote on the road of cenotes close to Puerto Morelos. It’s a great cenote for diving as it’s very deep, but also you can swing inside a cave what I haven’t seen in any other cenote. There’s also a floating platform at the center of the cenote, so you can swim to reach it and float.

  • Price: 140 MXN
  • How to get there? This cenote is located on the road of cenotes near Puerto Morelos. You might need to rent a car to get there as there are no colectivos, but if you can’t drive get a cab from Playa del Carmen.

best cenotes Mexico


The story says that this cenote was discovered after a pig felt down to it while being walked by his farmer. Dzitnup, also known as Xkeken, is one of the cenotes you need to go around noon when the light stream goes through the top and gives a great visual effect. If you go earlier or later you won’t be able to see this spectacular light. You can also find some blackfish.

Unfortunately, recently some colorful lights were installed inside what makes it quite touristy looking, but it’s still worth your time.

  • Price: 60
  • How to get there? You can ride a bike from Valladolid, but the easiest form of transportation would be a rental car as it’s 10 km away from town.


Off-the-Beaten Path Cenotes:


Cenote Zaci was one of the first cenotes I’ve seen, but also one of the best as it was almost completely empty. Located very close to the main plaza of Valladolid it’s easy to get to and it’s cheap. If you’re able, be sure to walk the entire way around the entire sinkhole because every angle gives you a different view.

  • Open: daily 8:30am-5:30pm
  • Price: 50 MXN
  • How to get there? If you’re already in Valladolid you can easily walk over to the cenote in 15 minutes.
cenote Zaci

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Cenote Xoch

A little town of Cenotillo has over 100 cenotes. We searched for someone to show us one of them, literally going from door to door. There’s no other way. Many locals were afraid of going to cenotes; telling us stories that some people who went never came back and their bodies were never found. Spooky. When we finally managed to find a guide, he took us to this hidden gem where I immediately took over the raft.

  • Price: depending on who’s taking you to the cenote
  • How to get there? Drive to Cenotillo town and ask locals who can take you to some cenotes.
  • Difficulty level: Extreme!

cenote xoch

Cenote Cristal

Cenote Cristal is a small cenote that might not have the most crystal waters you’d see but it’s a bit off the beaten path place to hang out. Also, the cutest little cat came to me, then stayed with and cuddled the whole time purring.

  • Open: daily 9am-5:30pm
  • Price: 120, but you get a free access to Escondido as well.
  • How to get there? You can easily bike 3km from Tulum as that’s what I did, but if you want to get there faster get a cab as it shouldn’t be very expensive.



Cenote Escondido

Cenote Escondido is far from being the most beautiful cenote near Tulum, but it’s really hidden and you can enter for free if you visit Cenote Cristal. It has a cool rope to jump from and apparently an underwater cave I failed to discover when I visited.cenote escondido

Best Cenotes for Activities:

Verde Lucero

Verde Lucero is an open cenote with various small caves that you can explore and use some floaties. Like the majority of cenotes in the area of Puerto Morelos, it has a zipline and a cliff for jumping. The whole scenery look very jungle like so you’ll surely enjoy it!

  • Open: daily 9am-5pm
  • Price: 120 MXN
  • How to get there? This cenote is located on the road of cenotes near Puerto Morelos. You might need to rent a car to get there as there are no colectivos, but if you can’t drive get a cab from Playa del Carmen.
best cenotes Mexico

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Verde Lucero


What makes this cenote special is the two platforms you can jump off. I didn’t have the courage, but everyone seemed to love jumping from an 11m platform.

  • Open: daily 9am-4pm
  • Price: 50
  • How to get there? If you came to Coba with a driver ask him to get you to cenotes – it’s just 5 minutes away. If you’re driving everyone can give you directions.


Want to read more about Mexico? Check out my Mexico: Travel & Live section! If you have any specific questions join my Mexico Travel Tips community group on Facebook


Don’t forget to arrange a health insurance before heading to the best cenotes in Mexico. The easiest and the most reliable travel insurance is Travel World Nomads Travel Insurance. Get it before your trip to avoid unnecessary troubles that might ruin your holidays!

Ultimate Guide to Cenotes in Mexico
Best cenotes in Mexico


  1. May 31, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Wow, what a great article about the stunning naturally beautiful pools that are cenotes. I have swam in quite a few cenotes in the Yucatan and the ones near the Coba ruins (Multum-Ha, Choo-Ha and Tamcach-Ha) have been some of my ultimate favourites. I also really loved Cenotes Nicte-Ha and Casa Cenote near Tulum. Not sure if you’ve checked those ones out, but they are so beautiful and I was completely alone when I visited them.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Jun 1, 2016 / 3:38 am

      Come visit and I’ll take you 🙂

  2. Sofia Eli
    Jun 6, 2016 / 4:05 am

    Hola Anna, los precios que publicaste son en dolares? Tengo planeado ir a finales de septiembre y me encantaria ir a alguno 🙂 que recomendacion me harias? Que dia es mejor para visitar?

