cenotes tours tulum mexico

10 Best Cenotes Tours Tulum Has to Offer in 2021

Looking to visit the best Mexico cenotes in Tulum?

You’re in the right place to discover all the best Tulum cenotes! As many cenotes are hidden in the jungle, and off the beaten path, it’s not always easy to find great cenote tours. Tulum, however, has quite a few to choose from — and the Top 10 cenotes tours Tulum has to offer are all featured below.

With so many beautiful cenotes in Tulum, you might be wondering how you choose which ones to visit. There are some great ones “on” the beaten path, but one of the main reasons to opt for a tour is that a Tulum local will take you to the lesser-visited, off the beaten path cenotes.

tulum cenotes: woman at cenote azul natural jungle pool in the yucatan peninsula, mexico

Editor’s Pick: Best Tulum Cenotes Tour
► Tulum, Snorkel Reef, Turtles & Cenote

Visit Tulum Ruins, Snorkel with turtles and Swim in cenotes!

As there are thousands of Yucatan cenotes, it’s impossible to visit them all. With a quick Google search, you’ll discover the most-visited cenotes — but for those wanting great Instagram cenotes photos without people in them, you must venture beyond the standard list of cenotes.

Ready to discover the most unique Tulum cenotes tours? Let’s get to it! After you see all the tours, check out the Cenotes FAQ to discover everything you need to know about cenotes so you can visit like a pro, and the Tulum Travel FAQ for useful info about planning your Tulum trip.

Cenotes Tours TULUM

10 Best Cenotes Tours Tulum

1. Cenotes & Underwater Photography Tour

woman swimming underwater in one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico | Cenotes Tours Tulum
Capture the memories of your cenotes Tulum Mexico experience with pictures taken and edited by a pro 📸 (Photo: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 4.97 out of 5 (60 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Manuel

The Cenotes & Underwater Photography Tour is a visit to the coolest Tulum cenotes with professional photographer, Manual, there to capture all the magic.

You’ll meet Manual in Tulum Town (AKA Downtown Tulum) early in the morning to have the best lighting possible, and be the only ones at the cenotes. During this Tulum underwater photography experience, you’ll see some of the most spectacular cenotes in Tulum, and have photos to share afterwards.

What’s included? You’ll receive an online gallery with 20 edited images, three weeks after the experience, as they will be edited before release. For an additional cost, you can also arrange for drone shots.


Cenotes Tours TULUM

2. Chichen Itza Ruins, Valladolid & Cenote Tour

natural swimming pool with waterfall - day trips from Merida

⭐️ Rated: 4.97 out of 5 (181 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Alejandro

The Chichen Itza Ruins, Valladolid & Cenote Tour is a way to see a lot of amazing sites in just one day, on this Mayan Ruins and cenote tour.

As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is among the best Mayan Ruins in Yucatan. Being such an important site, visiting is a true Mexico bucket list experience for many visitors. Located nearby, you’ll also visit the Mexico pueblo magico, Valladolid.

Valladolid is a beautiful, colorful colonial town that’s one of the most up-and-coming Mexico travel destinations. While visiting, you’ll enjoy a traditional Yucatan food lunch in a restored hacienda-style mansion.

As this article is all about Tulum cenote tours, you’ll of course also swim in a cenote on this tour! For a truly magical experience, you’ll get the chance to enjoy some times in a local, community-run cenote for an off the beaten path experience away from the crowds.


Cenotes Tours TULUM

3. Underworld Maya Cenote & Lagoon Experience

woman swimming underwater in one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico | Cenotes Tours Tulum
kaan luum lagoon in tulum mexico, yucatan peninsula blue lagoon in the jungle
Enjoy the cenotes and also a swim in Kaan Luum Lagoon, located in the middle of the jungle. (Photos: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 4.91 out of 5 (76 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Alejandro

The Underworld Maya Cenote & Lagoon Experience Tour includes not only a visit to two cenotes — but also a lagoon (which has another cenote in the center of it).

On this tour, you’ll visit two types of cenotes, an open cenote and a cave cenote.

The cave cenote is located off the beaten path, and the number of people allowed in each day is restricted, for a private feel.

In the open cenote, you can jump into this natural pool and also snorkel in its crystal-clear waters.

After the cenotes, you’ll visit Kaan Luum Lagoon, one of the coolest Tulum hidden gems — which looks similar to the famous Blue Hole in Belize.

woman swimming in one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico | Cenotes Tours Tulum
Cenotes caves: Some Tulum Mexico cenotes are underground in caves, like Cenote Taak Bi Ha.

