Cenotes in Cancun
Cancun is home to stunning beaches, Mayan ruins, sprawling resorts, and an incredible party atmosphere. However, to explore and experience the best cenotes in Cancun, visitors need to step out of the city’s bounds.
Delve into everything this incredible region offers besides beautiful beaches and hotels. Here you’ll find many of the finest cenotes in Yucatan. Keep reading as I provide all the essential information to plan your tour of these cenotes.
The Top 17 Cenotes in Cancun
Fortunately, many cenotes near Cancun are easily accessible with a rental car. I rented a car in Cancun to travel throughout the entire Yucatan Peninsula. Alternatively, you can travel with the local minibusses that cover the entirety of Yucatan or join a guided tour.
Note: The Colectivo departs from the parking lot near the ADO bus station in Cancun.
1- Cenote Azul
Drive time from Cancun: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The Cenote Azul, or Blue Cenote, is a large open-air cenote teeming with bright turquoise waters, an adrenaline-pumping cliff jump, and various pools for exploration.
The main cenote has two distinctive swimming areas: the deeper pool allows for cliff jumping, while the shallower waters of the second pool make Blue Cenote a fantastic family-friendly spot.
Located an hour’s drive south of Cancun, the entrance to Blue Cenote sits conveniently off the main road leading to Playa del Carmen.
Blue Cenote Entry Fee: Admission to Blue Cenote costs USD 7 per person.
Getting to Blue Cenote from Cancun
Blue Cenote is easily accessible with a rental car. If you’re considering taking a Colectivo, you’ll need to catch a bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and another to Tulum. Be sure to inform the driver where you wish to disembark.
From my experience, the journey to this wondrous natural attraction is as scenic and enjoyable as the cenote itself. The moment I plunged into its deep turquoise waters, I knew this would be a memory I’d cherish for a lifetime. If you’re in the Cancun area, visiting the Blue Cenote is a must!
2- Cenote Ik Kil (Chichén Itzá)
Drive time from Cancun: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá are a popular day trip from Cancun and home to one of the most spectacular cenotes in the Yucatán Peninsula, the nearby Ik Kil Cenote.
The roof of the Ik Kil cenote has completely collapsed, and the roots of trees descend into the cenote’s water, creating a breathtaking scene. Both Chichén Itzá and Ik Kil Cenote are easily accessible from Cancun, and even if you don’t have your own transport, most tours include a stop at Ik Kil Cenote.
Ik Kil Cenote can get crowded mid-day due to the numerous tours and individuals coming for the trip to Chichen Itza.
We recommend getting to Ik Kil Cenote early: ideally, arrive by 9 AM when the cenote opens. We stayed at the Hotel Villas Arqueologicas Chichen Itza to explore the ruins early in the morning and then visit Ik Kil Cenote, just a 5-minute drive away.
Ik Kil Cenote Entry Fee: The entrance to Ik Kil Cenote is 80 pesos per person.
How to get to Ik Kil Cenote: Easily accessible with a rental car. You can also take the special ADO bus from Cancun to Chichen Itza but expect a round trip time of nearly 6 hours.
The easiest way (apart from a rental car) to visit Ik Kil Cenote is as part of a trip to Chichén Itzá. Many tours from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum include Ik Kil Cenote as part of a day excursion.
If you’re planning a visit, check out our detailed guide to Ik Kil Cenote Yucatán.
3- Puerto Morelos Cenote Route
3- Puerto Morelos Cenote Route
Driving time from Cancun: 30 minutes to the start of the Puerto Morelos Cenote Route.
More than 10 cenotes are found along a 20-kilometer route near the fishing village of Puerto Morelos. This route is just a 30-minute drive south of Cancun, making these the closest cenotes to Cancun.
Some of the highlights of the Puerto Morelos Cenote Route include:
Cenote Kin Ha: This is a deep-water cave cenote accessed by climbing wooden stairs or jumping from wooden platforms high above!
Cenote Las Mojarras: An open-air cenote with zip lines and a diving platform.
Cenote Siete Bocas: Its name translates to 7 mouths, referring to the 7 entrances to the underground river.
Cenote La Noria: A cenote cave similar to Kin Ha, with zip lines, a diving platform, and bats.
Cenote Selvatica: Located in Wild Adventure Park, this cenote combines swimming with mountain biking and zip-lining.
The entry price to the Puerto Morelos Cenote Route varies depending on the cenote and chosen activities.
Tip: Many of the cenotes along the Puerto Morelos Cenote Route have been turned into eco-adventure parks and offer a variety of activities, such as zip-lining, mountain biking, and even horseback riding.
