If you’re unfamiliar with cenotes, these are natural sinkholes from caves that gathered rainwater through the years, creating a crystal clear pool of water amidst fantastic cave systems. Cenotes are something you don’t see anywhere in the world. However, most cenotes are generally found in Mexico, and Cancun is near some.
If you’re visiting Cancun, exploring some cenotes throughout your vacation is a must-try. However, with so many cenotes and limited time, you can only visit a few. In general, most travelers only get to visit one or two.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
7 Best Cenotes Near Cancun to Visit
Here, we rounded up the list of the seven best cenotes you should explore near Cancun. These cenotes are only around an hour to two hours of travel away from the city. As such, you can visit several cenotes in a day. We also added some costs you may have to prepare when visiting cenotes.
1. Cenote Jardin Del Eden
Cenote Jardin Del Eden is among the most well-known cenotes in Playa del Carmen, along with the nearby Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino.
The extensive outdoor swimming pool is enveloped by luxuriant greenery and resembles the Garden of Eden.
Cenote Jardin Del Eden is an excellent place for cliff diving and snorkeling, besides bathing in its crystal-clear waters. Scuba divers and snorkelers love to explore its cave system.
A trip to the neighboring cenotes, Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino, can be coupled with a stop at Cenote Jardin Del Eden.
The travel time from Cancun to Cenote Jardin Del Eden takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. The entrance fee to Cenote Jardin Del Eden is 200 pesos for every person.
How to Reach Cenote Jardin Del Eden
It is easy to reach Cenote Jardin Del Eden by riding a colectivo or renting a car. If you want to rent a car, you can find the best options through our article Best Car Rental in Cancun.
You must take a bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, then transfer to another bus to Tulum if you decide to visit by riding a Colectivo. Inform the driver of your desired exit location.
2. Gran Cenote
The ever-famous Gran Cenote is a network of tunnels, caverns, and an open-air cenote connected by winding wooden boardwalks and encircled by lush vegetation.
It is simple to swim inside the tunnels and examine the rock formations thanks to the Cenote’s design. Gran Cenote is a popular place for snorkeling, and the water there is obvious, making it easy to see some of the turtles that live there.
The travel time from Cancun to Gran Cenote takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes. The entrance fee to Gran Cenote is 500 pesos for every person.
How to Reach Gran Cenote
Most visitors to Gran Cenote drive via rental cars. Catch the Cancun to Playa Del Carmen Colectivo first, then the Playa Del Carmen to Tulum Colectivo if you commute via the Colectivo bus. When you get to Tulum, take a cab or the Tulum to Coba Colectivo en route to Coba.
3. Cenote Dos Ojos
One of the most incredible diving cenotes in the region is Cenote Dos Ojos, which is situated halfway between the towns of Playa Del Carmen and Tulum.
The walkway that connects the two sinkholes gives them the resemblance of two eyes, thus the name Cenote Two Eyes. The two sinkholes connect to create a cavern below the earth.
Many tourists go on a snorkeling cruise that descends into the caverns. In addition, Dos Ojos is a highly well-liked diving location due to its extensive cave system.
The travel time from Cancun to Cenote Dos Ojos is around 1 hour and 45 minutes, and the entrance fee depends on how many cenotes you want to visit. For example, it’s 450 pesos if you want to visit other cenotes like Nicte Ha, Sac Actun, and Taaj Bi Ha. Or, it can be 350 pesos for every person if you only want to check out Cenote Dos Ojos.
How to Reach Cenote Dos Ojos
The most convenient way to go to Cenote Dos Ojos is by driving. However, if you’re taking a Colectivo to Playa del Carmen from Cancun, you’ll need to catch another one towards Tulum.
Be warned that it takes 30 minutes of walking through the rough path to reach the Cenote from the drop-off location, which is on route 307 at the entry to the Dos Ojos reserve.
4. Cenote Cristalino
Near the mentioned earlier Cenote Azul, Cenote Cristalino is a noteworthy stop. This open-air type of Cenote pool is among Mexico’s most stunning and crystal-clear turquoise.
Cenote Cristalino may easily be linked with trips to the adjacent Cenote Azul and Cenote Jardin Del Eden, according to the cenotes of Cancun.
The travel time from Cancun to Cenote Cristalino takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, and the entrance fee to Cenote Cristalino is 150 pesos for every person.
How to Reach Cenote Cristalino
Driving or using a colectivo makes it simple to reach Cenote Cristalino. You must take two buses from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and Tulum if you intend to travel by colectivo. Inform the driver of your desired exit location.
