Do you know what a cenote is? I never heard of that “word” until I went to Mexico. When you think of Mexico the first thing that comes to your mind is pristine beaches, delicious food and margaritas right? Cenotes are the hidden gems of Mexico and it’s a good reason why their such a secret.
Cenotes are a natural sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone. The Mayans believed cenotes were sacred wells where they would perform religious ceremonies. they believed cenotes was the entrance to the underworld. Mostly all cenotes are made of fresh water that is makes its so clear to see through! There are open air cenotes and also underground cave cenotes. There is an estimated of 6,000 cenotes in Mexico! So no matter where your staying in Mexico theres bound to be a few close to you. Most cenotes offer snorkeling gear for a small amount, underground cenotes offer scuba diving for a certain amount. Cenotes are a magical place to visit, surrounded by luscious green plants in the middle of the jungle with colorful fish and flowers and a few of them have bats hanging from the caves!
I made a list of 15 cenotes in the Yucatan that are a must see!
Ik Kil is one of the most popular cenote in the Yucatan with it being a main stop for people visiting the ruins of Chichen Itza. It’s a deep cenote with limestone stairs you have to walk down to get to the pool. The water is very deep also about 35 meters. There are guided tours that include this cenote with Chichen Itza or just to visit to cenote the entrance fee is $70 MXN.
close to the town of Tulum Dos Ojos is another popular cenote. The cenote is divided into to sections one for snorkeling and the other for diving. Its famous for the underwater formations in the caves. The cave system connects to 25 different cenotes! Entrance fee for snorkeling is $100 MXN, not sure for the fee of scuba diving.
Located in Tulum it’s a perfect cenotes for first timers because it has a little bit of everything. Scuba diving, snorkeling, also a patio to lay in the sun. its surrounded with beautiful flowers and lily pads. You can swim right underneath bats too! Entrance fee is $120 MXN
Located inbetween Tulum and Coba it’s a great cenotes to stop at after being in the sun while visiting the ruins of Coba. A great cenote to see tons of fish and turtles. You can do some diving there too. I read this cenote got its name because people would stop to wash their cars there. Not sure if there is an entrance fee for this cenote.
Close to Play del Carmen, this cenote had crystal clear water and tons of fish you can swim with. There is a cliff where you can jump from into the water. Cenote Cristalino and Jardin Del Eden are right next to Azul. The entrance fee is $100 MXN.
About 5 minutes from the Coba ruins, this cenote is a underground cenote with stalagmites and stalactites all around. Its also a great place to bring kids to roam around without any risk. Entrance fee is $5 MXN.
located near Puerto Morelos. This cenote is popular with the divers. People say its not for the faint of heart because once you walk down the stairs your surrounded by stalagmites and bats! Entrance fee is $140 MXN.
this cenote is located close to Valladolid and is a off the path cenote. There is a restaurant right outside the cenote were you can eat while viewing the cenote. It is partially enclosed by a cavern while surrounded by tons of flora and fauna. Entrance fee is $50 MXN.
5 minutes outside of Tulum this beautiful cenote is connected to cenote Escondido by an underground tunnel. Its like a natural swimming pool surrounded by the jungle. You can snorkel, scuba dive or just float around looking at the scenery. The entrance fee is $120 MXN and includes entrance to Escondido too.
20 minutes from Merdia. Has a dome type roof with tons of stalactites hanging from it. There is artificial lightning and music too! They also have a restaurant and a play area for kids. Not sure of the entrance fee.
Located near Puerto Morelos, this open air cenote where you can zip line and jump off cliffs as tall as 20 feet! Be careful there are no lifeguards on duty and they say the stairs are very slippery. Entrance fee is $120 MXN.
Only way to get to this cenote is to go to the town Cuzama and ask a local to take you there for a small fee. You will most likely be the only one visiting which makes is a magical experience. Fee is based off what the local will charge.
Have you been to a cenote before? If you ever plan on visiting Mexico I would definitely suggest going to visit one of these magical places.