The Cenote Report

Written by Rob Mukai on Sep. 18, 2016

Tags: How to Xcalak Day-trips Cenotes Getting Here


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.

The sign for La Ruta de los Cenotes

Ruta del Cenotes (West of Puerto Morelos)

Cenote 7 Bocas - Cavern cenote with 7 openings.

• Cenote Mojarras

• Verde Lucero - Surface Cenote with diving platforms

• Boca de Puma

• Selvatica Park

• Gorilax Jungle Park

• Cenote Zapote

• Kin Ha Cenote

• Cenote Popol Vuh

Main pool at Jardin Del Eden

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

Eye number 2

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 styel

• Nicte Ha Cenote - Surface style

• Dos Palmas

Cichlids

North Tulum

Casa Cenote - one of our favorites

Cenote Yax-Kin - Nice surface cenote. Not crowded lots of locals.

This is why they call it the skull 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 Azul