Where is the Cenote Azul located? How to visit Cenote Azul in Playa del Carmen and how to make the most of your visit. All in one post! Read on before visiting.
The cenote Azul is a beautiful open cenote situated on the Riviera Maya in the South of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is one of the most popular cenotes in the region because of its spacious areas where to relax by the soothing waters surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.
The cenote Azul also offers all the necessary facilities to make your day even more enjoyable, including lockers, a snack bar, benches by the water, and a platform to jump, for the more adventurous.
Located on the main road (Carretera federal) that connects Playa del Carmen with Tulum, Cenote Azul is easily reachable either by bus or car.
In this post, we will tell you all about it.
Make sure you don’t mix up Cenote Azul near Playa del Carmen with Cenote Azul in Bacalar (of which we will talk about in a different post)
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.
Things to know about Cenote Azul
- The entrance of this cenote is right on the main road which makes it very easy to reach by public transportation
- It’s an open-air cenote, not a cave cenote, which makes it look like a lake
- It is suitable for kids because some areas have very shallow waters with easy access
- It’s perfect for those who love to jump and makes all sorts of shenanigans because it has a a 3,5 mt high platform with 6mt deep water where you can safely jump.
- The water is always Crystal Clear and has shades of green to deep blue (hence the name)
How to get to Cenote Azul
Located at only 25 km from Playa del Carmen and 40 km from Tulum, close to Cenote Cristalino and at a few minutes away from the spectacular cave cenote Taak-Bi-ha you can choose among different ways to get to Cenote Azul. Here below we’ll tell you all about each of them.
How to get to Cenote Azul by Car
We believe that renting a car in the Yucatan peninsula is always a good choice because it gives you the freedom to move around and visit more places in one day at your pace without having to depend on crowded busses with unreliable schedules.
Driving in the Yucatan Peninsula is very easy but we would recommend including full insurance with 0 deductible when you rent a car, for your peace of mind.
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.
So how to get to cenote Azul by car? Easy! You will have to get on the Carretera Federal (Federal HIghway) Playa del Carmen – Tulum and stop by the sign Cenote Azul. You will find a drive-through at the entrance where you will have to stop to pay for your entrance and then continue to drive up to the spacious car park.
How to get to Cenote Azul by local Bus
If you prefer to travel by local busses, whether you are in Tulum or Cancun, it’s very easy to get to the Cenote Azul by local bus, both from Playa del Carmen or Tulum. You can get on a “colectivo” and let them drop you off at the entrance of Cenote Azul.
There you just walk by the entrance where you would purchase your tickets and get directions on where to continue on foot. The cenote is very close to the entrance so there is not much walking to do.
How to get to Cenote Azul by taxi
Hiring a Taxi could be another option. We can’t give you rates because they may change and, besides every taxi driver may have their own. However, we suggest you should ask a recommended and trustworthy taxi driver from the reception of your hotel or your host.
Also, make sure you agree on the rate before getting in the taxi and arrange when he would pick you up as there are no taxis on site.
Things to do in the Cenote Azul
Cenote Azul is quite large and its made of different small areas separated by natural or man-made platforms. Also, there is a beautiful trail that runs around the cenote where you can enjoy incredible views.
So, here are all the things you can do in Cenote Azul.
✅ Swim and chill – you can just enjoy swimming or floating in the cool waters while or relax by the benches scattered around the banks.
✅ Snorkel – this cenote is very good for snorkeling and exploring what’s underneath the rock formations.
✅ Take amazing photos – Cenote Azul offers spectacular angles from where to take incredible pictures. In fact, it has been used very often as a setting for wedding photography. I would suggest you walk around and find your favorite angle.
✅ Take a jump – there is a 3.5mt (10.5 ft) high platform and other lower ones where you can enjoy jumping in and out of the cenote. It’s safe to dive headfirst as well since the water is 6 mt (18ft) deep so there is no danger.
Cenote Azul Practical information
Cenote Azul Facilities
- Mask snorkel and tours rentals
- Snack Bar/Coffee shop
- Tables and chairs
- Entrance fee Adults 120 MXN (7 USD)
- Rental of life jacket 40 MXN
- Mask and snorkel rental 70 MXN
Cenote Azul Opening Hours
Open every day from 8.30 to 17.30
How to visit Cenote Azul and respect the environment
Protecting the beautiful nature we live in is our main concern and an aspect of traveling that is so dear to us.
Besides, if we want to continue to enjoy the incredible natural wonders on this earth, it is very important that we respect the environment and help preserve it.
The good part is that it’s not that difficult. Here we are sharing some simple rules to follow so that we may make as little impact as possible on this earth.
