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.


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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. You will live after being exposed to the sun for a bit, but sadly other creates will not survive if you infect their natural habitat with a sunscreen. 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
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Cenotes

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 Discover Car Hire. 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.

Calavera

This cenote is named for its look that from the top looks like a skull. It makes it perfect for jumping, but it’s small unless you’re diving, so I recommend visiting early during the day. You must be able to swim since there’s no place to stand inside the cenote. You can rent any equipment you may want such as a life jacket, snorkel, fins, etc.

Passages for diving are very narrow, which makes it difficult but rewarding to dive there.

  • Open: daily 9am-5pm
  • Price: 100 Pesos
  • How to get there? Colectivo from Tulum is the best option as it’s next to Dos Ojos.

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.

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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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Choo-Ha
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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.

Multum-Ha


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


Dzitnup

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.
Photocredit: ExpertVagabond.com
Photocredit: ExpertVagabond.com

Saytun

Saytun is the most popular cenote in the Valladolid area. While it used to be fantastic to visit, since last year it sadly became an Instagram hellhole and now it's absolutely packed with people waiting for almost half an hour in line for the traditional short in the middle of the platform.

  • Price: 70 MXN
  • How to get there? You can ride a bike from Valladolid or take a taxi.

saytun cenote


Off-the-Beaten Path Cenotes:

Zaci

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
Buy this swimwear here!

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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 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.

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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
Photo was taken with Matt from ExpertVagabond.com. Buy this swimwear here!

Verde Lucero


Tamcach-Ha

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.

Tamcach-Ha


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


ARRANGE YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE

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
Categories Mexico

137 thoughts on “The Best Cenotes in Mexico: Ultimate Guide”

  1. 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!

  2. 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?

    • 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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?

    • 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.

  8. 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!

    • 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 🙂

  9. 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. 🙂

  10. 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:)

  11. 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]

    • 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 😉

      • 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

  12. 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!

    • 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.

  13. 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!!

    • 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.

      • 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!!

        • 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.

  14. 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?

    • 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 🙂

  15. 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.

    • 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

    Thanks!

    • 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

  23. 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

  24. 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.

    • 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: https://annaeverywhere.com/renting-a-car-in-mexico-yucatan/

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

  26. 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

  27. 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?

    Thanks!

    • 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.

  28. 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?

  29. 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!

    Wendy

  30. 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 !

  31. 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 🙂

      • 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
        X

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

  33. 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

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

  35. 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?

  36. 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?

    • 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

    • 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.

  40. 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!! 🙂

    • 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.

  41. 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?

    • 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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

    • 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!

  45. 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?

    • 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.

  46. 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?

    • 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.

  47. 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?

  48. 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 !

  49. 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.

  50. 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?

  51. 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. 🙂

  52. 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?

  53. Hello Anna,
    I am traveling with friends to Rivera Maya in May, and we are thinking about visiting the Jardin del Eden cenote. We will be staying in Cancun and will probably take a bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and then catch a colectivo to Jardin del Eden. How much do you think it will cost to get to Jardin del Eden from Playa del Carmen? Also, how easy do you think it will be to get form Jardin del Eden to Tulum? Will it be possible to take a colectivo to Tulum from the cenote?

    Thanks for the help, and we found your blog very helpful!

    • Colectivo from Playa to Jardin del Eden should cost you about 20-40 MXN per person. You can get colectivo to Tulum there for about 40 MXN 🙂

  54. Epic post and impressive to see how many cenotes you managed to get to during your time in Mexico. I’m heading to Mexico next month with a group of friends and have just forwarded this page to them all! We have a friend who lives in Puerto Morelos so looks like it will be La Noria for us! Keep up the great work.

  55. Anna,
    Thank you for your response. My concern is with Jardin del Eden being slightly off the main highway than connects Cancun with Tulum. Do you think that a collectivo is a reliable mode of transport to get from this cenote to, say, Tulum or the Tulum ruins? Are collectivos plentiful at Jardin del Eden?

    Also, where exactly in Playa del Carmen does one catch the collectivo? Perhaps it would be easier to take the from Cancun?

    Thank you very much for your help, and I really enjoy your blog!

    Zane

    • Yes, colectivo is best for getting there. I’ve always taken colectivo to get there actually 🙂
      In Playa del Carmen you can catch the colectivo very easily. Here’s a more detailed post from my friend https://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/how-to-take-the-colectivos-to-tulum-or-cancun/ – just tell them you want to go to cenote Jardin del Eden 🙂
      There’s no colectivo that goes all the way from Cancun to Tulum. You can take an ADO bus from Cancun to Playa and then change into colectivo. There’s also another big ADO bus from Playa to Tulum, but it doesn’t stop at cenotes – its first stop is Tulum Ruins.

  56. Hi Anna…
    I’m enjoying your above review of the best cenotes. It provides a valuable service. Thank you. There was a movie several years back – may be 10 years or so, that was an action adventure filled with intrigue that ended up in a glamorous, extensive cenote system with very blue, clear water. Not a lot of vegetation. I thought it had the word “Maya” in the title, but my searches can’t find it. Are you familiar with the movie, and do you know the name of the cenote? I think I would like to go there, as well as the ones you’ve featured above.

    A practical question: what is the temperature of most of these, and is a light, wet-suit jacket recommended?

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