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How to visit Casa Cenote – also called Cenote Manati [2022]

Casa Cenote is a spectacular open cenote located on the Riviera Maya and one of the closest to the beach.

In this post, we are going to talk about you all the amazing things you can do in Casa Cenote, how to get there and how to make the most of your visit.

The Riviera Maya is full of incredible natural wonders among which are spectacular hidden cenotes and endless white-sand beaches.

Although all the most popular places are nowadays overcrowded, Casa Cenote is one of those that are still unspoiled and lesser busy, and yet a great site where to spend a few hours, especially if you are based in Tulum.

Cenote Manati - casa cenote

What are the cenotes?

A cenote is a freshwater sinkhole formed by the collapsing of the limestone soil, the type of stone that the Yucatan Peninsula is mainly made of. The cenotes allow us access to the water table. These holes are produced naturally by the collapse of the roof.

Sacred to the Mayan civilization they are now some of the main tourist attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula. Read more about the Mexico cenotes.

WHERE IS CASA CENOTE LOCATED?

Casa Cenote is located only 12 km from Tulum and 56 km from Playa del Carmen, on the beach side of the federal highway. Here below we will explain how to get there.

It’s close to the Caleta Tanka and not too far from Yal-Ku Lagoon and Akumal beach.

It’s on the opposite side of Casa Cenote Hotel where you can find a diving center and a rocky beach which gives you the opportunity to spend some time in the Caribbean sea after you have swum in the cenote.

CASA CENOTE MAP

Casa Cenote Map

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CASA CENOTE

The main characteristic of Casa Cenote, which makes it stand out among all the cenotes in the area, is its unusual shape.

As you can see from the aerial view, it’s shaped like a snake making its way through the Mayan Jungle and then disappearing into the mangroves.

You can swim as far as you can with no dangers. However, you need to know that you may meet Panchito, the friendly crocodile, who has apparently replaced the manatees family that was living there.

He seems to be quite friendly but you wouldn’t want to get too close.

Also, Casa Cenote is a popular cenote for first-time divers for its shallow water. Many dive shops come here to introduce students to cenote diving.

If you want to try diving you can always contact the nearby dive shop Manati divers located on the beach opposite the cenote and schedule your dive.

Differently from the usual cenotes Casa Cenote is not surrounded by alamo trees and lush vegetation, but by a thick mangrove forest.

Casa Cenote drone view
Casa Cenote aerial view

HOW TO GET TO CASA CENOTE

Getting to Casa Cenote is very easy and you have different options to get there.


How to get to Casa Cenote by Car 

Getting to Casa Cenote by car is the best option considering that you will have to drive another 1.5 km inland on a dirt road from the main federal highway.

If you have your own car it’s more convenient and once you finish visiting Casa Canote you can explore the surrounding area, beaches and other cenotes at your own pace.

If you follow our advice and rent a car, we would also recommend getting full insurance coverage, which will allow you to drive with peace of mind and not to worry about small incidents or mishappenings on the road.

Casa cenote entrance
Entrance to Casa Cenote – there is no sign for Casa Cenote- look for these ones, instead

Coming from Playa del Carmen you will find Casa Cenote on your left at 56 km, which means that once you see the sign you will need to keep driving and take the first “Retorno” (U-turn)

Coming from Tulum you will find Casa Cenote on your right after 12 km only. Once you turn on the dirt road, you would just keep following the road until you’ll find the cenote on your left after a 90° turn.

You can park in the parking lot on the right side where you will pay your entry fee.

When renting a car in Mexico we recommend Discover Cars because on their website you can compare different companies and their prices and you can choose between their car insurance or the ones offered by the car rental directly, or both.

Casa Cenote drone view

How to get to Casa Cenote by local bus

Getting to Casa Cenote by local bus, whether you are coming from Playa del Carmen or Tulum can be tricky because the colectivo (mini van) will drop you off on the federal highway, and then you will need to walk for a mile (15 km) in the sun.

If you do so, make sure you bring water, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes. The sun is strong and merciless!

The price of the colectivo should be around 60 MXN approximately from Playa de Carmen and 20 MXN from Tulum. 


How to get to Casa Cenote by taxi

Another option would be hiring a taxi.

We cannot really say how much a taxi can charge to get to Casa Cenote because it depends on many factors including the exact pickup point and the taxi driver himself.