- Bring trash with you
- Don’t be loud
- 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)
- Always take a shower before entering a cenote
- Don’t hang on trees
- Just don’t do any silliness that can damage the environment
If we appreciate the environment we will learn to respect it.
What to bring to Cenote Azul
- Change of clothes
- Towel to dry off
- Mosquito repellent to wear after you come out of the water as there may be many mosquitos around
- Mask and snorkel gear and life jacket are available for rent but it would be much better if you have your own, both for hygienic purposes and for saving
- You can walk on your flip-flop although I always like to wear closed shoes when I am in the wilderness, mainly to avoid bugs bites. But it’s totally up to you
What we like about Cenote Azul
✔️ We believe it is one of the most beautiful open cenotes in the Riviera Maya, if possible.
✔️ Especially for the extremely transparent water
✔️ The lush jungle surrounding it
✔️ The fact that quite large and you can find your private piece of paradise just for you
✔️ The fact that you can jump from a platform in a safe environment
✔️ Another nice feature that you won’t find in many cenotes in the beautiful court overlooking the cenote and equipped with natural tables and chairs from where you can enjoy your coffee or snack surrounded by lush greenery.
What we don’t like about Cenote Azul
❌ It can get crowded, especially during weekends.
INSIDER TIP – try to avoid weekends and be there early in the morning when they open if you want to avoid crowds.
Tips to photograph the cenote Cenote Azul
Any time of day is good to photograph the cenote, although it’s better early morning or in the afternoon when the sunlight is not vertical. Although early morning photography is ideal, In any case, thanks to the lush vegetation, offering shade, you will always be able to find a good spot for a great photo.
What you can visit nearby
Near Cenote Azul there are many other attractions including:
➡️ Akumal Beach 14 km/ 8.6 miles
➡️ Xpu-ha beach 3.2 km/ 1.9 miles
➡️ Cenote Cristalino 450 mt/ 0.27 miles
➡️ Cenote Eden 1 km/ 0.6 miles
➡️ Cenote Chikin-ha 1.7 km
Where to stay near Cenote Azul
Barcelo Maya Beach – One of the most popular All inclusive hotels in the area, it’s been there for ages. They offer different types of accommodation for different budgets. Located on the spectacular beach of Xpu-ha
Hotel Esencia – This hotel is one of the most luxurious and exclusive in the area. Definitely, a treat if you are ready to splurge.
Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen FAQ
How much does it cost to go to Cenote Azul?
The entrance fee is 120 MXN for adults.
Can you visit the cenotes without a tour?
Yes, of course, you can visit all the cenotes on your own, with some exceptions
Why are cenotes blue?
There are different factors that determine the color of the water of the seas, lagoons, rivers, cenotes… The most important are depth, the color of the bottom, salinity, temperature, geographical location, incidence of the angle of the sun when the rays penetrate the water.
A basic factor in determining color is the transparency of the water, which occurs when the water contains floating particles or few organisms.
The most intense blue occurs in crystal clear waters, where it reaches its highest purity.
The organisms reduce the penetration of light into the water, turning the water greener.
In the case of the cenotes, we also have to add the minerals from the limestone rock, which help to dye the cenotes an intense turquoise/blue.
In the cenote Azul there are undoubtedly the ideal factors for that intense blue color
How much is a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Cenote Azul?
It should be around 600 to 700 pesos. But you should always agree on the fare before confirming the service. If it’s more than 700 it’s a rip-off and we would ask another driver.
Do you pay for cenotes?
The majority of the cenotes, especially the ones on the Riviera Maya have an entrance fee that goes towards the workers’ wages and maintenance works. But of you explore around the Yucatan Peninsula you will have more chance to bump into a free cenote in the middle of nowhere.
Can you get sick from cenotes?
We don’t know of any cases of sickness from cenote swimming. However, make sure you don’t drink alcohol before jumping in the water or you don’t eat too heavily. As your body could have an unpleasant reaction to the cold water.
What should I wear to the cenotes?
Swimsuit, a rash guard so that you don’t get sunburnt and you may want to wear some water shoes for your comfort.
Can you drown in a cenote?
In the majority of the cenotes, it’s safe to swim and it’s not likely to get currents that pull you down. The deepest ones, such as Kaan Luum for example, it’s not allowed to swim for that very reason.
In any case, if you are not a good swimmer or you don’t feel comfortable you should wear a life jacket.
Are there snakes in cenotes?
Well, not exactly in the cenote, but since cenotes are normally located in the jungle surrounded by thick vegetation there could be snakes hiding around. The chances that they come out are very low because they don’t like humans.