Cenotes Tours TULUM

4. Discovering the Best Insta Cenotes Yucatan

cenote suytun, man at tulum cenotes in mexico | Cenotes Tours Tulum
Suytun Cenote, one of the most picturesque Mexican cenotes. (Photo: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 4.96/5 (151 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Fernando

Discovering the Best Insta Cenotes Yucatan Tour is the best way to see the Instagram worthy cenotes located just outside Tulum.

Two of the most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan, Suytun Cenote and Oxman Cenote are included on the tour. You’ll also visit one gorgeous hidden gem cenote in the Mayan jungle that you’d never find via Google.

After getting all your beautiful photos in the most Instagrammable cenotes, you’ll visit the pueblo magico (magic town) of Valladoid, Mexico.

cenote natural swimming pool - day trips from Merida
Instagrammable Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman is among the best cenotes Valladolid has.

Cenotes Tours TULUM

5. Tulum, Snorkel Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour

one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico - natural jungle pool | Cenotes Tours Tulum
🤫 One of the secret cenotes by Tulum that only a local would know about! (Photo: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 4.95 out of 5 (419 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Alejandro

The Tulum, Snorkel Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour checks quite a few items off any Mexico bucket list!

You’ll start this adventure touring the Tulum Ruins, a beautiful Mayan Ruins site overlooking the Caribbean Sea, with a knowledgeable guide.

After the tour, walk down the staircase at Tulum Mayan Ruins to the beach cove beneath. There, you’ll board a boat and head to the best place for Tulum snorkeling tours.

As part of the second largest reef on Earth, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, you’ll see tropical fish and maybe even turtles 🐢

Located right on the Caribbean Sea, the Tulum Ruins was once used as a trade post for the Maya.

After some time snorkeling, you’ll head to a cenote for another swim in these natural pools. On the way back, stop at a locals’ only restaurant for a traditional Yucatan food meal.


Cenotes Tours TULUM

6. Tacos & Tulum Cenotes Tour

friends at one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico - natural jungle river | Cenotes Tours Tulum
The perfect way to end a day of visiting cenotes? What tacos, of course! (Photos: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 5 out of 5 (12 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Sebastian & Hector

The Tacos & Cenotes Tour is a true locals’ experience to some of the best cenotes in Mexico, and a taquería (taco shop).

Start the day getting to know the hosts, Sebastian and Hector, two Tulum locals, over coffee and fresh fruit.

Next, you’ll head to a Tulum taco shop that only locals know about to enjoy some of the best tacos in Tulum.

From here, you’ll go to two cenotes that you’d never find anywhere online!

As you’ll likely be alone at these cenotes, enjoy a few hours disconnecting from the outside world in Tulum’s beautiful, quiet and peaceful nature.


Cenotes Tours TULUM

7. Bike, Cenotes, Jungle & Lunch Experience Tour

one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico - a natural freshwater jungle river | Cenotes Tours Tulum
On this tour, the peaceful Mayan cenotes are all for you — a true cenotes Mexico Tulum bucket list experience! (Photo: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 4.97 out of 5 (451 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Marcela

The Bike, Cenotes, Jungle & Lunch Experience Tour is a peaceful bike ride through the Yucatan jungle to see two unique cenotes. At them, you can snorkel and swim at your own pace, as the trip will be tailored to how the group wants to divide their time at the cenotes.

💸 This is one of the most budget-friendly Tulum cenotes tours! For more tips on how to save on your Tulum vacay, check out Tulum On A Budget: 10 Ways to Make Your Trip Affordable.

After visiting the second cenote, and working up an appetite biking and swimming, you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch outdoors. (Note: Inform host, Marcela, of any food restrictions in advance.) This is a chance to really enjoy Tulum’s nature, exploring the jungle on a bike trail only locals know about.


Cenotes Tours TULUM

8. Explore Cenotes & Avoid Crowds Tour

two women swimming in one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico - natural jungle pools | Cenotes Tours Tulum
man and woman in orange life jackets walking through one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico, located underground in a cave | Cenotes Tours Tulum
Relax in a swimming pool, or open cenote, then head underground to explore a close cave cenote. (Photos: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 4.99 out of 5 (349 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Kaeru Alejandra

On the Explore Cenotes & Avoid Crowds Tour you’ll visit two types of cenotes; one above ground and one underground. This tour is all about having the cenotes all to yourself, so you can experience the stillness of the cave, and the songs of the jungle birds, with no one and nothing to distract you.

After exploring the lush Yucatan jungle and swimming in the two cenotes, enjoy a traditional Mexican food picnic lunch. Host and Tulum local, Kaeru, promises “one of the most authentic meals of your vacation,” during this off the beaten path Tulum experience.


CENOTES TOURS TULUM

9. Snorkel the Hidden Cenotes of Tulum Tour

natural blue water at cenote dos ojos (two eyes cenote) one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico | Cenotes Tours Tulum
Snorkeling Tulum: Cenotes Dos Ojos is one of the best snorkeling cenotes Tulum has!