However, here are our recommendations:

► Ask your hotel a recommended taxi driver

► Agree on the price and schedule beforehand

► Exchange phone numbers with the driver in case of an unexpected change of plans.

► Only pay him after each service

Casa cenote

THINGS TO DO IN CASA CENOTE

Dispite being a small cenote there are quite a few things you can do:

✔️ swim around

✔️ snorkel

✔️ Kayaking on your own or on a tour

✔️ Paddleboarding on your own or on a tour

✔️ take a diving introductory class if you have never dived before, or enjoy diving in Casa Cenote like a pro.

✔️ take a swim in the Caribbean sea and enjoy the beach opposite the cenote (you can also snorkel there)

✔️ have a nice meal in the beachfront restaurant at Casa Cenote Hotel

INTERESTING FACT – Casa cenote is also called Cenote Manati because there was a family of Manatees living there.

Unfortunately, they have left, probably due to over-tourism.

It’s quite sad to think that while we are enjoying the wonders of nature, we are contaminating the environment in many different ways, such as the manatees.

Casa Cenote

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Casa Cenote Facilities

✔️ Paddle Board rental 700 MXN

✔️ Kayak rent 300 

✔️ Snorkeling tour 500 (including the equipment)


Casa Cenote entrance fee  

150 MXN per person which includes life jacket.

250 MXN entrance fee + snorkeling equipment
Snorkeling gear is quite pricy (20USD) so we would recommend you bring your own.


Casa Cenote Opening Hours 

Casa Cenote is open from 9 to 5 every day.

Casa Cenote, Quintana Roo.

HOW TO VISIT CASA CENOTE AND RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT

As usual, here we would like to include our prayers to help preserving the already fragile environment and contain the damage we inflict just by existing, as humans.

Below are just some easy rules to follow in order to help the cause:

✅ Always take a shower before entering a cenote, when available. Just do not use any lotions before heading to a cenote, just in case the shower is not available. 

✅ Don’t trash. Keep the place clean and if you see something that is out of place, pick it up.

✅ Don’t use any kinds of cream spray or protectors on your skin as it would contaminate the environment (even the so-called – eco friendly)

✅ Don’t be loud, other people may want to enjoy the place in peace and tranquility. Respect them.

✅ Sometimes the wind move around trash or previous visitors were not respectful. You can help keep the place clean by picking it up yourself and take it home. 

✅ Don’t hang on to the stalactites or stalagmites or any roots 

✅ Just avoid any silly act that can damage the environment 

💚 If we appreciate the earth we will learn to respect it.💚

Casa Cenote kayaks
Casa Cenote Kayaking Aerial view

WHAT TO BRING TO CASA CENOTE

✔ Ecological Sunscreen and mosquito spray to wear only after you swim

✔ your own snorkeling gear since it’s expensive renting it there.

✔ swim suite

✔ some Mexican pesos in cash

✔ water ( better if in your water bottle)

✔ wet suit if you are usually cold in the water

✔ an extra swimsuit to change from the wet one.

INSIDER TIP – try to avoid weekends and be there early morning when they open if you want to avoid crowds. 

Casa Cenote drone view

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT CASA CENOTE

✅ The fact that is surrounded by mangroves creates a surreal environment both on the surface and underwater.

✅ The presence of the friendly crocodile makes it a thrilling visit!

✅ The fact that’s easy for newbie divers

✅ The fact that it’s a two-step from the beach so you can enjoy both worlds in one trip.


WHAT WE DON’T LIKE ABOUT CASA CENOTE

There isn’t anything that we don’t like. It’s just a cute little paradise in the Mexican Caribbean coast.


TIPS TO PHOTOGRAPH CASA CENOTE

If you have a GoPro you can take amazing underwater shots, and the drone can capture the spectacular shape of the cenote.

With a professional camera or a phone, since you can only stand from one side of the cenote, the best time of the day to take a picture would be in the early morning when the sun is at your back and you have the perfect light.

WHAT YOU CAN VISIT NEARBY

➡️ Caleta Tanka’ – 8.5 km / 5.2 miles

➡️ Xelha ruins – 10 km / 6.2 miles

➡️ Cenote Yax-kin – 6.8 km / 4.2 miles

➡️ Tulum Ruins – 8 km / 4.9 miles

➡️ Caleta Yal-ku – 21 km / 13 miles