Cenote Calavera Tulum is one of the best in the Riviera Maya. What makes this cenote in Tulum so special? Cenote Calavera is called so because it looks like a skull: there is one main hole and two smaller ones that look like eyes.
The water in the cenote is quite clear, and this area is popular for diving because the visibility is so good. Visiting this cenote is definitely one of the best things to do in Tulum.
And what’s the best part? That it is not one of the most well known cenotes in Yucatan, which means that, if you are lucky, you will be able to swim alone (better if you come in the morning).
But, what is a cenote?
You may already know what a cenote is. After all, cenotes have become very popular in recent years. If so, skip this paragraph. However, many people don’t know what a cenote is, and I think it is very important to understand what it meant to the Maya.
Cenotes have great cultural and religious significance to the ancient Maya, who believed that cenotes were passages to the underworld. In fact, the Maya performed rituals in cenotes and considered these places sacred. The word cenote comes from the Mayan word dzonot, which means deep hole.
This means you should do the same. Be responsible. Take care of the cenotes, always take your garbage with you and use only biodegradable sunscreens before swimming in the cenotes.
A cenote is a natural sinkhole that dates back centuries. When the limestone caves collapse, they expose a natural pool. This pool is filled with rainwater and water flowing from the subway rivers to which the sinkholes are connected. And so you have a cenote!
There are 4 types of cenotes
- Open cenotes: open cenotes look like natural open pools and can be more or less deep. Some open cenotes are even connected to a subway riverbed (which makes them a great place to dive!). An example of an open cenote is Cenote Cristalino, near Playa del Carmen.
- Semi-open cenote: as the name suggests, this type of cenote has parts exposed and parts partially hidden by the cave. An example of a semi-open cenote is the Gran Cenote, as well as the Cenote Calavera.
- Cave Cenotes: This type of cenote is accessed through an entrance at ground level. Once inside, it opens into a subway pool that can have both shallow and deep areas. Cenote Dos Ojos is one of these.
- Subway Cenotes: This type of cenote is the most difficult to enter because it is subway. Only experienced divers can enter subway cenotes. An example of a subway cenote is the Cenote Cementerio de Animales, near Tulum.
What to know about Cenote Calavera in Tulum?
Most people avoid entering the cenote on their first visit because it is quite hidden.
However, this is probably a good thing because you can have the cenote all to yourself. The two times I went, I was either alone or with 2 or 3 other people, and I really like that 🙂
Facilities available at Cenote Calavera Tulum
Don’t expect anything extraordinary. This is not a super cenote with facilities and services like Gran Cenote or Dos Ojos. This place has a resting area, lounge chairs, lots of vegetation and, of course, a bathroom.
However, there are places to eat just a few kilometers from the cenote itself. The people in charge of the cenote usually have drinks and treats for sale.
The cenote is somewhat isolated, so bring sunscreen, water and anything else you might need.
There aren’t really any lockers or places to lock up your stuff, so if you don’t want to risk leaving anything outside, you should leave it at the hotel.
However, the cenote is small enough that you will be able to keep an eye on your stuff at all times, so I wouldn’t worry about that.
Cenote Calavera : Useful Information
Here is some information that will be very useful when organizing your visit to this cenote.
Where is Cenote Calavera located?
Cenote Calavera is located just 3 kilometers from the center of Tulum, on the road that leads to Coba. You can see it here on the map:
Cenote Calavera Hours
Cenote Calavera is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm, and is the perfect place to escape the scorching sun.
Price of Cenote Calavera
The entrance fee to Cenote Calavera is 250 pesos (u$ 10) and life vest 50 pesos (u$2.50).
Diving at Cenote Calavera
If you plan to dive at Cenote Calavera, you will need to bring your own equipment. In general, if you bring your own equipment, it is preferable to take a cab from the main part of town than to use other means of transportation.
If you don’t have equipment and you want to take a course, here is a link to 👉 the 10 best dive tours in Tulum
How to get to Cenote Calavera Tulum
Thanks to its proximity to Tulum, the cost of transportation will be cheaper.
Renting a bike
Probably the best way to get around the area is to rent a bike and get there, which can take you about 20 minutes if you are going from Tulum town. This way, you can easily visit other cenotes in Tulum.
Rent a car
If you enjoy driving, renting a car is probably the easiest way to get around, especially if you plan to see several cenotes in one day. Renting a car in Mexico is very easy and fairly inexpensive.
The road from Tulum to Cenote Calavera is nice: you’ll find it on the right, about seven minutes after leaving Tulum. Look for the sign with a skull and the word “Calavera” on the right.
Taking a cab
A cab from downtown Tulum will cost you around U$5 to U$10.
What tours can you take from Tulum to the Cenote Calavera area?
➤ If you are in Tulum and want to see several cenotes in one day, then I recommend you the Cenote Triple Adventure tour. In half a day, this tour will allow you to snorkel, dive and cliff jump in three different cenotes: Cenote Casa, Gran Cenote and, of course, Cenote Calavera.
➤ If you prefer to combine history with nature (and a little adventure), Tulum’s Coba tour is for you. In one day, you’ll climb Mexico’s oldest pyramid at Coba, zip-line and kayak in the jungle and, of course, snorkel at Cenote Calavera.
Cenote Calavera Mexico Pros and Cons
Pros of Cenote Calavera
Do you like to jump? Cenote Calavera is great fun!
This is a cenote located off the beaten path, so you can have it all to yourself.
It is closer to other cenotes, so it will be an exciting trip from Tulum and explore several of them.
Cons of Cenote Calavera
The facilities are very basic, so I don’t recommend it for visiting as a family with kids, you might prefer Gran Cenote or Cenote Zacil Ha.
More things to do near Cenote Calavera
➥ Visit other cenotes near Tulum – two other nice cenotes that are close by are Cenote Zacil Ha and Cenote Carwash, but there are so many that it would take days to see them all! I always recommend setting aside at least a day to visit some of them.
➥ Relax for a while on the beach and have lunch at one of Tulum’s many trendy cafes and restaurants.
➥ Explore the ruins of Tulum and, if you have time, go further afield and visit Chichen Itza, one of the 7 wonders of the world.
➥ Enjoy a day trip to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, where you will find the bluest waters, dolphins and even crocodiles.
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