The Cenote Report
Written by Rob Mukai on Sep. 18, 2016
Cenotes are sink holes. The geology of the Yucatan is of a lot of limestone, with all flowing fresh water underground in systems of caves and underground rivers. The caves contain stalactites and stalagmites as water filters through the limestone. Occasionally, the water will thin the limestone enough that sections fall in. Sometimes they open up into caverns, other times, the holes fill with water and the cenotes look almost like ponds but with crystal clear water. The water is almost uniformly cool at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They are a great way to cool off on a hot day in the Yucatan.
So we have spent some time hitting a number of cenotes between here and Cancun. Most we were able to swim around in to get a good “feel” for them. Others we just took some pictures but this gives you a good idea of some of the options. If you are looking for a way to break up the drive from Cancun to Xcalak, why not try one or more of the cenotes on this list. The Cenotes with links have reviews on our blog and you can click on them to get more details. I’ve grouped them by area, to help you plan.
Ruta del Cenotes (West of Puerto Morelos)
• Cenote 7 Bocas - Cavern cenote with 7 openings.
• Cenote Mojarras
• Verde Lucero - Surface Cenote with diving platforms [UPDATE 08-25-2019]300 Pesos Tourist/100 Pesos Residents Closes at 5:00 pm
• Boca de Puma
• Selvatica Park
• Gorilax Jungle Park
• Cenote Zapote - [UPDATE 08-25-2019] 3 Cenotes cost $700 Pesos. Includes tour guide.
• Kin Ha Cenote
• Cenote Popol Vuh
Puerto Aventuras (Across from Barcelo Maya Beach Resort on 307)
• Jardin del Eden - Large surface style, kind of like a giant public pool.
• Cenote Azul - Kiddie friendly surface style cenote with lots of shallow areas. Can get crowded.
• Cenote Cristalino
• Cenote Chikin Ha
Dos Ojos Area (Near Xel-ha off 307)
• Dos Ojos - Large cavern style cenote
• Hilario’s Well
• Jaguar Cenote - Zip line and diving platforms surface style.
• Nicte Ha Cenote - Surface style
• Dos Palmas
• Casa Cenote - one of our favorites
• Cenote Yax-Kin - Nice surface cenote. Not crowded lots of locals.
Tulum - Coba Road
• Gran Cenote - Cavern style cenote with nice facilities
• Car Wash Cenote - Surface style cenote better for diving than snorkeling
• Cenote Calavera - Cavern style, but small. Very cool, can’t see the bottom
• Cenote Zacil Ha - Pool like, with a pool.
• Cenote X’Canche - Located near the Ek Balam ruins. We didn't go but it looks like a very nice large cenote. Nice way to cool off after climbing some pyramids.