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12 Best Cenotes In Mexico To Visit in 2023

12 Best Cenotes In Mexico To Visit in 2023


Have you ever swam in a crystal-clear sinkhole amidst a lush jungle? Swimming in a cenote is a novel expertise, solely discovered in Mexico and one of many issues it’s best to positively check out throughout your journey.

Cenotes are principally discovered on the Yucatan peninsula in the southern a part of Mexico. The nice Mayans knew concerning the cenotes lengthy earlier than they turned a bucket-list attraction, and so they used them as a supply of water in addition to in their non secular ceremonies.

Top Cenotes in Mexico

If you wish to go to among the most superb cenotes select Valladolid cenotes or cenotes close to Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Most cenotes in Mexico are open to the general public, and plenty of provide actions like swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving. You can both be a part of one of many cenote excursions from Tulum or different cities of Riviera Maya when you get pleasure from a hassle-free tour or hire a automotive and go to independently.

The selection is admittedly huge, as there are a whole lot of cenotes in Yucatan, however after studying this submit, you’ll uncover which cenotes in Mexico are actually unmissable.

What are cenotes in Mexico?

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If you haven’t been to Mexico but, you’re in all probability questioning, what’s a cenote?

Cenotes are swimming pools of water that type when porous limestone bedrock collapses, and since there may be loads of limestone in Yucatan, there are various cenotes there. Some cenotes are a part of giant underground river methods, and others are linked to the ocean.

Cavern cenotes are the youngest cenotes the place the limestone roof hasn’t eroded but. These sinkholes are closed and resemble a cave. They obtain minimal pure mild and are darkish and mysterious, so swimming in one of many shut cenotes is a really distinctive expertise. An instance of a cave cenote is Cenote Suytun.

Open cenotes are a lot older, with their roof eroded away over time. They are open to the exterior world, lit with pure mild, and usually lined with lush vegetation. Most cenotes in Yucatan are open cenotes, they’re enjoyable to go to and nice for swimming. Examples of open cenotes embody Gran Cenote and Cenote Ik Kil.

Best Mexico Cenotes Dos Ojos
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We even have historical cenotes which are the oldest in Yucatan. An instance of an historical cenote is Cenote Azul or Cenote Cocalitos in Bacalar, which resemble a lagoon or a lake with each roofs and partitions eroded away.

In the Mayan tradition, cenotes performed an essential function. They had been seen because the bridge between the earthly and the divine worlds. They had been thought of sacred locations and had been used for non secular rituals, together with human choices in some circumstances.

Today, visiting a Mexican cenote shouldn’t be solely a enjoyable exercise but in addition one of many some ways you possibly can discover and perceive the traditional Mayan civilisation.

1. Gran Cenote

Best Cenotes in Mexico Gran Cenote
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Just just a few kilometres away from Tulum, you will see one of the vital widespread cenotes in Mexico – the Gran Cenote.

Gran Cenote is an open cenote with crystal clear emerald water, two swimming pools, and a cave. If you’re in diving, it is a great spot to do it. If you wish to snorkel, which I like to recommend doing, snorkelling gear is included in the ticket value. Just be sure you convey an ID, which is required as a deposit.

The waters of Gran Cenote are teeming with tropical fish, and you’ll even spot right here lovely tinny turtles. A number of-meters lengthy cave connects the 2 swimming pools of the cenote, and as you swim via it, look as much as admire historical stalactites. And when you’re fortunate, you would possibly even spot some bats hovering via the intricate formations.

Getting to Gran Cenote is straightforward; you possibly can drive a automotive, or because it’s solely a 5 km journey, you too can trip a bicycle, which is a typical mode of transport in Tulum. Since the cenote is without doubt one of the hottest cenotes close to Tulum, one of the best time to go to it’s in the morning, proper after it opens at 8 am.

If you would favor to leap on a tour this non-public Cenote Tour takes you to three totally different cenotes in a day together with the Gran Cenote. It is the proper day journey.

Opening instances: 8:00 am to 4:15 pm

Entrance ticket: 500 pesos ($28)

2. Cenote Suytun

Best Cenotes in Mexico Suytun Cenote
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Cenote Suytun is a cave cenote which contains a round platform proper in the center of its cave. At round noon, the platform will get illuminated by a lightweight beam coming via a small opening in the cave ceiling, creating a rare sight! 

This picturesque cave cenote has captured the hearts of Instagrammers worldwide, and it’s not laborious to see why. If you wish to take a photograph of the platform, put together your self to attend in a queue.

Apart from taking the Insta well-known photograph, be sure you discover the cave and its putting stalactites and stalagmites that shaped over hundreds of years. If you wish to swim, you can be required to take a bathe and put on a life jacket.

