top of page
Search

12 Amazing Cenotes Near Playa Del Carmen (2024)

Updated: Apr 24


Playa Del Carmen Coastline

Playa del Carmen is a popular tourist destination in Mexico with its white sand beaches, large resorts, and easy access to Mayan ruins and cenotes. Cenotes in Playa del Carmen range from the shallow waters of cenote Azul to the stunning Zacil-Ha cenote in the nearby city of Tulum. There are many cenotes close to Playa Del Carmen that are just waiting to be discovered. We have visited and loved so many cenotes from playa del Carmen that we wanted to share some of our favorites, so here is our guide to our 12 favorite cenotes near playa del Carmen!



Cenote Near Playa Del Carmen

 

What are cenotes?

Cenotes are a type of sinkhole in limestone rock that are naturally filled with water. These sinkholes are called cenotes because they collapse in on themselves and expose the groundwater underneath. The water in these cenotes is usually cool, so it's a great place to take a dip in the ocean to cool off in the hot Mexican sun. Cenotes were used as sacrificial sites during the Mayan era and have been found to contain artifacts such as gold, ceramics, and human and animal remains. The cenotes around Playa Del Carmen range from open to semi-open to underground.


 

Open Cenotes: These are caves that have completely fallen in on themselves, exposing them to the surrounding sky. Open cenotes are our favourites because you can swim freely in the air, the waters are warm and there are often plenty of places to sit by the pool. Our favourite open cenotes in playa del Carmen are Cenote azul, cenote zacicl-Ha in the town of Tulum and cenote oxman in the municipality of Valladolid.

 

Semi-open cenote: is a natural pool that's partly underground and partly open to the sky. It's like a hidden gem nestled within the earth, with small gaps or openings in its ceiling allowing sunlight and fresh air to trickle in. This unique setting bathes the crystal-clear water in a gentle glow, creating a serene and enchanting environment.

 

Cenote Ik Kil is one of the most popular cenotes in the area, and we suggest visiting it as part of your Chichen Itza itinerary. Another cenote near Valladolid, Samula, is also worth a visit.

 

Underground Cenotes: These are completely subterranean cenotes within a cave system, and there is no natural light that illuminates the water in the cenotes. Three cenotes, Multum-Ha (near the ruins of Coba) in the municipality of Piedras Negras, Tamichach-Ha (near Cienfuegos) in Hidalgo, Mexico, and Chua-Ha (near Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Mexico), are among the best underground cenotracks in Mexico and can be easily visited from Playa del Carmen on a long-term trip.



Overview phot of Cenote Azul

 

1) Cenote Azul

 

Cenote Azul is a fantastic choice for families and anyone looking for an open-air swimming experience filled with fun activities like jumping off natural platforms. This large cenote near Playa Del Carmen offers shallow waters perfect for kids to splash around in, as well as a deeper section with a cliff for adventurous jumps into the clear waters below. Snorkeling is also popular here.

 

To make the most of your visit to Cenote Azul, consider arriving early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds, as it's a popular spot accessible from Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum. If you're driving or riding there, you can reach Cenote Azul easily by rental car, local Colectivo (public transportation), or a quick taxi ride from Playa Del Carmen. If you choose to drive, a worthwhile stop along the way is Valladolid, where you can explore the colonial architecture and vibrant colors of this charming city. Just hop on a Colectivo from 2nd street in Playa Del Carmen, and let the driver know you're heading to Cenote Azul.

 

Inside Gran Cenote

 

2) Gran Cenote

 

Gran Cenote is a renowned and expansive cenote situated just outside of Tulum, approximately 63 kilometers (about 39 miles) from Playa del Carmen. By car, the journey typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

 

To reach Gran Cenote from Playa del Carmen, you can drive by car or scooter. If driving by car, take the Federal Highway 307 south towards Tulum. After reaching Tulum, follow the signs towards Coba and Valladolid. Gran Cenote will be well signposted along the way.

 

If traveling by scooter, ensure that you are comfortable with longer rides and have the necessary safety gear. Follow the same route as for driving by car, taking precautions for scooter travel such as observing speed limits and wearing a helmet. Gran Cenote is accessible to both car and scooter travelers, offering a stunning natural experience that's well worth the journey from Playa del Carmen.

 

Cenote Zacil-Ha

3) Cenote Zacil-Ha

 

Cenote Zacil-Ha is a perfect choice for families seeking a fun and relaxing experience. This small yet stunning open-air cenote boasts crystal-clear waters, inviting visitors to enjoy jumping from its sides or even ziplining across and plunging into the cenote from above! Additionally, you'll find hammocks and regular swimming pools for lounging and soaking up the serene atmosphere.

 

If you're planning a trip to nearby Tulum, don't miss out on Cenote Zacil-Ha and its neighbor, Cenote Carwash.

 

To get to Cenote Zacil-Ha, consider including it in your Tulum or Coba day trip. You can easily access it by scooter from Playa Del Carmen


Cenote Dos Ojos

 

4)  Dos Ojos: A Diving Gem

 

Located between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, Cenote Dos Ojos is a must-visit for divers, swimmers, and snorkelers seeking underwater wonders. Its name, meaning "Cenote Two Eyes," refers to two sinkholes connected by a picturesque boardwalk, leading to an expansive underground cavern.