How to get to the Puerto Morelos Cenote Route from Cancun: The Cenote Route is easily accessible from Cancun with a rental car. You can also join a tour from Cancun, some of which even include zip-lining and mountain biking adventures.
4- Gran Cenote
Driving Time from Cancún: 1 hour and 45 minutes
The well-known Gran Cenote is a collection of caves, caverns, and open-air cenotes linked by winding wooden walkways and lush vegetation.
The layout of the cenotes makes it easy to swim in the caves and marvel at the rocky formations. Snorkeling is a viral activity at the Gran Cenote, and the turtles that inhabit it can often be seen in its crystal-clear waters.
Entrance Fee to Gran Cenote: Admission to Gran Cenote is 180 pesos per person.
How to Get to Gran Cenote: We rented a car and drove to the Gran Cenote. If you’re traveling by Colectivo, you must take the Cancún – Playa del Carmen Colectivo and then the Playa del Carmen – Tulum Colectivo. When you arrive in Tulum, take a taxi or the Tulum – Coba Colectivo to Coba.
5- Yal Ku Cenote
Driving time from Cancun: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Tucked away in the tranquil village of Akumal are the pristine white sand beaches, a coral reef bustling with turtles, and the turquoise waters of the Yal Ku Lagoon.
Flowing directly into the Caribbean Sea, this vast open cenote boasts shallow waters and thriving marine life. The Yal Ku Cenote is an excellent choice for families and divers alike.
Yal Ku Cenote Entry Price
Entry to the Yal Ku Cenote costs 300 pesos per person.
How to Get to Yal Ku Cenote from Cancun
The Yal Ku Cenote is most easily accessible by renting a car in Cancun, located at the end of Akumal’s road. If you’re traveling on the Colectivo, ask the driver to drop you off at Akumal, then take a taxi to the town.
This journey truly feels like a personal discovery of an underwater world, with the vibrant hues of the cenote water and the diverse aquatic life adding to the charm of the place. I can’t wait for your adventure in the Yal Ku Cenote!
6- Zacil Ha Cenote
Travel time from Cancun: 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Nestled next to the Great Cenote, Zacil Ha Cenote is more than just a water-filled sinkhole. With its open-air pool, crystal clear waters, relaxing hammocks, and even a zipline, this cenote is a destination in its own right.
Zacil Ha offers superb facilities, including a quaint restaurant and regular swimming pools for a relaxing experience.
Entrance Fee to Zacil Ha Cenote: Tickets are priced at 100 pesos for locals, 150 pesos for Mexican Nationals and 300 pesos for foreigners.
Getting to Zacil Ha Cenote
You can easily reach the Zacil Ha Cenote with a rented car. However, if traveling via Colectivo (shared minibus), you must take the Cancun to Playa del Carmen Colectivo first. Next, take the Colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. Once you’re in Tulum, hail a taxi or catch the Tulum to Coba Colectivo to get you to the cenote.
As I recall, driving through the scenic Mexican landscapes to reach Zacil Ha was an experience. The clear waters of the cenote, shimmering under the sun, and the zipline thrill are still vivid in my mind. Whether you’re an adventure-seeker or a tranquility lover, Zacil Ha Cenote promises a unique and unforgettable experience.
7- Dos Ojos Cenote
Driving time from Cancun: 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Nestled between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, the Dos Ojos Cenote stands out as one of the prime diving spots on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Dos Ojos, or “Two Eyes,” gets its name from the pair of sinkholes connected by a ledge, resembling two eyes. These double sinkholes merge to form an underground cave. Many visitors choose to embark on a tubing excursion through the caves. Because of its extensive cave system, Dos Ojos is a big hit with divers.
Dos Ojos Cenote Admission Fee
Entry to the Dos Ojos cenotes costs 450 pesos, and it covers all the cenotes in the Dos Ojos Park – Sac Actun, Taaj Bi Ha, and Nicte Ha are equally impressive and well worth the visit if you have the time. Single tickets to Dos Ojos alone cost 350 pesos.
Getting to Dos Ojos Cenote
If you’re traveling by Colectivo (shared taxi or minibus) from Cancun, you’ll need to take one to Playa del Carmen and another to Tulum. The drop-off point is on Highway 307 at the entrance of Dos Ojos Park. Be aware there’s a 30-minute dirt road journey to reach the cenote. Alternatively, there are tours from Tulum that include a stop at the Dos Ojos Cenote.