    • Jun 6, 2016 / 6:05 pm

      Hola Sofia! No, los precios de cenotes estan en Pesos Mexicanos 🙂 Yo iria entre la semana y temprano pq los cenotes se pueden llenar muchisimo durante los fines de semana. Disfruta! Si tienes alguna otra duda no dudes en contactarme 🙂

  3. Jun 8, 2016 / 12:18 am

    I’ve been to many cenotes in Yucatan, but I’m glad I will visit many more from your list on my next visit. I like the last two the most – zipline and cliff diving. Whoah, great! Thumbs up for seeing the bottom of the cenote.

    • Jun 8, 2016 / 12:46 am

      Glad you enjoyed Maya! You should definitely see more cenotes – I’ll be also adding new ones to the list 🙂

  4. Jun 17, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    Awesome!! For sure going to try to visit if I’m around. I was at a sinkhole in Oman; didn’t jump (forbidden and police was there). Hope to do it later.

    • Jun 17, 2016 / 10:53 pm

      Why was jumping into a sinkhole forbidden in Oman?

  5. Jun 17, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    wow, these all look awesome, one of these days I will be spending more time in Yucatan, these are stunning

  6. Jen
    Jul 29, 2016 / 6:22 am

    Hi Anna,

    Whats the best time to get to these cenotes. Dod they open early? And is it easier to rent a car or just to catch a cab? Your photos looks amazing!

    • Jul 29, 2016 / 5:12 pm

      They open at 8-9am and close around 4pm. Rental cars are very cheap, so it makes no sense to get a cab in most cases.

  7. Kyle
    Oct 6, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    Anna, thanks for this article. If you had to choose to go back and visit any one cenote, which one would you choose?

    • Oct 7, 2016 / 5:19 pm

      That’s a tough choice, but I’d say either La Noria or Verde Lucero 😉

  8. Kelly
    Nov 6, 2016 / 10:51 pm

    Hi Anna, I was curious, you list prices but are they in USD or Pesos?

    • Nov 7, 2016 / 1:26 am

      Prices are in pesos.

  9. John
    Nov 9, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    I loved the photos!
    You should also go visit Los 7 Cenotes, I went there last month and the cenotes were amazing, here is the website
    Its close to Merida

  10. Nov 10, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    In Playa Del Carmen at the moment, are the prices listed US or MEX?

    • Nov 10, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      MX Pesos 🙂

  11. Brandye Bisek
    Nov 11, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    Hi! We are coming to dive cenotes for our very first time. The dive shop gave us three options: Chac Mool, Chikin Ha or Dos Ojos. Which of these three would you recommend?

    • Nov 11, 2016 / 10:06 pm

      Hi! How experienced are you with the complete darkness? When you dive at Dos Ojos you’ll experience A LOT of pitch black spots. Chinkin Ha is a sort of adventure park, so it won’t feel very secluded. Chac Mool would probably be the most ‘off the beaten path’ one.

  12. Jay
    Nov 12, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    Anna, Thanks for a wonderful article! We will be in Tulum next month for a wedding and have just 4 hours to visit one cenote. Can you suggest one which is good for non-swimmers (I know a bit odd but ladies do not wish to get in the water)? One that can be enjoyed just by walking around. Thanks!

    • Nov 13, 2016 / 2:59 am

      Hi Jay! In this case I’d recommend either Azul or Jardin del Eden. They’re close to Tulum and look pretty to just walk around or dip your feet in the water 🙂

  13. Nov 24, 2016 / 1:29 am

    Hi Anna, So happy to have seen your blog. It made me want to go to the cenotes but would have to check out the ones near Playa del Carmen first. I just visited Tulum Ruins last week. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  14. Nov 27, 2016 / 2:52 am

    Of course you got me with the friendly cat, that would be my first stop:) These are gorgeous and Frank would love diving in, I’d gently wade in:)