 

Dos Ojos is approximately 62 kilometers (39 miles) from Playa Del Carmen. Renting a car or taking a Colectivo to Highway 307 near Dos Ojos Park are convenient ways to reach this diving paradise. Ticket prices range from $350 to $450 pesos, offering access to Dos Ojos and other cenotes within the park.

 

Embark on an unforgettable journey into the depths of Cenote Dos Ojos, where aquatic adventures and natural beauty await exploration.

 

Cenote Cristalino

5) Cenote Cristalino


Located in Playa del Carmen, is a beautiful turquoise-water cenote near Cenote Azul and Cenote Jardin del Eden. It's popular for swimming, snorkeling, and a relaxed jungle atmosphere.

 

Depth: Up to 6 meters

Activities: Swimming, snorkeling, cliff jumping (moderate heights)

Price: Around 220 Pesos

Opening Hours: 8 AM to 6 PM daily

 

To get there, take the 307 Highway south of Playa del Carmen, turn left at Hotel Barcelo's entrance after Puerto Aventuras, and follow the signs.

 

It's also part of the Full Nature Day Tour, a great option for exploring multiple cenotes and natural spots in the area.


Jardin del Eden

 

6) Jardin del Eden


Jardin del Eden also known as Cenote Ponderosa, lives up to its name as a hidden gem reminiscent of paradise. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this well-preserved cenote offers a tranquil escape that feels like stepping into the Garden of Eden.

 

The clear waters of Cenote Jardin del Eden are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, providing a refreshing experience in Playa del Carmen. You can also take a thrilling leap from a 12-foot cliff into the water or find a serene spot among submerged rocks to relax and soak in the beauty.

 

Scuba divers are drawn to Cenote Eden as well, thanks to its accessible cave extension suitable for both experienced and novice divers.

 

Visitors often describe Cenote Eden as one of the most breathtaking cenotes they've encountered. Its proximity to Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino makes it a must-visit destination. To enjoy this cenote peacefully, consider arriving early in the morning.

 

For a comprehensive cenote experience, consider booking the Private Tour to 3 Cenotes. This full-day trip includes swimming in Cenote Jardin del Eden, Cenote Azul, and Cenote Cristalino, along with a satisfying lunch.

 

Opening Hours: Open from 9 AM to 5 PM, Sunday to Friday.

 

Price: The entry fee as of early 2022 is 250 Pesos.

 

Directions: Follow the directions for Cenote Azul until you reach Barcelo Hotel. Turn left and continue until you reach the cenote entrance.

 

Cenote Chaak

7) Cenote Chaak


Cenote Chaak Tun offers a unique experience accessed via a scenic boardwalk through the jungle leading to a cave entrance.

 

The cenote features a large natural swimming pool and three caverns, two of which are ideal for snorkeling with crystal-clear water and fascinating stalactite formations hanging from the cave ceiling. Occasionally, you may even spot bats inside the cave.

 

For a private exploration, consider the Private Cenote Exploration Tour to Sac Pool cenote with astounding limestone formations. Alternatively, join the Tulum and Cenote Chaak Tun Tour for a guided visit to Tulum's Mayan ruins along with free time to swim at the cenote.

 

Location: Find Cenote Chaak Tun on Google Maps.

 

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM, and Sunday until 1 PM.

 

Price: 1000 Pesos.

 

Directions: Take Avenida Constituyentes away from the coast, turn left on Avenida Lilis, and continue

until you reach the cenote after approximately 15 minutes.


Chikin-Ha

 

8)Chikin-Ha


Cenote Chikin-Ha, situated near the first three mentioned cenotes, stands out as one of the most spectacular cave cenotes in Playa del Carmen.

It's part of a trio of closely located cenotes, including Xtabay and Taak-Bil-Ha. The entrance fee covers access to all three cenotes, enhancing the value of your visit.

Entering Cenote Chikin-Ha feels like stepping into an earthly crevice, with a rugged landscape and depths of up to 9 meters inside the cave. The water's clear turquoise hue transitions into a dark abyss near the cenote walls, creating a captivating experience.

For adventurous explorers, consider joining a Half-Day Tour to snorkel in four different cenotes and swim with sea turtles at Tulum Beach. Alternatively, opt for the General Admission Ticket for access to all cenotes and complimentary lifejackets.


Location: Find Cenote Chikin-Ha on Google Maps.

Opening Hours: Daily from 8 AM to 6 PM.

Price: 450 Pesos.

Directions: Drive southbound on Highway 307 past Puerto Aventuras, then turn right after spotting Barcelo Hotel on your left. Follow the road until you reach the cenote entrance.


Tajma-Ha

9) Tajma-Ha


Cenote Tajma-Ha is a remarkable cave cenote renowned among diving enthusiasts. It offers a challenging yet rewarding experience, especially for expert divers with excellent buoyancy skills, as they navigate narrow passages and encounter intricate rock formations resembling saw-like profiles.