Cenote Suytun is situated 8 km from the centre of Valladolid. If your itinerary doesn’t mean you can keep a few days in this space of Yucatan, you possibly can ebook a tour beginning out of your resort in Cancun or some other Riviera Maya city.  Combine a go to to Suytun with Chichen Itza and the city of Valladolid for a day filled with attention-grabbing sights. 

This is an ideal cenote tour that features Valladolid and Chichen Itza as effectively. Check Availability right here.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

3. Cenote Azul, Bacalar

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Azul Balacar
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Being one of many prime points of interest of Bacalar Lagoon, Cenote Azul is without doubt one of the prime cenotes to go to in Mexico. It boasts a superbly round form, and as it’s an historical cenote, it extra resembles a lagoon or a lake than a cenote.

Cenote Azul has a darkish blue color because of its depth, which reaches an unimaginable 295 ft. Swimming in this cenote is a rare expertise, and it’s very refreshing. If you’re not a powerful swimmer, be sure that to hire a life jacket and revel in floating in its waters carefree. Alternatively, you too can discover this massive cenote on a kayak.

Bacalar lies in Quintana Roo, a 4-hour drive south of Cancun. You can discover Cenote Azul 4 km south of Bacalar downtown, and the easiest way to get there may be by rental automotive. It can also be doable to get to Cenote Azul by taxi, or when you’re up for some cardio, you too can stroll or cycle. A Cenote tour can also be a straightforward technique to discover these superb pure wonders. This non-public tour takes you to Bacalar Lagoon.

Opening instances: 10 am to six pm

Entrance ticket: 25 pesos ($1.40)

4. Cenote Oxman

Best Cenotes in Mexico Oxman Cenote
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If you’re in search of a cenote the place you possibly can spend a enjoyable day, Oxman is ideal. It is an open cenote with lush vegetation rising on its partitions. 

Cenote Oxman is understood for its Tarzan gown swing. Grab onto the handles and swing to the center of the pool to leap into the cenote. The first leap is just a little scary, however belief me, you’ll want to do it many times!

Also, convey your snorkelling masks (or hire it out) to discover the underwater world of the cenote, which is inhabited by vibrant fish.

Cenote Oxman boasts improbable amenities. In addition to the cenote entrance, you too can get pleasure from their solar loungers and pool. There can also be a restaurant, and when you’re wanting to remain right here for lunch, be sure that to decide on a ticket that features their buffet lunch.

Hacienda Oxman is situated a 6-km drive from downtown Valladolid. You can drive right here or take a taxi. It can also be widespread to cycle right here and go to two different close by cenotes alongside the way- Cenote Dzitnup and Saamal.

Opening instances: 8 am to five am

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

5. Laguna de Kaan Luum Cenote 

Best Cenotes in Mexico Laguna de Kaan Luum Cenote
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Laguna de Kaan Luum is without doubt one of the distinctive locations to go to close to Tulum and a very good vacation spot for nature lovers.

There are many animals dwelling in this space, together with agoutis, jaguars, and badgers. Additionally, you possibly can see parrots, woodpeckers, and iguanas which are vibrant. 

In the center of the lagoon, there may be an 80-metre-deep cenote, which you’ll spot from a raised viewing platform. The water in the cenote has an intense blue color on account of its profound depth, and sadly, swimming inside it’s not allowed.

The lagoon itself presents improbable swimming situations in its heat, shallow waters. Don’t overlook to convey your snorkelling masks and a rush guard to guard your physique from solar publicity, as sporting solar cream is strictly forbidden.

The finest technique to get to Laguna de Kaan Luum is to hire a automotive or scooter and make your manner independently. The lagoon is situated a brief drive away from downtown Tulum, however since it’s tucked away from the primary street, deep in the jungle, it’s best to keep away from taking taxis or public buses, which can drop you off on the primary street.

Opening instances: 9 am to 4 pm

Entrance ticket: 300 pesos ($16.75)

6. Cenote Ik Kil

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Ik Kil
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Situated close to the New World Wonder Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil is a well-liked vacationer cease but in addition one of the vital picturesque swimming holes in Mexico. It is an open cenote with lush vegetation and lianas rising on its partitions and cave ceilings completely eroded away.

Taking a refreshing dip in the cenote’s cool water is an actual deal with after touring Chichen Itza underneath the blazing Mexican solar. The cenote has a most depth of 150 ft, and life jackets are obligatory if you wish to swim. And when you dare, there may be additionally a 5-meter excessive leaping platform, which is certain to offer you an exhilarating adrenaline rush.

