Skip to Content

Best Cenotes In Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula (Ultimate Guide)

Cenotes in Mexico
The Best Cenotes in Mexico
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

One of my favorite things to do in Mexico is swim in the beautiful cenotes of the Yucatan. Here are tips for visiting a cenote in Mexico, and how to enjoy them responsibly.

Cenotes in Mexico are super cool! The Mayan people used cenotes to supply their ancient cities (like Chichen Itza) with fresh water, as well as a sacred place to conduct sacrificial offerings to their gods.

Ancient artifacts and even human bones have been discovered in many.

Offerings were made to the Mayan god Chaac, the god of rain, when drought threatened the area. The Maya also believed these underground wells were entrances to the afterlife.

Despite their slightly creepy history, these days cenotes in Mexico are enjoyed by foreigners and locals alike as refreshing jungle swimming holes and cave diving hot-spots. No trip to Mexico is complete without swimming in a cenote!

Here you’ll find details about Tulum cenotes, as well as cenotes near Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Valladolid too.

After spending years living in and regularly traveling to Mexico as a digital nomad, I wanted to put together a helpful guide to my favorite cenotes throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexico Cenotes Map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you’ll find a map of cenotes in Mexico. Click on the top left of the map to find separate layers marking the route and points of interest. You can hide and show different layers, or click icons on the map to see the names of places I mention in this travel guide. “Star” the map to save it to your own Google Maps, or open the map in a new window for a larger version. Enjoy!

Mexico Travel Restrictions 2022

Mexico has removed all COVID-19 entry requirements. Tests, vaccination details, and health forms are no longer required as of January 2022. However Americans still have to get tested in Mexico before flying back to the United States.

Most hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and you might have to follow certain guidelines (like wearing masks) depending on your destination.

You can find the latest updates on traveling to Mexico here.

Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Protect yourself from injury, illness, or theft. Safety Wing offers affordable travel insurance that covers COVID-19 too!

Snorkeling in a Cenote
Cenote Swimming in Mexico

Best Cenotes In Mexico

What Exactly Is A Cenote?

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its amazing cenotes — natural pools of fresh water located in limestone caves. These pools are connected to each other through the world’s largest underground river system.

Rain water seeps through the porous limestone, collecting underground.

Cenotes themselves are created when the limestone surface collapses, creating a cave opening into this river system. Some cenotes are “open air” meaning the roof has completely collapsed, while “cave cenotes” may have most or all of their roof still intact.

Many cenotes in Mexico are home to a variety of fish and plant life, some even have turtles!

There are supposedly over 6000 different cenotes located in Mexico. Some have been turned into swimming holes for tourists, others are used for technical cave scuba diving, and many more are simply inaccessible – hidden in the remote Mexican jungle.

Best Cenotes In Tulum

Casa Cenote
Casa Cenote in Tulum

Casa Cenote (Cenote Manatí)

One of my favorite Tulum cenotes, Casa is an open-air cenote that looks more like a river than a typical cenote. Jungle plants go right up to the edge of it, and it’s an excellent spot for snorkeling. It’s narrow but VERY long, so you might want to use a life jacket (they have them) if you’re not a strong swimmer.

Locals call it “Cenote Manati”, because there used to be a population of Manatees living in it. While they are no longer there, a friendly crocodile named “Panchito” does sometimes make appearances to swim with tourists. I wouldn’t pet it, but otherwise there’s nothing to be afraid of!

Entrance Fee: 150 MXN ($7 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Dos Ojos Cenote Mexico
Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) Cenote

Dos Ojos

Dos Ojos Cenote is one of the coolest cenotes near Tulum. It’s very popular for scuba diving, due to its “two eyes” (sinkholes) separated by a 400m long underwater tunnel. But it’s also fun for snorkeling, as there are plenty of caves to explore that are just above the water line.

Because Dos Ojos is one of the most famous cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, it can get crowded fast. It’s actually part of a huge cenote complex, and there are many different ones you can visit in the area.

Entrance Fee: 350 MXN ($17 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Gran Cenote Tulum
Gran Cenote

Gran Cenote Tulum

Gran Cenote (aka Great Cenote) is one of the closest cenotes to Tulum. In fact it’s possible to ride a bike here if you want to. It’s not super big, but has two cool chambers separated by a cave tunnel. They also have a mini turtle sanctuary!

