12 Greatest Cenotes In Mexico To Go to in 2023


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

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

Prime Cenotes in Mexico

Top Cenotes in Mexico

If you wish to go to a few of 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 may both be part of one of many cenote excursions from Tulum or different cities of Riviera Maya in case you take pleasure in a hassle-free tour or hire a automobile and go to independently.

The selection is basically huge, as there are lots of of cenotes in Yucatan, however after studying this put up, you’ll uncover which cenotes in Mexico are actually unmissable.

What are cenotes in Mexico?

Best Cenotes in Mexico What Are They

Should 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 various cenotes there. Some cenotes are a part of giant underground river methods, 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’re open to the exterior world, lit with pure mild, and usually coated with lush vegetation. Most cenotes in Yucatan are open cenotes, they’re enjoyable to go to and nice for swimming. Examples of open cenotes embody Gran Cenote and Cenote Ik Kil.

Best Mexico Cenotes Dos Ojos

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

Within the Mayan tradition, cenotes performed an necessary 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 circumstances.

At present, visiting a Mexican cenote shouldn’t be solely a enjoyable exercise but in addition 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

Only a few kilometres away from Tulum, you can find one of the vital fashionable cenotes in Mexico – the Gran Cenote.

Gran Cenote is an open cenote with crystal clear emerald water, two swimming pools, and a cave. Should you’re focused on diving, it is a good spot to do it. If you wish to snorkel, which I like to recommend doing, snorkelling gear is included within the ticket value. Simply be sure to deliver 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 cute tinny turtles. A couple of-meters lengthy cave connects the 2 swimming pools of the cenote, and as you swim via it, look as much as admire historical stalactites. And in case you’re fortunate, you would possibly even spot some bats hovering via the intricate formations.

Attending to Gran Cenote is simple; you’ll be able to drive a automobile, or because it’s solely a 5 km journey, you can too trip a bicycle, which is a typical mode of transport in Tulum. For the reason that cenote is among the hottest cenotes close to Tulum, one of the best time to go to it’s within the morning, proper after it opens at 8 am.

Should you would like to leap on a tour this non-public Cenote Tour takes you to three totally different cenotes in a day together with the Gran Cenote. It’s the good 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 contains a round platform proper in the midst of its cave. At round noon, the platform will get illuminated by a light-weight beam coming via a small opening within the cave ceiling, creating a unprecedented sight! 

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

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

Cenote Suytun is situated 8 km from the centre of Valladolid. In case your itinerary doesn’t help you keep a few days on this space of Yucatan, you’ll be able to e-book a tour beginning out of your lodge in Cancun or some other Riviera Maya city.  Mix a go to to Suytun with Chichen Itza and the city of Valladolid for a day full of fascinating sights. 

This can be a good cenote tour that features Valladolid and Chichen Itza as properly. Examine 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 among the high cenotes to go to in Mexico. It boasts a wonderfully round form, and as it’s an historical cenote, it extra resembles a lagoon or a lake than a cenote.

Cenote Azul has a darkish blue color because of its depth, which reaches an unbelievable 295 toes. Swimming on this cenote is a unprecedented expertise, and it’s very refreshing. Should you’re not a powerful swimmer, be sure to hire a life jacket and luxuriate in floating in its waters carefree. Alternatively, you can too discover this massive cenote on a kayak.

Bacalar lies in Quintana Roo, a 4-hour drive south of Cancun. You’ll find Cenote Azul 4 km south of Bacalar downtown, and the easiest way to get there’s by rental automobile. It is usually attainable to get to Cenote Azul by taxi, or in case you’re up for some cardio, you can too stroll or cycle. A Cenote tour can be a straightforward option to discover these superb pure wonders. This non-public 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

Should you’re in search of a cenote the place you’ll be able to spend a enjoyable day, Oxman is ideal. It’s an open cenote with lush vegetation rising on its partitions. 

Cenote Oxman is thought for its Tarzan gown swing. Seize onto the handles and swing to the center of the pool to leap into the cenote. The primary leap is a bit of scary, however belief me, you’ll want to do it time and again!

Additionally, deliver your snorkelling masks (or hire it out) to discover the underwater world of the cenote, which is inhabited by vibrant fish.

Cenote Oxman boasts incredible amenities. Along with the cenote entrance, you can too take pleasure in their solar loungers and pool. There’s additionally a restaurant, and in case you’re wanting to remain right here for lunch, be sure to decide on a ticket that features their buffet lunch.

Hacienda Oxman is situated a 6-km drive from downtown Valladolid. You may drive right here or take a taxi. It is usually fashionable 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 among the distinctive locations to go to close to Tulum and a very good vacation spot for nature lovers.

There are lots of animals residing on this space, together with agoutis, jaguars, and badgers. Moreover, you’ll be able to see parrots, woodpeckers, and iguanas which are vibrant. 

