Gran Cenote is one of the chief cenotes in the Mayan Riviera. The name of the cenote could be a misnomer, though, as it is not just one massive cenote. As the most popular cenote in everyone’s bucket list, discover what makes this cenote popular and why it should be on your bucket list, too.
Gran Cenote is nestled in the heart of a jungle in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is located along the road to Coba and a few kilometers away from Tulum.
In order to access the cenote, you must make your way down a natural rock and wooden stairway. From there, you will find the entrance to the Gran Cenote.
Once you are in the cenote, you will be in awe by the fresh, crystal clear waters. The clear water alone is enough to travel to Gran Cenote for.
It is the best spot for swimming and snorkeling, as well as some diving. Whether you want a relaxing or adventure-filled time, it is a great cenote to visit.
Some parts of the cenote are open and the others are mildly enclosed in a semi-open cave. Since the water is extremely clear, you will be able to spot some fishes swimming along in the water.
You can also find some turtles, if you are lucky. For those who are looking to dive the cenote, you can book one of the dive tour operators in Tulum.
The cenote consists of multiple caves that allow you to swim in the open or underneath the caves. The area that is not underground (or that which is accessible from the open) is not too big.
But you can explore the areas beneath the caves to discover the real beauty of the cenote. Snorkeling is one of the best things to do in the cenote.
There is an opening to the cenote that allows light to come in and enable you to see the underwater columns. These rock formations are of stalagmites and stalactites that you can see up-close and personal when you dive or snorkel.
But while this cenote is great for diving areas, there are shallow areas that are suitable for kids or those who are not confident swimmers.
- Opening hours: Gran Cenote can be visited daily between 8AM–5PM
- Entrance fee: 150 pesos
- Good for Scuba diving: Yes
- Good for swimming: Yes, one of the best
- Facilities: Yes. Lockers, tables, restrooms, restaurants and more
- Car parking: Yes
The popularity of the Gran Cenote is undeniable. This hidden gem in the Mayan Riviera is a must-see, especially if you need a cool escape from the Mexican heat. Diving and snorkeling are two favorite activities for visitors because of the rich amount of underwater life and rock formations to see. You can experience great visibility for up to 8 meters down into the water.
The name Gran Cenote is derived from the fact that there are big, tall, and wide formations here. The sinkhole and natural pool is not the only attraction here. You can also marvel at the jungle trees and thick vegetation that seems to keep the cenote hidden.
The caves and caverns at Gran Cenote is estimated to be over 6,500 years old. They are part of over 300 miles of interconnected passageways that form this amazing ecosystem.
For those visiting Gran Cenote, there are several tourist facilities that serve the needs of the visitors. In fact, it is one of the more touristy cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. You can find toilets, changing rooms, and lockers that are near the cenote. You can also find places to rent mask and snorkeling gear if you want to explore the underwater life in the cenote.
For those who want to enjoy some refreshment, there are shops that sell snacks and drinks. You can enjoy the food at the picnic tables with some shade.
HOW TO GET THERE
Gran Cenote is only 4 kilometers away from the center of Tulum. To get there, you need to travel via the road to Coba. You can hire a taxi if you are traveling from Tulum, but if you are in the area you can rent a bike.
If you want to enjoy the Gran Cenote, you need to come in the early morning before the tours arrive.
WHERE TO STAY
If you plan to visit Gran Cenote – one of the most popular cenotes in Mexico – you need to book an accommodation in Tulum. This is the closest major city to the cenote, which gives you easy access to many other tourist attractions in the area. Since there is a high level of demand for tourist accommodations in Tulum, you can also find a variety of accommodations types to suit the budget.
A visit to Tulum would not be complete without a visit to Gran Cenote, or any cenote for that matter. These caves, caverns, and underground sinkholes that are hidden amidst the jungle of Tulum are waiting to be discovered. This is a unique tour as you get to visit the cenotes in the area by bike, allowing you to see more of the jungle and get active.
For a full day, get the chance to explore the ancient ruins of the Mayan city. This tour can embark from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. The highlight of the tour is a visit to the Gran Cenote, which is filled with amazing rock formations that you can marvel at during your time there.
But the cenote is not just for sight-seeing, you can also snorkel or swim at the cenote so that you can see the formations from beneath the water.