Since Ik Kil is situated close to the Chichen Itza Archaeological Site, most excursions cease on the cenote after a go to to the Mayan ruins. This implies that the cenote is just a little busy more often than not, however nonetheless, completely price it. If you want to get pleasure from it with out the crowds, select to go to in the early morning or late afternoon.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 150 pesos ($8.40)

7. Cenote Zaci (Zacil-Ha)

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Zaci
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If you’re in search of one of the best family-friendly cenotes in Mexico, Cenote Zaci, situated close to Tulum, is ideal. It is a small, open cenote, and what makes it a fantastic cenote for teenagers is that it’s only 3 meters deep. The cenote Zaci additionally boasts a enjoyable zipline, which you let go of if you’re in the center of the water for an exhilarating leap, and likewise a 3-meter excessive leaping platform.

The cenote amenities embody solar loungers, a pool and a restaurant the place you possibly can seize a lightweight lunch and a chilly drink.

If you have got an area in your itinerary, mix a go to to Cenote Zaci with Gran Cenote, cenote Calavera or Car Wash Cenote, all of that are situated shut by.

You can drive to this cenote independently or, because it’s solely 8 km away, get right here by taxi. Get the variety of the taxi driver with the intention to name them to choose you out if you’re prepared to return.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

8. Cenote Cristalino

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cristalino Cenote
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Cenote Cristalino, because the identify suggests, is understood for its crystal clear water, excellent for snorkelling and scuba diving. The cenote pool is sort of a large aquarium, stuffed with tropical fish of various species and hues. There can also be a cave-like tunnel which is enjoyable to swim via and a leaping platform for thrill-seekers.

The lush jungle surrounds the cenote, so be sure you discover the entire website as a result of there are two extra hidden swimming pools with shallow turquoise water to be found.

Avoid visiting the cenote throughout the weekend, when the cenote will get actually busy with the native households flocking right here to spend their free time. Also, be sure that to take a look at the neighbouring Cenote Azul, which is equally gorgeous.

Cenote Cristalino is tucked between Tulum and Playa del Carmen and will be simply visited from each cities. The finest to manner get to the cenote is with a rental automotive, however it is usually doable to take a neighborhood bus generally known as a “colectivo”. Make positive you inform the driving force the place you wish to get off, as stops are on demand.

Opening instances: 8 am to six pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

9. Cenote Calavera

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Calavera
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Cenote Calavera is without doubt one of the most original cenotes in Mexico. Unlike different cenotes that usually characteristic a big swimming gap, Calavera consists of some smaller holes and doesn’t have a staircase to entry its cave. Instead, you’ll both want to leap into the cenote or climb down an enormous wood ladder, which is a thrill in its personal proper!

The cenote gap with its ladder is without doubt one of the most photographed locations in Tulum, and if you see it, you’ll perceive why. Inside the primary pool, there may be additionally a swing, which is also a cool photograph spot.

The cenote is surrounded by greenery and vibrant solar loungers the place you possibly can dry off and catch some solar. There can also be a snack store, and as at most cenotes – showers, bogs and altering rooms.

Cenote Calavera is located simply outdoors Tulum downtown, off the primary street to Coba Mayan ruins, and you’ll simply cycle to its entrance or seize a taxi.

Opening instances: 8:30 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 250 pesos ($14)

10. Cenote Car Wah

Best Cenotes in Mexico Car Wash
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Located additionally close to Tulum (in the Mayan language – Cenote Aktun-Ha), often known as Cenote Car Wash, is a picturesque open cenote completely price including to your itinerary.

Cenote Car Wash seems like a tranquil lake and boasts exceptionally crystal clear water, which is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and likewise diving. In the water, you possibly can spot plenty of vibrant fish and small, lovely turtles. For one of the best snorkelling expertise, arrive in the morning when the turtles are probably the most lively.

There can also be a 3-meter excessive leaping platform, which isn’t too scary hight however excessive sufficient to offer you just a little thrill. The cenote additionally has some seating and picnic areas, that are nice if you wish to spend some extra time right here.

Cenote Car Wash is situated on the primary street to Coba, a 9-km drive from downtown Tulum. You can get right here both by taxi, rental automotive, scooter or bicycle. Make positive to additionally take a look at different improbable cenotes in this space, equivalent to Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera.

Opening instances: 8 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 300 pesos ($16.80)

11. Cenote Cocalitos

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cocalitos Cenote
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Famous for its giant stromatolites colony, Cenote Cocalitos is a must-visit cenote when travelling to Bacalar Lagoon. Stromatolites are billions-year-old fossils that are thought of to be the oldest life kinds on Earth and the primary organisms that produced oxygen.

At Cocalitos, you should have a novel alternative to get to those fascinating organisms shut, however be sure you observe the principles and by no means step on them.

