For travelers who arrive to the Riviera Maya, visiting a cenote is simply a must-do.
You cannot miss the opportunity to explore one of these natural wonders that can only be found in this particular region of the world.
Cenotes are bodies of water contained in authentic calcareous grottos. Subject to the erosion of rain and subterranean currents, the caves’ domes have collapsed, turning them into natural sinkholes with crystalline fresh waters that are now open for thousands of tourists to visit but were once considered sacred and magical places for the ancient Mayan culture.
So we decided to bring you a list of the top 5 must-visit cenotes for you to discover during your visit to the Riviera Maya.
- Chac Mool
This one is located in Puerto Aventuras and has two different entrances that lead to their respective caves.
What’s magical about this cenote is the fact that in its bed both sweet and salty waters meet, causing a phenomenon known as halocline in which the layers of different salinities form perfectly delimited columns, offering divers and snorkelers an unparalleled underwater sight.
Cenote Chac Mool is a favorite among experienced scuba divers as well as those interested in a cavern diving specialty. Make sure you don’t miss it!
The Cenote Xketén is located 3 kilometers away from the city of Valladolid, on the road that connects the city with Merida.
In this place you will live a unique experience, since the access to the covered cave is through a rather narrow opening, giving visitors an unparalleled view of the site.
The crystalline turquoise waters and its majestic stalactites will leave you speechless.
This is one of the most popular cenotes among tourists due to its great facilities.
- Crystalline (Cenote Cristalino)
The Cenote Cristalino is located south of Playa del Carmen, after the Aktun Chi Park.
At first glance it resembles a huge pool. Its name refers to its fresh crystal clear waters that allow visitors to see up close the hundreds of fish that live in its ecosystem.
A great place to dive and carry out other activities such as swimming, zip-lining, hiking and snorkeling.
The location also offers a restaurant to enjoy a great lunch after swimming.
- Ik Kil
This cenote is one of the most spectacular places in the Yucatan peninsula, located only 3 kilometers away from Chichen Itza.
An eco-park has been created around this impressive cenote, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the local flora and fauna and the diversity of species that inhabit the region.
There’s also the possibility to stay in one of its bungalows, in the purest Mayan style but with a Jacuzzi included.
It has a restaurant and a shop to buy souvenirs.
- Cenote Dos Ojos
For many, the Dos Ojos cenote is considered a cave diving paradise. It is located about 14 kilometers from Tulum.
It is one of the most visited cenotes in the area, from advanced cave divers to those with little experience.
It boasts three different caverns that are connected by underground rivers. Services include hammocks and resting spots.
It would be a mistake to assume that all cenotes are the same or even similar to each other, each one has a very distinct feel and features different activities, but we can surely give you an idea.
Most cenotes are open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm and the entrance ticket ranges from 80 to 150 Mexican pesos depending on the season, although if you hire qualified staff to guide your experience, with professional equipment, the price may rise up to 250 Mexican pesos per person only for entering the cenote.
Now you have no excuse!
Don’t miss such a fascinating experience during your next visit to the Riviera Maya. Remember that Mayan Monkey Hostel Tulum has the best tours available. Our staff will be glad to help you find the perfect activity for you!