35 Best Cenotes By Tulum You Have to Visit


12 min read
A turquoise pool with bright green trees and a hut on the edge under a blue sky
You can discover numerous cenotes in and around Tulum, like Cenotes Casa Tortuga

Tulum is an exciting vacation destination on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Travelers to the area will love the many beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, and vibrant culture. You can also discover an array of cenotes by Tulum to visit.

But what is a cenote exactly? A cenote is a deep natural pool or sinkhole fed by rainwater or river water. There are four main types of cenotes: open-air, semi-open-air, underground, and cave cenotes. These pools are great for swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving!

In and around Tulum, you'll find all four types of cenotes, with a natural pool to suit every kind of traveler, from experienced divers to those visiting with kids.

If unsure of which cenotes are best for you, this list can help you determine the ones you can't miss seeing. There's also a map of cenotes in Tulum, so you can easily see which are closest to where you're staying.

  • 35 Tulum cenotes

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35 Best Tulum Cenotes

Tulum Cenotes Map

A map of Tulum. Use the map to explore all the cenotes.

A cenote with green-colored water with trees surrounding it
Dos Ojos Cenote was discovered in 1987 and is a great snorkeling spot

Dos Ojos Cenote

Located in north Tulum in Dos Ojos Park, Dos Ojos Cenote was discovered in 1987 and is now somewhat of a Mexican landmark. The cenote notably has crystal clear waters, making it one of the best cenotes in Tulum for snorkeling.

To get to the cenote, going on a Dos Ojos tour is a great idea. The private tour includes transport, lunch, and the use of snorkeling gear.

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Cenote Sac Actun

If you’re interested in snorkeling or scuba diving in cenotes, one of the popular ones you have to check out is cenote Sac Actun. This cenote and underwater cave system are notable as being one of the longest underground rivers in the world.

Sac Actun is also known as the Pet Cemetery Cenote because you can see some fossils and animal bones in the caves. To make a day trip of visiting the cenote, book a jungle tour that also includes ziplining.

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Cenote Taak Bi Ha

Located close to Cenote Dos Ojos is Cenote Taak Bi Ha. This cave cenote is surrounded by fascinating geological features and has calm turquoise waters.

As this is another slightly hidden location, the optimal way to reach Cenote Taak Bi Ha is by going on a Tulum caves and cenote adventure tour. The small group excursion takes you to both Taak Bi Ha Cenote and Gran Cenote.

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One of the best cenotes by Tulum is Casa Cenote
Casa Cenote is one of the best cenotes by Tulum

Casa Cenote

Casa Cenote is one of the best cenotes in Tulum, Mexico, which makes visiting it a must! At the open-air cenote, you can join a paddleboard and snorkel experience.

During the activity, you’ll be able to paddleboard through mangroves before hopping in the clear waters to snorkel and look for aquatic life.

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Rio Secreto

Rio Secreto is a stunning cave system and cenote located about 50 minutes away from Tulum in Playa del Carmen. Inside the cave cenote, you’ll be amazed by the many naturally occurring minerals in the shape of icicles, called stalactites.

You can drive up to the cenote yourself, or go on a Rio Secreto excursion. This trip includes a visit to the Tulum Archaeological Zone, plus wetsuits and helmets with lamps for exploring the caves.

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Cenote Calavera

Located in the Tulum Archaeological Zone, Cenote Calavera is an underground pool with perfect conditions for diving. There’s also a fun swing over the cenote to take pictures on.

There is an entrance fee to access Cenote Calavera, which is usually about 250 pesos. Opening times are 9 AM to 5 PM.

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Turquoise water with palm trees around it and a person sitting on the rocks
Cenote Azul features crystal clear water and is surrounded by tropical jungle

Cenote Azul

Cenote Azul is located about 50 minutes from Tulum in the Quintana Roo town of Playa del Carmen. It’s one of the best Riviera Maya cenotes that’s well worth the drive to visit. In the clear water, you can see marine life like fish and turtles.

