62 Beautiful Cenotes in Mexico

Welcome to the ultimate guide to cenotes in Mexico! There are around 7000 known cenotes in the country, all in the Yukatan, with the most visited ones being in Tulum, Playa Del Carmen and Valladolid areas. They are popular because they offer unique experiences for scuba divers, snorkelers and swimmers alike.

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These intricate cave systems offer something for hard core cave explorers, to every day divers in beautiful caverns, to cliff jumpers and snorkelers. Every year new caverns and

cave systems are being discovered and mapped out, giving us unlimited chances for adventure.

Every cenote has different features and things to see, but each are incredible in their own rights. Some are open-air sink holes, some are part open-air and part over-head environment caverns, while others are pure caves systems winding through the Yukatan. Some are incredible for Instagram shots, while others only accessible by extreme cave explorers.

This guide is all about some of the popular cenotes in the Yukatan, especially ones for divers. If you are thinking about heading to Mexico for some incredible cenote exploring, this guide is all the information you will need for an awesome trip!

Table of Contents

62 Amazing Cenotes in Mexico

In this guide we will tell you what are the most famous and popular cenotes you can visit in the Yukatan, how to get to each, and what it is good for. Each cenote is organized by the are it is closest to. Check out the map below to find each one, although not all are listed.

| Cenotes closer to Tulum |

Tulum is probably the most popular location to be based, if you want to explore cenotes, as it is centrally based for most of the most popular ones to visit. To get there is about an hour drive from the Cancun Airport, and people usually prefer Tulum over Cancun or Playa Del Carmen, because of it being much smaller and quieter.

1. Dos Ojos Cenote

 

cenote dos ojos
Flickr Credit: Manuele Dellanave

Dos Ojos doesn’t have too much for snorkelers, but it is one of my favorite cenotes for diving by far. It has 2 areas to dive, and each is shallow and weaves through some awesome formations, and even letting you surface in some dark caves.

Read more about Cenote Dos Ojos

2. Casa Cenote

Casa is really popular for snorkelers and swimmers, with all the trees and roots extending into the water making it look pretty. It is actually pretty long, winding through the jungle, so seems more like a lazy river. No guide needed.

Entrance to Casa Cenote is 100 pesos

Read more about Casa Cenote

3. Cenote Nicte Ha

This is one of the lesser known cenotes, but popular with the locals. It more resembles a open lake instead of underground cenote, and is nice and relaxing for swimming.

Read more about Cenote Nicte Ha

4. Cenote Car Wash

Aktun Ha (Car Wash Cenote), Tulum, Mexico
Flickr credit: Mgungen

Car wash isn’t my favorite dive, but it’s definitely worth doing at least once. It has a large pool, and to one side a underwater medium size cavern extends out where divers can explore with a partial over-heard environment around stalagmites and formations.

Read more about Cenote Car Wash

5. Cenote Cristal (Naharon)

Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido are two cenotes you can visit near Tulum. These two cenotes have the same entrance and ticket booth but are on opposite sides of the 307 Highway. Of the two cenotes, Cenote Cristal is probably the more popular. Cenote Cristal is a beautiful cenote with space around it to lay out  in the sun after swimming.

Read more about Cenote Cristal

6. Cenote Escondido

Since you have to pay one entry fee for both Cristal and Escondido, you might as well visit both. They are both good for diving, swimming, snorkeling and just lazing around.

Entree fee for both cenotes together: 120 pesos for snorkelers, 200 for divers.

Read more about Cenote Escondito

7. The Pit Cenote

pit cenote
Photo credit: Tribloo.com

El Pit is probably my all-time favorite for diving. There isn’t much for snorkelers here, and not much of a opening, but the diving in awesome. Huge light shafts beam through the crystal clear waters all the way to the bottom. It’s incredible.

Read more about Cenote Pit

8. Gran Cenote

This is probably the most popular cenote in Tulum, and maybe all of the Yukatan, and is great for both divers and snorkelers. the views are amazing, and like the others can give you chances to see stalagmites and more underwater.

Read more about Gran Cenote

9. Cenote Zacil Ha

The crystal clear blue waters could make you think they built an in-ground swimming pool in the middle of the Yucatan jungles. It is a cool and refreshing cenote that was left here naturally and the water will cool you down on those hot days.

Entree fee to Zacil-Ha is 80 peso unless you have a local ID.

