Imagine a place where you can reconnect with nature, soak in pristine waters, and rejuvenate your soul. Now, what if I told you that such a place exists near Tulum? And it’s not just one, but several! Dive with us into the world of cenotes and discover the top 5 natural pools near Tulum that are true wellness wonders.
The Therapeutic Wonders of Cenotes
What Is a Cenote?
At its core, a cenote is a natural sinkhole created when limestone bedrock collapses, revealing the groundwater underneath. But, it’s so much more than just a sinkhole. It’s a portal to pure bliss.
They are found throughout the Yucatan Peninsula and were once the Mayan people’s primary drinking water source. Today, cenotes are popular tourist attractions and are considered some of the region’s most beautiful and unique natural wonders.
The Unique Ecosystem of Cenotes
These natural pools, often referred to as Tulum’s natural pools, support a diverse range of marine life, offering a unique underwater world. Dipping into the water is not only refreshing but also offers several health benefits.
Why Tulum’s Cenotes Are Ultimate Wellness Destinations
- Natural Water Therapies: Health Benefits
Cenotes are not just scenic beauties; they are therapeutic hubs. The mineral-rich waters can rejuvenate your skin, boost circulation, and uplift your spirits.
- The Mayan Connection: Cenotes in History
The Mayans revered cenotes and considered them sacred. They believed these were gateways to the underworld and a source of life. Diving into a cenote is not just a swim; it’s diving into history. Ready to take the plunge?
You Won’t Believe the Top 5 Cenotes near Tulum
If you’re planning a trip to Tulum, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to visit some of these amazing cenotes.
Here are the top 5 cenotes in Tulum that you have to see to believe:
1) VESICA Cenote Sanctuary
Imagine a sanctuary where you can escape the every day, without the bustling crowd of families and children. That’s right, VESICA is an adults-only oasis, ensuring that your relaxation is uninterrupted and purely blissful.
VESICA is more than just a destination – it’s a community-centered haven for genuine creativity and transformative experiences, seamlessly blending with the surrounding landscape and nature.
This cenote sanctuary is an ever-changing canvas of delightful surprises – from a diverse array of local dishes to wellness retreats that restore balance and harmony, to wellness events that spark joy and connection.
So if you’re looking for a memorable spot in Tulum that combines nature, history, and great food, VESICA is the place to be. It’s a journey that promises good times and heartwarming stories. Come, explore, and make memories.
🕓 Open hours: 11 am – 7 pm | 300 mxn entry fee | ➡️ website
Where is located? 📍 Vesica Tulum
2) Zazil Tunich – Cenote Museo + Dinner
Ever wondered what the heart of the ancient Mayan world felt like? Nestled within the serene ambiance of the Xeneba Mayan Village, the Zazil Tunich Cenote is a wonder in itself. The cave has ancient rock formations, and some have been there for over 500,000 years, telling stories of the past
But that’s just the beginning. Dive deeper into the Mayan Underworld experience, a unique and personalized journey that takes you 65 feet (20 meters) underground. As you traverse this underground marvel, you’ll uncover the Mayan legend of Xibalbá and its symbolic nine levels leading to the Mayan Underworld. Along with the experienced guide, when you reach the seventh level, you’ll take part in an authentic Mayan Purification Ceremony performed by a regional Xaman. As you delve further, the eighth and ninth levels lead to a sacred cenote, where you can take a dip and cool off.
Highlights of Your Mayan Underworld Journey:
- An intimate tour, limited to just 20 people, ensuring a personal touch.
- Dive deep into Mayan history and the Legend of Xibalbá.
- A Mayan Purification Ceremony at the seventh level (available from Wednesday-Sunday).
- A rejuvenating dip in the cenote’s crystal-clear waters.
Now, imagine this: a dining experience 65 feet (20 meters) below the earth’s surface, surrounded by Zazil Tunich’s awe-inspiring ambiance, lit by soft candlelight and adorned with fresh flowers. As you indulge in a traditional 3-course meal, headlined by the mouthwatering ‘pollo pibil’, you’re crafting a memory that will last forever.
Here’s What Your Enchanting Evening Entails:
- An intimate guided tour with a group of up to 20 individuals.
- Participation in a genuine Mayan ceremony.
- A rejuvenating swim in the cenote’s calm waters.
- A sumptuous 3-course dinner set within the cavern, complemented by a pitcher of refreshing lemonade.
- A 360° panorama of the mesmerizing Zazil Tunich cenote.
🕓 Available Time Slots: Every day at 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Some Friendly Tips:
- Opt for comfy clothes and either sandals or shoes suitable for cave paths.