Upon arrival, you will see a big swimming gap with lukewarm milky-blue water and an unimaginable view of attractive jungle greenery. The cenote additionally options vibrant hammocks and swings in the water. The cenote is shallow, and it’s doable to stroll round to discover all its corners.

Cenote Cocalitos lies 4 km away from Bacalar metropolis centre, and you’ll simply get right here by taxi, rental automotive or scooter, or you possibly can simply merely stroll or cycle. Make positive you additionally take a look at Cenote Azul, which is located in the identical space of Bacalar.

Opening instances: 10 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 50 pesos ($2.80)

12. Cenote Azul, Playa del Carmen

Best Cenotes in Mexico Cenote Azul
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Another improbable cenote located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Cenote Azul, presents one of the vital pleasant swimming experiences in Yucatan.

The cenote itself is a stupendous pool of turquoise, crystal-clear water surrounded by lush greenery. In addition to the primary pool, there are additionally a number of smaller swimming holes, so be sure you take time to discover the location totally.

Inside the water, you’ll find dozens of vibrant fish, making it an excellent spot for snorkelling and admiring nature in its purest type.

This can also be a fantastic spot for cliff-jumping – there are a number of platforms of various heights, and the best one is 5 meters excessive. Jumping into the refreshing crystal water is a improbable expertise when you dare to strive it!

Cenote Azul is situated proper by Cenote Crsiatlino, so you possibly can go to each of them in at some point. Make positive you convey money with you, as solely money cost (in MEX pesos) is accepted on the entrance. You can hire a automotive or take a neighborhood Colectivo bus both from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Opening instances: 9 am to five pm

Entrance ticket: 200 pesos ($11.20)

Tips for visiting cenotes in Mexico

Best Cenotes in Mexico Tips for Visiting
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Visiting Mexican cenotes is as soon as in a lifetime expertise, and if you wish to take advantage of out of your go to, listed here are some issues to maintain in thoughts.

Bring money – You will want Mexican pesos to pay for entrance on the cenotes you go to. Most cenotes are situated remotely, with no close by ATMs, so be sure you carry sufficient money to pay for the doorway and any extras you could wish to buy, equivalent to snorkelling tools or lunch.

Suncream shouldn’t be allowed – Most cenotes forbid guests to make use of suncream and different merchandise that will contaminate the water. If it is advisable to shield your pores and skin, go for a long-sleeved rash guard. Before getting into the cenote pool, you can be required to take a bathe to scrub off deodorant, physique moisturiser and different merchandise you could be sporting.

Wear a life jacket – The use of life jackets at some cenotes in Mexico is compulsory, whereas at others, it’s advisable however not obligatory. If you’re not a assured swimmer, it’s best to get one, even when it’s not required. Floating in a life jacket is definitely a brilliant enjoyable expertise!

Be respectful – Cenotes in Mexico are sacred locations, so behave accordingly, present respect and observe the principles. 

Don’t do something that may affect the atmosphere, equivalent to bringing plastic to the cenote or leaving any litter behind. Also, convey with you a fast-drying towel product of microfibre materials, a pair of flip-flops, a cushty swimsuit and loads of water.

Cenotes in Mexico: FAQ 

Best Mexico Cenotes FAQ
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Is it secure to swim in Cave Cenotes in Mexico?

Yes, it’s secure to swim in the cenotes of Mexico. Cenotes usually have very clear water that has been filtered naturally via layers of rocks and limestone. But, when you’re not a powerful swimmer, it’s best to put on a life jacket.

What is probably the most well-known cenote in Mexico?

One of probably the most well-known cenotes is Cenote Suytun, with its iconic round platform illuminated by a lightweight beam coming via its ceiling. The images of Cenote Suytun have gone viral on social media, and taking a photograph in its cave is a bucket-list expertise for a lot of avid Instagrammers.

What is so particular about cenotes?

Swimming in cenotes is a really distinctive expertise as you possibly can solely discover them in the Yucatan Peninsula. They are lovely pure swimming pools with crystal clear water, surrounded by lush vegetation. In addition, many cenotes are dwelling to distinctive wildlife, equivalent to bats, vibrant fish and even turtles.

Visiting Cenotes in Mexico: Wrap-up

Coolest Cenotes in Mexico
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I hope you discovered this information to probably the most epic cenotes in Mexico inspiring and helpful. Swimming in a cenote is an unforgettable expertise that it’s best to positively add to your Mexico itinerary. From Cenote Suytun’s iconic round platform to the distinctive wildlife discovered at Laguna Kaan Luum and Gran Cenote, every Mexican cenote has one thing particular to supply. If you’re actually into exploring Tulum cenotes in Mexico be sure that to additionally take a look at different Cenotes like Cenote Dos Ojos or Cenote Manatí simply to call just a few.

Enjoy your journey!

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