    • Nov 27, 2016 / 2:54 am

      Cat Lovers United! 🙂

  15. Bill Carey
    Dec 4, 2016 / 11:24 am

    Hi Anna,
    1st and foremost. Thank you for taking the time to put this article together.. great job 8) and the pics are awesome… A group of 8 of us will be in Cozumel from Jan21-28 and looking to take the ferry over for a day or 2 to check out some cenotes in that area.. We were fortunate enough to go to Cenote Azul last year and loved it. We also saw 2 others in the area and I can’t remember their names..Grrr 8( lol … Is their a map of cenotes in the area with easy directions if we rent a van that you know of? Or would you be kind enough to suggest a few others near Playa worth visiting.. We are all experienced snorkelers and love a good adventure so some walking/climbing etc. is not a problem…
    P.S. Our dream is to swim with the whale sharks next year either out of Holbox ( never been ) or from Playa

    Best Wishes and if you ever visit Boston area or Nh to Hike or Kayak ( my Favorites )let me know so I can be of assistance..
    Thanks again
    Boston Bill,
    [email protected]

    • Dec 4, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      Hi Bill!

      In regards to whale sharks I have bad news for you – you’re not going to see them. They come to Isla Holbox and Isla Mujeres, but ONLY in the summer when it’s their season – it starts around June and ends in August. They’re not here at the moment.

      For cenotes… how far do you want to drive? If you go to Puerto Morelos 30 min away there’s a drive called ‘ruta de los cenotes’ – there are many cenotes there, including the mentioned La Noria and Verde Lucero. Or you could drive to Tulum (1 hour away), see Dos Ojos on the way, then continue like to Coba: you’ll find Gran Cenote, Carwash, some other ones and there are 3 great ones at Coba – Choo-Ha for instance.

      I’ll actually be in NH for Xmas as my bf is from there 😉

      • Bill Carey
        Dec 4, 2016 / 4:51 pm

        Hi Anna,
        Thank you sooooo much for the quick response.. As far as whale sharkes we are planning next for that in summer 2017 staying in Holbox.. This trip is snorkel-snorkel-snorkel… Which is why this is our 10th trip to Cozumel.. 8) We had a great opportunity to meet some folks staying in Playa del during our last trip to cozumel and they took us to Azul and Xel Ha which we loved. We’d love to see some great cenotes with each being a little different for a better experience.. We’d be taking the ferry over from Cozumel to Playa for the day and I’m still pondering renting a van or just hiring a driver for the day. Perhaps planning to hit furthest cenote away ( say 45 -60 minutes ) and work our way back towards playa as the day goes?? ( any thoughts/info would be grateful ) After taking the time to read your blog I noticed you have lived in Boston before and have been everywhere.. Almost!!!! lol ( so jealous ) but so happy for you.. It truly warms my heart when to see/hear when great things happen to/for great people… Thats great you will be in Nh for Xmas.. We are right on the Nh/MA line and close to one of my favorite towns Portsmouth, Nh . I hope you have visited there..If not let me know and I’d be happy to take you guys if you have the time. Thank you again for the info and please any thoughts/ ideas are more than welcome… I hope you have a wonderful Xmas and holiday season..
        Best Wishes,
        Bill Carey
        Salisbury, Ma

  16. annelie Marcilese
    Dec 14, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    AWESOME AND VERY HELPFUL!! Thanks Anna, will be going in a week 🙂

    • Dec 15, 2016 / 3:33 pm

      That’s awesome – enjoy cenotes ! 🙂

  17. Maria
    Dec 16, 2016 / 5:58 am

    This article is so great! Do you know around how much snorkeling gear is? Also, is it worth it to hire a guide for the cenotes? I plan to go Dos Ojos and the Grand Cenote. Thanks!

    • Dec 16, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      If you plan of doing diving then a guide is a must. For snorkeling you don’t need anything 🙂 I’m not entirely sure how much is the gear, but definitely less than 100 pesos.

  18. Cindy
    Dec 26, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    Hi Anna-
    Thank you for the beautiful article. I am taking my hubby to Playa del Carmen as a surprise 40th birthday vacation. I looked into Xenotes and Hidden World before finding your article. I was also thinking about taking him to Xel-Ha and Tulum. Would you recommend any of those places? It looks like Azul, Eden, and Cristalino would be great too.
    We will be there for a week (Spring Break) and I would really like for him to experience the area.
    What would a perfect week look like if you loved adventure, but wanted it to be away from the spring breakers? We won’t be diving, but would love to snorkel.
    Thank you so much for your help!!

    • Dec 27, 2016 / 4:06 pm

      Hi Cindy,
      Spring break can get busy, so I’d avoid cenote Azul and Eden (they get really packed as they’re the closest to Playa). But any other cenotes aren’t that busy (at least they weren’t this year) 🙂
      Xenotes and Xel-Ha are parks, so it depends what you like… it’s kind of like Disneyland – it’s not for everyone. Xel-Ha is great for kids, but for adults it might get boring.
      Have you seen my post on 2 weeks itinerary? Places like Bacalar or the Pink Lake shouldn’t be that busy.

