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 positively check out throughout your journey.

Cenotes are principally discovered on the Yucatan peninsula within the southern a part of Mexico. The good Mayans knew concerning 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 religious ceremonies.

High Cenotes in Mexico

Top Cenotes in Mexico

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

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

What are cenotes in Mexico?

Best Cenotes in Mexico What Are They

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

Cenotes are swimming pools of water that kind when porous limestone bedrock collapses, and since there’s loads of limestone in Yucatan, there are numerous 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 embrace Gran Cenote and Cenote Ik Kil.

Best Mexico Cenotes Dos Ojos

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

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 non secular rituals, together with human choices in some circumstances.

Right now, visiting a Mexican cenote will not 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

Just some kilometres away from Tulum, you will discover one of the common cenotes in Mexico – the Gran Cenote.

Gran Cenote is an open cenote with crystal clear emerald water, two swimming pools, and a cave. When you’re considering diving, it is a excellent place to do it. If you wish to snorkel, which I like to recommend doing, snorkelling gear is included within the ticket worth. Simply ensure you carry an ID, which is required as a deposit.

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

Attending to Gran Cenote is straightforward; you’ll be able to drive a automobile, or because it’s solely a 5 km journey, it’s also possible to trip a bicycle, which is a typical mode of transport in Tulum. For the reason that cenote is likely one of 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.

When you would like to leap on a tour this personal Cenote Tour takes you to three completely different cenotes in a day together with the Gran Cenote. It’s the good day journey.

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

Entrance ticket: 500 pesos ($28)

2. Cenote Suytun

Best Cenotes in Mexico Suytun Cenote

Cenote Suytun is a cave cenote which includes a round platform proper in the course of its cave. At round noon, the platform will get illuminated by a lightweight beam coming via a small opening within the cave ceiling, creating a rare sight! 

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

Aside from taking the Insta well-known picture, ensure you discover the cave and its placing stalactites and stalagmites that shaped over 1000’s of years. If you wish to swim, you’ll be required to take a bathe and put on a life jacket.

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

It is a good cenote tour that features Valladolid and Chichen Itza as nicely. Verify Availability right here.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

3. Cenote Azul, Bacalar

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Azul Balacar

Being one of many prime points of interest of Bacalar Lagoon, Cenote Azul is likely one of the prime cenotes to go to in Mexico. It boasts a wonderfully round form, and as it’s an historic cenote, it extra resembles a lagoon or a lake than a cenote.

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

Bacalar lies in Quintana Roo, a 4-hour drive south of Cancun. You will discover Cenote Azul 4 km south of Bacalar downtown, and one of the best ways to get there’s by rental automobile. It is usually attainable to get to Cenote Azul by taxi, or should you’re up for some cardio, it’s also possible to stroll or cycle. A Cenote tour can be a straightforward technique to discover these wonderful pure wonders. This personal tour takes you to Bacalar Lagoon.

Opening instances: 10 am to six pm

Entrance ticket: 25 pesos ($1.40)

4. Cenote Oxman

Best Cenotes in Mexico Oxman Cenote

When 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 slightly scary, however belief me, you’ll want to do it many times!

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

Cenote Oxman boasts improbable services. Along with the cenote entrance, it’s also possible to take pleasure in their solar loungers and pool. There’s additionally a restaurant, and should you’re wanting to remain right here for lunch, be sure to decide on a ticket that features their buffet lunch.

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

Opening instances: 8 am to five am

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

5. Laguna de Kaan Luum Cenote 

Best Cenotes in Mexico Laguna de Kaan Luum Cenote

Laguna de Kaan Luum is likely one of the distinctive locations to go to close to Tulum and a very good vacation spot for nature lovers.

There are lots of animals dwelling on this space, together with agoutis, jaguars, and badgers. Moreover, you’ll be able to see parrots, woodpeckers, and iguanas which can be 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 as a result of its profound depth, and sadly, swimming inside it isn’t allowed.

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

One of the simplest ways to get to Laguna de Kaan Luum is to hire a automobile or scooter and make your manner independently. The lagoon is positioned a brief drive away from downtown Tulum, however since it’s tucked away from the primary highway, deep within the jungle, it’s best to keep away from taking taxis or public buses, which can drop you off on the primary highway.

Opening instances: 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 picturesque swimming holes in Mexico. It’s an open cenote with lush vegetation and lianas rising on its partitions and cave ceilings completely eroded away.