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

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

One of the best ways to get to Laguna de Kaan Luum is to hire a automobile 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 within 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

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

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

Since Ik Kil is situated close to the Chichen Itza Archaeological Web site, most excursions cease on the cenote after a go to to the Mayan ruins. Because of this the cenote is a bit of busy more often than not, however nonetheless, completely value it. Should you want to take pleasure in it with out the crowds, select to go to within 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

Should you’re in search of one of the best family-friendly cenotes in Mexico, Cenote Zaci, situated close to Tulum, is ideal. It’s a small, open cenote, and what makes it an amazing cenote for youths is that it is just 3 meters deep. The cenote Zaci additionally boasts a enjoyable zipline, which you let go of while you’re in the midst of the water for an exhilarating leap, and likewise a 3-meter excessive leaping platform.

The cenote amenities embody solar loungers, a pool and a restaurant the place you’ll be able to seize a light-weight lunch and a chilly drink.

You probably have an area in your itinerary, mix a go to to Cenote Zaci with Gran Cenote, cenote Calavera or Automobile Wash Cenote, all of that are situated shut by.

You may 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 so as to name them to choose you out while 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 title suggests, is thought for its crystal clear water, good for snorkelling and scuba diving. The cenote pool is sort of a big aquarium, filled with tropical fish of various species and hues. There’s additionally a cave-like tunnel which is enjoyable to swim via and a leaping platform for thrill-seekers.

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

Keep away from visiting the cenote throughout the weekend, when the cenote will get actually busy with the native households flocking right here to spend their free time. Additionally, be sure 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. One of the best to approach get to the cenote is with a rental automobile, however additionally it is attainable to take a neighborhood bus referred to as a “colectivo”. Be sure to inform the driving force the place you wish 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 among the most original cenotes in Mexico. Not like different cenotes that always function a big swimming gap, Calavera consists of some smaller holes and doesn’t have a staircase to entry its cave. As an alternative, 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 among the most photographed locations in Tulum, and while 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’s additionally a snack store, and as at most cenotes – showers, bathrooms and altering rooms.

Cenote Calavera is located simply exterior 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 Automobile Wah

Best Cenotes in Mexico Car Wash

Situated additionally close to Tulum (within the Mayan language – Cenote Aktun-Ha), also called Cenote Automobile Wash, is a picturesque open cenote completely value including to your itinerary.

Cenote Automobile Wash appears like a tranquil lake and boasts exceptionally crystal clear water, which is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and likewise diving. Within the water, you’ll be able to spot a lot of vibrant fish and small, cute turtles. For one of the best snorkelling expertise, arrive within the morning when the turtles are essentially the most lively.

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

Cenote Automobile Wash is situated on the principle highway to Coba, a 9-km drive from downtown Tulum. You may get right here both by taxi, rental automobile, scooter or bicycle. Ensure that to additionally try different incredible cenotes on this space, reminiscent of 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

Well-known 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 singular alternative to get to those fascinating organisms shut, however be sure to observe the foundations and by no means step on them.

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

Cenote Cocalitos lies 4 km away from Bacalar metropolis centre, and you may simply get right here by taxi, rental automobile or scooter, or you’ll be able to simply merely stroll or cycle. Be sure to additionally try 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

One other incredible cenote located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Cenote Azul, affords one of the vital pleasant swimming experiences in Yucatan.

The cenote itself is a wonderful pool of turquoise, crystal-clear water surrounded by lush greenery. Along with the principle pool, there are additionally a number of smaller swimming holes, so be sure to take time to discover the location absolutely.

Contained in the water, you’ll find dozens of vibrant fish, making it an excellent spot for snorkelling and admiring nature in its purest type.

That is additionally an amazing spot for cliff-jumping – there are a number of platforms of various heights, and the very best one is 5 meters excessive. Leaping into the refreshing crystal water is a incredible expertise in case you 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. Be sure to deliver money with you, as solely money fee (in MEX pesos) is accepted on the entrance. You may hire a automobile or take a neighborhood Colectivo bus both from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Opening occasions: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

Suggestions for visiting cenotes in Mexico

Best Cenotes in Mexico Tips for Visiting

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

Convey money – You have to 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 to carry sufficient money to pay for the doorway and any extras you might wish to buy, reminiscent of snorkelling gear or lunch.

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

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

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

Don’t do something that can affect the atmosphere, reminiscent of bringing plastic to the cenote or leaving any litter behind. Additionally, deliver with you a fast-drying towel fabricated 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 secure to swim in Cave Cenotes in Mexico?

Sure, it’s secure to swim within the cenotes of Mexico. Cenotes usually have very clear water that has been filtered naturally via layers of rocks and limestone. However, in case you’re not a powerful swimmer, it’s best to put on a life jacket.

What’s the most well-known cenote in Mexico?

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

What’s so particular about cenotes?

Swimming in cenotes is a really distinctive expertise as you’ll be able to solely discover them within the Yucatan Peninsula. They’re stunning pure swimming pools with crystal clear water, surrounded by lush vegetation. As well as, many cenotes are residence to distinctive wildlife, reminiscent of 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 it’s best to undoubtedly 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. In case you are actually into exploring Tulum cenotes in Mexico be sure to additionally try different Cenotes like Cenote Dos Ojos or Cenote Manatí simply to call just a few.

Get pleasure from your journey!

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