Cenotes of the Yucatán
Hello fellow travelers! In case you missed our entire guide on the Yucatán, you can find it right here. Even though we visited all of these on that trip, we thought we would let the cenotes of the Yucatán have some of their own glory!
Any trip to the Yucatán is not complete without a stop to at least one cenote. Cenotes are some of the coolest natural wonders and word is that they result from limestone bedrock collapse creating a sinkhole in the ground. This exposes fresh water underneath, showcasing a collection of underground river systems throughout the whole peninsula. There are ample cenotes to find and every one of them has something different to offer. Most of them cost $3-7 to enter and a lot of them have places to rent a snorkel in case you didn’t bring one down. While they are scattered all around this entire area, there is one highway called “Ruta de los Cenotes” where you can find some of the cenote “parks”. We technically didn’t stop at any of the cenotes along this route, but there are dozens of dirt roads to hop off onto. These cenote parks have different activities to do, such as ziplining and four wheeling – but these places run a bit pricey. Plus, you’ll discover that the smaller, less known cenotes are generally a more memorable experience anyways! Here were some that we visited.
Located on the highway from Tulum to Coba, this was our favorite of all the cenotes. It was the best one for snorkeling! It has beautiful turquoise water, stalactites and stalagmites, and many different kinds of turtles swimming with you! All the boys would put Gran Cenote in the top two highlights of the trip along with Chichén Itzá. If you like snorkeling and gorgeous underwater views, it’s a must see.
Tamcach-Ha + Choo-Ha
Located near the ruins at Coba, these cenotes are actually a group of three but we decided on these two. They are more like tiny lakes found inside of a cave and Tamcach-Ha even has two diving platforms to jump from, which of course we all partook in!
(sorry for the awful pics, in advance, it’s so hard to get good lowlight pictures with an iPhone!!)
By far the most touristy of all the cenotes we visited, Ik-Kil is most likely one you’ve seen on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really interesting cenote, but it is way too busy for our liking. Plus, we wanted something that we could snorkel in and this cenote is more like a giant swimming hole, with a very deep bottom. This is more of a check off the list kind of place, I recommend finding the smaller known cenotes with less people so you really get your money’s worth out of it. Although it is crowded, swimming around here and taking in the vastness of this cenote is something that will always be remembered. It is quite a sight to see!
Garden of Eden
This was recommended to us from one of our hotel hosts and it ended up being a really good one! It was a bit more like our first experience at Gran Cenote, more of an open air cenote with optional cave exploring and a couple jump pads.
This cenote is located close to Chichén Itzá and we had this place almost completely to ourselves. There is also a restaurant on the premise and in the busier season you can repel and zipline into the cenote, and even camp on the grounds!
These are some of our favorites, but we plan on heading to the Yucatán again so we’d love to here your favorites for our next visit in the comments below!