Taking one of the Tulum cenotes tours is hands down one of the best things to do in Tulum, as there is nothing more delightful than taking a refreshing dip in the emerald water of an enchanting cenote!
There are many incredible cenotes near Tulum to choose from, and I’d recommend adding at least a couple to your Tulum itinerary. And, if you’re an absolute cenote lover, like me, make sure you add a few Valladolid cenotes to your Yucatan itinerary, too! Especially the Instagram-famous Cenote Suytun and a super fun Cenote Oxman that features a Tarzan robe to make jumping into the cenote pool even more fun!
Tulum Cenotes Tours Quick Guide
If you don’t have much time to read through the whole post, here are the best Tulum tours that take you to the best cenotes near Tulum!
Cenote Map Tulum
Here are some of the best cenotes in Tulum; click here to access the interactive version of this map.
What are Cenotes in Mexico?
What is a cenote in Tulum? The term is mainly associated with Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, but cenotes can be found all over the world. Cenotes are sinkholes formed by collapsed limestone rocks that expose groundwater. Swimming in cenotes is super delightful and very refreshing. The cenote water is typically cool and very clear, thanks to the water being filtered through the ground. The colour of the water varies from deep blue to bright emerald and depends on the rock type and fauna.
Most Fun Cenote Tours From Tulum
Here are the most fun Tulum cenotes tours for those that want to have as much fun as possible!
#1 Cenote Adventure Tours Tulum
Activities | Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, Rappelling and Cenote.
Included | Lunch and all the equipment.
Length | 4 hours.
The Selva Maya Eco Park cenote tour from Tulum is the best trip for all adventurous souls! It includes 4 hours of pure fun, and it is suitable for the whole family.
As part of the adventure, you will whizz through the lush rainforest on nine ziplines varying in length and speed and various hanging bridges. Then, you will scale over a 5-metre high climbing wall and rappel it down on the other side, having a view of one of the cenotes.
On the other side, the emerald waters of two cenotes – one semi-open and one cavern cenote await you! You can here enjoy some snorkelling, a jump from one of the jumping platforms or simply some relaxing time comfortably floating in a lifevest. Only five people are allowed at a time in the cenote, so you can enjoy the cenote swim without the crowds.
After all the fun, enjoy Mexican tacos for lunch!
#2 Cenote Triple Adventure Tour in Tulum
Activities | Cenote Zemway, Gran Cenote Tulum, Casa Cenote.
Included | Snorkelling equipment, free GoPro photos, snacks and water + lunch for an extra charge.
Length | 4 hours.
The triple adventure by Viator is one of the best cenotes Tulum tours because you get to enjoy three different cenotes in half a day! Each cenote is super unique and different from another.
Casa Cenote Tulum is an open cenote tucked between the white-sanded beach and the jungle and boasts incredibly turquoise water! Gran Cenote is a semi-open cenote and is the best cenote in Tulum for snorkelling, thanks to its crystal clear water and plenty of light that gets inside. And, the best part of Gran Cenote is that you can spot tinny turtles swimming in the cenote pool! Finally, at Cenote Zemway, you can make some thrilling cenote dives from 15ft and 18ft high jumping platforms!
#3 Cenote Bike Tour Tulum
Activities | Gran Cenote, Cenote Escondido, Cenote Cristal.
Included | All equipment & brunch in Meli-Melo jungle lodge.
Length | 5 hours.
The jungle trail bike cenote tour Tulum is the perfect choice for those who enjoy burning calories during their vacation! On this cenote tour, you’ll get a mountain bike and a helmet and will cycle through the lush rainforest with stops at the three most beautiful cenotes in Tulum!
The first stop is at Gran Cenote, which is perfect for doing some cenote snorkeling Tulum is so renowned for! Here, you’ll be able to spot many different species of colourful fish and tinny turtles.
Next up on this cenote Tulum excursion is Cenote Escondido (also called cenote Mayan Blue), which resembles a river with crystal clear water. In this Tulum cenote, snorkeling is also great, as well as cliff jumping and simply swimming and catching some sun rays. Cenote Cristal is located in the same place as Cenote Escondido.
Best Cenote Tour Tulum By Bike:
#4 The Best Private Cenote Tour Tulum to the Most Famous Cenotes in Yucatan
Activities | Cenote Suytun, Cenote Oxman, Cenote Xux Ha.
Included | Cenote entrances, lunch, bottled water, hotel pick up from Tulum.
Length | 8 hours.
This private excursion by Viator is one of the best Tulum cenote tours for those wanting to visit Cenote Suytun from Tulum.
