Cenotes in Mexico

Cenotes in Mexico : Top 10 Cenotes

For me, Cenote means to integrate with nature, to feel the world, to be mesmerised. Mexico is a cenote paradise. On this trip, we added many cenotes to our list and tried to go to all of them. Although we could not go to some of them due to time constraints, we left our hearts to the cenotes, the paradise of the earth.❤❤❤

In Mexico, especially if you are planning a trip to Cancun, Tulum and Chichen Itza like us, it is impossible not to add cenotes to your travel plan. The cenotes we saw fascinated us with everything. As a couple in love with nature, we did not want to leave almost every cenote we entered. We wished we had stayed in Mexico a little longer so we could go to more cenotes. If it is possible, we will do a full cenote tour on our 2nd trip to Mexico.😊

In my article titled The Cenotes in Mexico, after giving general information about cenotes, I will write the 10 best cenotes you should visit in Mexico. Afterwards, I will show the locations of these cenotes on the map and indicate what you should pay attention to in cenotes. A deep blue, lush green summer awaits you.

Before moving on to my article, I leave the link to my detailed articles about Mexico below. If you are planning a trip here, definitely check out my articles.

What You Need to Know About Cenotaphs

What is Cenote?

Cenote, in its shortest definition, is a sinkhole filled with fresh water. Beyond this definition, cenote has much deeper meanings. The word cenote is derived from the Mayan word ts’onot which refers to any place with accessible underground water. Most of the cenotes in Mexico are located in traditional Mayan lands, and these cenotes played a very important role in Mayan history.

Cenotes are normally filled with clean and fresh water. It is known that many of them are connected to each other by underground channels. Thanks to the soft limestone soil structure of the Yucatan Peninsula, the cenotes were formed when the ground above the water reserves collapsed.

Formation of Cenotes

Cenotes are large sinkholes or caves, usually formed by the collapse of sedimentary limestone rocks, filled with clean groundwater and rainwater. Cenotes have 3 types in terms of formation. These are cave-type cenotes that are completely underground, open cenotes that are above ground, and finally semi-open semi-closed cenotes.

As for its historical formation, it is believed that about 66 million years ago, a large celestial body 15 kilometres wide noisily crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and wiped out almost all the dinosaurs. The massive celestial body that then hit the Yucatan is thought to have melted millions of tonnes of rock into liquid, causing a massive tsunami. The impact of the celestial body created a crater 200 kilometres wide and thousands of water pits, or cenotes, where the water from this tsunami leaked out.

Many cenotes are home to a variety of fish, plant life and turtles. Thousands of cenotes along the Yucatan Peninsula are like medicine for people to cool off in the summer. All of these cenotes with exquisite diving spots are worth seeing.

Historical Importance of Cenotes

There are many cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula where the Mayans ruled. The Mayans believed that these cenotes were created so that they could talk to the gods. Therefore, the Mayans have attached serious meaning to cenotes throughout history. They saw cenotes as a connection to the underworld and the afterlife. They used them as burial pits or places of ritual sacrifice. Cenotes were considered sacred by the Mayans, and entire cities such as Chichen Itza were built around the cenotes.

How many cenotes are there in Mexico?

How many cenotes are there in Mexico? It is impossible to give a clear answer to this question. But it is thought that there are more than 6,000 cenotes in Mexico. Most of these cenotes are located on the borders of Yucatan Peninsula.

Map of the 10 Best Cenotaphs in Mexico

Cenotes in Mexico (You can zoom in on the map)

Cenotes in Mexico: Top 10 Best Places

  1. Gran Cenote
  2. Cenote Calavera
  3. Cenote Zacil-Ha
  4. Dos Ojos Cenote
  5. Cenote Azul
  6. Cenote Tankach-Ha
  7. Cenote Suytun
  8. Cenote Oxman
  9. Cenote Ik Kil
  10. Cenote Xcan ché

Cenotes in Mexico : Top 10 Most Beautiful Cenotes

I have added the 10 best cenotes I have visited and heard to my list of Mexico cenotes. Of course, there are also good cenotes outside of these, but I didn’t want to make my list too long. If there is a place you say this cenote should be on this list, be sure to share it in the comments section.

In Mexico, cenotes are usually run by private businesses. All of them have entrance fee. While some of the entrance fees are reasonable, some of them are also sky-high. Especially after the pandemic, the entrance fees have increased considerably. So a serious budget is required to go to all cenotes. If you are not going to go to all of them, you need to choose the cenote you will go to well.

Gran Cenote

Cenotes in Mexico
Meksika’daki Cenoteler : Gran Cenote 2. Giriş

Gran cenote is the most important place on the list of cenotes in Mexico with the most expensive entrance fee 😃 Gran Cenote, Tulum’s most popular cenote for sure. Although the entrance fee has skyrocketed in recent years, it would be impossible to return from Mexico without visiting this place. Gran Cenote, which is very close to Tulum and on the road to Coba, is really a legendary place.

Gran Cenote, which is operated by a very nice business with all kinds of facilities, offers you very beautiful views as nature. Turtles, glassy turquoise water and a lush forest await you.

