With over 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, there's more than enough choice to overwhelm any traveler. One of my favorite things to do while in Tulum is cenote-hop. With so many to choose from, you can fill any amount of time you have in the area.

There are gorgeous cenotes near Tulum that are easy to get to and will take your breath away. Perfect for a quick swim or lounging for an afternoon, snorkeling or cave diving, exploring cenotes will take your time in Tulum to another level.

cenote dos ojos
Cenote Dos Ojos, Tulum

Tulum is one of my favorite places. I fell in love with the turquoise blues and lush greens when I first visited in 2012 on a day trip from Cancun.

Back then, Tulum was considered to be off-the-beaten-path and usually seen during a short stop on a one-day trip. Since then, its Instagrammable nature has shot it to the top of bucket lists around the world.

I've asked fellow bloggers for your recommendations so you can visit the best cenotes near Tulum during your stay.

Here are the top five cenotes to visit in Tulum.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase anything through them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cenote Dos Ojos

Contributed by Michelle Stelly from The Wandering Queen

One of the best cenotes in Tulum is Dos Ojos. Dos Ojos translates to ‘Two Eyes'. It is named this way because there are two 70-meter (230 ft) sinkholes that are connected through a passageway.

This cenote is a great place to swim and hang around for a few hours.

cenote dos ojos in tulum
Credit: Michelle Stelly

Dos Ojos is located 30 minutes northeast from Tulum (Cenote Jaguar Rd, Quintana Roo, Mexico). Getting to the cenote can be a pain as the road is filled with many potholes. If you can manage the bumpy road, it is well worth it.

The cost to visit is 200 pesos or about $14 USD, and you can rent snorkeling equipment for an additional 100 pesos.

If you have a diving certificate, you can even go diving through the mystical caves, which are around 61 km long! This experience is well worth it.

cenote dos ojos tulum mexico

I recommend getting to Cenote Dos Ojos early in the morning so you can have the place to yourself. The morning light also reflects through one of the cenotes, which helps with bringing out the vibrant blue colors.

This cenote has definitely been getting more and more popular over the years due to its crystal clear blue colors so make sure to visit soon!

Info at a Glance

  • Address: Cenote Jaguar Rd, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
  • Hours: Everyday from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Cost: ~$14 USD

Cenote Dos Ojos Tour Options

Options for booking a Dos Ojos tour in advance:

Gran Cenote

Contributed by Michele Aaron from Pursuing Wanderlust

Gran (Grand) Cenote is one of Tulum’s most popular cenotes, and for good reason. 

Located approximately 4.8 km (3 miles) from Tulum, its easily accessible location makes it a great choice for a day of exploring. Arrive about 15 minutes before opening so that you’ll be one of the first few people in line.

panoramic photo of grand cenote in tulum

Gran Cenote gets increasingly busy in the hour after opening and stays that way all day, so you'll want to keep this in mind.

It costs $10.00 per person to get in and you can pay with U.S. currency, just make sure the bills aren’t ripped, taped together, or otherwise in bad condition. 

The mosquitos at Gran Cenote are relentless, so don't forget the bug spray. You’ll also want to take a towel with you and a bag to carry everything in. 

Credit: Michele Aaron

Before you get in the cenote, you’ll be required to rinse off in the outdoor showers. 

After you've rinsed off and you're ready to enjoy the cenote, skip the first set of stairs that everyone naturally gravitates toward and head to the second, more secluded set of stairs. This is where you will find the location of all the Instagram famous shots. 

When you’re done exploring the Gran Cenote, head back into Tulum and have a few margaritas or explore a number of other cenotes on this list! 

grand cenote tulum

Info at a Glance

  • Address: Quintana Roo 109, 77796 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
  • Hours: Everyday from 8 am to 4:45 pm
  • Cost: ~$10 USD

Gran Cenote Tour Options

Options for booking a Gran Cenote tour in advance:

Casa Cenote

Contributed by Eloise from My Favourite Escape

Casa Cenote is an open cenote (250m long): it looks like a river surrounded by mangrove. Unless you go scuba diving, you won’t see the cave there. Still, it’s an incredible cenote to visit in Tulum.

divers in casa cenote tulum

The water is not as cold as in other cenotes we visited and its clarity was unbelievable. We had a fantastic time snorkeling there.

