Playa del Carmen is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, thanks to its lovely white sand beaches, huge resorts, and easy access to spectacular Mayan ruins and crystal clear cenotes. From the shallow waters of one of Playa del Carmen’s most popular cenotes, Cenote Azul, to the stunning Zacil-Ha Cenote in adjacent Tulum, there are several great cenotes Playa Del Carmen just waiting to be discovered.
If you just do one thing in Mexico, visit one of the Playa Del Carmen cenotes. They are immensely popular among both locals and tourists! And, after falling in love with so many wonderful cenotes near Playa Del Carmen, — here’s a guide to the best cenotes near Playa Del Carmen! But first…
What is a Cenote?
A cenote (pronounced seh-NO-tay) is a fresh water-filled limestone sinkhole that naturally occurs when bedrock falls and exposes the groundwater below.
Most of the 6000 cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula are small, underground, and inaccessible, although a significant number are large enough to swim, snorkel, or dive in. Many are crystal blue and open to the air, while others are reached through stairs that descend down into caverns and are linked to enormous underground river systems.
Because the water in the cenotes is chilly because it comes from underground, they are ideal for a refreshing dip to cool off from the scorching Mexican sun.
Several cenotes were utilized for sacrificial rituals throughout Mayan times, and artifacts such as gold, ceramics, and even human and animal remains have been discovered in them.
Types of cenotes
The cenotes near Playa del Carmen are a combination of open, semi-open, and underground formations:
These are caves that have fallen in on themselves and are now exposed to the sky. They are the most popular ones because they permit swimming in the open air, the water is warm, and there are generally plenty of places to rest by the water. Cenote Azul in Playa del Carmen is probably the best open cenote, followed by Cenote Zacil-Ha in adjacent Tulum and Cenote Oxman near Valladolid.
These cenotes are primarily subterranean, but there are little vents in the ceiling that allow light and fresh air to enter. The light beams illuminate the crystal clear water below, making these cenotes very stunning. Cenote Ik Kil, which may be seen as part of a day excursion to Chichen Itza, and Cenote Samula, one of the cenotes near Valladolid, are two of the best semi-open cenotes near Playa Del Carmen.
These cenotes are entirely underground in a cave system, with no natural light to illuminate the cenote water. The three cenotes near the Coba ruins (Multum-Ha, Tamchach-Ha, and Choo-Ha) are spectacular underground cenotes that are easily accessible from Playa Del Carmen during a longer stay.
Can you swim in a cenote?
Cenotes might be difficult to reach. In principle, more remote cenotes sound perfect, but they frequently involve ‘swim at your own risk’ scenarios. Other more touristy ones include lifejackets in their ticket prices.
You cannot swim with lotion on your skin because it can kill fish and marine plants, and most places require you to shower before entering.
Best cenotes Playa del Carmen Mexico
The cenotes, caverns, and underground caves are among the Mayan Riviera’s most popular attractions. From the thousands of cenotes in the Riviera Maya, we’ve selected the top ten cenotes near Playa del Carmen that you shouldn’t miss.
These are the best cenotes around Playa Del Carmen, and I believe they should be included in every Playa Del Carmen or Yucatan itinerary!
Cenote Chaak Tun
Here you will actually find two underground cenotes, one with a hole at the top letting in sunbeams and dramatic hanging vines, the other with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites but with little lighting and even pitch black in portions.
The Chaak Tun cenote is THE best cenote in Playa del Carmen in my opinion. Here’s why:
- It’s the only cenote in the heart of Playa del Carmen (10 minutes from the city)
- It’s also home to one of the most stunning caverns on the Riviera Maya!
Chaak Tun can only be reached as part of a 2-hour snorkeling expedition that includes a shaman’s blessing, a Maya meal, tequila, as well as some hiking, and more than an hour in the water. Tours in English and Spanish commence every 30 minutes between 8 and 14.30. The guided Cenotes Playa del Carmen tours are required for preservation and safety reasons.
The guided trip lasts 2h30 and it also includes visits to three flooded caves and one dry cave: Pixan, Xibalba, and Aluxes. You will see a plethora of stalactites, stalagmites, various fish, and ceramic offerings while swimming in the crystal clear waters and wandering with a torch. But, in fact, this is only a small fraction of this vast underground realm, as Chaak Tun is part of Sac Actun, the world’s largest network of underwater caves!
Pick a tour that’s early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the tourist crowds who flock here on day trips from Cozumel.
Cenote Chaak Tun is open daily between 9 AM and 3 PM.
