How to pick the best Cenote to visit in Yucatan

I know it’s hard to leave the stunning beaches of the Yucatan area but the secret water world of turquoise pools  that awaits are pretty spectacular too. A Cenote is a naturally occurring sinkholes and underwater caves that now top peoples bucket lists from all over the world.

The mineral rich water filters through the limestone leaving the water crystal clear. Some are best for diving, and others are better for being the best mermaid possible. Either way my bet tip is to get early. You will likely have the whole place to yourself.

Yucatan Cenote

So here is the lowdown on four of the best.


This is a must if you make the trek out to see Chichen Itza. I would see pictures of this place online and never thought I would ever see it with my own two eyes. At 26 meters (85 Ft) below the surface, Ik Kil is one big hole in the ground. Float on your back and take in this wonder or dip your head under one of the natural mini waterfalls created by the vines. This is a great Cenote for those who like to just float and take in their surroundings. Just be aware you will be sharing the space with lots of little black catfish. And while it sounds obvious, don’t forget your towel; I did.

Price: 70 pesos

Dos Ojos

Meaning ‘Two Eyes’ in Spanish, Dos Ojos is actually a flooded cave and is arguably one of the most popular in the area. Just 20 minutes from Tulum, it’s great for those that are eager to scuba dive or snorkeling to explore all the cave systems. Those not a huge fan of dark water cavities I would suggest staying in the Cenote entry and practice your best mermaid pose. You can rent a snorkel before heading down to the opening where the water is incredibly clear and blue.

Price: 100 pesos

Nic Te Ha

Often overlooked for its neighboring Cenote Dos Ojos, Nic Te Ha is very unique in its appearance with beautiful lily pads taking residence across the dabbled sunlit water. This is the place to be if you just want to float around and pretend you are in FernGully not the Yucatan, which is exactly what I did.

Price: 100 pesos

Gran Cenote

Only 10 minutes from Tulum Beach by taxi, Gran Cenote is a good option for those who don’t want to miss out on any sun tanning time. Here you can dive, snorkel and swim and will be joined by fish, turtles and even bats while exploring. Similar to Dos Ojos, this Cenote has a closer proximity to the Tulum Ruins and perfect to pair with for a day trip.

Price: 110 pesos

The Mayans sure knew how to set up civilization. Between the beautiful beaches and Cenotes in the Yucatan, these guys were winning.

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

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