You’ll also discover both subterranean and above-ground natural pools here, the latter of which are surrounded by tropical trees and greenery.

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Cenote Carwash

Cenote Carwash is found approximately 11 minutes from central Tulum and 20 minutes from the coast. If you’re looking for the best cenote in Tulum, Mexico, to see wildlife at, going to Cenote Carwash is a must.

You can spot a variety of fish and turtles in the water and will see small crocodiles on the banks surrounding the cenote.

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Cenote Escondido

Surrounded by jungles and mangroves, Cenote Escondido is a tropical paradise! The pools here have clear emerald water and are surrounded by lush greenery. You can also find some fun rope swings, and there is good visibility for snorkeling.

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Blue-green colored water with wooden steps leading into it surrounded by greenery
Hanging out at Cenote Cristal, a beautiful jungle pool, is a great way to relax

Cenote Cristal

Located just five minutes from Cenote Escondido is Cenote Cristal. Also known as Cenote Naharon, the waters here are calm and clear, and you can find a wooden jump-off point to dive into the water.

To make a day of exploring the area, go on a cenote snorkel and bike tour. You can bike along jungle paths before visiting Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido. Bikes, helmets, and snorkel gear are included.

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Cenote Hubiku

If you’re willing to travel a few hours on a day trip, taking a tour to Chichen Itza and Cenote Hubiku is a memorable thing to do. After exploring the Mayan ruins at the famous North American landmark, Chichen Itza, your guide will take you to the pretty Cenote Hubiku.

The underground swimming hole is magical, with emerald waters and sunlight streaming in. On the way back to Tulum, you can also stop by the town of Valladolid.

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Cenote Chen Ha

Those looking for the best Tulum cenote to scuba dive in won’t be disappointed by Cenote Chen Ha. The underground cenote features waters with clear visibility, abundant aquatic life, and an extensive underwater cave network.

If you’re interested in also visiting the Tulum Archeological Zone, book a five-hour guided tour that takes you there and to Cenote Chen Ha.

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A person scuba diving in an underground cenote
If you want to go scuba diving, Cenote Nicte-Ha is one of the best places to do so

Cenote Nicte-Ha

Located approximately halfway between Tulum and Playa del Carmen is Cenote Nicte-ha (sometimes called Cenote Nic Te Ha.) This attraction features a semi-open-air pool within a cave that's perfect for diving, plus a more open-air lagoon-type pool.

A fun day trip to try is going on a cenotes private tour. Your guide will take you to multiple cenotes, including Cenote Nicte-Ha, where you can swim and snorkel with lots of little fish.

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Cenote Mariposa

Cenote Mariposa is located close to Cenote Chen Ha. It’s one of the many beautiful Mayan cenotes in the area. Going on a Coba and Tulum archaeological and Mayan village tour is a fun way to get to the cenote.

Along with swimming in Cenote Mariposa, you can see Mayan ruins and learn more about the ancient Mayan civilization.

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Yal Ku Lagoon and Cenote

Cenote Yal Ku Lagoon is a lagoon and cenote attraction that features sparkling blue water. It’s the perfect place to swim and snorkel.

Along with seeing aquatic life in the lagoon, you can spot iguanas hanging out around the water’s edge. It costs about 280 pesos to enter the lagoon, and opening hours are 9 AM to 6 PM.

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People swimming in clear blue water with a natural rock wall behind the water
Gran Cenote is one of the most well-known cenotes near Tulum

Gran Cenote

Gran Cenote is often called one of the top cenotes in Tulum, Mexico. The semi-open-air cenote has sparkling blue water and is an amazing snorkel and dive site.

Outdoor activity enthusiasts can opt to take a cenote bike tour if interested in visiting Gran Cenote. The five-hour excursion will take you along jungle paths and to three cenotes to cool off.

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Cenote Choo-Ha

If you’re interested in a day trip, booking a Coba ruins and Cenote Choo-Ha tour is a great idea! Cenote Choo-Ha is about an hour from Tulum, and reaching the stunning cenote is easy when going on an organized excursion.

