Fancy a different cenote experience? An ancient sweat bath with shaman rituals, and a swim in a cave.
An open cenote at Puerto Morelos. Good for swimming but not for snorkelling as the water is stagnant.
Majestic and pretty but crowded. If you don't mind crowds, don't miss out. It is right by the Chichen Itzá ruins.
A visually stunning underground cathedral. The stalactites and stalagmites represent the lords of the Maya Underworld.
A large and deep open cenote in the village of Kikil, on the Famingo Route. Snorkelling but no diving.
This is an adrenaline cenote, with rappelling, slack-lining and zip-lining inside a large semi-open cave.
This cave cenote on the former horse ranch has a ‘theatre stage’ in the middle, lit by a stream of light. And another adjacent primordial cenote for a photo op.
The cave of seven interconnected 'holes', very unusual. And a real indigenous village around the cenote.
A rather unusual cenote: you can only access the large cavern by swimming through a tunnel.
Located inside the hacienda Sotuta de Peón. You will need to take the hacienda tour to access it. The tour is the best experience of colonial Yucatán.
A cenote with a halocline effect. A must do for advanced and certified divers. Too deep just for swimming.
Swim, snorkel or dive in this noodle-shaped open cenote. Combine the visit with cenote Cristal.
An open cenote just outside Tulum, for a dip or a picnic, with a cave for divers. One of the remaining cheap options.
A layer of algae makes it look like nothing special from the surface but it is a feast for underwater photography and divers.
One of three cave cenotes off the main tourist path, in Cobá. Just you and the cave.
The smallest cenote I have encountered so far. It sits right on the beach of Caleta Tankah.
Probably the most famous cenote in the world for the cavern divers. Two openings in the rock over the springs that resemble two eyes.
Tamkach Ha is for thrill seekers. It is a fully enclosed cave behind Cobá ruin, where you can jump off the high platform.
An open cenote in the mangrove jungle, on the beach of Tankah Bay. Popular with divers for cave diving.
Verde Lucero is simply cute and charming. This open cenote feels like the soul of the jungle.
An adventure park with a large lagoon on the Cenote Route at Puerto Morelos. Zip lines, a Tyrolean traverse, jumping towers. And no crowds.
Cristalino was my first cenote and here began my love for them. It is an open cenote, excellent for snorkelling and jumping off the cliff.
XCajum is a great cenote to cool off after the hot day at Chichén Itzá ruins. Off the beaten track and less crowded.
The stalactites make X'Kekén cenote look gothic. Just outside the town of Valladolid, it sits in a pretty jungle park next to Samulá cenote.
Sun-lit by an orifice from the ceiling, Samulá cavern is scenic and feels a bit like swimming in a cathedral.
Zací, an open cenote in the middle of the town of Valladolid, was an integral part of the pre-Hispanic settlement. The 'White Hawk' cenote is still sacred for the Maya.
This cenote at Ek' Balam eco-park will feel like a secret swim. It is extraordinarily tranquil; you will be stunned by the silence of nature.
One of my favourite cenotes: a hole in the ground but when you enter, you are in a cathedral with crystal clear waters and endless visibility.
What is the best open cenote near Playa Del Carmen? My answer is simple: The Eden!
Although its name suggests it is only one big cenote, in reality there are two interconnected cenotes.