5. Cenote Tajma Ha
Due to cave divers’ fascination with the natural wonder, Cenote Tajma Ha was first referred to as Cenote Taj Mahal. Since it’s one of the top cenotes around Cancun for scuba diving, divers are its primary demographic.
The freshwater dives in the Cenote are best suited for intermediate and advanced divers, and several businesses provide dive excursions there.
Cenote Tajma Ha is ideal for visiting if you have a scuba diving certificate. If you want to know more, read Do You Need Certification to Scuba Dive in Cancun?
The travel time from Cancun to Cenote Tajma Ha is around 1 hour and 15 minutes, and the entrance fee to Cenote Tajma Ha is 100 pesos for every person.
How to Reach Cenote Tajma Ha
From Cancun, Cenote Tajma Ha is easily accessible by car or a colectivo. From Cancun, you must first take a Colectivo to Playa del Carmen and then another to Tulum. Inform the driver that you wish to alight at Cenote Tajma Ha.
6. Casa Cenote
Among the unique cenotes close to Cancun is Casa Cenote. A trip to the nearby beach may be coupled with a trip to the mangroves and lush trees surrounding the blue seas.
The Cenote is family-friendly and just 6 meters deep, allowing visitors to enjoy swimming, kayaking, or paddle boarding. In addition, the Casa Cenote is a well-known place for snorkeling, and divers are drawn to the area because of the network of underwater caves that connect to the ocean.
If you want to know more about snorkeling in the city, read: Is It Safe to Snorkel in Cancun?
The travel time from Cancun to Casa Cenote is around 1 hour and 15 minutes, and the entrance fee to Casa Cenote is around 150 pesos for every person.
How to Reach Casa Cenote
If you can bear a short walk from the highway, you may reach Casa Cenote by taking a colectivo. If not, you’ll need to drive a car. If you decide to take the colectivo, you must take one from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and another towards Tulum. Finally, you can reach the Casa Cenote by walking down a dirt path for twenty minutes.
7. Cenote Azul
Cenote Azul, the ‘Blue Cenote,’ is a sizable open-air type of Cenote with blue waters that sparkle, an excellent cliff jump, and other pools to explore. The primary Cenote includes two swimming places; Azul is a well-liked cenote among families because of the coastal waters of the reserve pool and the cliff dive in the deeper hole.
The entry to Cenote Azul is located along the central road from Playa Del Carmen, one hour drive to the southern road of Cancun.
The travel time from Cancun to Cenote Azul is around 1 hour and 15 minutes, and the entrance fee to Cenote Azul is 150 pesos for every person.
How to Reach Cenote Azul
The Cenote Azul is simple to reach by car. You must take two buses, one from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and the other to Tulum. Inform the driver of your desired exit location.
Things to Bring When Visiting Cenotes in Cancun
You will require a few items to bring when visiting cenotes in Cancun. Some are required, while others will simplify your tour.
While most businesses in Cancun accept foreign currencies, there are no credit card payment terminals at the businesses in the cenotes. As a result, be prepared to pay in cash for anything you buy, including the admission fee and any food. Make sure your money is not in dollars but instead in the local currency.
You may rent towels in the majority of cenotes close to Cancun. It’s preferable to bring your own though, if you want to save some money. Additionally, it’s easier to get there, particularly if you’re visiting multiple cenotes.
We advise picking a microfiber towel if you’re purchasing a towel before traveling to Cancun since it’s light, comfortable to the touch, absorbs a significant amount of moisture, and dries rapidly within a few minutes of drying.
Sunscreen & Mosquito Repellant
We also advise you to pack sunscreen and any insect repellent. You would spend most of your time in the sun’s heat since you’d be swimming in cenotes. As a result, you require sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
Additionally, there may be some mosquitoes around because cenotes are found in areas with dense vegetation and trees. Therefore, one issue to be aware of when visiting this place is mosquitoes.
In any case, you won’t want to get bitten by such insects. As a result, we advise you to pack some insect repellent. We recommend this Travel Size Mosquito Repellent Spray for you to carry around.
Cenotes’ beautiful surroundings would be wasted if you couldn’t snap photographs. However, we advise carrying a waterproof camera with you because cenotes need a lot of diving and snorkeling in the water.
In light of this, an action camera like a GoPro, DJI, or Insta360 would be the best choice. These cameras can shoot wide-angle pictures, so even in a confined location, you can take a photo of the entire Cenote. But, of course, you can always buy a cheaper alternative, such as the Akaso action camera.
With this list of the best cenotes, you now know which ones to visit during your stay in Cancun. As always, squeeze in at least one or two of these cenotes during your stay, as we are sure it will make your vacation more memorable. The rest of the things to do is to enjoy the cenotes you visit and take plenty of pictures for memories.