Discover why you must swim once in your life at Cenote Dos Ojos, an incredible sinkhole located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. This place should be on your bucket list for your next trip to Mexico.
Cenote Dos Ojos Tulum is probably the most famous cenote in the world. It has been featured in many documentaries and movies, and I honestly understand why – it’s just unbelievably beautiful!
Its blue waters look almost painted, amazing rock formations and many opportunities for divers make this one of the best cenotes in Tulum.
What is a cenote?
Do you already know what a cenote is? I know, I know – after all, cenotes have become super popular in recent years, especially thanks to Instagram and travel blogs. But many people don’t know what a cenote is, and I think it’s important to tell what a cenote is and understand the meaning it had for the Mayans and be more respectful and take care of these natural beauties.
A cenote is a natural sinkhole that is centuries old. In other words, when limestone caves collapse, they expose a natural pool. This pool is then filled with rainwater and water that flows into the subway rivers to which these pits are connected. This is how a cenote is produced.
The word cenote comes from the Mayan word dzonot, which means well. However, don’t think that all cenotes are the same. There are actually 4 types of cenotes:
- Open cenotes: Open cenotes look like natural open pools that can be more or less deep. Some of these open cenotes are also connected to a subway river bed (making them perfect for snorkeling!). An example of a beautiful open cenote is Cenote Azul, near Playa del Carmen.
- Semi-open cenotes: as the name implies, semi-open cenotes have parts that are exposed and others that are partially hidden by the cave. An example of a famous semi-open cenote is the Gran Cenote.
- Cave Cenotes: This type of cenote can be 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, which I will talk about in this article, is a cave cenote, as is Cenote Oxman, which is located further down near Valladolid.
- 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 is the Cenote Cementerio de Mascotas, near Tulum.
Cenotes are not just natural pools and caves, but have great cultural and religious significance to the ancient Maya, who believed that cenotes were passages to the underworld. In fact, the Maya used to perform rituals in the cenotes and considered these places sacred.
This means that you should too. Please be responsible! Don’t litter the cenote, always take your garbage with you and apply only biodegradable sunscreen before swimming in the cenote.
Dos Ojos Cenote
Dos Ojos Cenote, contrary to popular belief, is not a single cenote, but a system composed of two different cenotes. They are connected by a 400 meter long passage. The name explains it.
Dos Ojos Cenote also holds the record for the deepest underwater passage, reaching 118 meters, although the cenote itself is only 10 meters deep.
The water is clear blue, truly one of the clearest waters I have ever seen (and I have seen quite a few!). The water temperature is a pleasant 24-25º C (in the 70s Fahrenheit).
I couldn’t find the names of the two cenotes, I suspect they are simply called Cenotes Dos Ojos. Most people spend most of their time in the main cenote, as the second one is darker and less inviting, but really beautiful in a different way.
It is not uncommon to see bats as well. And if you really like bats, there is another cave called Bat Cave, which can only be visited with a guide.
Both sinkholes have beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, but they are quite fragile, so don’t touch them. In the cenotes you will find both shallow and deep areas, so it is also a good option for families with children.
Cenote Dos Ojos facilities
Cenote Dos Ojos Tulum is one of the cenotes with the best facilities.
– Here you will find restrooms and changing rooms, as well as lockers for rent.
– The large wooden jetty at the main cenote is an excellent entry point. In both cenotes there are steps to enter the water, but beware of the shallow rocks below the surface.
– Life jackets are included in the entrance fee, but it is an additional cost if you want to rent snorkeling equipment. If you want to rent snorkeling equipment at Dos Ojos cenotes, be sure to pay in advance at the entrance, because between the cenote and the ticket office is quite a distance. Mask and snorkel cost U$ 3, and fins cost U$ 4. We always bring our own that we bought in an Amazon offer.
– You can also extend the ticket to snorkeling or guided diving, although for snorkeling I would recommend using a reputable dive school. Some dive excursions can be found in the excursions section.
– There are lifeguards at the cenote, but always keep an eye on your children if traveling with them. Parking is free and there is a restaurant on site (although with so many restaurants to choose from in Tulum, I suggest going into town for lunch).
– Massage service is available at this cenote (I’ve heard this service works wonders), and there are covered picnic areas where you can sit and enjoy lunch, so bringing your own food is definitely a good idea.
Dos Ojos Cenote Price
The entrance fee to Dos Ojos Cenote is 350 pesos MX (about U$ 18), including life vest.
Only cash is accepted. If you prefer, you can buy the entrance ticket online in advance. You can opt for the entrance + snorkel tour for U$30 (this option includes entrance with guide to the Bat Cave).