Suytun is an incredible cavern cenote, with only a small opening in the cenote ceiling that is located directly over a circular platform in the middle of the cenote pool. If you visit the cenote around midday, on a sunny day, an incredible light beam illuminates the cave creating an extra-terrestrial sight! Cenote Suytun Mexico is also unique for its stunning stalactites hanging from the ceiling.
On this cenote tour from Tulum, you’ll get to Suytun early in the morning, which is the best time to come and snap that Instagram-famous shot on the cenote platform!
The next one on this tour is Cenote Oxman, located in the picturesque hacienda. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy swimming and jumping into the cenote from a Tarzan robe! The tour also includes an early lunch and some free time to stroll through the picturesque colonial town of Valladolid Mexico, as well as a third cenote stop at Cenote Xux Ha.
Private Suytun Cenote Tour from Tulum + Cenote Oxman & Xux Ha.
Best Tulum Cenotes Tours + Mayan Ruins
In this section, you will find the best Tulum cenotes tours that combine a guided tour of one of the Mayan ruins with a fun time at a cenote. These are excellent tours for those with limited time and can tick off a few amazing places in one day, thanks to these organised trips.
Chichen Itza Tulum Cenotes Tours:
#5 Chichen Itza & Suytun Cenote from Tulum
Activities | Cenote Suytun, guided tour of Chichen Itza, lunch in Valladolid.
Included | All entrance fees, lunch, bottled water & hotel drop off and pick up.
Length | 10 hours.
This tour by Viator is the best Chichen Itza and cenote tour from Tulum! The trip includes an early morning visit to the most famous cenote – Suytun, where you get the chance to snap an Instagram famous photo on the circular platform in the middle of the cenote.
After Cenote Suytun, the excursion continues to Chichen Itza, where you get a private tour of the site with a knowledgable local expert that will be able to answer all your questions about the monument and the Mayan civilisation.
The Chichen Itza Tulum cenote tour also includes a lunch at the local market in the heart of Valladolid and a stop at another beautiful cenote called Cenote Samula.
#6 Ik Kil & Oxman Cenote Chichen Itza Tour from Tulum
Activities | Guided tour of Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil, Cenote Oxman, free time in Valladolid.
Included | Entrance fees, lunch (no drinks), hotel pick up and drop off.
Length | 10 hours.
This Tulum Chichen Itza tour is the best option for all cenote lovers! It combines the guided tour of Chichen Itza with a visit to two incredible cenotes – Cenote Ik Kil and Cenote Oxman! When selecting your dates, make sure you opt-in for the Chichen Itza and cenote tour plus version, which is only a little bit more expensive but includes the two cenotes mentioned above. The standard version comes with a stop at K´om Ha Cenote.
The tour bus leaves Tulum at 8:30 am, and the whole trip takes around 10 hours. A buffet-style lunch is included at Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman, and tour participants also get 30 minutes of spare time in Valladolid city centre.
#7 Ruins of Tulum Coba Cenote Tour
Activities | Guided tours of Tulum ruins & Coba, Cenote Coba Tankach-Ha.
Included | Entrance tickets, bottled water, lunch, hotel pick up and drop off.
Length | 12-14 hours.
If you’re looking to do Coba, Tulum ruins and cenote tour in one day, this excursion is for you!
The Tulum ruins are what’s left of the 16th-century walled Mayan settlement that today is the best preserved coastal Mayan town and one of Tulum best spots for history enthusiasts. Perched high on the 12-meter tall cliff, with some incredible panoramic views over the Caribbean Sea, Tulum ruins are a delight to visit, even if you’re not the biggest fan of history.
Thanks to its strategic location being a port as well as having access to land trade routes, the pre-hispanic Tulum was an important trading hub between the 13th and 15 the century. The most iconic building of the site is El Castillo – Tulum’s tallest (7.5 meters) pyramid that served as a watch tower, from where the Mayans could spot potential incoming enemies.
What’s unique about Coba is that it was not just one city but a cluster of multiple Mayan cities, all connected to the central pyramid with a network of roads called sacbéob. The whole site is still largely undiscovered, but it is believed that there are over 6,000 structures!
The main pyramid of the site – Nahoch Mul is the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Penisula, measuring 42 meters which is more than El Castillo at Chichen Itza. And, the best part is that you can still climb its 120 steps.
After Coba ruins, this Tulum Coba tour continues to Tankach-Ha, which is a cavern cenote with two fun jumping platforms.
Tulum Coba and Cenote Tour
More Cenote Tours Tulum
Here are some more epic Tulum cenotes tours.
#8 Sian Kaan Tours Tulum
Activities | Boca Paila Lagoon, Ascension Bay, snorkelling at Mesoamerican reef + free time at Punta Allen.
Included | Snorkelling equipment, lunch, snacks, fruit & water, hotel pick up and drop off.
Length | 10 hours.