A nice cenote for swimming and snorkeling, they also have showers and restrooms on site. It’s grown in popularity over the years, and can see huge crowds sometimes.

Entrance Fee: 180 MXN ($8 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenotes in Mexico
Cenote Taak Bi-Ha

Cenote Taak Bi-Ha

This cenote hidden in the jungle of Tulum is a special one. A full on cave cenote, it’s lit with led lights, but still kept looking natural, which I love. The water is super clear, and snorkeling here makes you feel like a cave diver. Which, by the way, you’ll see plenty scuba divers disappear into the abyss beyond.

It’s generally one of the less-crowded cenotes in Tulum, partly due to its steep price to enter compared to others.

Entrance Fee: 500 MXN ($24 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Car Wash Cenote
Cenote Car Wash

Cenote Car Wash (Aktun Ha)

The Car Wash Cenote is located right off the road from Tulum to Coba, and used to be where locals would wash their cars! Now it’s a proper Tulum swimming cenote where you’ll see tons of fish, water lilys, iguanas, and even some turtles from time to time.

Car Wash has a few wooden jumping platforms, a rope swing, and is another cave diving spot. There are a lot of downed trees at the bottom too, making for a unique underwater world to view while snorkeling around.

Entrance Fee: 200 MXN ($10 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Calavera
Calavera Cenote
Temple of Doom
Anna Hanging Out!

Cenote Calavera (Temple Of Doom)

Cenote Calavera gets its name from the appearance of a skull, with three openings into the ground. It’s a very deep cenote in Tulum which cave divers love. Perfect for jumping from the sides (there’s even a narrow opening you can drop into).

It’s sometimes called The Temple Of Doom by professional scuba divers. There is a swing, as well as a climbing rope. They have lounge chairs for sunbathing too.

Entrance Fee: 250 MXN ($12 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Choo-Ha Cenote
Choo Ha Cenote (near Coba)

Cenote Choo Ha

This shallow water cave cenote is located next to the ruins of Coba (about 45-minutes from Tulum). It boasts crystal clear blue water and many stalagmites hanging from the ceiling. It’s a dramatic looking cenote, and one of my favorite cenotes near Tulum.

The shallow water makes this a great cenote to visit with a family or small kids, although the stairs down are pretty steep and slippery. So just be extra careful! Choo Ha is actually one of 3 cenotes located around Coba, and it’s possible to buy a ticket that covers all of them.

Entrance Fee: 100 MXN ($5 USD)

Location: Click For Map

Laguna Kaan Luum
Laguna Kaan Luum

Kaan Luum

Laguna de Kaan Luum is a clear shallow lake with bright blue water which encircles a deep cenote (sinkhole). With a depth of approximately 262 feet, the waters of this cenote supposedly have magical properties.

Kaan Luum is also perfect for scuba diving or freediving with the deeper area cordoned off to prevent entry to swimmers. There are water hammocks, swings, and small tower that you can climb for a great view of the whole area.

Entrance Fee: 300 MXN ($15 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm

Location: Click For Map

Tulum Cenotes Tour

Prefer a guided tour? Explore some of Tulum’s beautiful cenotes as well as some Mayan ruins.

Best Cenotes In Cancun

Cancun Mexico Cenote: La Noria
Cenote La Noria

Cenote La Noria

The best cenotes near Cancun are located along the Ruta De Cenotes (Cenote Route) just outside the city of Puerto Morelos. La Noria was my favorite of these cenotes. It boasts milky blue water, some rope swings, a jumping platform, and dramatic cave stalactites hanging from the roof.

Entrance Fee: 300 MXN ($14 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenotes in Cancun
Cenote Verde Lucero

Verde Lucero

Cenote Verde Lucero is a fun one, with different cliff jumping spots and even a zipline! A very popular cenote that many tours stop at. They also have kayaks to rent here. If you are staying at a hotel in Cancun, these are some of the closest cenotes to go to.

Entrance Fee: 300 MXN ($15 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Sol y Luna Cenote
Sol y Luna Cenote

Cenote Sol & Luna

Cenote Sol y Luna is the first cenote you’ll encounter on the Ruta de Cenotes. It’s a big complex, featuring the cenote itself, as well as a pool, waterslides, temazcal sauna, ATV rides, and more. The cenote is large and green, with fun zipline and some jumping platforms. Lifejackets are provided (and required) here.