⭐️ Rated: 4.94 out of 5 (285 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Arturo

The Snorkel the Hidden Cenotes of Tulum Tour takes you to three different cenotes, all different types, where you can swim and snorkel.

Enjoy an open swimming pool cenote, a semi-open cenote where bats fly freely overhead (they are adorable, and never come near humans), and an underground cave cenote.

Each cenote on this tour was strategically chosen, each just 10-15 minutes from one another, so you don’t waste any of your precious cenote time on the road.

After exploring and swimming, you’ll enjoy lunch at a top secret, locals’ only Tulum taquería (taco shop).

On a private cenote tour, you’ll have the Tulum cenotes all to yourself! (Photo: Airbnb)

CENOTES TOURS TULUM

10. Discover Scuba Diving in Casa Cenote Tour

Cenote tours Tulum: Explore a dive cenote without needing your dive certification on the Discover Scuba Diving in Casa Cenote Tour. (Photo: Airbnb)

⭐️ Rated: 4.99 out of 5 (75 Reviews) | 🤩 Led by: Jamie

Note: Diving certification not required! The Discover Scuba Diving in Casa Cenote Tour allows you to dive without being certified. This experience is perfect for those who have never dived before, and want to try it out in a safe way and a beautiful environment.

It provides a great way to test the waters (pun intended 🧜‍♀️) and see if you want to go on eventually go on to get your open water diver’s certification. The class is led by Jamie, a PADI-Certified Dive Instructor, who will take you to Casa Cenote for your 21-foot (7m) dive.


Tulum Cenotes Tours: Accessibility Info

Cenotes have varying accessibility levels. The more popular ones have well-maintained stairs with handrails; though some have makeshift stairs, and some have ladders.

Can’t swim? Most cenotes provide or rent life jackets. However, if you absolutely need one, you’ll want to do some additional research on the specific Tulum cenote(s) you’re visiting.

You can also consider the tour below ⤵ perfect for those who don’t swim.


Cenotes Tours Tulum: Cenote Tips & FAQ

What are cenotes?

Cenote is pronounced sen-no-tay, and two or more cenotes, are sen-no-tays

Cenotes pronunciation now cleared up, let’s answer the What is a cenote? question! The cenotes of Mexico are essentially natural freshwater pools located in the Yucatan jungle.

The actual definition you might see for cenotes is a “sinkhole.” This describes the process of how the cenotes came to be — as the cenotes aren’t individual pools, but rather, come from the same water source. In fact, cenote water comes from the largest underground river on Earth!

Located under the entire Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, there’s a river with crystal-clear fresh water. This is the very same water that’s in every single cenote. Many centuries ago, there was limestone rock covering the entire river, and in turn, covering what we now call cenotes. 

Over time, some of that limestone rock has collapsed or “sunk in” to reveal the water beneath. This sinkhole essentially led to the creation of a natural pool, which is what we call a cenote. Depending on how much rock collapsed, you get different kinds of cenotes.

woman swimming in cenote calavera, one of the best tulum cenotes in mexico | Cenotes Tours Tulum
Cenote Calavera, located near Tulum Pueblo (AKA Downtown), is one of the best cenotes in Tulum. (Photo: Mathilde Langevin via Unspalsh)
Cenotes Tours TULUM

What are the types of cenotes?

There are about 6,000 cenotes in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Of these thousands of cenotes, there are four distinct types of cenotes: open, semi-open, cave and diving cenotes. Each type is unique and beautiful in its own way, so make sure to visit as many types of Tulum cenotes as you can.

• Open Cenotes

You may also see these called swimming pool cenotes, as they are completely open and look like a natural swimming pool. For photos, these are the best because they get the best lighting since they are above ground. They are also usually surrounded by lush jungle vegetation.

• Semi-Open Cenotes

These cenotes will be semi-encased in the native limestone rock. This type of cenote will have large walls surrounding the pool itself, or even a large hole in the top of it so some sunlight gets in when it’s directly overhead. 

• Cave Cenotes

The cenotes caves are exactly as the name says because they are located underground and you’ll have to access them by going down some stairs. Many closed-off cenotes will have a single ray of light that gets in through a large crack in the rock, giving it a magical look.

• Dive Cenotes

The final type is also essentially located inside a cave, but the water in these cenotes is much deeper so they are sought out for diving. With clear water in the cenotes, divers get incredible visibility — even as much as 165-feet (50m) in some cenotes.

Note: You must be certified to go diving in Tulum cenotes. For those who are, check out these Tulum tours — Go Dive Cenotes in Tulum Tour and Cenotes Scuba Diving Tour — for an unforgettable diving cenotes Tulum tour!


Cenotes Tours TULUM

What to bring to the cenotes?