Sian Kaan is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve renowned for its rich fauna and flora, and on this full-day trip from Tulum, you will get to experience it!
This tour includes a pickup and transportation to the reserve when you will board a boat and get a guided tour of different lagoons and ecosystems, where you will get to spot different species of birds and other lagoon animals, including manatees!
This excursion also includes a snorkel spot at the barrier reef and lunch and free time in the small but charming town of Punta Allen.
This tour of Sian Kaan Reserve includes a guided kayaking tour:
#9 Cenote Diving Tulum Tour for Beginners
Activities | Practice session + 40 min cenote dive with an instructor.
Included | Scuba equipment, snacks and water.
Length | 4.5 hours.
If you’re looking for cenote diving in Tulum, but you’ve never tried scuba diving before, or it was a long time ago, then this is the best cenote diving Tulum tour for you!
It is a half-day excursion to Casa Cenote where you get to dive with an experienced instructor for around 40 minutes observing the incredible underwater world of the cenote!
The tour also includes a proper safety briefing that explains how to use the equipment, how to communicate with the teacher underwater and what to do in case you experience any problems.
If you’re a certified diver, this tour is more suitable for you:
2 Tanks Cenote dive Tulum Adventure
#10 Private Cenote Dos Ojos Tour
Activities | Swimming & snorkelling at two cenotes.
Included | Snorkelling equipment, lunch, drinks, hotel pick up and drop off.
Length | 5 hours.
Dos Ojos cenote Tulum, which translates to “two eyes”, is the perfect way to describe this cenote which consists of two separate sinkholes. Dos Ojos is also part of the Sac Actun, which is the world’s largest underwater cave system!
On this private tour, you’ll get to enjoy a hassle-free early morning visit to avoid the crowds!
Cenote Two Eyes is famous for being a cenote where you can dive! If this is something you would like to do, then make sure you book a diving tour! If you’re not a diver, no worries, you can still enjoy swimming and snorkelling in the cenote.
Cenote 2 Ojos has crystal clear water with an intense blue hue, and its walls are covered with million years old stalactites and stalagmites.
Private Tour of Cenote Dos Ojos Tulum
#11 ATV Zipline Cenote Tulum Tour
Activities | ATV ride, ziplining, cenote swim.
Included | All equipment and admission fees, tacos, bottled water & transportation.
Length | 5 hours.
This tour by Viator is one of the best ATV tours in Tulum that also includes a refreshing swim in a cenote and a ziplining adventure. The tour is designed to last for about half a day, and it takes place in Ruta de Los Cenotes Park.
Mexican Cenotes in Mayan Culture
The name cenote is derived from the Mayan word Dz’onot, which means ‘cave with water’. During the Mayan civilisation, cenotes were an important source of water. Apart from having a practical meaning, Mayan cenotes also had a spiritual significance. They were considered to be the gateway to the underworld (Xibalba), a place where gods met and a sacred place of worship where Mayans had their spiritual ceremonies and left offerings.
Types of Cenotes
There are hundreds and hundreds of cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula, and you’ll be pleased to know that some of the top Yucatan cenotes are located near Tulum. There are at least four types of cenotes Mexico is renowned for.
Underground cenotes in Mexico (cavern cenotes) | Underground cenotes are the youngest water wells that are entirely covered by rock mass, with only a small opening in the cave roof that lets in minimal sunlight. They are super interesting to visit, so make sure you include at least one cavern cenote during your visit. Cavern cenotes in Yucatan include Cenote Xkeken and Cenote Palomitas.
Semi-open cenotes | Semi-open cenotes are much older than cavern cenotes. For millions of years, part of the limestone that covered the well has been eroded and collapsed inside, exposing the underground water. These cenotes let in more light and have more vegetation. If you visit them at the right time, usually around midday, you can witness an amazing spectacle of light, when a light beam comes through an opening in the roof, illuminating the water inside the cenote, creating an extraterrestrial-like effect. Best semi-open Tulum cenotes include Cenote Suytuna and Cenote Calavera.
Open cenotes | Open cenotes are the ones where the cave roof entirely collapsed, exposing the whole water well to the outside environment. These cenotes have the most lush vegetation and are great for a day out. Examples include Gran Cenote and Casa Cenote.
Ancient Cenotes | Ancient cenotes are the oldest Riviera Maya cenotes that can even be 66 million years old! The roof, as well as the walls of the ancient cenote, are completely eroded, making ancient cenotes look more like lagoons. Most Bacalar cenotes are ancient cenotes.
What to Take With You
Cash | Bring some cash with you to cover the ticket cost and lunch. Most Tulum cenotes have remote locations, and although card machines are more common these days, there is always a possibility that the wifi connection won’t be strong enough to take your payment.