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

Since Ik Kil is positioned close to the Chichen Itza Archaeological Website, most excursions cease on the cenote after a go to to the Mayan ruins. Because of this the cenote is slightly busy more often than not, however nonetheless, completely price it. When you want to take pleasure in it with out the crowds, select to go to within the early morning or late afternoon.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

7. Cenote Zaci (Zacil-Ha)

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Zaci

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

The cenote services embrace solar loungers, a pool and a restaurant the place you’ll be able to seize a lightweight 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 Automotive Wash Cenote, all of that are positioned 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 to be able to name them to select you out if you’re prepared to return.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

8. Cenote Cristalino

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cristalino Cenote

Cenote Cristalino, because the title suggests, is thought for its crystal clear water, good for snorkelling and scuba diving. The cenote pool is sort of a large aquarium, stuffed 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 plush jungle surrounds the cenote, so ensure you discover the entire web site 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. The most effective to manner get to the cenote is with a rental automobile, however additionally it is attainable to take an area bus often called a “colectivo”. Be sure to inform the motive force the place you need to get off, as stops are on demand.

Opening instances: 8 am to six pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

9. Cenote Calavera

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Calavera

Cenote Calavera is likely one of 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 a substitute, you’ll both want to leap into the cenote or climb down an enormous wood ladder, which is a thrill in its personal proper!

The cenote gap with its ladder is likely one of the most photographed locations in Tulum, and if you see it, you’ll perceive why. Inside the primary pool, there’s additionally a swing, which is also a cool picture 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, bogs and altering rooms.

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

Opening instances: 8:30 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 250 pesos ($14)

10. Cenote Automotive Wah

Best Cenotes in Mexico Car Wash

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

Cenote Automotive Wash seems to be 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 plenty of vibrant fish and small, lovely turtles. For one of the best snorkelling expertise, arrive within the morning when the turtles are probably the most lively.

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

Cenote Automotive Wash is positioned on the primary highway to Coba, a 9-km drive from downtown Tulum. You will get right here both by taxi, rental automobile, scooter or bicycle. Be sure to additionally try different improbable cenotes on this space, reminiscent of Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera.

Opening instances: 8 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 300 pesos ($16.80)

11. Cenote Cocalitos

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cocalitos Cenote

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 ensure you observe the foundations and by no means step on them.

Upon arrival, you will discover a big swimming gap with lukewarm milky-blue water and an unimaginable view of beautiful jungle greenery. The cenote additionally options vibrant hammocks and swings 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 instances: 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 improbable cenote located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Cenote Azul, affords one of the pleasant swimming experiences in Yucatan.

The cenote itself is a good looking pool of turquoise, crystal-clear water surrounded by lush greenery. Along with the primary pool, there are additionally a number of smaller swimming holes, so ensure you take time to discover the location totally.

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

That is additionally an ideal 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 improbable expertise should you dare to attempt it!

Cenote Azul is positioned proper by Cenote Crsiatlino, so you’ll be able to go to each of them in in the future. Be sure to carry money with you, as solely money cost (in MEX pesos) is accepted on the entrance. You may hire a automobile or take an area Colectivo bus both from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

Ideas 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 bear in mind.

Carry money – You will have Mexican pesos to pay for entrance on the cenotes you go to. Most cenotes are positioned remotely, with no close by ATMs, so ensure you carry sufficient money to pay for the doorway and any extras you might need to buy, reminiscent of snorkelling tools or lunch.

Suncream will not be allowed – Most cenotes forbid guests to make use of suncream and different merchandise which will contaminate the water. If you want to shield your pores and skin, go for a long-sleeved rash guard. Earlier than coming into the cenote pool, you’ll be required to take a bathe to scrub off deodorant, physique moisturiser and different merchandise you might be carrying.

Put on a life jacket – Using life jackets at some cenotes in Mexico is compulsory, whereas at others, it’s beneficial however not necessary. When 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 a brilliant enjoyable expertise!

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

Don’t do something that may influence the setting, reminiscent of bringing plastic to the cenote or leaving any litter behind. Additionally, carry with you a fast-drying towel product of microfibre materials, a pair of flip-flops, a cushty 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 typically have very clear water that has been filtered naturally via layers of rocks and limestone. However, should 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 crucial well-known cenotes is Cenote Suytun, with its iconic round platform illuminated by a lightweight 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 probably the most epic cenotes in Mexico inspiring and helpful. Swimming in a cenote is an unforgettable expertise that it’s best to positively add to your Mexico itinerary. From Cenote Suytun’s iconic round platform to the distinctive wildlife discovered at Laguna Kaan Luum and Gran Cenote, every Mexican cenote has one thing particular to supply. 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.

Take pleasure in your journey!

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