- The journey within is smooth, thanks to well-designed platforms and steps, each no taller than 7 inches (18 cm). It’s an easy descent, even for our senior adventurers.
- Bring biodegradable mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
- Kindly refrain from bringing outside food and drinks.
- If you plan to take a dip in the cenote-
- Slip on some comfy water shoes or sandals
- Remember to bring a towel
🕓 Dinner Times: 5 pm and 7 pm | 2,400 mxn | ➡️ Dinner Booking
Where is located? 📍 Zazil Tunich – Cenote Museo
- If you’re coming from Valladolid, worry not – transportation is available! The option is listed when booking
- Just 28 miles (45 km) from the seven new wonders of the world Chichen Itza.
3) Casa Tortuga Cenotes
Tucked close to Tulum, Casa Tortuga Cenotes has evolved into a treasure trove of natural and added attractions. While our journey began with just a tour of three mesmerizing cenotes, our passion led us to continually enhance the experiences we offer. Today, beyond the serene waters of the cenotes, you’ll find a plethora of amenities and activities: from restaurants serving up local delicacies, and cozy cafeterias for your caffeine fix, to lively bars where you can unwind.
Want some thrill? They have zip lines. Want to tour the area in style? Ride an ATV. If you want pictures taken, they offer a photography service to follow you around as you explore. Casa Tortuga Cenotes is more than just a location; it offers something for everyone. Swim, snorkel, jump in, or grab a bite to eat.
Casa Tortuga contains 4 unique cenotes, each offering its own set of wonders: Tres Zapotes, Bell Cenote, Cenote Wisho, and Dorca Cenote.
Tres Zapotes Cenote:
A breathtaking open cenote stretching over 328 feet (100 meters), it boasts pristine, jade-green waters that seem almost crystal clear. Fancy a thrill? Take a leap from a height of 10 feet (3 meters) into waters nearly 26 feet (8 meters) deep.
With the clarity that lets you peer right to the bottom, spotting a fish or two wouldn’t be uncommon. The surroundings, adorned with vibrant flora and chirping birds, make it an idyllic spot. After your adventure, take a moment to bask in the cenote’s tranquil and picturesque beauty until its closing time at 6:00 PM.
Embarking on a journey to this hidden gem involves strolling over a picturesque wooden bridge, cutting through a quaint mangrove stretch. Every step of the journey lets you immerse in the lush greenery and the serene ambiance of this tropical haven.
Venturing into this cenote takes you through a cave passage where nature’s mysteries unfold. As you explore further, you’ll discover fossils embedded in the walls and might even catch a fleeting glimpse of bats fluttering above.
Step into an enchanting semi-open cavern. Look around and you’ll discover beautiful rock features that have been there for ages.
Each of these cenotes at Casa Tortuga offers a unique experience, just waiting for nature enthusiasts eager to dive deep into the heart of these natural marvels.
Overall, the Casa Tortuga Cenotes offer an enriching and varied experience, making it a must for anyone visiting Tulum.
🕓 Open hours: 9 am – 4 pm | 400 – 1,110 mxn | ➡️ website
Where is located? 📍Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum
4) Laguna Kaan Luum
Just a stone’s throw away, 10 minutes from Tulum, is the mesmerizing Laguna Kaan Luum. Beyond its surface, this vast open-air cenote holds mysteries and tales that beckon travelers and adventurers alike.
When you first set eyes on Kaan Luum, the breathtaking spectrum of blues and greens in the waters will captivate you. This stunning coloration isn’t just a visual treat; it hints at the secrets the lagoon holds beneath. At its heart, an astonishing cenote plunges down to a depth of 269 feet (82 meters). While the cenote’s depths are exclusively reserved for divers, the surrounding areas are a treat to everyone. With a sandy bottom and water levels that seldom rise above 5 feet (1.5 meters), it’s a tranquil spot for relaxation.
Thinking of spending the day? There’s a quaint dock perfect for lounging, and for those planning a picnic, there are shaded areas to lay out your spread. It’s simple, it’s basic, but it’s a delightful escape from the bustling tourist zones of Tulum.
Treading with Care in Kaan Luum
Nestled within a protected zone, there are some ground rules to ensure the pristine nature of Kaan Luum remains undisturbed:
- Smoking is a no-go.
- Leave your alcohol and speakers at home.
- Much as we love our furry friends, dogs aren’t allowed.
As visitors, it’s on us to do our part. Stick to biodegradable sunscreen to protect the lagoon’s fragile ecosystem, and always remember to clean up after yourself. After all, a place as special as Kaan Luum deserves our utmost respect and care.
