All the cenotes near Tulum you must visit

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There are many cenotes near Tulum and around de Peninsula de Yucatan. Thanks to its beautiful white sand beaches, internationally renowned gastronomy, proximity to impressive Mayan ruins, and crystalline cenotes, Tulum is one of the jewels of the Riviera Maya’s tourist destinations.

Lest’s review first, What is a Cenote?

First, the word “Cenote” derives from the Mayan word “d’zonot”, which means “well”. In Spanish, the word “cenote” – pronounced seh-NO-tay – is used to refer to a natural sinkhole filled with water.

The cenotes are deep water wells, which are fed by the filtration of rain and by the currents of the rivers that are born in the heart of the earth. That’s why swimming in a cenote feels so cool, imagine that the average temperature of its waters is a maximum of 24°C!

There is a great variety of cenotes in Tulum and its surroundings, such as open cenotes, semi-open ones, and those that are completely subway. These places are ideal to have fun with your family or enjoy a romantic getaway with your partner. Get to know some of the best cenotes located near Tulum and refresh yourself in this peninsula of the continental Caribbean.

Open Cenotes: these are caves that are completely sunken in themselves and exposed to the outside. They are our favorite because you can swim, and the water has a pleasant temperature.

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Semi Open Cenotes

This type of cenote is mostly underground but has small openings at the top that allow light and fresh air to enter. This play of light provides an extraordinary beauty when the sun’s rays illuminate the crystalline water.

Underground Cenotes

These cenotes are located entirely in cave systems, so there is no natural lighting to illuminate their waters. Among the subway cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula near Tulum are Cenote Choo-Ha, next to the ruins of Coba, and Cenote Xkeken, very close to Valladolid.

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Best Cenotes in Tulum

The Gran Cenote

It is one of the best cenotes in Tulum and one of the most touristic ones in the Riviera Maya. This is a cave with an open part, the water is transparent, with a sandy bottom, and you can see some turtles. It is also a great cenote for diving, as it is connected to one of the largest cave systems in the world, many of which are partially submerged. It is a good choice for visiting Tulum with children, as it is easily accessible for all swimmers (even beginners). Open from 8 am to 4 pm

About 5km from Tulum on the road to Coba. Large parking lot. Easily accessible by bicycle.


Cenote dos Ojos 

This Cenote is called “Dos Ojos” (Two Eyes) because they are two cenotes 70 meters in diameter joined by a large subway cavern. The first cenote is perfect for swimming and snorkeling in the crystal-clear water, the second is more mysterious surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites. When the water level is high enough, it is possible to take a 400m corridor to reach the bat cave: impressive! Open from 8 am to 5 pm

Located 20 km from Tulum and Playa del Carmen.


Cenote Carwash

Its real name is “Aktun-Ha” and it was nicknamed “Carwash” because before it was discovered there was a car wash nearby. It is a nice cenote, semi-open, and not very crowded. The diving area is 5 m deep, with stalactites, aquatic plants, various fish, and freshwater turtles. You can only dive in the 15 m deep cave with an authorized guide. The cenote is connected by a subway network with the Zacil Ha cenote.

Located 8 km from Tulum to Coba.



Its name means “clear water” in Mayan and it is a magnificent natural pool that was transformed into a small ecotourism complex. You can swim, snorkel and even dive in “Las Lagrimas”, an 8 to 35 meters deep cave that connects with the Carwash cenote and the Calavera cenote.  It is an ideal cenote for entire families as it has all the amenities like: rest areas, a swimming pool, a restaurant, dressing rooms, cabins, restrooms, parking, snorkeling gear rental. There is even a small zip line in the cenote! Open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
This beautiful cenote is located 9 km from Tulum towards Cobá.


Cenote Calavera

Cenote Calavera is a true gem among Tulum’s cenotes. Its name translates as “Skull Cenote”. Aptly describes its formation: three sinkholes that look like two eyes and a mouth. Furthermore, creating a mysterious skull-shaped face above the cenote. To access the refreshing waters, you have two options: descend the 4-meter drop down the sturdy staircase at the edge of the cenote or, for the more adventurous, jump off the side and take a thrilling leap into the depths of the cenote. Open daily from 9 am to 4 pm
Only 2 km from Tulum, on Highway 109 towards Coba.


Casa Tortuga

Casa Tortuga is one of my favorite places in Tulum, because there is not just one, but 4 cenotes! Cenote Campana and Cenote Wisho are semi-open cenotes with stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations. Cenote Tres Zapotes is a large open cenote, and finally Cenote Dorca which is accessed by a path surrounded by mangroves.
15 min from Tulum, on the Cancun-Tulum highway.


Sac Actun, Nicte-Ha and the Pit

However, near Parque dos Ojos, a constellation of cenotes awaits you, each with its unique charm. In particular, Cenote Sac Actun, popularly known as the “pet cemetery”. Moreover, Cenote El Pit, revered as the deepest cenote in Yucatán, beckon with their captivating charm. Cenote Nicte-Ha completes this trio of favorites. Located 25 km from Tulum, on Highway 307. Located in Dos Ojos Park.


Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido

These are two outdoor cenotes, located opposite each other and accessible with the same entrance ticket. Following this, both cenotes are surrounded by abundant vegetation with clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. If you like diving, you can dive in the 500-meter corridor that connects Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido. They are located south of Tulum, 4 km from downtown on the 307. There is parking for cars and bicycles. Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.

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In summary, you can find 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, large and small. Some of the best cenotes are around Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Not only are cenotes incredibly rare and beautiful, but they can also be a lot of fun.

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