How to get to Cenote Chaak Tun
To get to Cenote Chaak Tun from Playa del Carmen, you can rent a car or take a taxi for an 8-minute drive. The taxi ride will cost around 70 pesos.
Cenote Chaak Tun ticket costs
- The 550 peso admission ticket to Cenote Chaak Tun includes an enthusiastic guide, full equipment, a wetsuit, and lunch.
Cenote Rio Secreto or Secret River Cenote
Rio Secreto, an underground stream in the center of the Yucatecan jungle abounding with cenotes and caverns, is less than 13 miles (21 kilometers) from Playa del Carmen. The most thrilling experience is touring the caverns and exploring the Secret River to its fullest.
The typical tour route is about a third of a mile long (around half a kilometer) and lasts around one hour and a half. You will explore around 60 meters of caves and underground rivers in which you can go for a swim. For this tour, you need to follow your experienced guide wearing a neoprene suit, a lifejacket, and special water shoes plus a helmet with a headlamp.
Rio Secreto is one of the best cenotes in the Playa del Carmen area, so it was impossible not to include it on this list of cenotes to visit. Furthermore, it was named Best Nature Reserve in Mexico and Central America at the World Travel Awards.
Cenote Rio Secreto is open between 9 AM and 8 PM every day.
How to get to Cenote Rio Secreto
From the center of Playa del Carmen, you can get to the Secret River Cenote by car, taxi, or bus. The trip will take only 6-8 minutes. The bus ride is the cheapest at only 9 pesos, and the taxi ride is the most expensive at 80 pesos.
Cenote Rio Secreto ticket costs and other useful info
- An adult ticket to Cenote Rio Secreto costs $79 USD
- A child ticket to Secret River Cenote costs $39.50 USD
- All tickets include access to the Nature Reserve and a small group tour (10 travelers max.) with a specialized guide. The ticket price also includes lockers, a wetsuit, a life jacket, a helmet with headlamp, towels, a local food buffet, and beverages.
Book the best vacation rentals in Playa del Carmen right next to these cenotes.
Best cenotes near Playa del Carmen
The majority of visitors to Playa Del Carmen wish to explore at least one of the ancient Mayan ruin sites that dot the Yucatan Peninsula. You can find beautiful cenotes Playa del Carmen just a short trip away by car, taxi, or Colectivo.
Most of them are located on the road that connects Playa del Carmen to Tulum, with a large cluster around Puerto Aventuras. I will list them below from the closest cenote to Playa del Carmen to the one that is the farthest.
Cenote Chac Mool
This is a lovely cenote, ideal for beginners looking to dive in Playa del Carmen. While you must have an open water certification or similar, you don’t need to have attended the cave diving course previously because you will be exploring a rather big space with a maximum depth of 12m. Although Chac Mool is a popular cenote in Playa del Carmen for novice divers, it’s critical to exercise caution and adhere to all safety precautions and avoid the areas that are restricted to the public.
At Cenote Chac Mool, you’ll find amazing caves with roots, stalactites and stalagmites, limestone columns, and turquoise water with exceptional visibility, punctuated by some lovely light rays.
In truth, there are two entrances to the cenote Chac Mool: the main one and one called Hermanito (Little Brother). The first hall is rather huge and bright, while the second is strewn with stalactites of all sizes. There’s also a natural dome where you may get out of the water and examine the roots and rock formations.
Cenote Chac Mool is open between 8.30 AM and 5.30 PM.
How to get to Cenote Chac Mool
To get to Cenote Chac Mool, you can rent a car or take a taxi for a 33-minute drive from Playa del Carmen. The taxi ride should cost around 190 pesos.
Another option is to take a Colectivo from Ave. Juárez in Playa del Carmen. The 51-minute bus ride will cost 120 pesos.
Cenote Chac Mool ticket costs and other useful info
- An adult ticket to Cenote Chac Mool costs 250 pesos.
- Admission is restricted to visitors that are at least 12 years old.
Cenote Crisatlino is extremely close to the previously mentioned Cenote Azul and is well worth a visit. Located near Playa del Carmen in the heart of a mangrove jungle, Cenote Cristalino is an open-air cenote with some of Mexico’s most magnificent crystal pure blue waters. And, while the water may be cold, it feels very pleasant on hot days, which is why this is a popular cenote for families near Playa del Carmen.
The slight downside comes from the fact that it’s a tourist cenote on the Riviera Maya because of its beauty and accessibility due to its proximity to the major road (therefore also feasible by public transport). Fortunately, you never feel crowded because there are numerous areas and a tiny cave where you may swim and snorkel while maintaining your personal space.