      • Cindy
        Dec 31, 2016 / 9:07 pm

        Great! I just read your 2 Weeks itinerary. I feel so much better now about our trip. Thank you so much!
        About renting a car… I have heard some horror stories and a lot of suggestions to go for the added insurance. Is it safe to rent a car in Cancun/Playa del Carmen? Are there places to park? Any extra fees to take a rental to the parks? I heard that some (Chichen-Itza and Xcaret maybe) require you to take the tour bus. Is that true?
        Is it more cost effective or efficient to rent a car versus taking a bus or Colectivo?
        Thank you so much for your help!!

        • Dec 31, 2016 / 9:19 pm

          It’s very safe to rent a car, don’t worry! You can park anywhere on the street. I actually always take full insurance as it’s still $28 per day including everything 🙂 I think there’s a parking fee for the parks, but you can drive with your own car – I did.

          If you’re just traveling between let’s say Tulum, Akumal, Playa del Carmen – then it’s easy by colectivo or ADO bus (exclude Akumal from that). But there’s no bus or colectivo to Chichen Itza apart from giant tour buses.

          • Cindy
            Dec 31, 2016 / 9:34 pm

            Okay. Great! Thank you so much!!

  19. Dec 31, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    Wow~ I’ll definitely be referring o this when I visit this year. I loved watching the videos and can’t believe how blue and clear the water is!

  20. John
    Jan 18, 2017 / 3:19 am

    HI Anna. Thank you so much for this detailed article. My wife and I will be heading to Riviera Maya in February for our first trip ever there. The cenotes are on the top of our list of things to do. We will mostly be using public transportation for the trip but I would like to possibly rent a car for a day or possibly more. I would like to see Coba and the cenotes near there and I think that it would be easier to do if I rent a car that day. I too have been a bit nervous reading about renting cars in Mexico. Which rental car company and location do you recommend and use for $28 day with all insurance?

    • Jan 18, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Hi John, I recommend Mex Rent a Car or Hertz. Renting a car in Mexico is safe and I don’t think you’ll have any problems. I never do 🙂

  21. Chris
    Jan 25, 2017 / 1:56 am

    This the best round up of the area’s cenotes I have read. We are taking our 18 yo daughter and her friend down next week and hope to spend time in one of the cenotes you listed. We generally avoid heavily commercialized artificial experiences and prefer the type where someone propped up a deck because “jumping from a ledge looked like a good idea”. Which cenote would you recommend for that type of visit?

    Also, are cenote visits a good thing to do on a rainy day? Next weeks forecast looks gloomier than usual for down there.

    • Jan 25, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      I’d say in this case La Noria is the best. There’s also Xoch (but it’s very hard to get there and find it). Alternatively, Choo-Ha near Coba.

  22. Lia
    Feb 2, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    Are these prices pesos?

  23. Gerald
    Feb 2, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    really nice summary! thx for that!

  24. Feb 3, 2017 / 4:47 am

    Fabulous list! I’m in Tulum and was looking for a good advice on which cenotes I should visit and there it is 🙂 Thanks much.

  25. Feb 12, 2017 / 1:25 am

    Are the prices in dollars or pesos?

    • Anna
      Feb 12, 2017 / 6:34 pm


  26. Natalie Coca
    Feb 12, 2017 / 2:03 am

    Hi Anna! Great list – thank you!

    We’ll definitely be checking out Cenote Azul! Do you have any recommendations on how to get a cab or car service? Is $50/$60 the true average for getting around via taxi?


    • Anna
      Feb 12, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Hi Natalie,

      The easiest would be colectivo. If you’re staying in Playa centro you can get a cab anywhere in Playa for 30 MXN, but if you don’t speak Spanish you might be asked to pay more – 50-100 pesos. To cenote azul it’s around 350 pesos.

  27. Frances
    Feb 14, 2017 / 11:49 pm

    Hi Anna thanks for the informative article! Was wondering if you’ve ever visited sac aktun cenote and how that one compares to the favorites you’ve listed here? Thank you!

    • Anna
      Feb 20, 2017 / 6:04 am

      Sac Actun is more like an adventure park, so it gets busier. It’s also way more expensive than any other cenote.