After reaching the location, you park your car free of charge at the entrance and wait in line for the entrance. After paying the entrance fee, there are cabins where you can change your clothes when you enter. You have to take a shower before going down to the cenote. This cenotaph has 2 entrances. The first entrance is more crowded than the other entrance. You can swim from the first entrance to the other entrance. Of course, you need to be careful with your belongings. If you wish, you can rent a safety deposit locker for a fee. Or you can go directly to the 2nd entrance.

The water of Gran Cenote, which is half open, is crystal clear. It is very enjoyable to swim with the turtles. I would definitely take your snorkel with you. We took our snorkels with us from Turkey 😃 Underwater diving is legendary. There are also places where you can sunbathe near the cenote entrances. You can rest here if you wish.

  • Gran Cenote Entrance Fee:500 pesos per person.
  • Visiting Hours: 08.00 – 16.45
  • Location: Gran Cenote

Cenote Calevera

Cenotes in Mexico

Cenote Calevara is a very small cenote. It is not crowded compared to other cenotes. If you go early in the morning, you may encounter fewer people.

In this cenotaph, you descend directly into the water with a ladder. There is also a swing where you can take photos. It may be difficult to catch a clean frame due to the crowd. You can also jump into the darkness from one of the rock holes here.😊

There is a business in the cenotaph. You can buy snacks and drinks from the business. Since it is quite close to Tulum, you can also reach here by bicycle. Since the cenote is small in area, it does not lift many people. It makes sense to go in the early hours.

  • Cenote Calavera Entrance Fee: Entrance fee per person 250 pesos. If you need a life jacket, you can rent it for 50 pesos. Car parking is included in the fee.
  • Visiting Hours: 09.00 – 17.00
  • Location: Cenote Calavera

Cenote Zacil-Ha

Cenotes in Mexico

Cenote Zacil-Ha, a place with turquoise waters. This is an open-air cenote near Tulum. In addition to the cenote, there are cabins, pools, relaxation areas, a playground, hammocks, sunbeds, a small business, bathrooms, dressing rooms.

There is a basic zip line that runs over the cenote and you have to jump into the cenote while you are on it. This cenote is about 3-4 metres deep and not very big in area. So plan to go when it will not be crowded.

Don’t forget to take a snorkel for swimming. Zacilha is not as busy as other cenotes. It will be more beautiful if you come early in the morning.

Cenote Zacil-Ha Entrance Fee: Entrance fee per person 200 Pesos
Hours of Visit: 10.00 – 17.30
Location: Cenote Zacil-Ha

Dos Ojos Cenote

Cenotes in Mexico
The Cenotes in Mexico

There are many cenotes you can go to in Tulum. If you try to go to all of these cenotes, I think you need to stay in Tulum for 15 days. Therefore, you need to determine the cenote you will go to in advance and draw a route accordingly. Let me also remind you that the entrance fees of the cenotes are quite high. If you consider your budget, you should be selective about cenotes.

Cenote Dos Ojos, Two Eyes Cenote means. It is so named because of the two 70 metre diameter sinkholes connected by a 400 metre long passage. Dos Ojos is a cenote in the form of a semi-open underwater cave. Especially those who want to dive prefer this cenote.

The deepest part of Dos Ojos is about 118 metres. The entire cave system is at least  61 km long. The water temperature is a constant 24-25 degrees centigrade all year round. It is an ideal place for snorkelling. Don’t forget your snorkel.

  • Dos Ojos Cenote’s Entrance Fee: Entrance fee per person 350 Pesos. Car parking is free.
  • LocationDos Ojos
  • Visiting Hours: 09:00-17:00

Cenote Azul

Cenotes in Mexico
The Cenotes in Mexico

Cenote Azul lives up to its name. Azul means blue in Spanish. You can see yourself in the water in the cenote like a mirror. This is a favourite place for both locals and tourists.

It gets very busy on weekends. It would be nice to come early in the morning to avoid the crowd. The entrance fee is quite reasonable compared to other places. You should take a shower before entering the water. There is no life jacket requirement. Snorkel is a must for me.

There is also Cenote Eden next to Cenote Azul between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. We heard that this place is also beautiful. If you have time, you can also evaluate this place.

  • Cenote Azul Entrance Fee: Entrance fee per person 120 Pesos.
  • LocationCenote Azul

Cenote Tankach Ha

Meksika'daki cenoteler
The Cenotes in Mexico

I continue my list of cenotes in Mexico with Cenote Tankach ha which is located close to Coba and has a very mysterious atmosphere. This is a completely closed cave cenote.It has a really eerie structure. We had the opportunity to go here and we really shuddered.😀

After changing your clothes at the entrance, you pay a fee and go down to the cenotaph. There is a long staircase going down to the cenotaph for about 30 metres. You can also see people jumping cumburlop from these stairs. When you get to the bottom, there is a rocky area where you can leave your belongings. You cannot leave it on the ground because there is water on the ground.

We dived here with Üstün and we were very impressed. I think it is much more logical to prefer such cenotes instead of very popular cenotes. Besides, this place was not very crowded compared to other cenotes.