As it’s touristy, you won’t feel entirely immersed in nature, but you can find everything you need: deck chairs, snorkeling equipment, changing rooms, and life jackets. There’s no food for sale but you’re allowed to bring your own to enjoy a picnic in a fabulous setting!
The Cenote Cristalino is open from 8 AM to 6 PM every day. However, to enjoy the silence and avoid the crowds, it’s best to arrive before 10 AM.
How to get to Cenote Cristalino
Cenote Cristalino can be reached by driving your rental car on the Carretera Federal in the direction of Tulum. Three kilometers after Puerto Aventuras, you’ll find this cenote and enjoy the free parking.
An alternative is to take a local Colectivo at the corner of Avenida 20 and Calle 2 in Playa del Carmen in the direction of Tulum. The round-trip should cost about 70 pesos.
It’s easy to combine a trip to Cristalino Cenote with a visit to nearby Cenote Azul or Cenote Jardin Del Eden, two of Playa del Carmen’s most gorgeous cenotes. It’s also near the beach, so you can easily turn your visit into a full-day trip!
Cenote Cristalino ticket cost
- Adult tickets to Cristalino Cenote cost 150 pesos
- Children tickets to Cristalino Cenote are 100 pesos.
Cenote Jardin del Eden or Cenote Ponderosa
Cenote Jardin del Eden is one of the most magnificent cenotes in Playa del Carmen, located about 20 minutes from the town center. It’s also one of the largest cenotes on the Riviera Maya, so there is plenty of space for a leisurely dip even on Sundays when there are more visitors. Along with Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino, Cenote Ponderosa is one of the most popular cenotes in Playa del Carmen.
When you enter the cenote, it’s clear why it’s called the Garden of Eden – the big open-air swimming pool is surrounded by lush green vegetation and appears precisely like you’d imagine the Garden of Eden to be. Iguanas hide in the surrounding rich foliage and little fish come to tickle your feet in quest of dead skin when you dip them in the clear waters.
With multiple entrance points to the ocean, platforms for leaping, pristine waters, and shadow areas, Cenote Jardin del Eden is ideal for cliff jumping, swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing. It is also possible to scuba dive from the entrance of Cenote Jardin del Eden to the Coral Cenote (approximately 1 hour) to see various roots, fossils, and even Mayan artifacts. The cave system of Cenote Ponderosa is famous among experienced scuba divers.
Cenote Jardin del Eden tip
Some parts of Cenote Ponderosa are very deep so you should be careful when swimming here, especially if you’re a beginner.
Cenote Jardin del Eden is open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day except on Saturday when it’s closed.
How to get to Cenote Jardin del Eden
Cenote Jardin Del Eden can be reached by renting a car and driving south on Highway 307 from Playa del Carmen, then exiting near Barcelo Hotel.
An alternative is using public transportation. Take a local Colectivo from Calle 2 in Playa del Carmen and just tell the driver that you’re going to Jardin del Eden or Barcelo Hotel. The whole trip will cost around 30 pesos.
Cenote Jardin del Eden ticket cost and other useful info
- Adult tickets to Cenote Jardin del Eden cost 200 pesos
- Renting a life jacket costs 25 pesos.
Cenote Azul or Blue Cenote
Another popular cenote in Playa del Carmen is the big open-air Cenote Azul, with its shallow waters and a fun cliff jump. It’s actually around 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Playa del Carmen and quite near Puerto Aventuras.
With wooden stairs for easy and safe access, Cenote Azul is perhaps the best cenote for children in Playa del Carmen. This shallow cenote is big and it has exceptionally clear water and various landing spots. There’s even a 4m jump platform and a picnic area, perfect for taking a lunch or snacks.
The main cenote is divided into two swimming sections by a wooden boardwalk. There is an open section surrounded by magnificent foliage, as well as a section covered in stone that is great for a stop in the shade. From the cliff of the deeper pool, you can try diving into the cenote. Snorkeling is also popular on this side of the island.
There are cabins and palapas with rustic tables and seats for rent by the Cenote Azul.
Cenote Azul is ideal for families who want to swim in the open air, relax in the water, and have some fun jumping from the reasonably easy natural platforms. Families usually flock to the shallow cenote side, where younger children can paddle in the clear waters.
