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The 17 Best Riviera Maya Cenotes to visit in 2022

The Riviera Maya is mainly known for its spectacular beaches and sea-front all-inclusive resorts, but that’s not all. The Riviera Maya Cenotes are some of the most amazing that you can find in the region.

In fact, there are incredible cenotes scattered around along the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast and inland and that is something you want to put on your bucket list of the top places to visit if you are traveling in the area.

Mexico travel tips - cenote azul riviera maya mexico
Cenote Azul

The Riviera Maya Cenotes are of all kinds (and they keep discovering new ones) and in this post, I am going to share all the ones that I have visited, which are a lot 🙂

The good news is that you can explore the majority of these cenotes easily while staying in one of the touristy beach cities of the Mexican Caribbean.

The Riviera Maya cenotes are mainly located by the Carretera Federal – Route 307, which connects Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Morelos, all the way to Sian Kaan making them the perfect site for half-or full-day trips, or even a Yucatan Peninsula itinerary.

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The cenotes in Riviera Maya

As I said earlier, Riviera Maya cenotes are breathtaking, and similar to La Ruta de Los Cenotes of Puerto Morelos and the towns of Homun and Cuzuma, most of the cenotes here are also by the main road, the Carretera federal, but not all.

Gran cenote tulum

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Casa Cenote aerial view
Casa Cenote

Cenotes are already pretty mystic on their own, but, since it’s so close to the Caribbean coastline of Mexico, you will even find a few cenotes right by the Riviera Maya beaches—they’re super fascinating in their way!

I’ll cover the best one of these cenotes in this list, ordered by their location starting from Playa del Carmen until past Tulum.

I also have a dedicated post for Tulum cenotes, so if you’re staying closer to Tulum you may want to check out all the cenotes in the area

That being said, let’s jump into our list of the best Riviera Maya cenotes without any more delay!


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The cenotes of Riviera Maya between Tulum and Playa del Carmen

1. Cenote Chikin-Ha

Cenote Chickin ha - cave cenote

Entry fee: 350 MXN (USD 18) (Bundle fee for three cenotes)

Hours open: 8:30 AM — 5 PM

Chikin-Ha is a group of three different cenotes and an excellent day trip location on the Riviera Maya, whether you are coming from Tulum or Playa del Carmen (although it’s closer to Playa del Carmen).

The first one is a large cenote with greenery around it and great photoshoot spots. The second cenote from it is a sea cave offering an amazing swimming experience.

The last of the three cenotes is particularly remarkable for its extraordinary vibe. You can’t swim in it because the water is very shallow but its half-moon shape with an island inside makes it the perfect place for ceremonies.

Not many people know about these cenotes, so chances are good that you might end up having them all to yourself. I got lucky that way and had an amazing time during my trip to Chikin-Ha where I was pretty much all the time alone.


2. Cenote Cristalino

cenote cristalino

Entry fee: 200 MXN (USD 9.5)

Hours open: 8 AM — 6 PM

One of the first cenotes on the way to Tulum from Playa del Carmen, Cristalino is an open cenote with a very gorgeous atmosphere. Its water is crystal clear (hence the name), so the rocks at the surface are visible, and then there are all the trees surrounding the cenote to make for an excellent photography setting.

The cenote is huge, and it’s moderately deep with a 12-foot height, so you will have loads of fun swimming in it. There are also plenty of jumping opportunities here if you’re the type to seek adventure.

The only thing to worry about is the crowds because Cristalino is so close to the city and many people show up here. You can avoid the rush hours by arriving early and planning your trip on days other than the weekends.


3. Cenote Azul

cenote azul, couple sitting by the pool

Entry fee: 100 MXN (USD 4.75)

Hours open: 8:30 AM — 5 PM

Next up, there is the Cenote Azul of Riviera Maya (there’s also one in Bacalar, so make sure you don’t mix them up). This open cenote is nestled in the heart of a pristine tropical garden, and it’s truly a jewel in the lush setting of the greenery surrounding it.

Azul is also an open cenote and it’s huge with seemingly so many different areas separated by limestones blocks that make one single pool.