8- Cenote Cristalino
Travel time from Cancun: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Lying close to the Blue mentioned above, the Cenote Cristalino is a sight worth the detour. An open-air cenote, this wonder holds some of Mexico’s most enchanting blue waters.
Pro-tip: Pair your trip to the Cenote Cristalino with a visit to the Blue Cenote and Eden’s Garden Cenote for a day rich in nature’s stunning spectacle.
Cenote Cristalino Entrance Fee: Entrance to the Cenote Cristalino comes at a small price of 150 pesos per person, a fair trade for the experience that awaits within.
How to Reach Crystal Cenote: Getting to the Cenote Cristalino is straightforward, whether in a rental car or hopping onto a local ‘Colectivo.’ If you’re considering the Colectivo, you’ll have to catch a bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and another from there to Tulum. Just let the driver know where you want to be dropped off.
Writing from personal experience, I can tell you this – the journey is worth every bit of effort. As you immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of this cenote, you’re not just taking a dip in a pool but in the rich and mesmerizing tapestry of nature’s artwork.
9- Suytun Cenote
Drive time from Cancun: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Tip: The Suytun Cenote is conveniently located near Valladolid, making it a fantastic stop en route to Chichen Itza or Coba when traveling from Cancun.
If you want to combine a refreshing cenote swim with a show-stopping Instagram photo, the Suytun Cenote is a must-visit. When the sun is directly overhead, the cenote’s cavern lights up, painting a dazzling spectacle of sunbeams cascading through the cenote’s ceiling to the circular platform below.
Suytun Cenote entrance fee: $150 pesos for adults ($7.50USD) and $100 pesos for kids ($5USD)
How to get to the Suytun Cenote: One option is to catch the ADO bus to Valladolid and, from there, take a local ‘Colectivo’ or a quick taxi right to the cenote’s doorstep. Plenty of day trips from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum include the Suytun Cenote as part of a full-day excursion to Chichen Itza.
If you’re planning a visit, check out our detailed Suytun Cenote, Mexico guide.Crystal Cenote
10- Cenote Jardín del Edén
Driving time from Cancún: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Nestled amongst its neighboring gems, Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino, Cenote Jardín del Edén is one of the most beloved cenotes in Playa del Carmen.
The sizeable open-air pool is surrounded by lush greenery, making it the spitting image of a paradise garden you’d conjure in your wildest dreams.
Aside from taking a swim in its crystal-clear waters, Cenote Jardín del Edén is a fantastic spot for cliff jumping and diving. Its cave system is viral among divers.
Admission price to Cenote Jardín del Edén: Entrance to Cenote Jardín del Edén is 100 pesos per person.
Tip: A visit to Cenote Jardín del Edén can be easily combined with stops at Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino.
How to get to Cenote Jardín del Edén
Cenote Jardín del Edén is readily accessible by a rental car or local Colectivo. If you plan on using the Colectivo, you’ll need to catch a bus from Cancún to Playa del Carmen, then another to Tulum. Make sure to tell the driver where you want to get off.
From my personal experience, the journey to this cenote is worth every minute. Once you dive into the clear, calm waters of the Cenote Jardín del Edén, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a whole new world. Each second spent here is a memory to cherish, from the heart-stopping thrill of leaping off the cliffs to the serene exploration of the underwater caves.
11- Casa Cenote
Estimated Driving Time from Cancun: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Casa Cenote is one of the most remarkable cenotes in Cancun. Lush trees and mangroves surround the crystal clear turquoise waters, perfectly paired with a beach visit just a short distance away.
You can swim, kayak, or boat in the cenote, and its depth of 20 feet makes it suitable for families. Snorkeling is quite popular at Casa Cenote, and it also attracts divers with its underwater cave system that leads directly into the ocean.
Entrance Fee to Casa Cenote: The entrance to Casa Cenote is 150 MX pesos / USD 9.
How to Get to Casa Cenote
You can quickly get to Casa Cenote with a rental car or a local Colectivo (if you are okay with going off the beaten path). If you plan to take the Colectivo, you must catch one from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and another to Tulum. Let the driver know you want to get off at Casa Cenote, a roughly 20-minute walk along a dirt path surrounded by jungle.
When you finally arrive, the effort of the journey is instantly rewarded. The picturesque turquoise waters are a sight to behold, inviting you to immerse and explore the beautiful aquatic world beneath. Soaking in the unique ecosystem at Casa Cenote felt like being part of a well-kept secret, a hidden gem amidst the Cancun tourist trail.