During the trip, you’ll pass the Coba Archaeological Zone before reaching Cenote Choo-Ha to swim in the emerald waters. You’ll end the day at Playa Paraiso.

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Cenote Xunaan-Ha

One of the most tranquil hidden cenotes near Tulum is Cenote Xunaan-Ha. The small swimming hole has emerald blue water and is surrounded by tropical greenery.

To make discovering this cenote easy, booking a guided Tulum tour is recommended. You’ll be taken to the Tulum Archaeological Zone, Cenote Xunaan-Ha, and Cenote Taak Bi Ha.

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An emerald blue pool with rocks and trees around it
Casa Tortuga features four cenotes, including open-air and underground cenotes

Cenotes Casa Tortuga

A well-known collection of cenotes is Cenotes Casa Tortuga. Located just 15 minutes from central Tulum, the four pools here comprise two open-air cenotes, one underground cenote, and one semi-open-air cenote, all of which feature crystal clear blue water.

The cenotes are called Jaguar, Wisho, Campana, and Tres Zapotes. You can easily get to this attraction by taking a Casa Tortuga tour, which includes transport and snorkeling gear. This Tulum cenotes tour can’t be missed!

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Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich

Another of the best cenotes near Tulum, Mexico, that has to be on your list to visit is Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich. Located about 25 minutes from central Tulum, the cave cenote is the ideal place to relax.

You can swim in the sparkling blue subterranean pool, enjoying the peace and quiet. Clear waters also make it a great diving and snorkeling location.

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Cenote Chaak Tun

Going on a half-day trip to Cenote Chaak Tun is a fun idea that will allow you to see more of the area around Tulum. The trip begins at the Tulum Archaeological Zone, where your guide will provide information on the ruins you see.

Next, you’ll head to Cenote Chaak Tun to swim in the warm waters and explore the extensive cave systems that make up this underground cenote.

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A turquoise lagoon with a wooden platform under a blue sky with white clouds
Kaan Luum Lagoon is one of the most beautiful places to swim in Tulum

Kaan Luum Lagoon and Cenote

A more unique swimming hole to visit is the Kaan Luum Lagoon and Cenote. The primary attraction here is a large lagoon with clear warm waters. There’s also a cenote, that’s ideal for diving. In addition, there’s a sandy shore to sunbathe and hang out on.

A fun way to reach the lagoon is on a Tulum cenote tour, which takes you to some other cenotes and Playa Paraiso too.

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Kantun Chi

Kantun Chi is an eco-park that houses a collection of five cenotes and an underground river. It’s found between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. The cenotes are open-air and semi-open-air, with the former being surrounded by tropical plants.

If you’re still looking for the ideal day trip, booking an excursion to Kantun Chi is a great idea. Travelers can be picked up and dropped off from Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun.

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Cenote Zemway

The stunning turquoise waters, rope swings, and caves found at Cenote Zemway earn it the title of a must-visit Tulum, Mexico cenote. This cenote is about 20 minutes from central Tulum, making it very easily accessible.

Going on a triple cenote tour will allow you to see Cenote Zemway, plus Gran Cenote and Casa Cenote on the same day.

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An underground cenote with greenery around it and sunlight shining in
Taking the two-hour trip to Cenote Ik Kil is well worth it!

Cenote Ik Kil

For those willing to travel a little way, going to Cenote Ik Kil, one of the well-known Chichen Itza cenotes, is recommended. This cenote is about two hours away from Tulum. You can easily get to Cenote Ik Kil by going on a Mayan city tour.

While this excursion primarily departs from Cancun, you can also be collected from many Tulum all-inclusive resorts. Along with seeing Cenote Ik Kil, you’ll get to visit Chichen Itza and Valladolid.

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Cenote Vaca Ha

One of the lesser-known cenotes that’s well worth visiting is Cenote Vaca Ha. Found just 10 minutes from central Tulum, the underground cenote is a top diving site. As you explore underwater, you’ll see fish and unique rock formations.