  28. John
    Feb 20, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    Thanks Anna for this very informative article. My wife and I just returned Friday from our 1st trip to Riviera Maya. We visited several Cenotes from your list and enjoyed them all. We visited Azul, Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha, Multum-Ha, and finally Grand Cenote. Our favorite was probably Grand Cenote. We both did the 5m platform jump at Tamcach-Ha but passed on the higher platform. We also jumped at Azul. The fish were beautiful at Azul. So much variety and all very well worth the admission. Thanks so much for sharing this information. We wish we could have went to more cenotes on our trip but I guess we have something to look forward to so we can plan another trip there in the future.

  29. Jacob
    Feb 23, 2017 / 3:54 am

    I am going on my first vacation all by myself and am renting a car. Are the places easy to find, not counting the off the beaten path ones. Do rental cars typically have gps in them? Are there signs that lead to the cenotes? I’m staying near playa. My flight gets in early and was going to drive around hitting cenotes before going to my hotel. How long would I typically stay at each place? Is it safe to leave stuff in my car? Is there anywhere to get a driving map? Also is there times of day that some are better than others?

    Thank you and I can’t wait. 3 weeks away!

  30. Mark
    Mar 21, 2017 / 11:03 pm

    I may be to short noticed to get a reply here. Are there Cenotes more off the beaten path? Maybe were I can drive near and walk to vs an easy one to get to, that is filled tourists?
    Headed there next week

    • Anna
      Mar 22, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      Hi Mark – I hope it’s not too late 😉

      I can tell you that f.e. La Noria or anything without any ziplines and other things in Puerto Morelos’ ‘Ruta de los Cenotes’ are off the path. In fact, my bf and I were the only people there 🙂

      Cenote Xoch or anything in the town of Cenotillo is even more off the path as you need to find a local person to take you there.

      • Mark
        Mar 29, 2017 / 3:12 am

        Your advice has been awesome. Traveling solo makes it well worth it. For one trip a taxi would have been $60us or more. And bus and colectivo was 45 pesos. And an awesome experience to boot. Met some locals that spoke no English and they still helped me out.

  31. Kniesha
    Mar 24, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    Hope u can give me a advice, 4 adults of us will go there this summer. Wonder will we have fun at XPLOR?

    • Anna
      Mar 29, 2017 / 3:04 am

      XPLOR can be fun. Slightly cheesy, but I had fun there!

  32. Tony Nebelsick
    Mar 29, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    We are taking my dad to Maroma Beach next week. He is 77 and has never been out of the
    USA so this is big adventure for him ! He is in very good shape but we don’t want it to be too taxing. He wants to go to a Cenote. We are staying at the Catalonia Playa Del Maromo. Is there a Cenote near there that you would recommend . He is good for light walking , say under a mile , as well as swimming. We appreciate any insights you could provide.

    Thanks Tony and Eva

    • Anna
      Mar 29, 2017 / 6:00 pm

      Hi Tony & Eva, in this case I’d recommend either Cenote Azul or any cenotes in Puerto Morelos – they should be an equal distance to reach these 🙂

      • Tony Nebelsick
        Mar 29, 2017 / 6:03 pm

        Thanks for your help and the amazingly quick response ! Tony

  33. Marcey Graham
    Apr 18, 2017 / 6:49 am

    Hello Anna, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and all of your page. We arrive in Cancun April 25th and my roomates and I are staying at the Princess Platinum Yucatan Resort near Playa Del Carmen. We are talking about renting a car to go to chichen itza. I was curious what your opinion is about that being a safe thing to do. I guess I am a little paranoid about being robbed or whatever. Last time we were in Mexico was 2014 and we were stranded by resort staff in Cabo at our all inclusive resort, the Riu Santa Fe during hurricaine Odile and it was a very bad expierence so I am a little anxious about going back but desperately need a vacation. I love mexico but want to be able to relax, enjoy myself and not be afraid.

    • Anna
      Apr 18, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Hi Marcey! I’ve never been to Cabo, so I can’t speak for it but Quintana Roo area is very safe, so don’t be afraid. There are many expats living in Playa and the worst thing that happens is that a bike will get stolen. It’s like in any other place in the US – you could get robbed, but it’s not common. I frequently walk around with my camera, bag etc. and I’m fine.
      Renting a car is extremely safe too, you just need to remember about online scams. I have an article about renting a car here:

  34. Saraon
    Apr 24, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    What would be good cenotes for non swimmers to explore near tulum. I am planning atrip with my husband but he doesn’t swim.

