6 Must See Cenotes Near Tulum

Tulum is a Mexican town on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula. We spent 4 days in this gorgeous area known for its beaches, well-preserved ancient Mayan ruins, and CENOTES!

There are over 3,000 unique cenotes throughout the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. A cenote is a freshwater filled Mexican sinkhole. The word Cenote is of Mayan decent originally called dzonot or ts’onot, meaning well.

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The cenotes played a crucial role in the development of the Mayan civilization as the main freshwater source inland. The cenotes are mostly found in the crater area that formed from the meteorite impact (the same meteorite responsible for the dinosaur extinction in this area). 

The cenotes are great for swimming, diving, snorkeling and spotting wildlife! The extensive underground river systems, make this area of Mexico the best place to experience cave diving, snorkeling or other water activities! 

Important Know Before You Go

  • Keep in mind that most cenotes are swim at your own risk. If you are not a strong swimmer, it is recommended that you rent a life vest if available.
  • Mexican dive laws don’t necessarily align with other countries laws. Some cenote dives can be dangerous for inexperienced divers- dive your experience level, and if you feel you can’t dive, opt for snorkeling or swimming instead, like I did!
  • Do not wear sunscreen or insect repellant in the cenotes; the chemicals are damaging to aquatic life.
  • Bring cash to cover the entrance fees
  • Most cenotes are remotely located and can be difficult to get to. When you arrive, some may have limited or no concessions for food/drink so plan accordingly

Instagram Worthy Caleta Tankah

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Caleta Tankah or the “secret cenote” was magical. The colors of the cenote are absolutely breathtaking. Maybe I’m a bit biased this being my first cenote encounter and all… but Caleta Tankah was my favorite cenote we visited.

For more info check out my post on this Hidden Gem With The Secret Cenote! 

Best Diving Dos ojos

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Of the 6 travelers in our group four of them were certified while myself and one other were not. While the divers explored the cenotes below the 500 meters below the surface, I snorkeled around the surface! There wasn’t a ton of fish to see, but the rock formations above and below the surface were incredible.

Kayak at Casa Cenote

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As with most cenotes, Casa Cenote offered scuba diving and snorkeling. But what the others didn’t have, this cenote did! This time as the diving crew submerged below the water, I kayaked! It was great, because the water is crystal clear and following them was easy.

Scuba Dive in Cenotes!

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Family Friendly Grand Cenote

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Located a short drive from Tulum this popular cenote will amaze you. Contrary to it’s name, the Gran cenote is actually several cenotes connected by wooden walkways. The water is crystal clear and colorful! To keep it that way, they require everyone to rinse off in an outdoor shower before entering the cenote. This is a great family spot, as there are lots of green space and picnic areas.

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Zip Line at Xunaan-Ha Cenote

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 For $100 pesos you can zipline yourself into this adventurous cenote until your hearts content. Xunaan-Ha cenote is located down a long bumpy dirt road in the small town of Chemuyil, just a short drive from Tulum or Playa Del Carmen. This cenote is not as crowded as the more popular surrounding cenotes such as the Gran. 

High Dive at Car wash 

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The last and final dive the travel crew did was in the car wash cenote. We asked where the name came from… and it is exactly as it sounds. Due to its close proximity to the roadway- this cenote used to be used to wash the locals cars!

Must see cenote in Tulum. Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico | herlifeadventures.blog | #mexico #mexicotravel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #mexicovacation #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations #travelexperience #bestbeach #cenote #beautifulplaces #adventure #explore

What cenotes did you explore on your Yucatan adventure?! 

Don’t forget to pin for later!

Check out my Adventurers Guide to 7 Days in Quintana Roo!

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Hidden Gem with Secret Cenote

Caleta Tankah was a hidden gem we never expected!

During my 7 Day Trip in Quintana Roo in September, I discovered a hidden gem with a secret cenote! During our four nights stay in a jungle paradise our host recommended Caleta Tankah.

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Here’s a better look at our amazing AirBnb. The three bed three bath penthouse came with a private rooftop pool complete with incredible jungle panoramic views. As amazing as this jungle paradise was, it sadly was not on or near a beach.

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AirBnb Penhouse

More importantly WE REALLY NEEDED A BEACH DAY. Our AirBnb host and locals that worked or lived in the building all recommended Caleta Tankah for the best beach day in the area. We decided to check it out for our first day in Tulum.

Click Here for my full 7 Day Adventurers Guide to Quintana Roo!

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The Hotel and Beach Club, are on a National Park beach facing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. More importantly, there are clean flush restrooms and changing areas in the Beach Club.

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You pay a $15 usd entry fee that gets you a towel, access to the beach/cenote and Beach Club area where you can order drinks and food. We grabbed a tropical drink at the bar and headed out to the beach to claim some chairs with a shaded area before the shenanigans began. 

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Follow the signs to the Cenote…

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Caleta Tankah or the “secret cenote” was magical. The colors of the cenote are absolutely breathtaking. Maybe I’m a bit biased this being my first cenote encounter and all… but Caleta Tankah was my favorite cenote we visited. Why Hello, Gorgeous. 

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Pin this article for later!

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For 6 MUST SEE Cenotes in the Tulum area, CLICK HERE!

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