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The 17 Best Cenotes Near Playa del Carmen to Visit in 2022

If you are looking for a cenote near Playa del Carmen to visit that is not so far from your hotel, you have landed in the right place.

In this post we are going to share all the most beautiful cenotes that are close to Playa del Carmen, with all the detailed information that you need to plan your trip.

We also include a map so that you can easily understand how far the cenotes are located and we also include prices and facilities and pictures so that you can pick the best cenote to visit, or more than one.

There are so many incredible cenotes scattered around along the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast and inland but some of them require a full day trip to visit because they are so remote.

Cenote Azul Jump
Cenote Azul Riviera Maya

These ones are close enough to Playa del Carmen so that you can plan a half a day trip if you prefer.

Regardless of the location we suggest you should rent a car so that you are free to roam around Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya and check out some nearby beaches.

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.

But we will also share how you can get to the below-mentioned cenote by public transport when it’s possible.

Also for the sake of organization, we have split this post into 3 sections, the cenotes near Playa del Carmen towards Tulum, the cenotes near Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Morelos and the cenotes that are only good for Diving.

Map of Playa del Carmen Cenotes

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.

Now without further ado, let’s dig into the best cenotes near Playa del Carmen.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN CENOTES

The cenotes near Playa del Carmen on the way to Tulum (Riviera Maya Cenotes)

1. Chaak Tun Cenote

Entry fee: 800 MXN

Hours open: 8:30 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 7 km/ 4.3 miles

Cenote Chaak Tun is the closest cenote to Playa del Carmen. In fact, it’s within the city, on the other side of the Federal Highway, therefore, it’s very easy to reach either by taxi or car rental.

It’s a cave cenote where you can admire a spectacular complex of stalactites and stalagmites. You need to join a guided tour to enter the cave and they will provide you with the necessary equipment.


2. Rio Secreto

Entry fee: starting from 79 USD (price varies depending on the package you choose)

Tour hours: 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 o 13:00 hrs.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 26.7 km / 16.51 miles

Visiting Rio Secreto is a whole different experience than any other cenotes. First of all Rio Secreto is a complex of caves and underwater rivers that visitors can explore by purchasing a guided tour. There is no other way to visit it, for safety reasons.

It’s considered a natural park but it belongs to the Xcaret group so we think they did a great marketing job to attract more visitors than the other parks.

Although they have implemented strict rules to preserve the fragile natural environment we believe that the impact of hundreds of people visiting every day is still damaging the ecosystem.

Having said that, the caves are indeed spectacular so it may be worth visiting even though we prefer more natural environments such as the other cenotes that we mention in this list.

But we wanted to include Rio Secreto for the sake of information. Then you will decide. We also include here below some organized tours if want to be comfortable and leave the organizational part to a local travel agent.

Book your tour in advance to swim in the Rio Secreto


3. Cenote Chikin-Ha (3 cenotes)

Entry fee: 350 MXN (USD 18) (Bundle fee for three cenotes)

Hours open: 8:30 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 31 km / 19 miles

Cenote Chikin Ha cave
Chikin Ha cave cenote
Cenote Chikin ha xtabai open cenote
Cenote X’tabay – Chikin Ha

If you are looking for a half a day trip from Playa del Carmen full of adventures and without going too far, Chikin-Ha is for you. It is in fact a park with three different cenotes, two of which are actually swimmable while the third one is used for ceremonies, but still beautiful to explore and photograph.

Cenote X’tabay is the first one if you walk from the reception. It is a spectacular open cenote, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation reflecting in the crystal clear waters.

The second one is cenote Chikin-Ha, the main attraction and the most exciting because you get to swim in a natural tunnel made of millenary limestone rock formations. The idea is to swim through the cave and come out on the other side from a different cave. So much fun

The third one is a few hundred meters away, after a nice walk in the jungle. Here you cannot swim but if you book a tour you will participate in a ceremony mimicking the ancient Mayan rituals of the prehispanic times.

Otherwise, you can just explore and take a few pictures.


4. Cenote Cristalino

Entry fee: 200 MXN (USD 9.5)

Hours open: 8 AM — 6 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 29.7 km / 18.45 miles

Right after the Cenote Chikin ha entrance, you find Cenote Cristalino, a spectacular oval-shaped open cenote. The crystal clear emerald-green water inspired its name. It’s so transparent that you can see very clearly the rocks at the bottom.

You can swim in the cenote and through a cave, jump from a 2 mt platform or relax in one of the sun beds by the cenote edges.

Getting to Cenote Cristalino by colectivo (local minivans) is very easy because it’s right on the federal highway where the van will drop you off. Just ask the driver.