Action camera | Swimming in the cenotes is one of the best things to do in Mexico, and you may want to record some memories while you’re having fun! And, for that, there is no better camera than a Go Pro!
Well-fitted swimsuit | Visiting and swimming in Tulum cenotes is definitely an adventure! As you’re likely to be jumping off the platforms, swinging into the water on a Tarzan robe or going on a zip line, I recommend wearing a well-fitted swimsuit that will stay in place while you’re having fun.
Fast-drying towel | You will also need a towel, and the best towels are the fast-drying ones made of microfibre like the Fit-Flip Beach Towel.
Flip-flops | Since you’ll be swimming and getting wet at the cenote, the easiest shoes to wear are flip-flops! And, there are no better flip-flops than a pair of Havaianas.
Thermal water bottle | Stay hydrated and bring with you a thermal water bottle to keep your water cool and help reduce the use of plastic. My favourite is Chilly’s Bottle. It’s a little more expensive, but the price comes with superb quality. Our water literally stays icy cold the whole day!
What Are The Best Places to Stay in Tulum?
The area along Tulum Beach is known as Zona Hotelera. Here, you can find all the chic Tulum beach clubs, excellent restaurants and boutique shops. Also, all top resorts in Tulum are located along Tulum Beach. They often feature premium accommodation with a sea view and access to a private beach.
Tulum Downtown is situated just under 5 km from Tulum Beach. The advantage of choosing this area of Tulum is well-priced and affordable Tulum accommodation. Tulum Town also doesn’t come short of excellent restaurants, cafes and bars.
Adea Zama is a new, up-and-coming neighbourhood of Tulum, situated between the downtown and Zona Hotelera. It boasts an excellent selection of Tulum Airbnb style accommodation, private villas and apartments. A lot of the apartments are brand-new and offer competitive rates.
Akumal is a small beach town located 28 km north of Tulum and is known for its all-inclusive beach resorts. Akumal is also famous for its rich marine wildlife, including sea turtles!
Cenotes Tours Tulum FAQ
What is the best cenote for swimming Tulum?
The best cenotes in Tulum Mexico, for swimming, are the open cenotes that look like lakes or lagoons, such as Cenote Zacil-Ha Tulum, Cenote Car Wash (Cenote Aktun Ha) and Casa Cenote.
What is the best cenote for snorkeling Tulum?
If you’re looking for the best cenote for snorkeling in Tulum, I recommend Gran Cenote, which is inhabited by various species of colourful fish and tinny turtles! The entrance fee also includes the snorkelling mask.
What are the best cenotes in Tulum for non swimmers?
If you’re a non-swimmer, you can always hire a lifejacket when visiting any of the Tulum cenotes. But, if you’re looking for a shallow cenote where you can safely touch the bottom with your feet, I recommend Gran Cenote. Gran Cenote has two separate swimming areas, and the shallow pool is the second one. You can access it through a cave or a staircase.
Which cenote is the best in Tulum?
This is a tricky question, and when visiting cenotes in Tulum, you will notice that they are all very different and unique. However, if I was to choose the best cenote Tulum – based, I’d go with Gran Cenote. Gran Cenote has a beautiful cave but also gets a lot of light and is excellent for snorkelling. Not to mention the fact that you can spot tinny turtles in the water!
Which one is the cenote in Tulum with swing?
A cenote that features the swim is the Calavera Cenote Tulum.
How are cenotes formed?
Millions of years ago, and well before the Mayan civilisation, the Yucatan Peninsula was a giant coral reef under a huge mass of the ocean. In the last Ice Age, the sea levels drastically dropped, exposing the coral reef to the erosive powers of sun, wind and rainwater.
The coral reef also provided a fertile base for the jungle to grow, and the coral limestone evolved over time into a complex system of underground caves and passages that were subsequently flooded by the rising sea levels.
A limestone roof still covers the youngest cenotes, and the oldest ones are the open cenotes with the limestone roof fully collapsed.
Are cenotes safe to swim in?
Are cenotes dangerous? Mexican cenotes are generally super safe to swim. The water is clean and inhabited by different species of fish. You definitely don’t have to worry about sharks, crocodiles or piranhas! There is usually a lifeguard on site and if you’re not a strong swimmer, make sure you wear a lifevest.
Are cenotes clean?
Cenote water is typically super clean and transparent. The water comes from the underground river system, which has been naturally filtered through the ground.
How deep are cenotes?
Cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula are anything between 8 to 60 meters deep, and the deepest cenote is the Cenote Pit, with an incredible depth of 119 meters (391 feet)!
Tulum Cenotes Tours Final Word
I hope you found this guide to the best cenote tours in Tulum useful! Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the section below.