Read more about Cenote Zacil Ha

10. Pet Cemetery (Sac Actun)

Cenote-Sac-Actun
Flickr credit: Colibri Boutique Hotels

If you want to snorkel or dive in some caves and underground streams and channels, this is the perfect spot. This is definitely the most unique cenote, and one not to miss. This is a really shallow dive, and winds through stalagmites and cool formations.

Read more about Cenote Pet Cemetery

11. Kantun Chi Ecopark

There are 5 cenotes here – they are all pretty to look at but cenote 4 and 5 were the best for swimming. There are lots of options, with cave cenotes, to open lagoon cenotes.

Read more about Kantun Chi

This cenote is completely openair, and can be swam in. It’s not the most picturesque to snorkel in, but the scenery is nice. This is a deep dive, and there is a Holocene layer you can descend through that is a awesome experience. Read more about Cenote Angelita

13. Cenote Calavera (Temple of doom)

Cenote Calavera
Flickr credit: Dean Trezise

This cenote is beautiful to both dive or just swim in, and I highly recommend a visit. Calavera has a small opening where the roof caved in on the cenote, and a latter has been installed so you can enter the water.

Cost for swimming, 100 pesos, diving 200 pesos.

Read more about Cenote Calavera

Dreamgate was the location for much of the underwater footage used in the filming for the BBC Planet Earth Documentary Series “Caves” episode as well as the BBC Natural World Documentary “Secrets of the Maya Underworld”. This you need to see.

Read more about Cenote Dream Gate

Cenote Encantado is a lesser know cenote in Tulum. This is because it is not on the Tulum-Coba road and is near the edge of town. This is a good thing. You can find yourself as one of the only people here. This is a rather large and deep cenote where you can relax, snorkel, kayak, and swim.

Read more about Cenote Encantado

| Cenotes closer to Playa Del Carmen |

Playa Del Carmen is also a good option for a place to be based for your cenotes trip. It has a great beach and has many cenotes around, but there are many more shopping and attractions than in the smaller Tulum. So if you want a busier city, check out accommodation here. 

16. Xcaret Park & Xplor Adventure Center

This adventure park has over 50 attractions, including a few cenotes and much more. This is a more expensive way to check out some cenotes, and is oriented more for families, but its an option if you are in to that.

17. Cenote Akumal (Yal Ku)

This cenote could also be in the Tulum section, as it is right between there and Playa. it is located in Akumal and is more of a lagoon than anything. There are toilets and changing facilities, and is a nice place to visit.

Read more about Cenote Akumal

18. Cenote Tajima Ha

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot one of the most spectacular light shows of all cavern diving adventures! From March to September, thanks to the position of the sun, laser beams of light enter the Points of Light room in the cavern and this is something you must see to believe! And amazing cenote for diving.

Read more about Cenote Tajma Ha

19. Cenote Chac Mool

chac mool cenote
Flickr credit: Mark Harris

This is a great dive site, but cameras aren’t allowed. They try to preserve the walls and formations, so buoyancy is important. You can still purchase photos from the company when you leave however.

Read more about Cenote Cha Mool

Cristalino is the first in the line of three cenotes, along with Azul and Jardin del Eden. Cristalino is probably the most set up, as it not only has dedicated toilets, snack shop and gear rental, but also has changing rooms close by.

Entree fee to Cristalino is 100 pesos

Read more about Cenote Cristalino

Part of the Chac Mool System, the entrance is a couple of hundred feet away from Cenote Chac Mool. This is a good cenote for diving, and has a Halocline layer starting at 10m. The layer along with the huge cavern make for amazing views.

Read more about Cenote Kukulkan

22. Cenote Jardin del Eden (Ponderosa)

Located about 18 minutes from Playa Del Carmen, and reachable by colectivo van, Cenote “Garden of Eden” is one of the most popular and famous cenotes in the area. It is also much less crowded then others such as Gran Cenote.

Read more about Cenote Jardin Del Eden

23. Chikin Ha Park

Chikin Ha is located 10 minutes south of Puerto Aventuras on Highway 307 very close to the entrance of Kantun Chi. Chikin Ha itself is a very large half moon cenote with a massive undercut ceiling and crystal clear water. Other cenotes in the park include Cenote Arcoiris (Cenote Rainbow) and Xtabay.

Read more about Chikin Ha

The beautiful little path on the way to this cenote is pretty on its own, and then you arrive at the main pool. It is split down the middle by a wooden path, with a swimming area no one side and a nice pool on the other.

