Tulum is one of the most dynamic tropical paradises of the Riviera Maya because in this beautiful town you can find endless activities to enjoy your summer to the limit. Among them are the cenotes, and refreshing natural pools of crystal clear water that you must visit.
In this blog, we share all the details about the cenotes and we present to you the 4 best cenotes near Tulum.
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What is a Mayan cenote?
The name “cenote” comes from the Mayan word “Dzonot”, which means water hole. Based on this definition, cenotes are large subway fresh water wells fed directly by rainwater and the currents of subway rivers in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Types of Cenotes in the Riviera Maya.
It is estimated that in the entire Yucatan Peninsula there are around 10,000 discovered cenotes and thousands more of which man does not know yet. These are divided into three types depending on the age of this cavernous formation and each one is a different experience:
Considered to be the oldest, open cenotes were once of the cavernous type fact, were found miles below the surface. As time went by, the large vaults that protected them gave way and left these natural pools open to the elements.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of open cenotes is that being on the surface, the vegetation and sunlight make them a true tropical paradise. Can you imagine swimming in sweet crystalline waters surrounded by trees, flowers, and many small plates?
Semi-open cenotes are considered middle-aged, as they are no longer as young as the subway ones, nor are they as old as the open ones.
The main characteristic is that most of these cenotes are subway with large openings in the upper vault, allowing sunlight, vegetation, and diverse fauna of the area to enter.
Subway-type cenotes are the youngest formations that exist. They are completely underground and do not have any openings that allow sunlight to enter. They also have the presence of stalactites and stalagmites, creating a true visual spectacle.
In pre-Hispanic times, the cenotes were considered the gateway to the underworld or Xibalbá, which is why they became sacred places and the ideal setting for ceremonies and rituals. Today, it is still possible to find great vestiges of these, as vessels, jewelry, skeletons, and diverse elements hidden in the depths of the cenotes continue to be extracted.
The best cenotes near Tulum.
Quintana Roo is one of the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula with a great diversity of cenotes, as you can find them even in big cities like Cancun or Playa del Carmen. But specifically speaking, there is an area called “La Ruta de Los Cenotes”, a belt made up of cenotes of all types open to the public to visit. Here are our top 5 of the best cenotes near Tulum:
Cenote Dos Ojos.
This Cenote is one of the most special that exists in the Riviera Maya. Formed by two cenotes of 70 m in diameter and joined by a 140 m channel, it is ideal to live a day full of adventure and have a great time with the family.
Each one of the cenotes is a unique experience since one of them is uncovered and with a depth of 10 m, ideal for snorkeling and enjoying with the family. While the other is in a cave and reaches a depth of 118 m, allowing you to take guided diving expeditions in this cenote.
In addition to these main attractions, Cenote Dos Ojos offers restrooms and showers, food, parking, guided tours, and massages (some of these for an extra cost).
The entrance fee to the cenote is around 380 Mexican pesos (18 USD) and you can visit it from 9 am to 5:30 pm.
Cenote Calavera Tulum.
Welcome to the most instagrammable cenote in Quintana Roo! This cenote is one of the most famous on social networks due to its natural beauty and the real charm around it.
Cenote Calavera is a semi-open cenote that takes its name thanks to the three holes in its vault, the main and largest one that simulates a mouth, and two smaller holes that take the place of eyes.
This enclosure is the favorite of those adventurers looking to have a great time. Inside you can find a swing from which you can jump or dive into its crystalline waters.
Cenote Calavera is only 3 minutes from downtown Tulum, it has a restaurant, and life jackets and the price per person is 100 Mexican pesos (5 USD).
Gran Cenote Tulum.
Considered the most popular cenote in Tulum, Gran Cenote is one of the most recommended snorkeling sites in the area. Located just 2 minutes by car from downtown Tulum, this paradise is divided into two parts, one open-air, and one subway.
On this site, you can live one of the most fascinating experiences of life. In its cold crystalline waters, you will be able to observe from colorful little fish to large freshwater turtles. In addition, having a depth of 10 meters, it is ideal for snorkeling and discovering large subway formations.
The entrance fee to this cenote is around 300 pesos (15 USD) and you can enter from 8 am until 4:30 pm.
Cenote Carwash (Aktun-Ha).
Cenote Carwash is an open cenote that belongs to a cave system about 3km long. Its real name is Cenote Aktun-Ha, but the locals started calling it “Carwash” because there was a car wash business near the area.
Aktun-Ha has located 8 km from the center of Tulum and the entrance fee is around 200 Mexican pesos (10 USD). In addition, it is necessary to have a guide for activities such as diving or snorkeling.
As a curious fact, the cenote is connected to the Zazil Ha cenote.
How much does it cost to enter a cenote in Tulum?
Most of the cenotes have a small entrance fee, and this depends on the cenote you decide to visit since the standard prices range between 100 Mexican pesos (5 USD) and 200 Mexican pesos (USD 10), depending on the services offered inside the cenote.
There are many options that in addition to parking and security equipment also offer restaurants, food, and other attractions such as zip lines.
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Hotel Casa Coyote, Eco-Hotel in Tulum.
What could be better than resting in one of the most important eco-hotels in Tulum after a great day of adventures? At Hotel Casa Coyote we have several amenities that will make your vacations in Tulum a one-of-a-kind experience, come and live it with us! Make your reservation now.