If you’re staying at our hotel in Tulum and want to make the most of your vacations, we recommend you visit at least one of the many cenotes available in the surroundings. But what exactly is a cenote?

Cenotes are natural sinkholes or pits that form when limestone collapses and the groundwater rushes in. They are all around the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, and some of them were used in religious ceremonies by the ancient Mayans. Travelers from all around the globe come to scuba dive or snorkel in these fantastic places due to its uniqueness and exotic nature.

Make sure to go and have big-time adventuring in these incredible sites. Here’s a list of the best cenotes near Tulum.

Cenote Dos Ojos

This particular Cenote takes its name from its unique appearance, Dos Ojos means “two eyes” in English. It looks like two separate cenotes from the surface, though in fact, Dos Ojos is a single cenote, with the two pits connected by a four hundred meters long passageway, with each of the sinkholes filled with fresh crystal-clear blue waters.

The water in this spectacular Cenote is always clear and warm, and the color of the water is rather beautiful due to the light coming through those two eyeballs looking holes. This Cenote is probably the most popular one around Tulum, so it can get a little crowded at times. Nevertheless, it’s worth the visit and make sure to take lots of photos to share them in your social media with your friends and family.

You can visit this Cenote by joining a tour or on your own, it’s located 20 minutes from Tulum Downtown.

Cenote Calavera

In Spanish, Calavera means “skull.” This slightly spooky name is due to the looks of the three sinkholes that resemble the eye sockets and mouth of a giant skull when looking from above. Cenote Calavera is very deep, which gives you the best opportunity to jump from above and try the epic Mayan sport of cenote-diving if you’re feeling bold enough. But don’t worry if you’re not, you can climb down the ladder instead.
This Cenote is full of life with plenty of fish swimming in the waters, and sometimes you may encounter bats flying through the cave. To look up at the sunlight streaming into the cave through the openings is a sight to be seen, something that you won’t forget for a lifetime. You can find Cenote Calavera coming from Tulum on Carretera 109 towards Coba.

Gran Cenote

One of the most famous cenotes in Tulum is located between Tulum and Coba. We recommend you to come early in the morning or before it closes to avoid the crowd of visitors and tourists.
Gran Cenote is simply beautiful, and you can spend lots of time snorkeling in its calm, beautiful waters and through the fantastic caves watching the stalagmite and stalactites, and if you’re lucky, even swim with small turtles.

Car Wash Cenote

Originally called Aktun-Ha Cenote, but the majority of locals know it as car wash Cenote, this unique name is due to its proximity to the road, and hence many drivers would stop by to wash their cars in a dusty, hot weather.
This Cenote is of easy access and doesn’t get crowded usually, making it a perfect place to relax and swim. The bottom of this Cenote looks like an underwater garden, so if you’ve got snorkeling gear, make sure to look and wonder the deep.
You can find Car wash cenote coming from Tulum on Carretera 109 towards Coba.

Cenote Zacil-Ha

This Cenote is right next to Cenote Car Wash, and it is very convenient to visit it if you’re staying in Tulum. This Cenote looks almost like a human-made swimming pool carved in stone if you didn’t know better you’d probably think it is, but Zacil-Ha connects with many other cenotes in the area through an underground system of canals.
Although Cenote Zacil-Ha is not as big as other Cenotes, it’s still has a lot going on, like a zip wire that runs around 10 feet above the surface, the ideal way to thrill adventurers to plunge in it, and restaurants, so it´s quite family friendly.

So now it’s up to you? Which cenote will you like to visit first?