A Guide to Yucatan's Cenotes

cenote

While the pristine beaches of Mexico's Caribbean coast may be initially what draws you to the Yucatan, you should not leave Mexico without experiencing the magical turquoise waters of one of the 5,000 cenotes around the peninsula. Now you're probably wondering how to even narrow down your options, right? Lucky for you I have a list of a few cenotes that are definitely worth your while. 

First things first, you'll need to rent a car...unless you want to take tours out of Tulum or Playa del Carmen. However, that can be a bit restricting since you won't be on your own time. The good news: car rentals are really cheap! Check out Kayak for good deals. 

If you're diving, be warned that it can get pretty dark and tight in certain areas, so if you're claustrophobic or don't like being in enclosed places, this may not be the activity for you. Don't be bummed though! These cenotes can also be explored by snorkeling or admired from the surface. 

Cenote Ik Kil

-EXPERIENCE- The cenote of all cenotes. If you have to choose one, go to Ik Kil. Definitely go early or at 4pm for a chance to have this cenote practically all to yourself. Hours: 8am-5pm/Entry: 70 pesos. 

Gran Cenote 

-SWIM- The deep crystal clear waters of Gran Cenote definitely add some mystery to this spot. Make sure to swim through the bat cave connecting the two pools. It's eerie yet serene. Hours: 8am-4pm/Entry: 150 pesos

CENOTE DOS OJOS

Photo by: Steve Manning

-DIVE- Named for the two adjoining cenotes that resemble eyes, Dos Ojos is famed for it's spectacular cavern diving. Hours: 9am-5pm/Entry: 100 pesos 

CENOTE AZUL 

-LOUNGE- Cenote Azul is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Surrounded by gorgeous lush jungle, this may not be your classic cenote, but it's a great spot to hangout and cool off. Entry: 80 pesos

 

Two more impressive cenotes to add to your radar: CENOTE TERCER CIELO & CASA CENOTE via @bohemianbythesea.

 

Any secret underground pools I'm missing? Feel free to comment below and add to the list!