Entree fee to Azul is 80 Pesos

Read more about Cenote Azul

25. Cenote Xunaan Ha

Chikin Ha is located 10 minutes south of Puerto Aventuras on Highway 307 very close to the entrance of Kantun Chi. Chikin Ha itself is a very large half moon cenote with a massive undercut ceiling and crystal clear water. Other cenotes in the park include Cenote Arcoiris (Cenote Rainbow) and Xtabay.

Read more about Chikin Ha

| Cenotes closer to Cancun |

If you are heading to the Yukatan by air, then you will be spending at least a little time in Cancun. Although most travelers and divers like to head out to other locations right away, you also might want to spend a few days exploring the cenotes nearest to Cancun. 

zapote cenote
Flickr credit: cenotes zapote ecopark

This Cenote is located on the “Ruta de los Cenotes” the old road from Puerto Morelos to Valladolid. After following this road for exactly 20km you will see a large sign marking the turn off for “Kin Ha”. Divers are going to see some amazing formations as well as tree roots and more.

Read more about Cenote Zapote

This cenote could also be in the Playa section, as it is right in between there and Cancun.

Read more about Cenote Verde Lucero

28. 7 Bocas (7 mouths)

This cenote is located on the highway that joins Puerto Morelos and Leona Vicario. Its name, 7 Bocas, comes from the seven entrances into it. Siete Bocas is popular for divers and swimmers, with many of the pools connected and able to swim between.

Read more about Cenote 7 Bocas

29. Cenotes K’aak (Fire), Lu’um (Earth), Lik’ (Wind) and Ha (Water)

These four cenotes are great for swimming, with plenty of tour companies offering guided trips. You can have fun with zip-lines, repelling, kayaking and semi-covered caverns.

| Cenotes closer to Coba |

Coba is located a little inland, in the middle of the triangle of Playa Del Carmen, Tulum and Valladolid. It is popular for its spectacular Mayan ruins, but few know about the lesser-visited cenotes in the area, that you should be checking out. 

32. Cenote Choo Ha

Cenote Choo-Ha
Flickr credit: Livie

Cenote Choo-Ha is accessed via a small opening in the ground surrounded by a low stone wall, and wooden steps going in. As you can see from the photo above this beautiful cenote has tons of stalagmites and a nice fresh water pool to chill in.

Entree fee is 55 pesos for each cenote or 165 pesos for entrance to all three.

Read more about Cenote Choo Ha

33. Cenote Muul Ich

Most people have not been to Cenote Muul Ich let alone heard of it. This cenote is tucked away in a small village near Coba. That is the good news because this is a hidden paradise.

| Cenotes closer to Merida |

Merida is in the far north of the Yukatan, near some of the less frequented cenotes and ruins. It is becoming quite popular for expats, and is a little less touristy than Cancun. Be sure to take some time to visit the cenotes in the area!

34. Cenote Xoch

This is definitely one of the little known cenotes, so take a map to show the taxi driver where to take you. It is located near the little town of Cenotillo, and you might have it all to yourself. There is even a little wooden platform in the middle of the pool to hang out on.

Located 49 kilometers south of Merida, Kankirixche has a 15 m drop to water level down a slope that can be negotiated with a handline. Large tree roots penetrate down into the cave and hang in large clumps just below the water surface. The cavern area of this cave system is one of the largest in Mexico.

Read more about Cenote Kankirixche

36. Cenotes of Cuzama

Chelentun, Chak-zinik-che and Bolom-chojol are the three cenotes in Cuzama, and are a little hard to find. But once you do, they offer you a horse and cart tour from the entrance, to all three cenotes, which can take a few hours. These are great to see, and really uncrowded.

Fee for the three cenotes and the horse and cart tour is about 300 pesos. 

Read more about Cuzama Cenotes

37. Cenote Ucil

This beautiful cavern is one of the deepest cenotes around, reaching depths over 110 meters. This is a good place for both swimming as well as diving.

Loltun caves are located 115 km south of Merida, closer to the city of Oxkutzcab. Believe it or not, these are actualy caves, not cenotes, and are completely dry. They are also the biggest dry caves in the Yukatan. So no diving here, but still beautiful.

Read more about Grutas de Loltún

Cenote, Homún
Flickr credit: Second-Half Travels

There are 5 different cenotes you can visit near the little town of Homun; Tza Ujun Kat Cenote, Santa Rosa Cenote, Santa Maria Cave & Cenote, Yaxbakaltun Cenote and  Cenote Balmil. These are far off the tourist paths, and worth a visit.