12- Cenote Tajma Ha
Drive Time from Cancun: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I remember the day I first encountered the Tajma Ha cenote, a place initially known to divers as the Taj Mahal cenote. I was utterly captivated by this natural marvel, and it didn’t take me long to understand why it’s trendy among divers. Indeed, it is one of the premier cenotes in Cancun for diving.
A plethora of businesses arranges cenote diving excursions. Freshwater diving here is most suitable for intermediate and advanced divers. If you, like me, hold a diving certificate, the Tajma Ha cenote is undoubtedly one of the top cenotes by Cancun you should consider visiting.
Getting to the Tajma Ha Cenote
Reaching the Tajma Ha cenote proved to be relatively straightforward. You can get there by renting a car or using local Colectivo transportation from Cancun. I opted for the latter.
To get there, take the Cancun Colectivo to Playa del Carmen first and then catch another one to Tulum. Remember to let the driver know you want to disembark at the Tajma Ha cenote. The journey is worth it. Once you see the Tajma Ha cenote, you’ll be as entranced as I am!
13- Coba’s Cenotes
Travel time from Cancun: 2 hours
For those keen to explore the incredible Mayan ruins of Yucatan, Coba, one of the most significant in Yucatan, and its cenotes make for a great day trip from Cancun.
There are three important cenotes near the entrance to the Coba ruins: Cenote Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, and Multum-Ha. These are a series of small cenotes perfect for a refreshing dip after exploring the jungle’s incredible ruins.
Cenotes Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, and Multum-Ha are underground cenotes: two of them are caves, while Multum-Ha has a small opening in the ceiling.
Coba Cenotes Entry Fee: A ticket that covers all three cenotes costs 100 pesos.
How to get to Coba’s Cenotes
The easiest way to reach these cenotes is to rent a car from Cancun (check the prices now!). Tamcach-Ha cenote is included in this fantastic Tulum and Coba tour from Cancun.
14- Sac Actun Cenote
Travel Time from Cancun: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Tucked away in the heart of Mexico, you’ll find Sac Actun, an integral part of the country’s most comprehensive underground cave system. Nestled nearby another famed cenote, Dos Ojos, Sac Actun is a fascinating underground marvel. An intriguing network of caves links these two cenotes, where stalactites dangle from the ceilings like glistening glaciers.
Sac Actun Cenote Pricing: The price for an awe-inspiring experience at Sac Actun Cenote? A modest 450 pesos. The admission ticket includes a knowledgeable guide, diving gear, and a life vest, ensuring a safe and enlightening exploration.
Getting to Sac Actun Cenote: Navigating Sac Actun Cenote might be the beginning of your adventure. The most effortless way to reach this hidden gem is by renting a car. But if you’re starting your journey from Cancun and opting for the Colectivo, be prepared for a little detour. You’ll first need to catch a ride to Playa del Carmen, then transfer to Tulum.
Your journey begins on Route 307 at the entrance to Dos Ojos Park. However, brace yourself for a 30-minute trek on a dirt road to finally reach the cenote. Trust me; the voyage is worth the destination.
Boldly venture into the depths of Sac Actun, and let this majestic cenote reveal the timeless secrets of Mexico’s underground world to you.
15- Xcanche Cenote (Ek Balam)
Travel time from Cancun: 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Ek Balam is a well-trodden expedition for many Cancun visitors seeking out the lesser-known Mayan ruins. Nestled in the same village lies a beautiful cenote, the Ek Balam Xcanche Cenote, conveniently located near the entrance to the Ek Balam archaeological zone.
Note: The cenote entrance is found before the Ek Balam ticket check, meaning you can independently visit both the ruins and the cenote.
Xcanche Cenote is an awe-inspiring open cenote with a cascading waterfall plunging into it. Besides swimming, ziplining, and bungee jumping are popular pursuits at this serene cenote.
Xcanche is the ideal spot for unwinding and cooling down after a bustling morning exploring the Ek Balam ruins. I recommend setting aside time to visit this cenote.
Xcanche Cenote Entrance Fee: Admission to the Xcanche Cenote costs 170 pesos (USD 10). It’s somewhat challenging to reach the cenote on foot, so it’s well worth hopping into one of the waiting taxis—a round-trip taxi, including the entrance fee, totaled 250 pesos.
How to Get to Xcanche Cenote: Xcanche Cenote has situated approximately 2 km from the Ek Balam ruins entrance. You can get there by foot, bike, or pedicab. After touring the Ek Balam ruins, we took a pedicab. From Cancun, Ek Balam can be easily accessed by rental car or bus to Valladolid and completing the remaining journey via shared taxi or taxi. There are tours to Ek Balam from Cancun, but I have yet to find any that include time to visit the cenote.