Cenote Azul is open every weekday between 9 AM and 10 PM. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
To avoid the crowds, I recommend arriving early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
How to get to Cenote Azul
Cenote Azul is easily accessible from Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, and as a result, it is extremely popular. You can get to Cenote Azul by renting a car, taking a local Colectivo, or taking a short taxi journey.
Cenote Azul is very close to the Cenote Cristalino, the Cenote Jardin del Eden, and the Xpu-Ha Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya, so there is plenty to keep you busy for several hours!
Cenote Azul ticket cost and other useful info
- Tickets cost 120 pesos for adults and 80 pesos for 5-8-year-olds
- Free admission for children under 5
- Renting snorkeling equipment costs 70 pesos and renting life jackets costs 70 pesos.
Kantun Chi cenotes
This Mayan Riviera ecological park of cenotes, caves, and groundwater lies 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Playa del Carmen. One of the best on-site experiences is traveling the underground river with a guide who can help you overcome any worries you may have. It’s a great location that you should not miss.
There are four Kantun Chi cenotes you can visit when you book a Playa del Carmen cenote tour:
- Kantun Chi Cenote, which means “Mouth of Yellow Stone” in Mayan, is a semi-open style cenote with an estimated depth of 1 to 12 meters.
- Saskaleen Ha Cenote, or “Transparent Water,” is one of the largest cenotes in the eco-park. Like Kantun Chi Cenote, it’s semi-open and has depths ranging from 1 to 6 meters.
- Uchben Ha Cenote, or “Ancient Water,” is a cenote that is open to the sky and is home to the majestic Mot Mot bird; its maximum depth is 4 meters.
- Zihil Ha Cenote, “Where the water is reborn”, is an open cenote where you will find a rich beauty of flora and great vegetation, which make this cenote a paradise.
The Kantun Chi Ecopark is open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day.
How to get to Kantun Chi cenotes
The fastest way to get to this cenote park Playa del Carmen is to drive or take a taxi (190 pesos) for a 24-minute ride. The cheaper alternative is a 54-minute bus ride (10 pesos).
Kantun Chi cenotes ticket costs and other useful info
- An adult ticket to see the four cenotes in the Kantun Chi ecopark costs $29.70
- A ticket for a child (5-11 years old, between 1-1.40 m tall) costs $16.20.
Chikin Há Natural Park cenotes
The Chikin Ha Natural Park is located just 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and it features three cenotes. It’s a small area where you can swim in the clear waters of the Chikin Ha Cenote and Cenote X’Tabay, as well as explore the nearby ceremonial cenote Taak Bi Ha, with its mysterious ambiance.
Depending on the package you choose, you can even go ziplining and riding through the jungle, as well as having lunch on site. It’s an excellent half-day trip for the entire family to Playa del Carmen!
And, if you’re interested in scuba diving in Chikin Ha Natural Park, you can explore the depths of the cave as long as you have an advanced diving certification.
Chikin Ha Natural Park is open between 9 AM and 5 PM. Closed on Saturdays only.
How to get to Chikin Ha cenotes near Playa del Carmen
You can get to Chikin Ha cenotes by driving or by taking a taxi (200 pesos). This way, you’ll get there in only 27 minutes. However, it’s cheaper to go on a 38-minute bus ride that will cost only 75 pesos.
Chikin Ha Natural Park ticket costs and more
- An adult ticket to Chikin Ha cenotes costs 350 pesos
- Admission is free for children who are 5 years old or younger
- You need to deposit 50 pesos for using the locker; you’ll get this refunded after your visit
- You can rent snorkeling equipment for 50 pesos or bring your own
- The full 2-hour tour costs 750 pesos and it includes a Mayan ceremony, a guided tour of the three Chikin Ha cenotes and a cave, lunch, plus bike, zipline, and snorkeling equipment.
Cenote Tajma Ha
Cenote Tajma Ha was once named Cenote Taj Mahal by cave divers who were captivated by the natural splendor. Over the years its name changed to Tajma Ha, “ha” meaning water in Maya.
Cenote Tajma Ha is a favorite among divers because it’s one of the best cenotes around Playa Del Carmen for scuba diving. There are several diving companies that offer tours into the cenote, and the freshwater dives are best suited to intermediate and advanced divers.
Cenote Tajma Ha is one of the best cenotes to dive in Playa del Carmen, and it’s especially recommended for experienced divers. So if you have a diving certification, add this cenote to your list!
You can enter the cave with just an open water certification, but to fully explore the passages, you should have some experience so you don’t get stuck. The dive lasts 50 minutes to an hour at a maximum depth of 15 meters. As you explore the underwater caves, you will come across fossils, stalactites, stalagmites, and a rather dense halocline.