🕓 Open hours: 9 am – 4 pm | 300 mxn
Where is located? 📍 Laguna de Kaan Luum
5) Dos Ojos Cenote (Two Eyes Cenote)
If you’re visiting Tulum, you shouldn’t miss Cenote Dos Ojos or “Two Eyes Cenote”. Imagine two giant, clear blue pools connected by a long tunnel – that’s Dos Ojos. The name comes from these twin sinkholes, each about 230 feet (or 70 meters) wide.
Diving and snorkeling here are like exploring another world. You’ll find shallow areas perfect for a relaxed swim, but if you’re feeling adventurous, there are deeper parts and caves waiting to be explored. The waters are home to fish and other water creatures, making snorkeling a colorful experience.
It’s not just a favorite spot for swimmers. Divers come from all around to explore its depths, especially because of a really deep cave that goes down about 387 feet (or 118 meters).
Don’t worry about the cold! The water here is always warm, around 75-77°F (or 24-25°C). So whether you’re planning a dive, a swim, or simply looking to chill by the water, Cenote Dos Ojos is a must-visit in Tulum, just don’t forget your mosquito repellent for after your dip!
🕓 Open hours: 9 am – 5 pm | 200 – 300 mxn entry fee | ➡️ website
Where is located? 📍 Dos Ojos Cenote
Here are other of our favorite cenotes near Tulum to consider:
Cenote Aldea Zama
Cenote Aldea Zama is the only free cenote in Tulum. Nestled within walking distance from Tulum Centro lies the charming Cenote Aldea Zama. This cenote has become a favorite for the locals, giving it a warm, community feel. It’s not your typical touristy spot, which means it’s perfect for those seeking a quieter experience.
Given that many Tulum attractions can be pricey or hard to reach, the accessibility and cost-free nature of Cenote Aldea Zama make it a top pick for visitors.
Though smaller in size, Cenote Aldea Zama offers ample space for swimming and even a bit of cliff-jumping fun. As there are no fixed opening hours, you’re free to drop by whenever. But here’s a tip: weekdays are generally less crowded. If weekends are your only option, aim for early mornings or late afternoons.
🕓 Open hours: ~9 am | $ free
Where is located?📍 Cenote Aldea Zamá
Locating Cenote Aldea Zama Situated just a 15-minute stroll from El Centro, finding Cenote Aldea Zama can be slightly tricky due to a lack of signs. Here’s a simple guide:
- Head to the location marked on Google Maps.
- When you reach Kokoro Tulum restaurant and the Baktun Aldea Zama apartments, you’ll notice paths leading into the forest. Take one, and soon the cenote will greet you.
Cenote Jardin del Eden
Cenote Jardin del Eden, or the Garden of Eden Cenote, is a beautiful and peaceful spot that is located in Tulum. It’s a shallow sinkhole that is surrounded by a tropical garden setting. The water in the cenote is crystal clear and has a beautiful blue hue.
What sets Jardin del Eden apart is its versatility. Whether you’re an avid snorkeler looking to explore the aquatic life, a diver eager to delve into the cenote’s depths, or someone simply wanting to float and bask in the tranquility, this cenote caters to all. The brave-hearted can even leap from the cenote’s rocky edges into the refreshing waters below!
The surroundings are teeming with life. From tiny fish that dart around your legs to the melodious calls of birds echoing in the distance, it’s a symphony of nature at its finest.
When planning your visit, remember to bring eco-friendly sunscreen to protect both your skin and the cenote’s delicate ecosystem. Also, weekdays are typically less crowded, making it an ideal time for those seeking solitude.
In essence, Cenote Jardin del Eden is not just a place to swim; it’s a destination to experience. A slice of paradise that reconnects you with nature and reinvigorates your spirit. Don’t miss out on this ethereal escape on your next trip to the Yucatan Peninsula!
There are several amenities at Cenote Jardin del Eden, including a bar, hammocks, and a rope swing.
🕓 Open hours: 9 am – 5 pm | Saturday closed | 200 mxn (adults) 100 mxn (children)
Where is located? 📍 Jardin del Eden Cenotes
This is not just a cenote; it’s a holistic experience. The first thing that strikes you is the stunning crystal-clear waters that seem to shine with a light of their own. The gentle play of sunlight filtering through the openings above creates a mesmerizing dance of light and shadow underwater.
The Gran Cenote is more than just a swimming spot—it’s a snorkeling paradise. The intricate network of caves and caverns holds a rich biodiversity, from colorful fish to curious turtles that aren’t shy of swimmers. Ferns and roots dangle from the roof, gently grazing the water surface, creating an otherworldly ambiance.
