Beautiful Cenotes in Mexico
Cenotes are something that are unique to the area of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Pronounced (see-note-tays), these fresh water swimming holes attract people from all over the world looking for a beautiful setting. Each cenote is different, some being enclosed in a cavern and others open with tropical plants around them. There are many cenotes that are included on tours and some cenotes that are close to Playa Del Carmen. However, there are some beautiful cenotes that people don’t visit very often.
Most of these cenotes are not on a busy tourists route. So we wanted to show you a few of beautiful cenotes in our area that you can visit if you get a little adventurous. We also like to help owners of these cenotes with their eco tourism dreams to share these beautiful locations in Mexico.
Cenote Yax Kin
Cenote Yax Kin is a beautiful cenote with crystal clear waters. It is located between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum in the Riviera Maya. It is well landscaped and a nice place to spend an afternoon. Since it is less known and a little further away, you will find more locals here then tourists.
One of the main reasons people don’t visit this beautiful cenote is because it is not as close to Playa Del Carmen and Tulum as some other cenotes. You do need to travel a little more. It is also a newer cenote that is open to the public and some guides don’t have it in them.
Information for visiting this cenote
The admission price is 100 pesos. Quintanarroense are 80 pesos. Children ages 4-8 the entrance is 60 pesos.
Note: Midweek is usually the best time to visit cenotes since most locals have off on Sundays and cenotes can be busier.
Hours the cenote is open
Open daily from 10:00am-5:30pm.
How to get to Cenote Yax Kin
Cenote Yax Kin is on the 307 Highway between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. It is an 18 minute drive from Tulum and 41 minutes from Playa Del Carmen. The more exact location is just south of Xel Ha and Dos Ojos Park. It is on the west side of the highway. You will see a sign and small building at the entrance where you pay.
Note: If you are coming from Tulum you will need to pass the entrance and take the next return to go back down the west side of the highway.
For more about visiting this beautiful cenote, see our article here about Yax Kin.
Cenote Muul Ich near Coba
This beautiful cenote is remarkable for the crystal clear waters where you can look down about 30 feet. It is an enclosed cenote, meaning it is a cavern. There is a small opening and a wooden spiral staircase down to the platform in the center of the cenote. The cenote is not that large and also not that often visited.
One of the reasons this cenote is not that visited is because it is a little further away from Coba ruins as some of the other cenotes close by. There are three cenotes that tours and people driving around go to, but this cenote is less advertised. Cenote Muul Ich is one of our favorites in this area because it is beautiful in its own right.
Hours of Cenote Muul Ich
Open daily from 10:00am-5:00pm. This however does not mean this will the definitive schedule. This cenote is in a small town and these hours of operation can depend on when someone get there.
If the wooden gate is closed by the road, it means it has not opened yet.
How to get to this beautiful cenote
Muul Ich cenote is not hard to find, but it is out of the way. This makes it a nice hidden surprise when you find it. You will need to go to Coba, pass by the archeological site and around the lagoon. You will follow signs to the cenotes. (These however are not the ones you are going to.) When you go out of Coba town you will be on a road for about 2 minutes and you will see the turn for San Juan. Turn left here and follow this road. You will go almost to town where you will see the sign for the cenote on your right. Shortly after the sign, turn right onto a dirt road. Follow this road for about 3 minutes and you will come to the parking area. There is a small sign on your right where the trail to the cenote it.
Cenote Sac Aua
Cenote Sac Aua is a beautiful cenote off the beaten path in the Yucatan. This cenote is near to Ek Balam and Valladolid. So if you are out exploring the area and want a beautiful place to visit, this cenote is one for the list.
What makes Cenote Sac Aua special is actually several things:
- Not many tourist visit here since it is off the main routes.
- It has beautiful water for swimming.
- The center is an island with trees and feels like a magical land.
- There are some services like a restaurant and also tours of the caves.
Tips for visiting this cenote
When you pull in you will find a parking lot. Here you will find bathrooms, a small restaurant and the booth for tickets. After you pay there is a trail to the cenote. Just before you go down to the cenote you will find a small building with showers. This is good to do if you are wearing any suntan cream or lotions. This helps keep the water clean.
Open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm.
Entrance price to Cenote Sac Aua
The cenote price is 90 pesos. If you want to combine it with a tour of the caves on the property it is 190 pesos per person.
How to get to Cenote Sac Aua
This cenote is not on the main tourist route in the Yucatan. You will need to drive a little of the back roads to get here but it is worth it. The town where Cenote Sac Aua is Dzalbay. Most people will visit this cenote either from Ek Balam or from the old 180 via Yalcoba. If leaving from Valladolid it should take you about 36 minutes to arrive to the cenote.
Cenote Fantasma (or Cenote Ghost as it would be in English) is a relatively newly opened to the public cenote. This cenote opened to the public in mid 2017. Since this cenote is large and very beautiful, infrastructure has been added that will allow larger groups to visit at one time. This cenote mainly gets bus groups stopping by in the mornings on their way to Chichen Itza or Ek Balam Mayan ruins. You still are able to visit this cenote yourself if you like. You just will need to drive here since there is no public transportation.
What this cenote is like
What makes this cenote so special is the fact it is so large. It is a cavern or enclosed cenote. A large chunk of the roof has fallen and leans at an angle in the middle of the water. This is very cool looking with the stalactites at angles. There are two small holes in the ceiling of this cenote that let natural light in. Artificial lights illuminate the rest of the cenote.
The water is fairly deep in most of the cenote. Since this water is so clear, it would be good to bring a mask or goggles.
Tips for visiting this cenote
The entrance cost is 70 person. Life jackets are 20 pesos and sometimes required.
How to get to Cenote Fantasma
One Google maps it is known as Cenote Ghost as it is translated. The access is off the non toll 180 road. There is no turn off from the 180 toll road. If you are traveling between Valladolid and Cancun or Playa Del Carmen, this is a place you can stop. It is about 12 minutes off of the old 180 road. The turn is near the town of X-Catzin. The road has a cenote sign at the turn and about 4 other signs pointing you to it.
Cenote Cho’o’oj ha in Xcan Yucatan
Did we save the best for last? Possibly, this cenote is one of the most beautiful we have seen. What makes it special is how large it is, there are crystal clear waters and amazing stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Visiting this cenote
The entrance cost 100 pesos per person. There are changing rooms, showers and bathrooms at the entrance. It is mandatory to rinse off before going into the cenote. This is to take off lotions and creams that will contaminate the water and cause an oily film.
Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm daily.
Below you will find a map with the approximate location. The cenote entrance is roughly 2.5 kilometers west of Xcan. You will see several signs next to the road on the south side. Turn here and follow the dirt road. The dirt road is about 600 meters long. You will come to a parking lot and see the palapas where the entrance is.
Note: Ecoparque Yuum Kaax is the name on the map but look for Cenote Cho’o’oj ha on the signs for the turn.
We hope you have enjoyed looking over these five beautiful cenotes in the area. We hope you get to visit some of them. Are there any hidden cenotes you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.