    • Anna
      Apr 24, 2017 / 7:04 pm

      They have lifejackets everywhere, so pretty much any cenote is good 🙂

  35. Walter M Mejia
    Apr 25, 2017 / 5:08 am

    Thank you!! Your info was amazing! We went to yokzdot as well and ox mal near dzitup. Some kids took us there or else we would have never found it. Agree with you about ikkil. Way too touristy. Planning on coba and the cenotes near it. Tha nks again

  36. Bart
    May 9, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    Anna, thank you so much for the awesome blog posts! As a photographer, I have one question: of the cenotes with no one in the pictures, were they relatively not visited or did you just get there super early?


    • Anna
      May 9, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Hmm… depends. La Noria is always empty for instance. Choo-Ha can get packed but we asked upon entry if it’s busy or should be come back later and the guy told me it was fine as no tour groups were there.

  37. Bek
    May 11, 2017 / 12:08 am

    Hi Anna,

    Loved your article! It will be my first time travelling to Mexico in June and I will be visiting some cenotes. What clothing and shoes would you recommend wearing?

    • Anna
      May 11, 2017 / 1:13 am

      Just your swimwear and flip flops 🙂

  38. Wendy
    Jun 1, 2017 / 1:21 am

    Get write up! I am going to be in Playa Del Carmen in August and I can’t wait to discover the Cenotes! What is your favorite and must see?

    Thank you!


    • Anna
      Jun 1, 2017 / 10:49 pm

      My favorite would be La Noria 🙂

  39. Wende
    Jun 23, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Wow! Love each one!!! I will be traveling to Tulum with 3 kids. Which cenote would you recommend? I want my four year-old to not be afraid but my 16-year-old to not be bored !

    • Anna
      Jun 24, 2017 / 6:49 pm

      Cenote Azul or/and Verde Lucero 🙂

  40. Maria
    Jul 12, 2017 / 3:25 am

    Hi Anna!

    I’ve just read about 10 of your posts and they are great and I can’t wait to visit next week for 10days! 🙂

    Are there any rental companies you recommend for hiring a Jeep? We are arriving in Cancun and would like to hire to drive to PDC and Tulum to visit the cenotes.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Anna
      Jul 12, 2017 / 5:33 am

      Yes! Have you read my post on renting a car in Mexico? As I said here: renting from the airport is way more expensive, so you might be better off getting a bus to PDC and renting a jeep there. I rented jeeps from both Hertz and MEX Rent A Car (my husband is obsessed with jeeps LOL).

      • Maria
        Jul 13, 2017 / 2:53 am

        We land at 10pm and I think the last bus is 10:05pm so I may need to consider staying in Cancun for a night and catch the bus the following day.

        Are there also plenty of shops that will sell the inflatables? 🙂

        So excited and can’t wait, hope the weather has been amazing

        Your blog makes me so excited

        • Anna
          Jul 13, 2017 / 5:12 am

          There’s one floatie shop on the 5th Av and 14th 🙂

  41. Mason
    Jul 17, 2017 / 2:13 am

    Wow love this info. Going to playa for the month of Sep. 2017. Will be checking out a good amount of these. Cheer

  42. AJ
    Jul 26, 2017 / 1:52 am

    Hey Anna,

    Awesome page and info on cenotes. I had a question for you or anyone else that has insight on the cenotes of Quintana Roo. Myself and 13 other of my buds are first timers in Mexico heading out next week, August 2nd, staying in Cancun and would love to check out one of the cenotes near Playa Del Carmen. We are all mid 20s and looking for a not so crowded, fun, pretty place where we can explore, jump off stuff, and hang out. We do not mind crowds but would prefer smaller ones if possible. Also open to farther cenotes if it is more advantageous. What would you suggest/ recommend we do and see?
    Any help would be awesome.

    Thank you

    • Anna
      Jul 26, 2017 / 4:53 am

      I’d say any cenote is good 🙂 Apart from Dos Ojos I guess since it’s the most touristy one.

    • Mason
      Jul 26, 2017 / 1:53 pm

      Check out Gran Cenote.

  43. Jane
    Aug 29, 2017 / 1:06 am

    Anna, you have inspired me to include cenotes in my trip to Mexico! Thank you for the fantastic photo report!

  44. nahima
    Sep 2, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    The Ruta de los Cenotes in Puerto Morelos is so nice… Cenotes Zapote and Cenote Kin Ha spectacular. Nice blog, congratulation!

  45. Priscilla
    Sep 4, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    This is amazing and very informative. Thank you Anna.

    We will be visiting next month and can’t wait to visit some cenotes. On one of the days we will be visiting Tulum from Playa del Carmen and wanted to stop over at 2 cenotes. Which are your best 2 cenotes along that route?

    • Anna
      Sep 5, 2017 / 12:27 am

      Azul would be a good one on the way!