The mangrove roots provide habitat for many small fish and, with excellent visibility, we got to see a cormorant hunting underwater. If you’re lucky, you may also spot a small alligator. 

divers in casa cenote tulum

You can hire snorkel gear and life vest there if you need to, but they won’t provide towels.

Don’t skip the fins in your safety equipment if you plan to explore the cenote further than a quick dip: the current at Casa Cenote was quite strong and it would be too tiring to swim without fins. As the cenote is open, there is no need for a torch.

We spent half a day at Casa Cenote. After snorkeling, we went to the other side of the cenote: the ocean.

There aren’t many opportunities in Tulum to see the exit of a cenote from the ocean. The halocline – when saltwater and fresh water don’t mix – was impressive.

aerial view of casa cenote mexico
Drone view of beautiful Casa Cenote

Snorkeling will make you hungry. If you didn’t bring food, there’s a simple restaurant with a lovely view near the ocean. 

Casa Cenote is 11km (6.8miles) away from Tulum. It’s easy to reach by car. You can also catch the collectivo from Tulum and walk the last bit from the highway to the cenote. It would take about 20 minutes.

We paid 150 pesos (~ $8 USD) to visit the cenote and lockers were available for 50 pesos (~ $2.50 USD).

Info at a Glance

  • Address: 7J85+JF San Pablo, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Hours: TBD
  • Cost: ~$8 USD + locker for ~$2.50 USD

Casa Cenote Tour Options

Options for booking a Casa Cenote tour in advance:

Cenote Calavera

Contributed by Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz from Getting Stamped

Cenote Calavera is one of our favorite cenotes and a must-visit when you’re visiting Tulum! This cenote is located in the Yucatan Peninsula right outside of Tulum on the road to Coba.

view of the ladder descending into cenote calavera

It’s actually one of the closest cenotes to Tulum but still under the radar. We suggest renting a car and driving, as it’s super easy to find and has a gravel parking lot out front. 

Cenote Calavera is open 7 days a week from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and costs 100 pesos to get in and 200 pesos to dive.  As with any spot, we suggest going during the week and early to avoid other visitors.

Once inside, you’ll be amazed! This cenote is a ‘Cántaro’ or jug type where the roof of the cenote has broken away, revealing the water below. The main cenote is much larger underneath the opening and there is no dry place to stand once inside. 

We strongly recommend exploring after jumping in with snorkel gear – you can rent there if you don’t have your own. You can get a deeper look at the ceiling of the cavern and what it looks like beneath the surface.

underwater view of calavera cave cenote

There are also multiple naturally formed places to jump in, one main large hole at the opening and two smaller holes only big enough for one at a time. It’s quite thrilling! 

If you’re looking for an even bigger thrill, we dove with a local dive shop to get the full tour of the cenote with an expert. The water is very clear and you also get some incredible light beams coming in from the holes.

There’s even a small ledge where there are bones and Mayan pottery. Some say this is one of the reasons they call it the Temple of Doom!

Info at a Glance

  • Address: 6GHV+M3 Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Hours: Everyday from 9 am to 4 pm
  • Cost: ~$5 USD + dive for ~$10 USD

Cenote Calavera Tour Options

Options for booking a Cenote Calavera tour in advance:

Cenote Cristalino

Contributed by Allison Sicking from Viva La Travelista

Cenote Cristalino is a freshwater swimming hole located about 30 minutes north of downtown Tulum.  The cenote is located right off the main highway which makes it very easy to get to by car or colectivo (shared van). The entrance fee is 150 pesos (~$8 USD), which includes a life jacket rental.