There is a pathway going all around it and one that cuts through the cenote, so you can walk around the whole cenote, and you will find a bench now and then to just sit back and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Cenote Azul is one of my favorites among the Riviera Maya’s open cenotes. It’s not very expensive, and the setting is just so sublime that you could spend the entire day simply having fun here.

The swimming and jumping scene is also pretty amazing here, but make sure to avoid Saturdays and Sundays because it gets crowded on weekends, especially because of the cheap fee and good location.


4. Cenote Eden

Eden Cenote

Entry fee: 200 MXN (USD 9.5)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Cenote Eden, also called Jardin del Eden o Ponderosa, is a beautiful round-shaped cenote that resembles a lagoon. It’s located within a lush rainforest that, combined with its awe-inspiring looks, makes Cenote Eden a fascinating place to visit.

The cenote also has underwater caves, so it won’t be a bad idea if you bring your snorkeling gear along. You can also use the huge platform to jump into the water, it’s quite fun.

If you’re not one for jumping, you can just relax on the platform and admire the rock formations visible in the clear water of the cenote. I visited Cenote Eden on a weekday, so there were just a few tourists and divers around, which made for a very pleasant experience. I recommend you do the same.


5. Cenote Dos Ojos

Cenote dos ojos
Cenote Dos Ojos

Entry fee: 350 MXN ($18 USD)

Hours open: 8 AM — 5 PM

Dos Ojos means two eyes, and that’s exactly what Cenote Dos Ojos looks like from up top. Located a little north of Tulum, it’s part of a flooded cave system and one of the most popular places in the region for divers.

The cave system that Cenote Dos Ojos is a part of is enormous. It’s one of the top 10 cave systems in the whole world.

With a depth of almost 400 meters and 61 kilometers long, it has been a fascination for divers and archeologists alike for more than 3 decades now.

Exploring the cave system is quite complicated and requires a cenote dive certification, equipment, and an experienced guide.

However, the cenote itself is not that hard to enjoy, so anyone can go for a swim and even try out snorkeling in it or just swim.

Since Dos Ojos has been attracting many researchers for decades, it’s no surprise the landscaping has been improved over the years and a few other cenotes were also discovered nearby that you can check out. There are also plenty of guided tours that you can purchase here.

If you feel like going on a guided tour, make sure to ask if the entrance fee is included in the tour charges.

And if you’re just visiting Dos Ojos, bring pesos along with you to pay for the entrance using those because you end up paying extra when using USD.


6. Cenote Taak Bi-Ha

taak be a blue water

Entry fee: 500 MXN (USD 24)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Taak Bi-Ha is one of the new cenotes found near Dos Ojos. Despite being a relatively new cenote, Taak Bi-Ha makes it to many people’s favorite list because of its stunning looks and atmosphere. It’s one of the most beautiful cenotes in Riviera Maya.

The crystal clear waters, awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites, and mystical vibe of the cenote all add to its charm.

It offers a little something for the swimmers, divers, and snorkelers alike, and the picture-postcard looks of the cenote make your photos surprisingly spectacular.

To get to cenote Taak bi Ha you will need to follow the indications for Dos Ojos, but do not stop at the entrance where you find the Dos Ojos ticket office, keep driving past the entrance to Dos Ojos and you will find it on your right side.

If you get there by public transportation you can ask for local transport to


7. Cenotes Labnaha

Entry fee: 900 MXN (USD 45)

Hours open: 11 AM — 5 PM

Cenotes Labnaha is just another cave cenote in the Riviera Maya in its formation, but it’s by no means the same when it comes to how you visit it.

Instead of a typical entrance fee to go swimming or diving in it, you have to purchase a costly tour that lasts about 40-45 minutes and includes a guide to show you around, as you can’t enter the cenote on your own.

It is a cave cenote and the tour consists of a walk inside the cave system half in the water, with a night torch.

There’s no denying that Cenotes Labnaha is blessed with natural beauty, but if you aren’t feeling up for an exclusive guided tour of a cave cenote, there are many others where you can go on your stay as long as you like.