Keep in mind that ADO buses don’t make stops along the highways, so you can only use the Colectivos leaving from Playa del Carmen Avenida Juarez with Carretera Federal under the highway bridge.

Cenoe Cristalino

5. Cenote Azul – Playa del Carmen

Entry fee: 140 MXN (USD 7 usd)

Hours open: 8:30 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 29 km / 18 miles

The Cenote Azul near Playa del Carmen is one of the most spectacular open cenotes and indeed Azul ( blue)

Make sure you don’t confuse it with the one in Bacalar with the same name.

Located right close to the highway, you don’t really feel you are so close to traffic once you are inside.

You will be surrounded by a lush tropical garden and the only noise you will hear will be of birds chirping and water splashing.

Cenote Azul is quite wide and made of different natural pools separated by platforms and rocks. It’s perfect for any kind of traveler.

You can relax by the water on the benches scattered along the edges, you can swim in the shallow waters or deeper ones and you can jump from the 3 mt platforms if you are the adventurous kind.

There is a pathway that goes all around the water and a small snack bar and restaurant on the most elevated side from where you can enjoy a snack while looking at the beautiful surroundings.

Just like Cenote Cristalino, you can get here by collectives. They will drop you off on the highway and you just have to walk 5 minutes to get inside the cenote.

Cenote azul couple sitting
Cenote Azul – Photo © Isabella Biava

6. Cenote Eden

Entry fee: 200 MXN (USD 9.5)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 29.8 km / 18.51 miles

Also Called Jardin del Eden o Ponderosa, Cenote Eden is a spectacular cenote tucked in the Mayan Jungle surrounded by lush vegetation and absolute silence.

Since it’s located at about 2 km from the main road it’s best if you get there either by car rental or taxi.

The cenote is great for swimming and snorkeling but it’s very much appreciated by divers as well. If you want to dive, though you will need to organize the trip previously with a dive shop in Playa del Carmen or anywhere else in the area.

There are interesting underwater caves and rock formations, very worth exploring, but also enjoyable if you only want to snorkel. It’s recommendable to bring your own snorkeling equipment.

There is also a huge platform where you can jump if you are feeling adventurous.

As any cenote of the area, you should avoid visiting during the weekend if you like to enjoy it with fewer people.

Cenote eden

7. Cenote Dos Ojos

Entry fee: 350 MXN ($18 USD)

Hours open: 8 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 54 km / 33.55 miles

Cenote Dos Ojos

Dos Ojos means two eyes in Spanish and the name comes from the look of these two cenotes so close to each other that from an aerial viewpoint they resemble two eyes.

It’s part of a flooded cave system and one of the most popular places in the region for divers. But just as well enjoyable for nondivers

You should know, though that with a depth of almost 400 meters and 61 kilometers long, it has been a fascination for divers and archeologists alike for more than 3 decades now.

However, if you are a diver and want to take up the challenge, keep in mind that this cave system is quite complicated and requires a cenote dive certification, equipment, and an experienced guide.

As a regular swimmer, you can just enjoy floating on the crystal clear water and appreciate the unique natural surroundings.

You can reach cenote dos ojos by public transport. Once you get to the ticket office and purchase your entrance ticket, they provide a shuttle service to take you to the cenote entrance. Or you can purchase a full guided tour as well.

Book your tour to the cenote Dos Ojos


8. Cenote Taak Bi-Ha

Entry fee: 500 MXN (USD 24)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 54.9 km / 34.11 miles

Taak bi ha

Cenote Taak Bi-Ha is located 1 km past cenote Dos Ojos, they share the same entrance but the Taak Bi Ha ticket office is by the Cenote gate.

It has become one of the people’s favorites over the years. It’s a landscape and rock formations are one of a kind and so it’s transparent turquoise waters.

It’s one of the few cave cenotes along the Riviera Maya and you will be amazed by its beauty.

It’s suitable for swimmers and divers alike but it also offers an incredible visual impact that attracts photographers as well.

The three times we went, it was only to take photos, so beautiful it is.

To get to cenote Taak bi Ha you will need to follow the indications for Dos Ojos, but do not stop at the entrance where you find the Dos Ojos ticket office, keep driving past the entrance to Dos Ojos and you will find it on your right side.

If you get there by public transportation you can ask for a local shuttle to get there if you don’t want to walk for 2 km in the sun.


9. Cenotes Labnaha

Entry fee: 900 MXN (USD 45)

Hours open: 11 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 56.7 km / 35.23 miles

Cenotes Labnaha is a cave cenote on the Riviera Maya that offers quite a different experience from the others.