Upon entering Cenote Cristalino, you’ll find a lush natural setting that offers many different bodies of crystal clear water to explore, snorkel, or simply relax.  It’s easy to see where Cenote Cristalino gets its name!

view of people hanging out in cristalino cenote in tulum
Credit: Allison Sicking

In the main cenote, there is a 3.6 m (12 ft) ledge where you can high jump into the water. Another picturesque feature is a deep tunnel-like cave covered with stalactites that you can float your way through to admire the unique rock formations both above and below. 

Be sure to venture to the back of the cenote where you’ll find Cenote Escondido (Hidden Cenote), a secluded shallow pool perfect for relaxing and filled with plenty of tiny fish for some free foot exfoliation. 

It’s best to visit Cenote Cristalino during the week as it can get very crowded with locals and families on weekends. 

drone view of woman floating in the cristalino cenote

You’ll want to bring a GoPro or waterproof camera, biodegradable sunscreen, towel, and water shoes.  Lockers can be rented to store any valuables for 50 pesos (~$2.50 USD). 

Perfect for a full-day adventure, Cenote Cristalino is a fun alternative to the beaches in Riviera Maya and a great way to experience the natural beauty of the region.

Info at a Glance

  • Address:
  • Hours:
  • Cost: ~$8 USD + locker for ~$2.50 USD

Cenote Cristalino Tour Options

Options for booking a Cenote Cristalino tour in advance:

My Favorite Gear for Exploring Cenotes

Tulum Cenotes on the Map

Here's a handy map to help you plan your visit to the best cenotes of Tulum.

Getting Around Tulum

Tulum is fairly easy to get around. While the main attractions are mostly located on a few main roads and close to the beach, the cenotes are spread out around the area and require some form of transportation.

Here are your options:

  • Rent a car while in Tulum, or get one at the airport in Cancun and drive yourself over. Find a rental car
  • Get around by taxi. The prices are fairly reasonable, though it can add up quickly if they're your main form of transportation. There are taxi stops at most attractions, including on the Tulum Beach Strip and at popular cenotes. Negotiate and agree on your price in advance to avoid surprises.
  • Take the local shared bus (colletivo). They're all over Tulum and can even take you to Playa del Carmen or other areas. They're not as flexible as other methods, but really cheap.
  • Rent a bike or borrow one from your hotel. Most hotels have bikes available since Tulum is such a bikable area. You can also rent one from the Tulum Beach Strip or the town center for an affordable price.

You can also rent a private shuttle for 5 hours so you can do some sightseeing in the area – with a local that will know where to take you. This option is more economical in a bigger group.

Getting to Tulum from the Airport

There are two international airports close to Tulum: Cozumel International Airport (CZN) and Cancun International Airport (CUN).

The airport in Cozumel is the closest of the two, however, it being on an island makes it a longer trip with more moving parts as one would need to take a bus, a ferry to Playa del Carmen and then another bus to Tulum. This journey is indirect and will take almost as long as the trip from Cancun.

The Cancun airport is located 120km (~ 2 hours) away from Tulum. You can take a bus, a private shuttle or rent a car.

If you're not renting a car, a private shuttle is your best bet. The price depends considerably on how many people you are traveling with, the more people in your group, the cheaper the shuttle is.

Here are some great options:

Last Updated: December 6, 2019

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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase anything through them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I use all the companies linked, and I recommend them because they've helped make my travels better. If you have any questions about any of the companies, e-mail me. For more information, read the disclosure policy.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase anything through them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about any of the companies linked, contact me. For more information, read the disclosure policy.

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2 thoughts on “The 5 Best Cenotes in Tulum to See in 2020”

  1. Pingback: Tulum Itinerary: 3 Beautiful Days in Tulum, Mexico

  2. Those look incredible, thank you for putting together.
    I will definitely check some of those out!!
    Good luck on your new adventures⛱😉

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