There are many cenotes in and around Tulum, and never enough time to actually visit them all. Whilst we were in Tulum we were able to visit just a few of the list below, but without much information available on anything other than the most popular cenotes we thought we would put together a list of those that are available.
Whilst this list is not a ‘definitive’ list persay, it does cover the majority of cenotes in the Tulum area. This of course does not extend up to Playa del Carmen where many more are available, or across to Quintana Roo where some of the best ones are accessible near places such as Valladolid and where we visited, Cuzamá.
Without further ado, here is a list and some information on the cenotes of Tulum!
Caleta Tankah is not actually a cenote all on its own, but it does contain one. For only 100MXN peso you can enter into this hotel and beach club and make use of their facilities. This includes a private beach, a cenote (of course), wifi, and the option of eating and drinking (for a price).
This is an inexpensive way of visiting a cenote whilst also having some great accessible facilities. Our tip however would be to purchase food and drink before you come from the Chedruai supermarket in Tulum, as the prices at Caleta Tankah are quite high for a backpacker.
Also known as the “Temple of Doom”, this cenote is the closest to Tulum being only 2km west of the intersection of highway 307 and the Coba/beach road on the northeast side of Tulum.
Entrance to this cenote is currently 100MXN peso, costing more for diving. If you are brave enough, you can enter this cenote by jumping into a literal hole in the ground into the water 3 metres below. Otherwise, take the ladder down and enjoy this massive cenote
Cenote Cristal / Escondido
These 2 cenotes are across the road from one another, approximately 3km south of Tulum. As these are not as well known as some other cenotes in town, you will usually find them lacking tourists which is great for a bit of privacy.
Entry into these cenotes is 120MXN peso, though we are not sure if this includes entry to both or if you need to pay separately (Cristal was the only one open when we visited).
Continuing past cenote Calavera will bring you to Gran Cenote, one of the most popular cenotes near Tulum. It is also very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving owing to its immense size.
Entry to the Gran Cenote for swimming only will set you back 150MXN peso. Whilst this is not cheap, if you are only in the area for a short while and not seeing any other cenotes in the area (the ones in Quintana Roo for example are much cheaper), then we would recommend trying out here for a great experience.
Given its name because they used to wash taxi’s with its water (seriously), cenote carwash is not a great open-water cenote for families and party-goers alike. With average depths of 3 metres (but having some deeper areas great for scuba diving), and wooden decks built on the edges of the cenote it is truly a great spot to visit.
This cenote is located on the same road out of Tulum (towards Coba) as Calavera and Gran Cenote. It is located 8km from the town, making it possible to ride a bike here or to catch a colectivo / taxi. If you wish to take a colectivo, look for ones heading to Coba and ask to get off at Carwash.
Developed almost like an inground swimming pool, this cenote looms up as a hole in the ground with a rock wall surrounding it and wooden decking built in to make it easier to go swimming.
This cenote is close to Carwash, so if you are riding your bike it isn’t too much further to get to here (about another 500 metres). As this cenote is smaller than others, and only reaching depths of around 2 metres, we would not recommend going here on a busier weekend.
Cenotes Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha and Multum-Ha (near the Coba ruins)
These 3 cenotes are located approximately 10 minutes drive away from the Coba ruins, offering up a great relaxing swim after a long and hot day climbing ancient Mayan temples.
The only problem in trying to reach these cenotes is that you must either hire a car for the day (which is a great option if combining the ruins with the cenotes for the day), or pay a taxi driver to take you out to the cenotes and wait whilst you swim (then returning you to the ruins after an hour).
Being backpackers, we chose the taxi option, and each paid 120MXN peso for a taxi to take us to cenote Choo-Ha, wait an hour, and then return us. We eventually got the same taxi driver to return us to Tulum, which worked out well as we were in a group of 4 (making it cheaper).
These cenotes, whilst a bit further away from Tulum than others, are definitely a must-see in our opinion. They are cheaper (50MXN peso each for entry) than the ones near Tulum and we think more beautiful than others we had seen.
Cenote Dos Ojos
Otherwise known as the “Two Eyes Cenote”, it is so named for the 2 sinkholes that make up the cenote, connected by a 400 metre long passageway. These are quite popular for snorkeling and diving, though is also a good option for a swim.
The cenote itself is located 22km north of Tulum, making it more of a drive away (or a long bike ride if you are game). We would recommend combining a visit to this cenote with some other cenotes (or beaches in the area) to make it a worth day trip.
Cenote Sac Actun
Sac Actun is part of the longest underground river system in the world, and is definitely a lot less known than cenotes such as Gran Cenote and Dos Ojos. However, if you are visiting Dos Ojos you should make the detour to Sac Actun and make your way through the jungle to this hidden gem.
The area is also known as the “Pet Cemetry” owing to the amount of animal fossils found in the caves, giving the are an even greater mystery feel.
Cenote Tercer Cielo
This little known cenote is located on the beach road in Tulum heading towards the entrance to Sian Ka’an.
It is an open water cenote and in our opinion you will most likely be one of the only visitors to this place, especially on a weekday. Give it a try, especially if you are already heading to the beach for the day.
This cenote is another open water cenote (more like a lake) that is located on the same beach road as Cenote Tercer Cielo. The beauty of this spot is that whilst you can do the general snorkeling, swimming, and diving, you can also rent a kayak to explore the large area that makes up this cenote.
You can also rent a cabin or camp out at Cenote Encantado, making it a great little hidden getaway right near the beaches of Tulum. If you do end up staying here, the entrance to the cenote is included.
Cenote Beh Ha
Located right near the entrance to the Sian Ka’an reserve (quite a while from Tulum if you are riding, though a quick 20 minute drive if you are in a taxi) is Cenote Beh Ha.
We have been told that walking down an approximate 100m path takes you to the entrance to this cenote, and also that it is free to access (score!).