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Cenotes to Explore in the Riviera Maya and Beyond

With over 700 kms of explored caverns in the Riviera Maya, no wonder there are so many caverns to discover.

The unique landscape of the Yucatan Peninsula has made it the place to see this underground river system as an explorer, a snorkeler, or even a scuba diver. But where does one begin? Which cenote is best? If I am to experience a cenote on my vacation which one should I see?

These are questions we get all the time and our answer has remained the same for 20 years.

Every single cenote has unique features in and of themselves. Some cenotes are true caverns with an overhead environment. Some cenotes are open to the environment an feel like a giant swimming pool.

But what truly makes each cenote unique is what lies underneath the surface. This is what defines and differentiates one cenote to another. It is what lies beneath the surface that makes each and every location unique and incomparable to another.

Start With This List and Keep Discovering

This list of cenotes is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good start. We have highlighted if the cenote is best for swimming, snorkeling, or diving. Each description outlines services or lack of services at each location.

Each cenote property is privately owned and each owner decides which services they offer. They also determine the entrance fees based on their services. Some have small restaurants, some have public washrooms. Some are just a place to swim with no services at all.

All are beautiful locations that showcase the environmental diversity in the Yucatan Peninsula. Nowhere else in the world will you see cenotes and caverns like this, which is why many locations are popular dive and snorkeling sites.

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Gran cenote

Gran Cenote is about as popular as Dos Ojos for swimmers, snorkelers and divers. The diversity found in this cenote is wonderful. One side of the cenote is a sand bottom and shallow.

Cenote Escondido

Cenotes Cristal and Escondido are right across the street from each other and they're both great places to snorkel and swim. This cenote adventure can be an all day affair or a quick tour. Both are surrounded by the jungle so you'll feel like you are in your own private paradise.

Angelita Cenote

This fresh water cenote can only be seen as a diver with a local guide. Make arrangements with a local dive center who will ask that you dive with them first before going into Angelita, an advanced dive that will take you to a depth of 35m/110 feet. What makes this cenote unique is the natural sulphur layer that creates a ‘cloud like atmosphere.

Tample of Doom cenote

This location is fun for divers and snorkelers. Dive trips can be arranged through a local dive center but snorkelers and swimmers can access this cenote without a guide. This is one big giant hole with a ladder being your only exit. All visitors love the 10-meter jump into the water.

Tak Be Ha Cenote

Great for swimming and snorkeling, this cenote is less crowded than more popular cenotes. Note: It can only be accessed with a guide. It is part of the Hidden Worlds cenote system and worth a trip

Casa Cenote

This is a very popular open cenote just steps from the Caribbean in Tankah Bay. Surrounded by mangroves, this cenote has both fresh and salt water fish, and in days gone past manatees lived in this location. This is a personal favorite place for a great day, and we love diving here. This is an environmentally diverse location that will capture you.

Cenote Diving

This is a divers cenote, as it is best seen and experienced as a scuba diver. Though it is a cavern dive, and can be set up as a cavern tour through a local dive center, it is described as the closest to the cave dive an open water diver can experience.


This is a small fresh water cenote at the entrance to the Sian Kaan. Hidden on the jungle side of the Tulum beach road, Cenote Eric is a great place to hang out off the beach. If you want private, untouched and a cool place to hang, this is it.

Cenote Cave

Sieta Bocas translated means the ‘Seven Mouths’ or in the case of this cenote means seven different small entrances into the underground river. This cenote is very different from other cenotes. Each entrance is small, some with steps or ladders where visitors can climb into the cenote and cavern system, or there is just an opening where you can jump into the water.