Fees are 20 pesos for each cenote, or you can hire a tour guide for around 100 pesos. 

Read more about Homun Cenote

Xcaret group bought this property. It opened to the public in late November 2017 and it is expected to grow for big tour groups, with guest rooms and restaurants.

Entree fee is 400 pesos. 

Read more about Hacienda Mucuyche Cenotes

Offering something for everyone, this cenote is located inside the Mayan archeological site of Dzibilchaltún. You can visit a pyramid and swim – all on the same day. The waters in this cenote sit at ground level, making it easy to access for old and young alike.

Read more about Cenote Xlacah

42. Cenote X-Batun

Cenote X'Batun Mexico
Flickr Credit: Yeee!

Near San Antonio Mulix there is two nice cenotes, X-Batún and Dzonbacal (listed below). X-Batun is considered the prettiest and more accessible between it and Dzonbacal, but for sure visit both since they are so close together.

43. Cenote Dzonbacal

As I said this cenote is just down the road from the more accessible and open aired X-Batun, but since you are making such a long journey you definitely should be visiting this one as well.

Entree fee is 50 pesos for both cenotes

44. Cenote Yáx Há

On the way in to San Antonio Mulix, a couple of kilometers before arriving, you will notice a sign for Cenote Yáx Há to the left. Not part of the main complex, it is an additional $10 per person, and a torturous two kilometer dirt road to access it. The good thing is, you’ll have it to yourself.

| Cenotes closer to Valladolid |

Valladolid is further inland, and is a good hub for Chichen Itza and other ruins, as well as plenty (less visited/crowded) cenotes. There are straight and direvt highways to Valladolid from both Cancun and Tulum, with plenty of buses and transportation options. 

45. Cenote Dzitnup

There isn’t much light, or things to see underwater, so this isn’t the best place for diving or snorkeling. But swimming and hanging out here makes it one of the most frequented cenotes around. There is even a life guard. It is also called Cenote Xkeken.

Read more about Cenote Dzitnup

Samula is near Dzitnup (or Xkeken), and is the bigger of the two. These two are popular cenotes, and are well developed with good facilities. Samula is famous for it big light shaft beaming into the water, as well as lot of tree roots and formations.

Entrance to both Cenote Xkeken and Cenote Samula is 125 pesos for adults and 80 pesos for children.

Read more about Cenote Samula

A few miles to the east of Valladolid toward the town of Yalcobá you will find the more unknown Agua Dulce or Ch’ujuk Ja. There is a narrow spiral staircase descending into the cenote, and once there you will see a beautiful pool with shafts of natual light coming down, as well as artificial lighting showing the cave.

Read more about Cenote Agua Dulce

Cenote Zaci
Flickr credit: Alan Graf

Not to be confused with Zacil Ha, Cenote Zaci is right in the city of Valladolid. There are thousands of cenotes in Mexico, but Zaci might just be the only one right in the middle of a city. This is a mostly open air cenote, so you claustrophobic people can enjoy it more.

Read more about Cenote Zaci

49. Cenote Sagrado de Chichen Itza (Sacred Cenote)

Thousands of objects have been removed from the bottom of the Sacred Cenote, including material such as shell, gold, jade, wood, obsidian, cloth, as well as skeletons of men and children. Although diving and swimming is prohibited here, you can visit the cenote along with Chichen Itza.

Read more about Cenote Sagrado

50. Cenote Oxman (San Lorenzo)

This is a beautiful hacienda with a swimming pool and a giant cenote, with changing rooms and facilities. When visiting Valladolid, we highly recommend a visit to this incredible cenote.

Read more about Cenote Oxman

51. Cenote Ixtlan

This can be incredible to dive or swim in, but you probably need a tour company to take you. Check out this video above to see why its so great.

Fantasma is one of the newest cenotes opened to the public, being finished and open mid 2017. There has been a lot of infrustructure added to this beauty, to accommodate tours and groups visiting the ruins.

Entree fee is 70 pesos, and you can also rent life jackets.

Read more about Cenote Fantasma

Saamal, located in the Hacienda Selva Maya, is another lesser visited cenote that makes for a popular stop for people visiting Chichen Itza and Balam.

Read more about Cenote Saamal

Cenote Hubiku Flickr credit: Willie Medina Santiago

This small but beautiful cenote complex can be crowded, because it is set up for groups and tours as part of ruin trips, but it is still worth a visit, and you can do it on your own.