Entrance Fee: 350 MXN ($15 USD)

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Cancun Cenote
Boca de Puma
Spider Monkeys
Anna & Her New Friend!

Cenote Boca de Puma

A super fun cenote to visit near Cancun is called Boca de Puma (Mouth of the Puma). It’s actually comprised of two different cenotes, one in a cave, the other open-air. They also have a zipline course here, as well as a handful of rescued spider monkeys who roam free in the jungle, but aren’t afraid of people at all. One of them wouldn’t leave Anna’s side!

Entrance Fee: 400 MXN ($20 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Ojo de Agua
Ojo de Agua Cenote

Cenote Ojo de Agua

This cool cenote called Ojo de Agua has multiple openings (eyes) into the crystal clear water below. There are jumping platforms up to 20 feet high, and swimming through the caves below is super fun. You have to shower before getting in, and there’s a little place to buy lunch here too.

Entrance Fee: 250 MXN ($12 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Mexican Cenotes

Cenote Adventure Tour

Visit 4 different cenotes on a guided tour from Cancun. Includes kayaking, zip-lining, rappelling, and more!

Best Cenotes In Playa Del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Cenote
Jardin del Eden Cenote

Garden Of Eden Cenote

Cenote Jardin del Eden (Garden of Eden) is a large open-air cenote just outside Playa del Carmen. It’s pretty popular with locals and expats, with lots of shady trees, multiple decks for jumping or sunbathing, and plenty of little fish swimming around. A great spot for snorkeling!

Depending on the time of year, and time of day, it can get crowded here. However because it’s big, there is usually plenty of room to spread out.

Entrance Fee: 100 MXN ($4.75 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Azul
Cenote Azul

Cenote Azul

Located right next to Garden of Eden, Cenote Azul has stunning blue water. The “blue” cenote boasts a nice small cliff you can jump from, a wooden boardwalk, and a few shaded areas to hang out.

There’s lots of small fish in this cenote too, who will nibble on your dead skin if you put your feet in the water. A natural Mexican fish spa! Make sure to walk the jungle path that circles the cenote too, it’s super cool.

Entrance Fee: 100 MXN ($4.75 USD)

Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenotes for Kids
Yax-Kin Cenote

Cenote Yax Kin

Cenote Yax Kin is a wonderful cenote in Mexico for families and kids. This is due to its large shallow areas, something that most cenotes don’t have. They also have lounge chairs, and pathways that take you to even more cenotes that are part of the same complex.

There are grills and campsites available to rent too. Keep an eye out for all the HUGE iguana lizards who like to hang around this cenote! Sometimes they chase each other up trees. It’s pretty entertaining.

Entrance Fee: 150 MXN ($7 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Best Cenotes Near Valladolid

Cenote Ik Kil Chitchen Itza
Ik-Kil Cenote

Ik-Kil Cenote

Cenote Ik-Kil is a super popular cenote near the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, and is often included as a stop on guided bus tours. As such, it’s often packed with people. Massive vines stretch down to the water, making it look very dramatic. While cool, due to the crowds, it’s not my favorite cenote in the area.

Entrance Fee: 350 MXN ($17 USD)

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Zaci Ha
Cenote Zaci in Valladolid

Cenote Zaci-Ha

Cenote Zaci is located right in the heart of the Mexican town of Valladolid, and an easy bike ride from anywhere in town. It’s not quite as popular as others, but has a few different cliff jumps, some big black fish swimming around, and sometimes a little waterfall.

Entrance Fee: 30 MXN ($1.50 USD)

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Suytun Valladolid
Suytun Cenote in Mexico

Cenote Suytun

One of the most photogenic cenotes in the Yucatan, Suytun Cenote has become an Instagram sensation. Sunlight streams down from a hole in the ceiling, making for a very dramatic scene. Due to its popularity, it can get quite busy as everyone waits in line for a photo on the circular walkway.

Each person gets about a minute to pose on the walkway for photos, before they blow a whistle and let the next person in line get their turn. Makes a wonderful photo, but is not a very magical experience like some other cenotes can be. A bit of a tourist trap.