8. Cenote Yal-Ku Lagoon

Caleta Yal Kun People snorkeling

Entry fee: 280 MXN (USD 14)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Yal-Ku is technically a cenote, but it resembles more of a giant lagoon with its clear turquoise water. Located right after Akumal beach it’s tucked away in a residential area where the last thing you expect to find is a cenote.

Instead, it’s a beautiful place surrounded to swim and snorkel, surrounded by mangroves and lush vegetation.

Swimming in the Yal-Ku is a different kind of experience entirely. You will see lots of marine life in the cenote, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular.

In my related article on Yalku Lagoon, I will share more info on the best way to get there and enjoy it.


9. Casa Cenote ( O Cenote manati)

Cenote Manati

Entry fee: 150 MXN (USD 8)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

If Yal-Ku was a surprise among the list of cenotes, Casa Cenote is doubly more of one. It merges into the ocean water, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found it while checking out the beaches nearby.

Back in the day, a lot of Manati used to swim in the waters of Casa Cenote (which is why locals know it by the name of Manati). Nowadays, it’s rare to see them because too many people visit the cenote and they no longer swim in it for that reason.

The cenote is pretty amazing when it comes to swimming in it, you can also head on out and go in the ocean water and come back.

The picturesque cenote is surrounded by rich mangroves. There is also a restaurant by the same name opposite the cenote, so you can pay the entrance fee there with the added benefit of getting a life jacket for free.

Visiting Casa Cenote is such a wonderful experience, especially when you consider its very reasonable entrance fee.

In my thorough guide, I am sharing how to get there and visit.


10. Cenote Yax Kin

Entry fee: 150 MXN (USD 8)

Hours open: 10 AM — 5 PM

Cenote Yax Kin with an island in the middle

Cenote Yax Kin is a beautiful open cenote that only made its appearance among the Riviera Maya cenotes very recently. The water here isn’t extremely deep, and there is a refreshing amount of nature surrounding the cenote.

These features make it perfect for families, and that’s why it’s so popular among people who visit cenotes along with kids.

The shallow water makes it wholesome fun for everyone, and you can also venture into the greenery to have an unforgettable picnic there.


Riviera Maya cenotes past Tulum

11. Cenotes Cristal and Escondido

Entry fee: 300 MXN ($15 USD) (150 each)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Cenote Escondido Aerial VIew
Cenote Escondido Aerial View

Cenotes Cristal and Escondido are a little distance from Tulum, but you can easily get here from there using a taxi or bike rental. They’re a couple of cenotes right next to each other, so the entrance fee usually includes access to both of them.

Cristal is the main cenote here, and it’s located within the jungle of the region. It’s a deep open cenote, so expect lots of jumping, swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The platform by the cenote is pretty impressive, but you can also just lie back and relax.

Escondido (meaning hidden) is the second cenote that comes as a pleasant surprise with your trip to the pair of cenotes. It’s hidden within the lush jungle so you can absorb the nature around it, and there are ropes tied to the trees overlooking this cenote that you can climb and jump from.


12. Cenote Corazon

Entry fee: 150 MXN ($8 USD)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Cenote Corazon - aerial view
Cenote Corazon Aerial view

Cenote Corazon is my favorite place to spend the morning among the cenotes near Tulum. Besides the fact that they don’t charge you for using the drone, which is a great pro, I love the quiet environment and the platforms around the cristal clear cenote.

A jumping platform is there for those who dare while the deep caves of the cenote will entertain the most expert divers.

Check out my guide to Cenote Corazon for more details.


13. Laguna Kaan Luum

Kaan Luum Aerial view
Kaan Luum aerial view

Cenotes located on the road between Tulum and Cobá

14. Gran Cenote

Entry fee: 180 MXN (USD 8)

Hours open: 8 AM — 5 PM

Grand Cenote Platform tulum

Grand cenote is one of the more popular cenotes of Tulum, and it falls on the way leading from the town to Coba.

Its name comes from the large size of the cenote, and the White Cave System here is another reason the spot is so popular.

One half of Grand Cenote is open, while the other half is a cave, so you get the best of both worlds.

And there is plenty of trees and greenery around it to make the atmosphere enjoyable and laid-back. You can also enjoy swimming in the caves which include jumping into one and coming out of another.