From March to September, there are incredibly lovely skylights created by the sun’s rays entering through the roof. It’s a beautiful sight for both swimmers and divers. However, though you can definitely come just for some swimming or snorkeling in Cenote Tajma Ha, I recommend this experience for divers more. The surface space is small and there are better cenotes to visit if you don’t plan to go diving.
Cenote Tajma Ha is open between 10 AM and 6 PM.
How to get to Cenote Tajma Ha
Cenote Tajma Ha is easily accessible if you rent a car from Playa del Carmen. Then, you just need to drive on Carretera 307 for 30 kilometers south of Playa del Carmen. You can also take a local Colectivo, or go on a brief taxi ride. The last part of the ride will be on a gravel road that continues for about 2 kilometers from the main road.
While you’re here, you can also go explore the less-touristy Cenote Esmeralda, right “next door”.
Cenote Tajma Ha ticket cost
- An adult ticket to Cenote Tajma Ha costs 150 pesos.
Cenote Aktun Chen
Cenote Aktun Chen is a must-see cenote in the Playa del Carmen area. It is set in an ecological park that includes many cenotes for snorkeling, an underground river, ten zip lines, and a 600-meter-long cave studded with multicolored stalactites and stalagmites, and amazing vaults.
You can enter the jungle from the cave. The cenote lies underground, and its crystal-clear waters make it suitable for diving and snorkeling, with underwater lighting allowing you to see the ground formations.
Cenote Aktun Chen is open between 9.30 AM and 5.30 PM, with the last entry at 4 PM.
How to get to Cenote Aktun Chen
The natural park is 27 kilometers from Playa del Carmen, on the Tulum-Cancun route. The entrance is approximately 4 kilometers on a dirt road from the main road, and then you have another 1.5 kilometers to get to Cenote Aktun Chen. If you don’t arrive by car, please indicate this at the entry as they have transportation available.
Cenote Aktun Chen ticket cost and other useful info
- Underground River tickets for adults cost $33, while those for children are $27
- Cave visits cost $29 for adults and $23 for children
- Zipline tickets are $44 for adults and $35 for children.
Cenote Dos Ojos
This magnificent cenote, located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, is made up of a cave and two springs or water sources. It’s one of the best diving cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula. However, Cenote Dos Ojos is not only a popular choice for divers but also for snorkelers and divers.
The name of Cenote Dos Ojos translates as Cenote Two Eyes, referring to the two sinkholes connected by a boardwalk that resemble two eyes. The two sinkholes are linked and you can swim between them. However, the connection is made by an underground cavern so you can travel from one “eye” to the other only by diving underwater.
Many guests choose to take a snorkeling tour inside the caves. Dos Ojos is a famous diving destination due to its extensive cave system.
The Cave of the Bats is a gloomy and foreboding environment with no natural light. You must enter the cenote with a professional guide, and you can swim, snorkel, and dive inside.
The Dos Ojos Cenote is open between 9 AM and 5 PM.
How to get to Dos Ojos Cenote
Cenote Dos Ojos is best reached by renting a car, or by taking a Colectivo from Playa Del Carmen. For the latter, the drop-off place is on highway 307 at the entrance to Dos Ojos cenotes park — be advised that the cenote is a 30-minute walk along a dirt road.
Cenote Dos Ojos price
- Adult tickets to Dos Ojos cost 350 pesos
- For 450 pesos, you can see all the cenotes in the Dos Ojos Park – Sac Actun and Nicte Ha are particularly spectacular and should be visited if time allows.
Cenote Taak Bi Ha
Cenote Taak Bi Ha, sometimes known as Cenote Tak Be Ha, is located within the Parque Dos Ojos, which also houses the popular Cenote Dos Ojos. It’s a shallow cenote located in an underground cave (easy to access through a stairway) with stunning, completely translucent water, skylights, and roots that fall from the roof, in addition to its many stalactites.
You can enjoy Cenote Taak Bi Ha on your own in the main area, or you can join their snorkeling tour, which includes a guide, equipment, and a diving light. If you want to explore the cenote’s underground galleries, you can even go diving.
Cenote Taak Bi Ha is open between 9.30 AM and 5 PM.
How to get to Cenote Taak Bi Ha
Cenote Taak Bi Ha is located 50 minutes away from Playa del Carmen. If you’re renting a car, you can take the 307 Chetumal-Cancun towards Tulum to the Parque Dos Ojos gate, then drive another 3 kilometers on a dirt road.