Entrance Fee: 150 MXN ($9 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenote X'Canche in Mexico
Cenote X’Canche

Cenote X’Canche

X’canche cenote is next to the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam, and part of the archaeological site. It’s pretty cool, and looks like a circular crater in the ground with steep sides. It’s about a mile (1.5 km) walk from the Mayan ruins, but they also offer bicycles to rent.

To get down to the water itself, you need to walk down a couple of very steep wooden staircases. The water is less clear than some other cenotes, so there isn’t much to see with snorkeling gear. There are some jumping platforms, a free rope swing, plus ziplines & a rappel that you do for an extra fee.

Entrance Fee: 70 MXN ($3.50 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am – 3:30pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Palomitas
Palomitas Cenote

Cenote Palomitas

This cenote in Mexico is a bit off the beaten path, about 30-minutes from Valladolid. It doesn’t see as many tourists as others do. It’s actually part of a 3-cenote complex. It’s a massive cave cenote, with a single hole in the top that allows sunlight to stream in. There’s also a knotted rope hanging down for climbing!

Entrance Fee: 150 MXN ($7 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am – 4:30pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Sac-Aua
Sac-Aua Cenote

Cenote Sac-Aua

One of the most unique cenotes I visited in Mexico, Sac-Aua has a giant island in the middle of it, creating a doughnut shape. They rent kayaks here, so you can cruise around the island. There’s also a jumping platform, and a bunch of iguanas hanging around. They also have a cavern (cave) you can visit, and will cook a traditional Mayan meal for lunch too.

Entrance Fee: 345 MXN ($17 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

Cenote Secreto Maya
Tarzan Rope Swing!

Cenote Secreto Maya

There’s lots to do at this cenote near Valladolid. A 22 meter jumping platform, 10 meter rope swing, caves to explore, and when you enter, you’re treated to a traditional Mayan blessing. There is also food, a swimming pool, hammocks, and a massive colorful mural to enjoy when you’re done with the cenote. Loved this one! It wasn’t too crowded either.

Entrance Fee: 200 MXN ($10 USD)

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm

Location: Click For Map

How To Visit Cenotes

Rental Car

The best site to book a rental car in Mexico is with Discover Cars. They search both local and international car rental companies to help you find the best possible price. This is the easiest way to rent a car and drive in Mexico.

Renting a car offers the best flexibility for exploring and visiting some of the more remote cenotes around the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s my favorite way to get around! You can use my Mexico cenote map at the top of this article to help you find them all.

Take A Guided Cenote Tour

There are several tour options for visiting cenotes leaving from Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum. Some are part of Mayan Ruins tours, while others combine cenote visits with ziplining, ATV’s and other adventure activities. One popular option leaving from Cancun is the Xenote Experience.

Bicycle Or Taxi

Some of the Tulum cenotes can be reached by bicycle, as well as some cenotes near the town of Valladolid. For most others, unless you have your own rental car, you’ll need to hire a local taxi to take you. Often taxi drivers will give you their business card, allowing you to call them when you’re done visiting the cenote to get a ride back into town.

Turtle Swimming
Turtle in a Cenote

Tips For Visiting Cenotes In Mexico

  • To avoid polluting the water in cenotes, most places require you to shower before entering. Please don’t use sunscreen either, as it can be harmful to wildlife.
  • Many cenotes in Mexico provide life jackets for people who are not strong swimmers. Most cenotes don’t have a shallow area — they can be super deep.
  • Some cenotes include rope swings, jumping platforms, zip lines, and will rent you snorkeling gear.
  • Cave divers frequent some cenotes, so make sure to give them plenty of room, and be careful where you jump!
  • Some cenotes can get very crowded, depending on the season and time of day. If you arrive at a cenote and see a bunch of tour buses, it might be worth looking for another if you want to avoid crowds.
  • The water in most cenotes is pretty cold, as they are fed from underground sources.
Travel Planning Resources For Mexico
Packing Guide
Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip.
Book Your Flight
Ready to fly? Here’s how I find the cheapest airline flights.
Rent A Car
Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find a deal.
Cheap Accommodation
Learn how I save money booking hotels & vacation apartments.
Protect Your Trip
Don’t forget travel insurance! Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read why you should always carry travel insurance.

Enjoy This Article? Pin It!


READ MORE MEXICO TRAVEL TIPS

I hope you enjoyed my guide on cenotes in Mexico! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:


Have any questions about visiting cenotes in Mexico? What about other suggestions? Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share!

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
For more info please read our policy page.