      • Priscilla
        Sep 5, 2017 / 1:23 am

        Perfect. And a 2nd cenote?

        • Anna
          Sep 5, 2017 / 3:06 am

          Jardin del Eden is next ‘door’.

  46. Diane
    Oct 20, 2017 / 1:53 am

    Hi Anna! Great article. I’m traveling in December and plan to do a group excursion with a bunch of people in my party. At least 20 people. We love to see a Cenote and get some nice pictures. We are in Playa Del Carmen is there one that you would recommend that’s not very busy, pretty and adventurous?

    • Anna
      Oct 20, 2017 / 2:07 am

      The closer to Playa the busier the cenotes will get 😉 I guess with such a big group any cenote might feel slightly busy, so I wouldn’t even know which one to recommend. Maybe Verde Lucero since there are activities there so everyone can have fun.

  47. Lynn Parquette
    Oct 31, 2017 / 5:05 pm

    I will be traveling to Riviera Maya in November 2017 and the dive shop suggested Chikin Ha or Jardin del Eden. We have 2 that will be cavern diving since they are open water certified only and 2 that will be snorkeling only. Would these be cenotes you would suggest and if so which one would be better for our group? If there are other options that may be better I would appreciate that advise as well.

    • Anna
      Oct 31, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      Yes, these are great for both diving and snorkeling 🙂

  48. Nov 30, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    Thanks for writing this up, it was super helpful when I was picking which one to go to with our limited time! Ended up at Cenote Cristalino (entrance increased to 150 pesos now btw). I linked to your blog via my travel IG as it was so helpful, hope that’s ok!

  49. Gabriele
    Jan 9, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    Hi Anna! I loved this post. The pics are awesome. I´m going in Feb18 to Riviera Maya and one of the days we are visiting Chichen Itza and a cenote on the way. Which one would you recommend to go with a 4 year old ? hopefully one not so crowded… (she can swim btw) 🙂
    thank you!

    • Anna
      Jan 10, 2018 / 3:21 pm

      Most tourists go to Ik Kil after Chichen Itza, so this one is always VERY crowded. Depends on where are you staying (Tulum, Playa, Cancun?), pick cenotes close to you (most of them close around 4-5pm), so be at Chichen right when it opens.

  50. Gigi
    Jan 29, 2018 / 10:11 pm

    Hi Anna,
    Great Post!
    Ill be arriving in Tulum on Feb 8th-12 with a friend, we both have never been. Which cenotes are closest to Tulum? I believe we will be renting a car.
    if you have any other recommendations while in tulum, please do share, or if you have another blog post would be great too! (if this matters at all, were both in our Mid 20s & ready for adventure!)
    Thank you!! 🙂

    • Anna
      Jan 30, 2018 / 6:34 am

      Check my giant guide to Tulum 🙂 There are around 100 relatively close to Tulum, so hmmm… hard to choose 😀 I really like the ones near Coba.

  51. Maria Paz
    Feb 19, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    Hi Anna Ill be going to Akumal with my mom on last week of March, I was wondering which cenote would you recommend, not to far, not to crowded and also, my mom is very nervous about swimming.. Thank you!
    Ps: have you heard about Aktun Chen and Rio Secreto?

    • Anna
      Feb 19, 2018 / 10:00 pm

      I’ve been to Rio Secreto – it’s fantastic but touristy 😉
      The nearest cenotes to Akumal are Azul and Jarden del Eden, so prob best. Good for even standing in the water if your mom doesn’t want to swim.

  52. Nate
    Feb 26, 2018 / 1:25 am

    Went to Gran Cenote last week – it was very cool !
    I happened to have a waterproof flashlight in my bag,
    so I was able to explore some of the underwater corners.
    Also saw quite a few turtles which was fun.
    Thanks for the page!

  53. Sydney
    Mar 10, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    I find all of your blogs about Mexico so helpful in all my research. I am beyond excited for my adventures. When you put prices, are you saying this in American dollars or pesos? I just want to make sure I am saving the proper amount for all that I want to see. Tanks for this page.