Cenote Taak Bi Ha ticket cost and other useful info
- An adult ticket to Cenote Taak Bi Ha costs 350 pesos and it includes renting a life jacket.
- If you’re interested in the snorkeling tour, the Cenote Taak Bi Ha ticket costs 400 pesos.
Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich
In Mayan, Nohoch Nah Chich means “The Giant Bird.” This cenote system connects to the Caribbean Sea and is roughly an hour’s drive from Playa del Carmen. It’s massive: in addition to stretching over 10 kilometers and having 36 openings, it is linked to Sac Actun, the world’s largest subterranean cave system.
Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich has a maximum depth of 30 feet, and you may explore and admire the rock formations and the colorful marine life, which includes fish and turtles. And although diving allows access to its remarkable underwater passageways with magnificent rock formations, visitors can also swim, snorkel, abseil, and zip line in its crystal blue waters.
Nohoch Nah Chich Cenote is not particularly popular with tourists. Few people are aware of its presence, despite the fact that it is regarded as one of the best cenotes to dive in the Riviera Maya.
Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich is open between 8 AM and 5 PM. There are few visitors, but there are occasionally small diving groups. It gets increasingly quieter in the late afternoon after 14.00.
How to get to Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich
If you rent a car, you’re just a 55-minute drive from Playa del Carmen, near Tulum. A taxi ride will cost around 380 pesos if you’re looking to arrive there faster.
A slower alternative that takes one hour and a half is taking a Colectivo, which only costs 90 pesos.
Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich ticket costs
- An adult ticket costs 800 pesos and it includes snorkeling, abseiling, and zip-line experience.
Casa Cenote or Cenote Manati, located on the route between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, is one of the most interesting cenotes in Mexico. The crystal clear blue waters are surrounded by thick forests and mangroves, and a short excursion can turn into a full day trip if you spend the rest of the time on the nearby beach.
Visitors can swim, kayak, or paddleboard in Casa Cenote, which is only 6 meters deep and one of the best cenotes for families. Snorkeling is also common at Casa Cenote. Its underwater tunnel system, which connects it directly to the ocean, attracts lots of divers every year, which makes Casa Cenote diving extremely popular.
You might even see a manatee in the lagoon that connects the cenote to the sea!
Casa Cenote is open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
How to get to Casa Cenote near Playa del Carmen
Casa Cenote can be reached by renting a car, taking a local Colectivo (if you don’t mind walking off the highway), or taking a cab.
Colectivos depart from Playa Del Carmen’s Calle 2 — simply tell the driver you want to get off at Casa Cenote. Then, it’s roughly a 20-minute walk along a dirt road surrounded by vegetation.
Casa Cenote ticket cost
- An adult ticket to Casa Cenote costs 120 pesos.
Gran Cenote or Great Cenote is a large and popular cenote outside of Tulum. Comprised of tunnels, caverns, and an open-air cenote, the Gran Cenote is one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s top diving cenotes. The Great Cenote is also ideal best for swimming and snorkeling, so it has something for everyone.
You will first arrive at the cenote’s outer portion, then take the 20m tunnel to the second portion, which is hidden behind the rock wall… where the water is absolutely clear! The waters are so clean and clear that turtles can often be seen swimming in them!
Gran Cenote is also an excellent snorkeling location. Swim and snorkel inside the caverns for a stunning view of the light beams hitting the water through the cave opening and to explore the rock formations.
Families will enjoy it because it is supervised, and it has all conveniences, plus a spacious picnic area. Swimmers and snorkelers of all levels will enjoy the clear waters where they can spot turtles.
Part of Sac Actun, the world’s largest underwater cave system, the Gran Cenote is only suitable for advanced divers, though.
Gran Cenote is open daily from 8 to 16. Gran Cenote is extremely popular, therefore I recommend going early in the morning before 10 or late in the day to avoid crowds.
How to get to Gran Cenote Playa del Carmen
Gran Cenote is an excellent addition to a day trip to Tulum or Coba. It’s easily accessible if you rent a car. An alternative is to arrive in Tulum by Colectivo from Playa del Carmen, then take a cab or another Colectivo in the direction of Coba.
It’s ideal for travelers who want to see as much as possible in one day because it is conveniently placed near Tulum, Coba, and other cenotes. For the full experience, book a guided bike tour of Tulum that includes visits to Gran Cenote, Cenote Escondido, Cenote Cristalino, and breakfast!
Gran Cenote ticket costs
- Adult tickets to Gran Cenote cost 300 pesos.