16 – Cenote Zaci
Travel time from Cancun: 2 hours.
Valladolid’s charming and bustling city is a popular stop-off between Cancun, Coba, and Chichen Itza. Nestled in the heart of this vibrant town, you’ll find Cenote Zaci, a semi-open cenote where half of its dome is open to the sky. Taking a dip while gazing at the sky and lush vegetation is a truly wonderful experience, and on the enclosed side, stalactites dangle from the ceiling.
Pro tip: If you plan to overnight in Valladolid, there are some fabulous cenotes within a short distance from the town. Cenote Suytun, Oxman, Xkeken, and Cenote Samula rank high among our favorite cenotes in Valladolid.
Cenote Zaci Entrance Fee: Tickets are priced at 40 pesos (USD 2.50)
Getting to Cenote Zaci: Cenote Zaci is conveniently located right in the center of Valladolid. It’s an easy drive with parking available. From Valladolid’s main square, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to Cenote Zaci.
Experience it yourself! Swimming beneath the open sky in a semi-open cenote is something profoundly unique. The lush vegetation, the dramatic stalactites, and the inviting water all come together to create an experience that’s pure magic. Take the chance to feel it firsthand.
17- Calavera Cenote
Travel time from Cancún: 2 hours
The Calavera Cenote is a marvel nestled near Cancún. It’s dubbed “Calavera,” the Spanish word for skull, due to the three sinkholes resembling two eyes and a mouth, creating an overhead view akin to a human head. Diving into this cenote is an adventure; a four-meter drop leads you into the tranquil, crystalline waters below. A ladder at the edge of the cenote is readily available for the less daring. But if you are up for a thrill, you can leap off the edge, plunging directly into the water!
Admission Price for Calavera Cenote: Entry to this underground gem is priced at 100 pesos. If you plan on indulging in the immersive experience, add another 100 pesos for the diving fee.
How to Get to Calavera Cenote: Calavera Cenote is conveniently accessible with a rental car. But worry not if you’re traveling from Cancún without a private vehicle. You can hitch a ride on a “Colectivo” – a local shared van service – to Playa del Carmen. From there, catch another Colectivo to Tulum. Finally, hop on a taxi or another Colectivo heading towards Coba and inform the driver where you’d like to be dropped off. With these instructions, the majestic Calavera Cenote is just a ride away!
Remember, whether you’re jumping from the edge or cautiously using the ladder, the memory of plunging into the clear waters of Calavera Cenote will remain unforgettable.
In conclusion, Cancun is a treasure trove of natural beauty and the cenotes are some of the brightest jewels in its crown. These natural sinkholes, filled with crystal clear water and surrounded by lush vegetation, offer a unique experience that is both thrilling and serene. Whether you are an adventurer looking for an exciting diving experience, a nature enthusiast seeking tranquillity, or a culture aficionado curious about the Mayan history, Cancun’s cenotes will not disappoint you. Remember to respect these natural wonders and follow the safety guidelines to make the most of your visit.
What is a cenote?
A cenote is a natural sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Cenotes were sacred to the Mayans who inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula and they are unique to this region.
How many cenotes are there in Cancun?
While the exact number is unknown, there are thousands of cenotes scattered throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. In and around Cancun, there are numerous cenotes available for visitors to explore.
Do I need to book a tour to visit a cenote?
While some cenotes can be visited independently, others are part of private lands and can only be accessed through a guided tour. Additionally, guided tours often provide added benefits like transportation, equipment rental, and local knowledge.
What should I bring to a cenote?
Bring your swimsuit, towel, water shoes, and a change of clothes. Avoid wearing sunscreen or insect repellent as these can contaminate the cenote’s water. Many cenotes also rent snorkeling or diving gear.
Are cenotes safe for swimming?
Yes, cenotes are generally safe for swimming. However, always follow safety guidelines, heed posted signs, and never swim alone. Some cenotes are deep and are more suited to diving than swimming.
Can I dive in the cenotes in Cancun?
Yes, many cenotes offer spectacular diving experiences. However, you must have a certified open water diver certificate, and in some cenotes, a cavern or cave diving certification is necessary.
Are there restrooms and food available at the cenotes?
Most of the larger cenotes have facilities like restrooms, changing rooms, and sometimes a small restaurant or snack bar. However, facilities vary from cenote to cenote.
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