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Cenotes

[cee-no-tay]

Cenotes are natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of the limestone bedrock. The term cenote is used in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico where cenotes were commonly used for water supplies by the ancient Maya, and occasionally for sacrificial offerings.

During my time in Tulum I was able to visit Gran Cenote:

  • Price: 300MXN/£11
  • Location: 15 minutes give or take drive from central Tulum or a 20 min cycle (perfect day trip from Tulum)
  • Remember: Bring your own towels
  • Pros: Location, TURTLES, good for unconfident swimmers 
  • Cons: Quite pricey as far as cenotes go

Cenotes are regarded as special waters, so you must act accordingly when you visit them. On arrival at Gran Cenote your temperature is checked and you pay the entry fee. You walk towards the cenote and there is a shower, so don’t bother with creams or sunscreen – washing yourself from head to toe is meant to protect the water pH balance.

If you would like to snorkel you can also hire snorkelling gear and lifejackets – the guarantee is a piece of ID and you’ll get it back on return of the equipment.

Cenotes get quote busy so I’d advise going as soon as they open or right before they close. The timings on Google are quite accurate. Gran Cenote opening hours: 8 am to 4.45 pm (the final entry is at 4.15 pm)

Some other cennotes I wasn’t able to visit but definitely would are:

  • Dos Ojos Cenote
  • Cenote Nicte-Ha
  • Gran Cenote
  • Carwash Cenote
  • Suytun 

For more information about cenotes in Mexico, visit: https://cenotesmexico.org 

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