Read more about Cenote Hubiku

55. Xux Ha Cenote

This cenote is near the colonial town of Valladolid and is a much less visited cenote than many in the area. This cenote has not been open to the public for long and is just visited by people looking to explore the area a little more and have a car.

Cenote X’Canche
Flickr credit: Philippe Salmon
After exploring and climbing the ruins at Ek Balam, just north of Valladolid, head to the gorgeous Cenote X’Canche for a refreshing swim at this natural and serene cenote. It’s located about 1.5 km into the jungle via a gravel path stemming from Ek Balam’s entrance area and parking lot. Read more about Cenote Xcanche

57. Cenote Chihuán

This pretty and artificially lit, mostly covered, cenote is about 30 minutes from Chichen Itza, so if you were hot and dissapointed that you couldn’t swim in Sagrado, you can give this one a try.

The name Suytun means center stone and that is fitting for this cenote as it has a shaft of light beaming down from the small opening to the water. This is getting to be a popular stop for people visiting Chichen Itza and Balam

Read more about Cenote Suytun

No doubt you have seen photos of Cenote Ik Kil. This is one of the most photographed cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It is well liked because it looks like some deep tropical hidden paradise. This is one of the most recognizable cenotes on Instagram, along with Temple of Doom and Pit.

Entree fee is 80 pesos. Read more about Cenote Ik Kil

Once you descend the 18 meters on a staircase to a wooden platform, you’ve reaches the beautiful Yokdzonot cenote’s waters. There are various tours and activities on offer, including ziplining and bike rentals.

Read more about Cenote Yokdzonot

| Cenotes closer to Bacalar & Chetumal |

Valladolid is further inland, and is a good hub for Chichen Itza and other ruins, as well as plenty (less visited/crowded) cenotes. There are straight and direvt highways to Valladolid from both Cancun and Tulum, with plenty of buses and transportation options.

61. Cenote Azul

This is by far the biggest cenote I have visited, and looks more like a big lake. There is a restaurant and lounge area on the edge, where you can hang out before swimming or diving, or even renting kayaks.

This is a hot spot of Mexican families, but at the time I did not see a single tourist, and was the only diver. You will need to find a local dive shop to take you here, or get permission first. They do not have the equipment on hand there themselves.

| Cenotes on Cozumel |

Although Cozumel does have some great dives sites off shore, it is not a great place for cenote exploring. In fact, they are barely worth mentioning. If you want more information about diving Cozumel, be sure to check out our guide to scuba diving Mexico, and also a great underwater photo essay from Cozumel.

For such a small island there are actually a lot of  cenotes in Cozumel. Obviously since the cenotes are lesser known and there aren’t tours and the like, they aren’t as great to visit as their main-land counterparts.

Here are a few of the cenotes in Cozumel:

  • Cenote Cocodrilo
  • Cenote Chu-Ha
  • Cenote Tres Potrillos
  • Cenote Bambu

There are a few more, but don’t expect to visit many of them. 

Unfortunately most of the cenotes are on private land and closed to the public, but there are some that cave divers and explorers can get permission to enter. Most are closed because ancient artifacts are still being found in them.

I found this list of Cozumel cenotes and information about each that you can check out HERE.

| Bonus cenote |

62. El Zacatón

Cenote el Zacaton
Flickr credit: Elpidio Garza

Zacaton is not a cenote, and not even in the Yukatan, but needed a mention anyways. Sure, most vacationers aren’t going to head to Tamaulipas in Northern Mexico to see it, but its noteworthy none the less. This is actually one of the world’s biggest sink holes, and popular for scuba diving and freedivers and record breakers. The depths exceed 300 meters and is ripe for exploration.

| Our top 5 favorite cenotes for scuba diving |

The cenotes above are all amazing to visit and experience, but not all are good or available for scuba diving. So for you scuba lovers out there who want to explore the best cenotes possible, here are our picks for the top 5 cenotes you have to visit.

With any one of these cenotes, you are assured to have an awesome experience. All dive centers in the area offer trips to these cenotes, so it will be easy to arrange. 

Want to contribute to this article? If you have more information about one of the cenotes above, or have information on other cenotes that aren’t even on this list, let us know! We would love to make this a great resource, and welcome all information available! 

Send us an email to Justin@artofscubadiving.com.

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Justin Carmack
Justin is a dive master and world traveler on a mission to dive and document the top 100 dive sites in the world. In doing this he hopes to bring love for the marine environment to the world!

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