• Water Shoes

Water shoes really help you enjoy your cenote time!

As cenotes are natural pools, most have slippery rocks, muddy ground, etc. Water shoes also help you not slip in general, especially when walking down any staircase entryways.

• Quick Dry Towel

A quick dry towel comes in handy to dry off with after getting out of the cenotes, but also as a place to sit. As the Tulum cenotes are in a natural setting, there might be nowhere to sit but in the dirt on the ground, so the towel will also come in handy as a seat.

• Waterproof Phone Holder

If you’re planning to take Instagrammable cenote photos, an inexpensive waterproof phone holder that goes around your neck really comes in handy. With these, you can take them in water and capture the cenotes from all angels. The waterproof fanny pack is another great option.

• GoPro Camera

For those considering buying a GoPro Hero, the photogenic Tulum cenotes offer the perfect place to put it to good use!

You can get amazing shots of yourself jumping into the cenotes, epic underwater cenotes photos, and more.

• Cash / Pesos

With a Tulum cenotes tour, your entry is often included in the tour cost. However, if you want to buy any food or drinks at the cenotes which have vendors, you’ll need to pay for that in cash, as cenotes won’t take credit cards.

• 🚫🧴 A note on Sunscreens & Lotions

Don’t apply sunscreen, lotion, insect repellent — anything — before getting in a cenote, as it’s harmful for the cenote. Many cenotes require you to rinse off in a shower before entering, so applying anything will be a waste.

If you need to put sunscreen on after getting out, this eco-friendly Badger Anti-Bug Sunscreen Cream is great. It has sunscreen and insect protection, which comes in handy at cenotes since they are located in the jungle. An anti-mosquito bracelet is another great option.

The Follow That Dream sign is one of the most Instagram worthy Tulum photo spots.
CENOTES TOURS TULUM

Tulum Travel Guide & FAQ

Where to stay in Tulum, Mexico?

Head to these Tulum articles for recommendations on a variety of Tulum accommodations — from beach houses to glamping teepees on the beach, and everything in between! Looking to save a bit of money? Head here to discover the best hostels in Tulum.


CENOTES TOURS TULUM

Is Tulum expensive?

In all honesty, it’s one of the more pricey destinations in Mexico. However, it doesn’t have to be if you follow the tips in this article ⤵

Is Tulum safe for travel?

If you’re wondering about Tulum travel safety, or even Is Mexico safe for travelers? — the short answer is Yes, for the majority of travelers, it is. However, you must prioritize your own safety because no place on Earth is 100% safe!

As Mexico travel safety is a complex topic, head to Is Mexico Safe? 25 Tips to Stay Safe in Mexico for an in-depth explanation on Mexico safety. 🎧 Prefer podcasts? Check out the one below titled The Ultimate Tulum, Mexico Travel Guide for Tulum travel tips.

Tulum podcast

Cenote Tours TULUM

Where is Tulum located?

Tulum is located in Quintana Roo state, in southeastern Mexico. It is one of the three states that makes up the Yucatan Peninsula — Yucatan state, Campeche state, and of course, Quintana Roo state. Tulum is located about two hours south of Cancun and one hour south of Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya.

How do I get to Tulum, Mexico?

To travel to Tulum, you’ll fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), which is the closest airport. Head to this Cancun to Tulum Travel Guide to see your options for how to then make the two-hour journey from Cancun to Tulum.

Ready to book your Tulum flight? Use the search box below to find tickets

What do I need on my Tulum packing list?

Wondering what to wear in Tulum?

When planning how to dress in Tulum — anything goes — you can dress as casual or as extra as you’d like. Check out the outfits below to give you an idea of Tulum’s tropical boho casual fashion, and if you need more tips on packing for Mexico, head to The Ultimate Packing List for Mexico.

FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

For a more detailed Mexico packing guide, download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below — it covers both Mexico beach packing and Mexico city packing. This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything you’ll want to bring, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico.

Cenote Tours TULUM

Final Thoughts: Tulum Cenotes Tours

If you’re wondering, Is Tulum worth visiting? — the answer is YES — especially for those who want to explore the more natural side, including the cenotes in Tulum. There are cenotes throughout the Yucatan, including cenotes near Playa del Carmen and Cancun, but the ones in Tulum are nicer.

As with most things closer to the big name destinations of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the cenotes near those places are much more touristy. While there are some best cenotes near Tulum Town (AKA Downtown) that everyone tends to visit, the tours listed in this article are more off the beaten path.

For an authentic Tulum Yucatan experience, away from the tourist traps, you need a local advising you. Each of the 10 Tulum cenotes tours above is led by a Tulum local, so you’re in good hands.

Have questions about Tulum cenotes tours?

I’d love to hear from you! If there was anything not covered in this article, please join the conversation in the comments below.

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