- Renting a locker is 30 pesos, and renting snorkeling gear costs 80 pesos.
If you’re planning a trip to Tulum from Playa del Carmen, make sure to stop by Cenote Zacil Ha and its neighbor, Cenote Ak Tun Ha (also known as Cenote Carwash). Cenote Zacil-Ha is a tiny and lovely open-air cenote with clean water, which makes it one of the best cenotes for families.
There are numerous options to leap from the sides or even zip line across the cenote and plunge into it from above! Other amenities include hammocks and regular swimming pools where you may relax!
Cenote Zacil-Ha is open from 10 AM to 5.30 PM every day.
How to get to Cenote Zacil-Ha
Cenote Zacil Ha is an excellent addition to a day trip to Tulum or Coba. It’s easily accessible if you rent a car. When you arrive in Tulum by Colectivo from Playa del Carmen, take a cab or another Colectivo in the direction of Coba.
Cenote Zacil-Ha ticket cost
- Adult tickets to Cenote Zacil-Ha cost 80 pesos.
Cenote Ak Tun Ha or Carwash Cenote
The modest and relaxing Cenote Ak Tun Ha, next to the previously described Zacil- Ha, is also known as the Carwash Cenote since it was once utilized for exactly that, washing vehicles! The cenote includes a vast open-air pool just steps from the parking lot, and its waters are home to a variety of fauna.
Fish and turtles swim in an underwater world of stalactites and stalagmites, with the occasional appearance of a little resident crocodile. A path through the foliage leads to a cave part. Cenote Carwash can reach depths of up to 50 feet, and divers are frequently seen emerging from its waters.
In short, Cenote Ak Tun Ha is ideal for swimming and diving. It’s the perfect choice for those searching for a relaxed and conveniently accessible cenote experience.
Cenote Carwash is open from 8 AM to 6 PM.
How to get to Cenote Carwash
Cenote Carwash is an excellent addition to a day trip to Tulum or Coba. It is easily accessible via vehicle hire. When you arrive in Tulum by Colectivo from Playa del Carmen, take a cab or another Colectivo in the direction of Coba.
Some other cenotes you can see in the area are Cenote Vaca Ha, Cenote Tortuga, Cenote Mariposa, and Cenote Zemway.
Cenote Ak Tun Ha ticket costs
- Adult tickets to Cenote Ak Tun Ha cost 50 pesos.
Cenote Angelita’s magnificent clear waters are deep, so this cenote is frequently visited by expert divers. There are no facilities or food and refreshments – it’s a wild area.
Cenote Angelita is open from 8 AM to 5 PM every day.
How to get to Cenote Angelita
Getting to Cenote Angelita is an adventure in and of itself, as you’ll have to hike through the bush for several minutes. It can be reached by Federal Highway 307 in the direction of Tulum.
Cenote Angelita ticket cost
- A ticket to only go swimming costs 100 pesos.
- A ticket for divers costs 300 pesos.
Many visitors to Playa del Carmen take a day trip to the incredible Mayan ruins at Coba, and there are three great cenotes located near the Coba ruins entrance: Cenote Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, and Multum-Ha are a series of small cenotes that are ideal for a refreshing swim after exploring the incredible jungle ruins.
- Cenote Choo-Ha is probably the most popular one, with its crystal blue waters and intriguing rock formations, and the shallow waters making it ideal for a family visit.
- Cenote Tamcach-Ha is only a few hundred meters distant and is similarly gorgeous, with jumping platforms that provide a fun element to a swim.
- Cenote Multum-Ha requires a little more effort to reach because it is a few kilometers away, but the deep waters and light beams that descend through the small hole in the roof are worth the effort.
Cenote Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, and Multum-Ha are all underground cenotes; the first two are caves, while the third has a little entrance at the top. Because the Coba cenotes are not frequently visited by visitors, they are quite quiet.
The Coba cenotes are open from 9 AM to 6 PM every day.
How to get to Coba cenotes
These cenotes are best visited by vehicle rental from Playa del Carmen as part of a day trip to the Coba ruins. Some tours of the Coba ruins include some, but not all, of the cenotes.
Coba Cenote ticket cost
- A ticket to all three Coba cenotes costs 100 pesos.
A few years ago, the beautiful Cenote Suytun became well-known on Instagram. The lovely light beams that flood down through the cenote’s roof onto the circular platform below make Cenote Suytun famous. This cenote certainly lives up to the reputation – it is just as stunning in person as it is in images.
