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Different type of cenotes close to Tulum

Tulum is more than white sandy beaches of turquoise waves crashing on the shore, and the sun kissing your skin while sipping a natural cocktail or a fresh coconut on your Bali bed. Though this sounds like a perfect way to spend the day (or life), there’s a lot to do in Tulum that will make your already fantastic experience even better! One of the best activities available is to visit the cenotes. Have you heard of them?

Cenotes are natural sinkholes of crystal clear waters and stunning vegetation formed by the crashing of a meteorite on the Yucatan Peninsula thousands of years ago – the same responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs – and by other natural events happening since then, including the filtration of rainwater to the limestone.  

These natural wonders have been around for ages now. For the Mayan civilization, they were associated with mysticism and were considered a connection or entrance to Xibalba, the underworld. They were also important sources of water. These marvelous ecosystems are the habitat for an extensive and diverse flora and fauna such as fish, frogs, birds and lots of colorful trees and exotic plants.

Nowadays, cenotes are one of the main attractions of the Riviera Maya – hence Tulum –  as they cannot be found anywhere else in the world, visiting at least one cenote A MUST when staying in Tulum. There are different types of cenotes available, all of them different but gorgeous, take a look at this quick guide and recommendations for some of the most amazing cenotes that you can visit while staying at Alma Tulum.

Open Cenotes

This type of cenote is the most popular for families and friends in search of having fun in the water. They are like big ponds of crystal water where the sun rays hit the underwater rocks and vegetation, providing a unique spectacle of color and life. Open cenotes are great for snorkeling, taking thrilling dips from platforms or even ziplines and most of them are not that deep. One of the most beautiful open cenotes near Tulum is Cenote Nicte-ha, a very calmed piece of paradise great for those in search of peace in harmony with nature, but also to spend a fun day swimming. The plants floating on the surface and the beauty of the surrounding trees make it one of the most amazing natural spots you’ll ever see. Find it 22 km North of Tulum.

Semi-open Cenotes
These cenotes have the best of two worlds: an open part surrounded by palm trees and vegetation and a system of caverns where light still streams making it a snorkeling delight! Once you enter the cave, you’ll get to see stalactite and stalagmite, and you’ll even have the chance to spot some small turtles. It’s an excellent spot for diving too. Gran Cenote is one of the most popular, so be sure to visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Find it 1.5 miles from Tulum on the road to Coba.
Cave Cenote
Cave cenotes locate underneath the ground. Extensive cave systems connect most of the underground cenotes, yet to be fully explored. One of the top cave cenotes is Dos Ojos, a divers paradise, with more than 67 km of underwater courses discovered. It is 120 meters deep. Would you dare to confirm it? The visibility in this cenote is excellent for both snorkeling and diving, and you can get there 20km north of Tulum.
Keep in mind that there’s no better way of cooling yourself from the tropical weather (especially during Spring and Summer) than swimming in cenotes, so be sure to save a day of your vacations in Tulum for visiting one (or two) of these unique natural wonders.