For those looking for a touch of adventure, parts of the cenote are open for diving, allowing you to explore the deeper, hidden chambers of this natural marvel. After all, how often do you get to swim in a location that offers both relaxation and the thrill of exploration?
🕓 Open hours: 9 am – 4:45 pm | 500 mxn
Where is located? 📍 Gran Cenote
Buuts Ha – Cenote Club
Immerse yourself in the heart of the Mayan jungles at Buuts Ha Tulum, an adults-only retreat that’s more than just a cenote—it’s an experience. Escape the daily hustle and embrace a fusion of pristine beaches, dazzling cenotes, and nature’s mystique.
This unique fusion of a beach and day club, coupled with a top-tier restaurant, offers an idyllic haven for those seeking both relaxation and adventure. As you relish in the stunning flora and fauna, you’ll also get a taste of the region’s finest cuisine and cocktails, elevating your sensory experience.
One of the highlights of Buuts Ha Tulum is its music scene. Let the rhythms of top national DJs take you on a mesmerizing journey, masterfully blending their beats with the healing rhythms of nature. As the sun sets and paints the sky with a myriad of colors, the club transforms, letting you dance the night away in a setting that’s both trendy and elegant.
And while it’s an adults-only club, Buuts Ha Tulum is also a pet-friendly venue, making sure no member of your family is left behind. It truly is the ideal place to establish a profound connection—with the enchanting nature around you, the depths of your own soul, and the fellow visitors who are sharing this unforgettable experience with you. Dive into Buuts Ha Tulum and let the magic envelop you, creating memories that’ll last a lifetime.
🕓 Open hours: 10 am – 8 pm | minimum age: 21 | 300 + mxn | ➡️ website
Where is located? 📍 Buuts’ Ha’ Cenote Club
Perfect for families and those new to cenotes. It’s equipped with facilities and even has a zip line. Ready to zip into fun?
When one thinks of a perfect blend between a natural retreat and modern amenities, Cenote Zacil-Ha comes to mind. Unlike the raw and untouched feel of many cenotes, Zacil-Ha is equipped with facilities that make it more accessible to visitors, including a zipline for the adventurous souls.
The waters are pristine and clear, reflecting the azure skies of Tulum. Surrounded by lush greenery, it offers ample spots for sunbathing or simply relaxing by the water. Now, if you’re a bird watcher, this place is a goldmine.
The chirping of birds fills the air, and you can often spot them darting around or taking a quick dip in the cenote waters. And if all the swimming and bird-watching make you hungry, there’s a quaint cafe nearby serving delicious local snacks. This is nature, with a touch of comfort. Isn’t it the best of both worlds?
- Zip Line Adventure: Experience the thrill by ziplining above the cenote, with an option to leap into the water. It’s available for an extra fee of about 10 MXN (~0.5 USD).
- Diverse Entry Points: Dive in from various platforms surrounding the cenote or use the stairs. A handy rope stretches across for those who’d like some support.
- Alternative Pools: Two man-made swimming pools are available, perfect for when the cenote feels too busy.
- On-Site Dining: Cenote Zacil Ha offers a convenient restaurant for refreshments, meals, or quick bites.
Cenote Zacil Ha is an open-air cenote that looks like a natural swimming pool. Cenote Zazil Ha is located about 5.5 miles (8.5 km) away from Tulum on the road that connects Tulum with Coba
🕓 Open hours: 9 am – 5 pm | 200 mxn
Where is located? 📍 Cenote Zacil-Ha
- What is a cenote?
- A cenote is a natural sinkhole resulting from collapsing limestone bedrock, revealing the groundwater underneath.
- What’s the best time to visit Cenotes in Tulum?
- Crowds: If you want to avoid large crowds and enjoy the cenotes in relative peace, it’s best to visit during the early morning hours right after they open. This is especially true for the more popular cenotes. By midday, many cenotes can become crowded, especially those that are easily accessible from Tulum or other major tourist destinations.
- Why are Tulum’s cenotes considered wellness spots?
- Their mineral-rich waters offer therapeutic benefits, and the serene surroundings provide a perfect setting for relaxation and meditation.
- How many cenotes are there near Tulum?
- There are dozens of cenotes near Tulum, each with its unique charm and beauty.
- Can I book a guided cenote wellness tour in Tulum?
- Absolutely! There are several tours available that cater to wellness enthusiasts.
- How do I prepare for a cenote visit?
So, are you ready to dive into the magic of cenotes near Tulum? Remember, nature has a way of healing, soothing, and rejuvenating. Don’t forget to let us know if you visit any of these cenotes and how your experience was. Dive in, rejuvenate, and let nature do the rest!