It is indeed of an undeniable natural beauty for its incredible cave complex surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes and sizes.

However, besides being one of the most expensive you cannot just enjoy the place on your own and hang out in the cenote as you want.

The only way to visit it is to join a guided tour (included in the price) where the guide takes you on an itinerary inside the cave, walking in the water with a night torch, as it’s pitch dark inside.

It can be worth the price if you like these types of experiences.


10. Cenote Yal-Ku Lagoon

Entry fee: 300 MXN (USD 15)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 40 km / 24.85 miles

Caleta Yalku
Yalku Lagoon – Photo © Isabella Biava

It is called YalKu Lagoon but it’s technically a cenote, although it has a shape of a huge lagoon with turquoise water feeding into the Caribbean sea.

It’s located right after Akumal beach and quite hidden within Akumal residential area as if they didn’t want to be found.

There is no sign until you are very close to the lagoon entrance.

Yalku lagon is a spectacular place that snorkelers are particularly fond of, for the wealth of marine life that you can find between cracks and nooks by the lagoon edges.

In our related article on Yalku Lagoon, we share more info on the best way to get there and enjoy it.

Book your tour to the Yal-Ku Lagoon


11. Casa Cenote ( O Cenote manati)

Entry fee: 150 MXN (USD 8)

Hours open: 9 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 56.4 km / 35 miles

Casa Cenote drone view
Casa Cenote- Photo © Isabella Biava

Casa Cenote is another unique place to explore. Just like the Yalku lagoon, it’s located at a very close distance to the sea, right opposite a beach. However, in Casa Cenote, they are not connected on the surface.

It is a very popular open cenote, shaped like a snake winding its way through a thick mangrove forest, as you can see from the picture.

Back in the day there was a cute family of manatee swimming in the waters and it was not difficult to see them. That is why it was also called Cenote Manati.

However, probably due to the increased number of visitors, they decided to find themselves a different home, probably in a quieter place. Who can blame them?

Despite of the crowds, swimming in the cenote is still enjoyable since it stretches out for quite a long way. You can either swim, snorkel, kayak or paddleboard. Or you can join organized tours.

Many beginner divers choose this cenote for their practice since it offers a very easy cenote dive with its shallow calm waters.

There is a Dive Center on the premises and also a restaurant right in front if you decide to spend the day there and keep swimming in the sea from the nearby beach.


12. Cenote Yax Kin

Entry fee: 150 MXN (USD 8)

Hours open: 10 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 53.5 km / 33.24

Cenote Yax Kin

Cenote Yax Kin is a cute large cenote with very shallow waters, very suitable for families.

It’s also surrounded by a lot of tropical vegetation and you have sun beds and chairs where you lay down and enjoy the sun and the surrounding.

You can bring your own food and drinks and have a picnic there as well. There are showers and bathrooms and a snack bar on the premises.

Cenote Yax Kin

Cenotes near Playa del Carmen in Puerto Morelos

13. Lucero Verde

Entry fee: $200 mxn / $10 USD.

Open: 9 am to 5 pm

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 49.6 km / 30.8 miles

It is one of the first cenotes you will meet as you enter the Ruta de Los Cenotes in Puerto Morelos at about 40 km from Playa del Carmen.

A huge open cenote surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, this cenote is loved by the more adventurous travelers.

In fact, you can find a zip line to launch yourself over and into the water! You will also find different platforms to jump from around the edge.

If you are not keen on jumping, worry not. Some comfortable wooden stairs will ease your way into the cenote for a nice tranquil swim.

Because it’s an open cenote the water is not completely crystal clear at a first sight, because of the leaves from the three and other particles floating on the surface. But it’s still an appealing place where to cool off from the tropical heat.

You can get to this cenote either by car rental or by taxi as there is no public transportation going here. Or you can get to Puerto Morelos by bus and then get a taxi from there to the cenote if you want to save some bucks.


14. Cenote Las Mojarras

Entry fee: $200 mxn / $10 USD.

Open: 9 am to 5 pm

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 46.6 km/ 28.9

cenote mojarras

Cenote Las Mojarras is one of the largest cenotes in the area with a diameter of 67 mt (210 feet). Although the water is not as transparent as many other cenotes, it allows you to enjoy many different activities including swimming, zip line and acuatic zip line, if you are the adventurous type.

The cenote also offers a variety of activities to keep you entertained all day long, with horseback riding and ATV and numerous tours in the jungle. They also offer you a full package tour and they take you to snorkel on the barrier reef in Puerto Morelos.

You certainly won’t get bored there.