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Cenote Santa Cruz

Located just a few minutes from Cenote Vaca Ha is Cenote Santa Cruz. The beautiful open-air cenote is surrounded by palm trees and other plants, making it a tropical paradise. You can swim here, relax around the cenote, and get food and drinks.

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A pool with a boardwalk and trees surrounding it
Cenote Zacil-Ha is located near other cenotes and is a good place to snorkel

Cenote Zacil-Ha

Found next to other cenotes, like Cenote Vaca and Cenote Santa Cruz, Cenote Zacil-Ha is a popular place to swim and snorkel. It’s an open-air natural pool complete with a wooden boardwalk and on-site changing rooms. This cenote is a great one to go to if traveling with kids.

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Cenote Cristalino

If you’re looking to discover the best cenote near Tulum, Mexico, Cenote Cristalino has to be on your list! This cenote is in Playa del Carmen and features clear turquoise waters, cliff jumps, and a cave to swim through. You can also hang out under the sun on the cenote’s edge.

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Cenote Corazon del Paraiso

Found just nine minutes from central Tulum, Cenote Corazon del Paraiso can’t be missed! This off-the-beaten-path cenote is a hidden gem that features a secluded and tranquil pool surrounded by jungle. It’s the perfect place to swim and relax, enjoying the sounds of nature.

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A person scuba diving in a cenote with sunlight coming through
At Cenote Jardin del Eden you can swim, relax in the sun, or scuba dive

Cenote Jardin del Eden

Cenote Jardin del Eden is a fun place to spend a day under the sun. At the large open-air cenote, you can swim, relax on rafts, and snorkel. You’ll also find cliff jumps and can even discover small fish that will give your feet a natural spa treatment!

There is a small cave system too that's a good place to go diving. The water here gets quite deep, so be careful and wear a life jacket if you aren’t a strong swimmer.

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Cenote Caracol

One of the best underground Tulum, Mexico, cenotes is Cenote Caracol. You can swim through the cave system here, and there’s a wooden boardwalk to wander along. In the caves, you can marvel at the stalactites, snorkel, or just float about enjoying the cenote’s tranquility.

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Three divers deep underwater in a cenote with some sunlight shining in
Cenote Angelita is a top dive spot in the Yucatan Peninsula

Cenote Angelita

Scuba divers won’t want to pass on a trip to Cenote Angelita! The unique natural attraction features a layer of halocline that gives the water a murky appearance. However, if you dive below this layer, you’ll uncover an amazing underwater world.

Cenote Angelita is also one of the deepest cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. This cenote is really for diving only, so isn’t a top pick for those who want to snorkel, swim, or relax in a tranquil pool.

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Cenote El Pit

Another can’t miss spot for divers is Cenote El Pit. Found 30 minutes from Tulum, the cenote reaches depths of 40 feet. Swimming and snorkeling aren’t allowed at Cenote El Pit, making it exclusively a scuba diving attraction.

Experienced divers can visit Cenote El Pit, plus some other top dive sites, by joining a full-day cenote diving trip from Tulum.

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An underground pool with stalactites and a girl on a rock platform in the center
The magical Cenote Suytun has a central platform that's ideal for photos

Cenote Suytun

Cenote Suytun is in Valladolid, one hour away from Tulum. The cave cenote resembles a spa due to its tranquility and calm emerald pools. There’s also a platform in the middle of the cenote that’s ideal for taking pictures on.

To ensure you get to see this magical cenote, book a Yucatan cenotes excursion. You’ll get taken to Cenote Suytun, plus Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman and Cenote Xux Ha.

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In Summary

If you're traveling to Quintana Roo soon, this list of the top cenotes in Tulum, Mexico, should come in handy! Whether you're staying in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or anywhere else in the surrounding area, visiting at least a few of these tropical and magical cenotes is a must!

For more interesting articles about Mexico, read:


Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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