Cenotes are the Mayan source of life. A door to the underground world.
Here is a list of my favorite Cenotes! Not in any particular order as every one is unique and they all make the list for different reasons. I recommend you at least check a couple of these out if travelling around the Yucatán peninsula!
Cenote Popol Vu
Cenote Popol Vu is located on the Cenotes route close to Puerto Morelos, around 20 minutes from Cancun. It’s not the clearest of water, but maybe that because the cenote itself is 40 meters deep! Being an open cenote, it is a good place to simply chill on a sun bed, drink a few beers and swim. It has a zip line and a 5 meter high platform to jump, and it is also one of the cheapest Cenotes around.
Cost: $70 mx at the entrance and you can bring you own lunch or food is available onsite for a decent price.
Probably the most famous of the cenotes in Yucatán. This is mainly due to its size and location. Being on the route to Chichén Itzá from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, this cenote is a common stop off for tourists and is a part of most tours heading out to Chichén. Although fairly busy, the size compensates for that and there is also a platform to jump in for the adrenaline junkies out there.
Here you can have the perfect day out. Located a short drive away from Cancun at “the cenotes’ route” in Puerto Morelos, this cenote is a hidden gem. Here you can have your own BBQ, rent hammocks for a little as $50 mx pesos and even practice your diving skills without the hassle of a long queue. Not to mention the cenote has a zip line that plunges you into the water! The tour groups do visit this cenote but we found that they didn’t stick around for long, giving us most of the day totally alone here. If coming here I’d recommend bringing a snorkel mask, if lucky enough you might spot the famous turtle that lives here!
Cost: $100 mx locals. $150 foreign visitors
Samula y Dzinup
These two cenotes are located in the same park, just 30 minutes away driving from the beautiful village of Valladolid. Surrounded by fresh air in the middle of the dense jungle, Samula and Dzinup will bring you the best experience of a totally underground cenote. You’ll luckily get a free fish pedicure in the center of Dzinup.
Cost: $250 mx includes the entrance of both cenotes
Cenote Zahamal is probably my favorite cenote. Also known as Selva Maya, it is located 30 minutes away from Valladolid in the middle of Yucatán’s jungle. There you can find a Mexican Hacienda, now a delicious buffet restaurant. It’s perfect for dinner, chilling, and a swim in the clear blue water. For an adrenaline rush it has a small step platform where you can jump from and a natural waterfall inside. It truly is a must see cenote.
Cenote Zaci is located in the village on Valladolid between Calle 37 and 39, this one of the most popular cenotes around this area because of it’s privileged Zone, offering a freshwater underground and illuminated cenote. Just above the cenote there’s a tradicional food restaurant with a delicious menu, and good value for money.
Cost: No cost if you order food from the restaurant
Also check this out 10 of the best hidden treasures in Yucatán
Dzibilchaltun Cenote Xlacah
Giving a sight that’s worth a visit. Dzibilchaltun is a small Mayan complex located only 30 min away from Merida. It has a cenote inside called Xlakah and is just a few meters away from the main temple. It is a beautiful green fresh water cenote. It is actually soooo nice to visit Dzibilchaltun during a hot day! Get your swimsuit ready.
Cenote Maya Park
This cenote was over and above my expectations. It is located 45 minutes away from Valladolid in the village of Kantunil, lost in the jungle. Cenote Maya Park is an ecopark that preserves the Mayan native spirit. It has 3 different zip lines inside, the highest one is 7 meters. You can also practice abseiling and snorkel. If you are not attached to a specific schedule and you are willing to experience new things, then this cenote is a must visit place for travellers.
Cost: $350 mx local visitor. $1300 mx foreign visitors.
Caleta Tan Kah
A small, private cenote located at caleta tan kah beach club, just outside tulum. The great thing about this cenote is that it’s no more than 100 meters away from a white sand beach and crystal clear waters! To access the cenote you need a day pass to the beach club offering food, drinks, beds on the beach and wash facilities. This day trip is well worth it.
Cost: $150 mx day pass
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