One of its unique features is the Sugar Bowl, where sunlight filters through, creating a mesmerizing curtain of light within the cave. The water's depth can vary, reaching up to 30 meters but averaging around 15 meters.

Aside from diving, snorkelers can also appreciate the beauty of Tajma-Ha Cenote, and the entrance fee includes snorkeling equipment rental.


Location: Find Cenote Tajma-Ha on Google Maps.

Opening Hours: Open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Price: Admission is priced at 250 Pesos.

Directions: Take the 307 Highway towards Puerto Aventuras, continue driving for about 3 miles, and then turn right onto Tajma Ha street shortly after passing the Pemex gas station.


Cenote Saytun

10) Cenote Saytun


Nestled amidst the lush jungles of Playa del Carmen lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered: Cenote Saytun. This enchanting cenote offers a unique and tranquil escape for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Cenote Saytun is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, surrounded by towering limestone formations and vibrant flora. Whether you're an avid snorkeler, a seasoned diver, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in nature, this cenote has something to offer everyone.

Dive into the refreshing waters and marvel at the underwater wonders, from intricate rock formations to colorful fish darting through the depths. For those looking to relax, the cenote's tranquil ambiance provides the perfect setting for unwinding and connecting with nature.


Location: Cenote Saytun can be found on Google Maps, nestled in the heart of Playa del Carmen's jungle.

Opening Hours: The cenote welcomes visitors daily from 8 AM to 6 PM, allowing ample time to enjoy its natural beauty.

Price: Admission to Cenote Saytun is priced at 300 Pesos per person, offering affordable access to this hidden paradise.

Directions: To reach Cenote Saytun, take the 307 Highway towards Puerto Aventuras. After approximately 5 miles, look for the sign indicating the cenote's entrance on your left. Follow the path into the jungle until you reach the cenote's parking area, where your adventure awaits.


Nic Te Ha

11) Nic Te Ha


Embrace the serenity of nature at Cenote Nicte-Ha, a hidden oasis nestled in the heart of Playa del Carmen's captivating landscapes. This enchanting cenote invites you to unwind, explore, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Mexico's natural wonders.

Cenote Nicte-Ha is renowned for its peaceful atmosphere, surrounded by lush vegetation and stunning rock formations. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or an adventure-filled day, this cenote offers a perfect blend of tranquility and excitement.

Dive into the refreshing turquoise waters and discover a world teeming with life. Snorkelers will delight in the vibrant marine life and captivating underwater scenery. For those craving adventure, the cenote's depths are perfect for diving exploration, revealing hidden caves and mesmerizing rock formations.


Location: Cenote Nicte-Ha is easily accessible via Google Maps, located within the scenic landscapes of Playa del Carmen.

Opening Hours: Experience the magic of Cenote Nicte-Ha daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, allowing ample time to enjoy its serene beauty.

Price: Admission to Cenote Nicte-Ha is priced at 200 Pesos per person, offering affordable access to this tranquil paradise.

Directions: To reach Cenote Nicte-Ha, follow the 307 Highway towards Puerto Aventuras. Look for the signs indicating the cenote's entrance on your right, approximately 3 miles after passing Puerto Aventuras. Follow the path to the cenote's parking area and begin your journey into nature's embrace.


Choo-Ha

12) Choo-Ha


Indulge in a serene escape at Cenote Choo-Ha, a hidden gem nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Playa del Carmen. This captivating cenote invites you to relax, explore, and immerse yourself in Mexico's natural beauty.

Cenote Choo-Ha is renowned for its tranquil ambiance, surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking rock formations. Whether you seek a peaceful retreat or an adventurous day out, this cenote offers the perfect balance of serenity and excitement.

Plunge into the crystal-clear azure waters and uncover a world brimming with life. Snorkelers will marvel at the diverse marine life and captivating underwater vistas. For the adventurous souls, the cenote's depths beckon with opportunities for diving expeditions, unveiling hidden caverns and enchanting geological formations.

Location: Easily accessible via Google Maps, Cenote Choo-Ha is situated amidst the scenic landscapes of Playa del Carmen.


Opening Hours: Delight in the magic of Cenote Choo-Ha daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, allowing ample time to bask in its tranquil allure.

Price: Admission to Cenote Choo-Ha is priced at 200 Pesos per person, offering affordable access to this natural paradise.

Directions: To reach Cenote Choo-Ha, take the 307 Highway towards Puerto Aventuras. Keep an eye out for the signage marking the cenote's entrance on your right, approximately 3 miles past Puerto Aventuras. Follow the designated path leading to the cenote's parking area and begin your enchanting journey into nature's embrace.

 

 

 Quick Answer: Best Playa del Carmen Cenotes

In our humble opinion, this is the definitive list of the best Playa del Carmen cenotes:

  • Cenote Azul

  • Gran Cenote

  •  Cenote Suytun

  • Cenote Aktun Chen

  • Cenote Chaak Tun

  • Cenote Chikin-Ha


 

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Should I Rent a Scooter in Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen is a vibrant coastal town known for its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and rich culture. Whether you're here for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, getting around efficiently

Comments


bottom of page