15. Boca del Puma

Entrance fees: 300 MXN

Open: 9 am to 5 pm

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 47.3 km/ 29.3 miles

BOca del puma zip line
Boca del puma zip line

Cenote Boca del puma includes actually two cenotes, a less impressive open one, which is kind of small but deep and with an aquatic zipline and a platform to jump, and a second one, a bit further away within the park, where you can swim in a cave.

This one is definitely more interesting and natural. You will swim under stalactites and stalagmites in an underground river and will come out at a different entrance of the cenote.

The park is also comprehensive of other fun activities, such as ATV and Zip Lines where you can launch yourself over the jungle tree tops.

Best cenotes near Playa del Carmen for diving only

In this section, we mention those cenotes that are spectacular for diving only. You wouldn’t really enjoy visiting them if you don’t dive as their best features are under the surface.

12/13. Cenote Kukulcan & Little Brother

Entry fee: 250 MXN (USD 12)

Hours open: 10 AM — 5 PM

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 28.4 km/ 17.6 miles

Cenote Kukulcan
Photo © The cenote guy

These cenotes are normally part of the same package when you go diving in a cenote. They are some of the most spectacular cenotes to dive in, for the sharp layers of Haloclines.

Also, while Kukulkan has incredible rays of light effects Little brother is one of the most loved cenotes for adventurers for its zig zag circuit inside.

In order to dive there, you need to prebook your tour with a dive center. One that we recommend for its high rating and decent prices is The Cenote Guy.

Tell him Isabella and Sandra sent you and you will receive a T-shirt as a welcome gift, besides having an amazing adventure with them.

PS. The only negative note about this cenote is that you are not allowed to bring your own photography equipment, not even the GoPro, that is because they have their own photographer who sell the pictures at some unreasonable prices. But hey! the dive makes it worth it anyway.


Things you should know about visiting the Cenotes near Playa del Carmen

Visiting cenotes is a memorable experience for sure, but getting there prepared and with the correct information will make the trip even more enjoyable. Here are a few tips.


Timing

Make sure you know the exact opening hour and be there first. You will avoid crowds and enjoy it even more. That is why we have included those in the description.

However, keep in mind that sometimes the opening hours are not respected so you may need to wait a while. Be patient!


What to bring to a cenote

✔️ swimsuit

✔️ towel,

✔️ eco-friendly sunscreen and mosquito repellent (both of which you can wear only after you swim)

✔️ closed-toed shoes to keep the annoying insects away from your feet while you walking in the jungle.

✔️ snorkel and mask if you like

✔️spare underwear to put on dry clothes after the swim.

✔️ go pro when it’s allowed

✔️ phone waterproof case


How to visit a cenote while respecting the environment

Lastly, there are just a few things to keep in mind. These cenotes only have a couple of simple rules that you need to follow to keep their natural charm intact. They are very easy to follow. I am sure you know them already but here they are as a reminder

🔴 Do not wear any type of sunscreen
🔴 You cannot bring any kinds of speakers for music
🔴 You are not allowed to bring any alcohol
🔴 You CAN NOT smoke
🔴 Pets are NOT allowed
🔴 Don’t trash
🔴 Don’t hang on to the stalactites and stalagmites
🔴 You must shower before entering a cenote
🔴 Don’t take anything away from there
🔴 Don’t do silly harmful things
🔴 Do not be loud

Cenotes near Playa del Carmen FAQ

Does Playa del Carmen have cenotes?

Yes, indeed. There is technically one cenote that we know of which is inside Playa del Carmen and you can see it in the above map. It’s Cenote Chaak Tun.


How far are the cenotes from Playa del Carmen?

It depends, we have included the distance in km and miles in the description


What is the most beautiful cenote in Mexico?

That is a very hard question to answer. There are so many spectacular cenotes and you can decide for yourself which one is your favorite when you start exploring them one by one.


How much does Cenote Azul cost?

7 USD/ 140 MXN at the time of writing.


How much is taxi from Playa del Carmen to Cenote Azul?

It may be around 600 to 700 MXN one way. Make sure you check with the taxi driver before starting the journey.

Cenote taak bi ha overview

What is the best cenote in Riviera Maya?

For us, it’s probably Taak bi ha and Casa cenote but it’s just our personal opinion. What’s your favorite one?


Where can I find Colectivo in Playa del Carmen?

Before the Pandemic, you could find the colectivo in Playa del Carmen at Calle 2 Norte between Av. 15 and 20. A five-minute walk from 5th Av. However, they moved the departing point under the bridge of the Carretera federal at the crossroad with Av. Juarez.

We are not sure if they have moved them back to the original starting point.

However, you can catch a colectivo anywhere on Hwy 307 from Cancun to Tulum depending on which direction you need to go.