Visitors can swim in Cenote Suytun, although many simply stop by to take some wonderful images. Life jackets are necessary for all swimmers.
Cenote Soytun is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, with the last entry at 4.30 PM.
Because of the light beams of Cenote Suytun, a late morning/afternoon visit is recommended — this is when the light beams are most likely to shine directly onto the circular platform, creating a magnificent experience.
How to get to Cenote Soytun
Cenote Suytun is conveniently accessible by rental car. Alternatively, take an ADO bus to Valladolid and then a local Colectivo or a short cab ride to the ruins. There are other tours that incorporate Cenote Suytun as part of a day trip to Chichen Itza from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
Cenote Soytun ticket cost
- A ticket to Cenote Soytun costs 120 pesos.
Cenote Xcan ché at Ek Balam
Ek Balam is a popular tour for visitors to Mexico who want to see a lesser-known Mayan ruin. The Ek Balam Cenote Xcanche is located in the same settlement and can be reached from the entrance to the Ek Balam archaeological zone. Cenote Xcan Che is the ideal place to unwind and cool off after a hectic morning seeing the Ek Balam ruins, and I highly recommend paying a visit to this cenote.
Cenote Xcanche is a beautiful open cenote with a waterfall flowing into it. Swimming is not the only activity popular in this peaceful cenote; zip-lining and swing jumps are also popular.
Cenote Xcan Ché at Ek Balam is ideal for independent visitors because many group tours do not give one enough time to visit. It’s also a good choice for travelers looking for a refreshing swim after touring the ruins, and adventurers who enjoy cliff jumping and ziplining.
Cenote Xanche is open from 8 AM to 5 PM every day of the week.
How to get to Cenote Xcan Ché
Ek Balam is easily accessible from Playa Del Carmen by renting a car or by taking a bus to Valladolid and then taking a Colectivo or taxi the rest of the way.
Cenote Xcan Ché lies around 2 kilometers from the entrance to the Ek Balam ruins. The entrance to the cenote is located before the ticket checkpoints for Ek Balam, allowing you to tour both the ruins and the cenote individually. To get from the entrance to Cenote Xcanche you can choose between walking, cycling, or using a bike taxi.
Cenote Xcan Ché ticket cost
- An adult ticket to Cenote Xcan Ché costs 70 pesos.
Cenote Ik Kil at Chichen Itza
The neighboring Cenote Ik Kil is one of the most magnificent cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula and even one of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico. Plus, Chichen Itza is one of the most popular day trips from Playa Del Carmen.
The roof of Cenote Ik Kil has completely fallen, resulting in a stunning image of tree roots cascading into the cenote waters. Gazing up at the wide sky while swimming in Cenote Ik Kil is a fantastic experience that we highly recommend including in your Chichen Itza tour. It’s a short drive from Playa Del Carmen, and if you don’t have your own transportation, most trips include a stop to Cenote Ik Kil.
Cenote Ik Kil is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM.
The many excursions and individuals that arrive as part of a journey to Chichen Itza can make Cenote Ik Kil rather busy in the middle of the day. I recommend that you arrive at Cenote Ek Kil before 10 in the morning.
How to get to Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote Ik Kil is conveniently accessible with a rental car. It is also feasible to take the dedicated ADO coach from Playa Del Carmen to Chichen Itza but be prepared for a nearly 4-hour excursion.
Aside from renting a car, the most convenient way to view Cenote Ik Kil is as part of a tour to Chichen Itza. There are a variety of tours that include Cenote Ik Kil as part of a day trip itinerary from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
Cenote Ik Kil ticket cost
- A ticket to Cenote Ik Kil costs 80 pesos.
So what is the best cenote in Playa del Carmen?
The answer depends on each traveler. If you’re traveling in Mexico with children, you’re probably looking for a cenote with shallow waters, life jackets, and lots of facilities (like lockers, bathrooms, picnic areas, etc.). That’s why the best cenote for families is Cenote Azul.
If you want to explore the underworld of the Playa del Carmen cenotes, the best cenotes for diving are Cenote Nohoch Nah Chic for intermediate and advanced divers and Cenote Chaac Mool for beginner ones.
And, for those who want to escape the tourist crowds, the most relaxing cenotes near Playa del Carmen are Cenote Valladolid and Cenote Merida.
Map of cenotes near Playa del Carmen
Here are the best cenotes in Playa del Carmen mentioned above. This map of cenotes near Playa del Carmen is very useful to find the closest cenotes near me.
Cenotes Playa del Carmen map
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