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Personal Cenote Check List for the Riviera Maya

Posted September 25, 2015 by Kay Walten in Riviera Maya Activities,Watersports

Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya Mexico

As some of you may know, we have a bit of a passion for cenotes, okay a huge passion for cenotes. These natural sink holes are a true wonder both above and below the surface. Our love for the Riviera Maya started at these very pools and grew to regions near and far as we explored the Yucatan Peninsula.

We thought it might be fun, and useful, to build a cenote check list. This list will keep you pretty busy, and could have you racing back for more on another vacation. This is exactly what happened to us in the late 80′s and suspect that you could also catch the cenote spirit!

Our list is arranged by region in the Riviera Maya. There are more cenotes in the Yucatan, and even more in the Costa Maya and the island of Cozumel. Start with these and we will continue to add other regions as we map out locations.

Cenotes Located on the Cenote Route by Puerto Morelos

To access the cenote route, drive 1 km south of Puerto Morelos and look for the large arch on the west side of the highway. This road leads to eight cenotes and a few eco parks, Selvatica being the most popular ecopark on this strip. The eco parks also have cenotes that are part of their tours, but you have to be on their tour to access these areas. For this reason they are not included on our list. To access this road, take a taxi to one cenote or rent a car for the day! A rental car means you can go far and wide on this stretch of road! Adventure awaits! Average entrance fee into each cenote is 100 pesos, approximately 7 to 8 USD. If you want to stay out the entire day, bring a lunch as restaurants are not on this highway.

  • Cenote Las Mojarras – Km 12
  • Cenote Siete Bocas – Km 15.5
  • Cenote Boca del Puma – Km 16
  • Cenote Verde Lucero – Km 18
  • Cenote Chilim Balam – Km 18.5
  • Cenote La Noria – Km 19
  • Cenote Kin Ha – Km 20
  • Cenote Zapote – Km 20

Cenotes Located Between Playa del Carmen and Tulum

These cenotes are more popular simply because of their location. Sundays are a busy day as local families like to spend the day by the fresh water. Again eco-parks and the Xel Ha ruins have cenotes on their properties that require payment to either the eco park activities or INAH for entrance to the ruins. They are not included on the list, but the cenotes are spectacular if you choose to visit. Average cenote entrance fee is 100 to 120 pesos per person approximately 7 to 9 USD.

  • Cenote Chaak Tun – In the Eijido of Playa del Carmen – go west on Avenida Juarez for 10 kms.
  • Cenote Ponderosa – 22kms south of Playa del Carmen
  • Cenote Taj Mahal – 24 kms south of Playa del Carmen
  • Cenote Kantun- Chi – across the street from Barcelo Hotel and Resort
  • Cenote Azul – just north of Puerto Aventuras and south of Kantun Chi
  • Centoe Chikin Ha – just south of Puerto Aventuras
  • Cenote Cristilano – Just south of Puerto Aventuras and south of Chikin Ha
  • Cenote Yal Ku – Just to the north of Akumal
  • Cenote Aktun Chen – Just south of Akumal
  • Cenote Dos Ojos – Between AKumal and Tulum
  • Cenote Manatee/Casa Cenote – in Tank Ha bay in between Akumal and Tulum
  • Cenote Xcacel – located off the Xcacel beach.

Tulum Cenotes

Tulum has two areas with lots of super cool cenotes. Some are located on the road to Coba – turn to the west at the Super San Francisco grocery store – and some are located south of the pueblo. There is one cenote on the beach road at the entrance to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere called Cenote Eric. That cenote is free for visitors of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. Average entrance fee for cenotes on the Coba Road is 100 pesos – 7 to 8 USD and south of the pueblo average entrance fee is 60 pesos – 4.50 USD

Coba Road Cenotes

  • Cenote Calavera
  • Gran Cenote
  • Carwash Cenote/Sak Actun

South of the Tulum Pueblo Cenotes

  • Cenote Cristalino
  • Cenote Escondido
  • Cenote Angelita

Prepare for Your Trip to the Cenotes

To fully appreciate and experience the cenotes, you will need a bathing suit, snorkel gear, a towel, and snacks. It is not unusual to pack a lunch and spend the entire day exploring the jungle and the water. Bring some bug spray just in case you venture off the beaten path.

Rent your snorkel gear at the cenote or bring your own. Most cenotes have rental gear with the exception of Calavera, Cristalino, Escondido and most on the Cenote Road by Puerto Morelos. Hop in a rental car and go explore!

Some cenotes are close to the highway, and some cenotes, like Dos Ojos are a few kilometers into the jungle. Check out the distance before you choose your destination if you are taking a taxi or public transportation.

Read more about the formation and magic of the cenotes!

If you want to rent a car for your cenote exploring here are some helpful links to get you started!

Budget Car Rentals
Avis Car Rentals
Payless Car Rentals
Hertz Car Rentals

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Kay moved to the Riviera Maya in 1992 to explore underwater caves. As an expat, Kay has been working in the vacation and tourism profession in Mexico ever since. She is the co-founder of the travel & vacation rental website LocoGringo.com

Read her amazing story because she thought she’d only stay 6 months.

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