    • Anna
      Mar 10, 2018 / 6:42 pm

      Mexican Pesos 🙂

  54. Johan
    Apr 15, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    Hi Anna
    We are 2 families ( 4 adults + 4 kids around 14-14 years old ) from Sweden planning a vacation in Mexico between the 25th of December to the 8th of January 2019. After reading your article, Cenotes seems to be a great place to visit and do some snorkeling. I read that we should rent our car away from the airport to get a better deal, thanks for the tip.
    If we are moving from Cancun to Chitzen Itza and then from there towards Tulum and stay there for about a week. Which are the cenotes that we shouldn’t miss on the way? How long time should you plan a visit, for example 2 hours , ½ day or a whole day?
    Thank you so much for sharing. BR / Johan

    • Anna
      Apr 15, 2018 / 8:08 pm

      Normally it’s better to rent a car elsewhere, but since you’re coming to Cancun at THE busiest time of the year, there will be no cars anywhere unless you book beforehand. Any of those on the list are great, but maybe avoid Ik Kil since it’s the busiest time of the year and I can’t even imagine the number of people. Any in Valladolid are less busy for sure!

  55. Sue
    Apr 16, 2018 / 12:54 am

    Hi Anna, loved reading all the info here and in the comments, so useful! Are there any Cenotes that we can just walk around and see, rather than swim? We have our babies and parents with us so we won’t end up being able to snorkel or swim, but would love to take them to see a Cenote. Would they still charge the entrance to just see it?

    • Anna
      Apr 16, 2018 / 1:13 am

      No matter if you enter or not you need to pay the entrance fee, even if you just want to see it for a few minutes. Many people actually prefer to sit around than get into the water, so don’t worry about it. Cenote Azul or Jardin del Eden is great for it.

  56. Dianshan Ee
    Apr 16, 2018 / 10:02 am

    Great info! We are planning to visit in Oct – would that be a good time for Mexico?
    Did you visit all these cenotes in 1 visit? How long were you there for? And did you rent a car to move around the different cities?

    • Anna
      Apr 16, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      Not in one visit haha, unless I stayed at each one for like 1 minute maybe. I used to live in the area for 2 years, so visited some multiple times and others another time. Yes, car is the best option to get around. October is a good time to visit Mexico yes. You can check my other posts on Mexico.

  57. Patricia Rodriguez
    May 1, 2018 / 3:06 am

    Wow I think I read every post and saved this as a pin. Honeymoon in June 6, 2018 can’t wait to go to the cenotes. But I heard there is somewhere to swim with turtles any place you can recommend and information?

  58. Philippa
    May 4, 2018 / 12:41 am

    Hi Anna! Thanks so much for your blog! I am currently on holiday in riviera maya and have discovered Xcacel Beach (LOVED it!), and went to Cenote car wash today.
    It was stunning. One update is that they were building a new wooden steps at the edge and now charge so I think it may be about to get more developed (sad!). It was 50pesos to swim and a bit more to dive (I don’t remember how much as I was just swimming and had my own snorkelling gear). Absolutely loved it, thanks so much for recommendations as we are having a MUCH better time Because of your blog helping us know what to do! Going to more Cenote tomorrow 🙂
    Thank you thank you !

  59. May 10, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    Awesome review Anna, just an update on cenote carwash, it is 50 pesos to enter now. but still probably the cheapest in the area. As an underwater photographer, this Cenote is brilliant.

  60. Stancy Kelly
    May 15, 2018 / 3:08 am

    Hi Anna, did ojos is now 350 pesos!

  61. Dianshan Ee
    May 15, 2018 / 4:42 am

    Hi, another qution – you wrote for Do Ojos it is 350 + 130 if we want to do diving – that sounds really cheap for diving (as I saw other dive centers offering diving for around 100EUR). Which dive center is that price for?

    • Anna
      May 15, 2018 / 6:21 am

      Hi! This isn’t the price for diving, just an entrance fee for divers. This has to be paid on top of whatever price the diving center will give you. Usually, most dive centers charge about $90 for a dive in Dos Ojos.

      • Dianshan Ee
        May 15, 2018 / 7:27 am

        Ok! So is it 130 entrance fee if we are only diving? or 500 in total entrance fee ?

        • Anna
          May 15, 2018 / 9:04 pm

          According to recent changes, 500 is a price if you’re diving.

  62. Jenny
    Jun 26, 2018 / 12:23 am

    Hello, thank you for all your advice 🙂
    Have you ever been to Kan Tun Chin? I was planning on going there but then I came across your blog and saw so many other beautiful Cenotes. 🙂

    • Anna
      Jun 29, 2018 / 4:28 pm

      No I haven’t been, but it’s more like an adventure park, rather than a stand-alone cenote.

  63. Selina
    Jan 7, 2019 / 2:51 am

    My friend and I are going to Tulum in February and visiting Cenotes is on the top of our list of things to do so this information was super helpful! For the 3 cenotes located right next to each other (Cenote Azul), do you have to pay for each one separately?

    • Anna
      Jan 7, 2019 / 1:17 pm

      Yes, you do that’s why prices are listed under each of them.

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