If you are going to visit Coba, I suggest you consider this cenote. I am sure you will not regret it.

  • Cenote Tankach-Ha Entrance Fee: 100 Pesos per person
  • Visiting Hours: 08.00 – 18.00
  • Location: Cenote Tankach-Ha

Cenote Suytun

Meksika'daki cenoteler
The Cenotes in Mexico

Cenote Suytun is probably the most popular cenote on Instagram. I think it does not have a very big feature other than being photographic. You need a good camera for a good photo here. We preferred Cenote Ik kil instead of going here.

Cenote Suytun has a stone path leading to a circular platform in the centre of its large round pool. Near Valladolid Suytun is a very popular place. This is an underground cenotaph. You reach the cenotaph by descending the stairs.

You need to shower before entering the cenote. You must wear a life jacket for swimming. You have to wait patiently for your turn for photographs. The best photos are taken in the afternoon when the sunlight seeps into the cenote.

The entrance ticket for Cenote Suytun can also be bought online. It’s a bit cheaper. I’m leaving the website below.

  • Website: https://cenotessuytun.com/
  • Cenote Suytun Entrance Fee: 150 Pesos per person
  • Visiting Hours: 08.00 – 18.00
  • Location: Cenote Suytun

Cenote Oxman

The Cenotes in Mexico
The Cenotes of Mexico: Oxman

Cenote Oxman is a collapsed underground cave-style cenote with an open roof that allows natural light to illuminate the clear waters below. Overhanging tree roots give the cenote a distinctive feel. This cenote is eerie because it is estimated to contain 3000 skulls from the Maya.

Located near Valladolid there is also a restaurant in the Cenote Oxman complex. Here you can taste local flavours. You can also buy a ticket that you can choose as a package for entry. Packages are offered in the form of entrance fee + food.

  • Cenote Oxman Entrance Fee: 150 Pesos per person
  • Visit Hours: 07.30 – 17.00
  • Location: Cenote Oxman

Cenote Ik Kil

Located very close to Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil is like a branch of heaven on earth. Coming out of Chichen Itza comes here. It is really a legendary place with everything. We loved it.

Just like Oxman, this place is an open air cave cenote. The stalactite plants hanging towards the cenote give it a very beautiful atmosphere. You descend down the stairs and you are in paradise. It is beautiful from the top and from the bottom.

The complex where the cenote is located is very organised. Everything is spotless. A life jacket is mandatory to enter the cenote. There is also a place like a buffet where you can buy something at the entrance.

If you are planning a trip to Chichen Itza, definitely put this place on your list. I am sure you will never regret it. Finally, you can also buy online tickets for Ik Kil.

  • Web Site: https://cenoteikkil.com/
  • Cenote Ik Kil Entrance Fee: 150 Pesos per person
  • Visiting Hours: 09.00 – 17.00
  • Location: Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote X’Canche

The Cenotes in Mexico
The Cenotes in Mexico: Xcanche

We have come to the last title of my list of the best cenotes in Mexico. Cenote X’Canche is located close to the Ek Balam Archaeological Site. This is an open-air cenote. In addition to areas for sunbathing and jumping into the pool, there is also a zip line.

After buying a ticket you have to walk about 2 km to the cenote. There are zip lines, restaurant, hammock area, bathrooms, shower areas to get down in the cenote. There is no life jacket requirement. This place is less crowded than other cenotes. There is a small waterfall in the cenote.

If you come to Valladolid and have time, you can also choose this place. You can also evaluate cenotes such as Cenote Secreto Maya, Zazil Tunich – Cenote Museo, Cenote Hubiku close to here.

  • Cenote Xcanche Entrance Fee: 170 Peso per person
  • Visiting Hours: 08.00 – 17.00
  • Location: Cenote Xcanche

Pay Attention to These in Cenotaphs!

Cenotes are heavenly places as you can see. When you really enter most of them, you feel like you have entered another world. You can even go to the Yucatan Peninsula for a separate cenote tour.

I am writing below what you should pay attention to in cenotes. It is useful to pay attention to these for a smooth journey.

What to look out for in cenotaphs

  • Don’t forget to take sun cream with you. There is a possibility of burning in open-air cenotes.
  • It would be nice to take sea shoes and snorkel with you. We brought our own belongings with us from Turkey.
  • If possible, take a waterproof bag with you.
  • Quick-drying and space-saving towels will be very useful for you in terms of space and weight.
  • A good camera is essential for good photos in cenotes. If you have a Go Pron, don’t forget to take it with you.
  • Keep an eye on the stuff, if you’re not going to consign it.
  • Make sure you have cash with you. Many cenotes accept cash.
  • The floor is slippery, take firm steps.

I have come to the end of my article titled The Cenotes in Mexico. I hope it was a useful article. If you are going to visit Cancun, Tulum, Valladolid and Chichen Itza, try to include these cenotes in your travel list. If you discover another beautiful cenote, be sure to share it in the comments section. May you have peaceful, healthy and happy travels in advance.😊

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