One thing to mention about Gran Cenote is that, as I already said it’s super popular, you will encounter lots of crowds, and having the cenote all to yourself is a rare occurrence.

Though you will find relatively less fuss around it on non-holidays and weekdays, it’s still a downside if you’re like me and prefers peace and quiet.


15. Cenote Calavera

Entry fee: 250 MXN (USD 12)

Hours open: 8 AM — 5 PM

Cenote Calavera

Calavera is one of the smallest cenotes between Tulum and Coba, so most of the people visiting it are usually divers intending to explore the depths of this cenote.

Although there’s not a lot of space for swimming around and having fun, you can still jump into it and enjoy the beauty around it. Many Instagrammers love to get there just for the iconic picture on the swing.

But if you want a place where to spend some time and enjoy swimming and hanging out in the jungle, this is not ideal.

It’s located 10 kilometers away from Grand Cenote and costs only a fraction of the entrance fee if you’re not diving and only want to jump and see things around.

Also, getting to it from Tulum is pretty straightforward so you can just take a cab or rent a bicycle for it.

Choo ha cenote Coba
Cenote Choo ha in Coba

16. Cenotes in Cobá

Coba is mainly known for its Archeological Site, but there are also a few amazing cenotes in Coba to make the hot sunny days of the region more bearable.

The three cenotes hidden in its jungle are only a 10-minute drive from the Coba Ruins, which means you can just come here for a relaxing evening once you’re done admiring the well-preserved Mayan buildings.

17. Punta Laguna

I’ll add Punta Laguna as a bonus for you here because it’s only a half-hour drive from the Coba Archeological Site but not a lot of people know about it. The region is full of wildlife, and you can find yourself a guide here to take you into the lush jungle to see spider monkeys, the lagoon, and even some rare cenotes for a small cost.


Things you should know about visiting the Riviera Maya Cenotes ( and every cenote actually)

Visiting cenotes is a memorable experience for sure, but getting there prepared and with the correct information will make the trip even more enjoyable. Here are a few tips.

Timing

Make sure you know the exact opening hour and be there first. You will avoid crowds and enjoy it even more.

What to bring to a cenote

Make sure you don’t forget a swimsuit, towel, eco-friendly sunscreen and mosquito repellent (both of which you can wear only after you swim), and closed-toed shoes to keep the annoying insects away from your feet, snorkel and mask if you like and spare underwear to put on dry clothes after the swim.

Cenote Corazon

General rules

Lastly, there are just a few things to keep in mind. These cenotes only have a couple of simple rules that you need to follow to keep their natural charm intact, and you probably won’t even have to try very hard to adhere to those.

  • The stalactites and stalagmites in these cenotes are awe-inspiring for sure, but don’t hang on to them (the same goes for the tree roots around the cenotes).
  • If you’re bringing sunscreen or mosquito repellent, make sure it’s eco-friendly. Regardless, don’t wear it before swimming in the cenote.
  • There shouldn’t even be a need to mention this, but a gentle reminder that littering around the cenotes (as anywhere else) is never okay. Don’t leave stuff behind that doesn’t belong there.
  • To sum all of it up, doing anything that harms nature is a no-go.

What is a cenote?

cenote cristalino near tulum

Another thing worth clearing up before getting to the list of cenotes is the phenomenon of cenotes itself.

The Mexican Cenotes are basically natural limestone sinkholes containing reserves of rainwater (or, in some cases, ocean water).

In the Yucatan Peninsula, they’re deep lakes with sublime water that have been a source of life for centuries past.

That’s also why they are also part of the Mayan culture, religion, and history.

With more than 6,000 cenotes. Can you imagine? If you want to learn more about the cenote history and you can read in more detail in our post on the origins of the cenotes.


What is the Riviera Maya?

The Riviera Maya is the stretch of the area along the Mexico Caribbean coast that covers the entire coastal area between Puerto Morelos and Felipe Carrillo Puerto’s Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

Although the distinction isn’t very strictly known, the places before Puerto Morelos and Cancun aren’t part of the Riviera Maya region, and I have already covered the Puerto Morelos cenotes in my post on cenotes near Cancun.


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