What is a Cenote?

You might have heard the word ‘cenote’ when traveling to Mexico, or even read about it on one of our other blog posts – and wondered what is a cenote. Well, a it is actually a natural-hole underground which was caused by limestone bedrock collapsing. Another term for cenote is a sinkhole.

Cenotes are a very popular attraction in Mexico, especially in the Riviera Maya. People go swimming in the cenotes, and use them for snorkeling and diving. If you get tired of spending every day at the beach, and need to escape the hot sun for a couple day, we would highly recommend visiting a few different cenotes. Each sinkhole has a different entrance price. However, this is well worth it! When you research as to which one you want to visit during your time in the Riviera Maya, we would recommend packing your snorkeling gear or renting some before you come. Some cenotes offer gear for rent but most of them requires you to bring your own.

Cenote Sinkhole

Cenotes are amazing because the atmosphere is very natural

You are in the middle of nature, swimming in a natural sinkhole with hundreds of different fish swimming around you. It is definitely something you will want to experience during your time in Mexico. Depending on the cenote you decide to visit, there are cliffs that you can jump off of. This is for the daring travelers.

Packing list for a day at a Cenote:

  • Towel
  • Snorkeling gear or diving gear
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Biodegradable sunscreen
  • Water shoes
  • Underwater camera or any camera
  • Money for entrance fee

Top cenotes in the Riviera Maya:

  1. Cenote Azul
  2. Cenote Ponderosa
  3. Dos Ojos
  4. Gran Cenote
  5. Ik Il Cenote
  6. Rio Secreto

Cenote Sinkhole

Each one of these cenotes is driving distance from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Rio Secreto is a neat sinkhole because it is actually connected by a river underground.  Whether you want to experience this place on your own or book a tour and hear about the history, that’s totally up to you; nonetheless, we would recommend making time for this one. If you live in Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto is only five minutes outside of town. If you are on a tight budget and don’t have money to pay for entrance fee’s, there is a small cenote on the beach towards the north end of 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.