Cenote Dos Ojos Map
Cenote Dos Ojos is located 22 km north of Tulum, about 20 minutes by car. The address of Dos Ojos Cenote is Carretera Federal 307, km 244.5 Below you can see it on the map:
Dos Ojos Cenote opening hours
Cenote Dos Ojos is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
What is the best time to visit Cenote Dos Ojos?
If you want to avoid the crowds, you should visit first thing in the morning. We arrived at 8:30am and had the cenote to ourselves until after 9 a.m. At 9:30 the crowds started to appear and we went to Cenote Nicte Ha!
✓ This is the ideal cenote forsnorkeling. You can bring your own equipment or rent it at the entrance after paying your ticket.
Dos Ojos Cenote Diving
✓ This is the main activity, but you have to arrange it in advance with the dive center. Cenote Dos Ojos is popular with divers (many of them are diving for the first time).
Tour to the Dos Ojos Cenotes Tulum
What is the best tour to Dos Ojos cenote?
▶ I recommend the 2 Cenotes Adventure from Tulum – Small Group – All Inclusive: A great tour for both snorkelers and certified scuba divers, this adventure takes you to two of the area’s most beautiful and unique cenotes. First up: Casa Cenote. Then, it’s on to Dos Ojos. Enjoy a light lunch and reminisce about your exciting diving and snorkeling adventures before heading back to Tulum.
▶ Dos Ojos Cenote Private Tour with Mayan lunch: If you don’t like tours with many people and want something private and personalized, then this option is for you. Also, this tour includes a private dive guide at Dos Ojos and lunch, also transportation and entrance fee.
How to get to Cenote Dos Ojos?
Cenote Dos Ojos is located in the Cenote Dos Ojos Park, which also includes Cenote Nicte Ha, Cenote The Pit and other interesting cenotes. There are several ways to get to Cenote Dos Ojos. Let’s take a look at all of them.
Taking a colectivo to Cenote Dos Ojos
Colectivos are usually the best way to get around the Riviera Maya. Once you understand how they work, they are really easy to use: stand at the edge of the highway and wave at any minivan that approaches. Tell the driver your destination when you get in, and pay when you get out (it’s still pretty cheap!).
If you want to go to Cenote Dos Ojos by colectivo, take highway 307 north from Tulum to Playa del Carmen. There is no fixed schedule, but buses run every few minutes. Transportation from Tulum town costs about U$2.
⚠️ Attention: from the entrance and ticket office to Cenote Dos Ojos it takes about 30 minutes on foot. The trail (about 2 km) leads to a dirt road and there is no transportation, so wear comfortable shoes.
If you don’t want to walk that far, check out one of the other options; this is still the cheapest way to get to Dos Ojos.
Hire a private driver for the whole day
One of the best day trips from Tulum, in my opinion, is to visit the best cenotes in the area; I would say all of them, but considering there are thousands of cenotes in Yucatan and Quintana Roo, it’s a tough decision!
If you want to visit several cenotes and other attractions in one day, you can consider hiring a private driver to maximize your time. It is a more expensive option, but it will allow you to visit 6 cenotes in one day at your leisure.
It’s not cheap, I know (between U$100 and U$150, and if you bargain a little less too), but Tulum and the Riviera Maya are much more expensive than the rest of Mexico. If you’re with one or two other friends and can split the cost, it’s definitely worth it.
Take a Taxi to Dos Ojos Cenote
➤ The ride from Tulum town to Dos Ojos Park takes about 20 minutes and shouldn’t cost more than U$15. If they ask you for more money, be sure to bargain.
➤ If you are staying on the beach in Tulum, you will be a little farther away, so allow for U$ 5 more.
Cabs will drop you off at the park entrance, but if you don’t want to walk, you can ask the driver to wait for you to buy a fare and take you to the cenote (for a fee, of course), which is more than a kilometer away.
Renting a car in Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Cancun
The roads in the Mayan Riviera are in very good condition. Renting a car means more freedom, and you can park right in front of the cenotes, which will save you a lot of time and hassle. Why not opt for a road trip through the Yucatan?
Besides, renting a car in Mexico is usually cheap. We usually move around in a rental car for short distances and use RentalCars for online booking.
Pros and Cons of Dos Ojos Cenote Tulum
- It is one of the most incredible cenotes in Mexico.
- It is located next to Cenote Nicte Ha, so you can visit both in one day.
- It is the perfect place for snorkeling and diving.
- The entrance fee to Cenote Dos Ojos is higher than most other cenotes (although a life vest is included with the entrance fee).
- It is one of the most popular cenotes, so it is very crowded.
- To get there, you will have to walk 20 minutes under the sun if you come by colectivo or cab.
See more Cenotes in Tulum