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Gran Cenote near Chichen Itza, cenote in the Riviera Maya

Gran Cenote is one of the best known and most visited cenotes in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. The turquoise waters are crystal clear and ideal for diving. Both smaller fish and turtles swim in the beautiful cenote, from where you can reach the different water depths through a wooden platform. You have the option of entering various cave entrances, the turtle pool or the grotto. An elongated cave connects two parts of the complex through which you can dive. It is definitely worth bringing a pair of goggles, even if you can rent them on site for a surcharge. Above the cenote there is a clean, mowed lawn, so you can sunbathe and relax here.

Gran Cenote is comprised of a river like open-air cenote flanked by two snorkeling areas and surrounded by caves and caverns. Although its name suggests it is only one big cenote, it really consists of several cenotes meandering along the verdant jungle floor and connected by wooden walkways.

How to get to Gran Cenote.

Chichén Itzá to Gran Cenote.

You can drive to Gran Cenote or get there as part of a private tour to Chichen Itza. Driving time is around 2 hours to Gran Cenote in Tulum, a cenote near Chichén Itzá.

Cancun to Gran Cenote.

The easiest way to get to Gran Cenote from Cancun is by car. You can rent a car or book a private tour that drive you there. The private tour includes the 2 hour drive to the cenote, the drive to Chichen Itza, and any stop you want to add. The whole tour lasts 10 hours. This is an ideal option especially if you travel with a group.

Tulum to Gran Cenote.

Driving time to Gran Cenote from Downtown Tulum is 10 minutes. You can rent a car, a taxi, or book private transportation to avoid any hassle.

Playa del Carmen to Gran Cenote.

Driving time to Gran Cenote from Playa del Carmen is 1 hours. You can rent a car, a taxi, or book private transportation to avoid any hassle.

Gran Cenote admission Fee.

Admission fee to Gran Cenote is $180 MXN.

Gran Cenote Opening hours.

Gran Cenote is open from Monday to Sunday from 8am to 5pm.

Inclusions and recommendations for Gran Cenote

  • Gran Cenote does not have a restaurant on site.

  • Available parking lot.

  • Lockers are available for rent ($30 mxn).

  • Snorkeling gear is also available for rent ($80 MXN).

  • Rent of lifejackets is available at the site.

  • The use of any sunblock is forbidden when getting into the cenote. Remember to rinse off any lotion you may have on before swimming in the cenote.

FAQs about Cenotes

  1. What’s a “cenote”?

    Cenotes are underground caves that contain deep waters, created where a cave ceiling has collapsed. Cenotes were the Mayan civilization's only source of water in the jungle and are considered sacred by the Mayan people. The Mayans perceived these natural pools as an entrance to their "underworld" or "Xibalba" where their gods still exist and their spirits live after death.

  2. Can you swim in a cenote?

    In most of them yes! You’re always welcome to swim in a cenote, but some may be restricted to the public due safety measures. You may also encounter cenotes like the Sacred Cenote in Chichén Itzá, that hold a very special value for the culture and are not open for swimming.

  3. How deep are cenotes?

    Some cenotes in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan can go as deep as 10 to 40 meters (32 to 131 ft).

  4. How many cenotes are in Yucatan?

    There are around 7,000 cenotes in Yucatan, and only 142 are available to visit, which means that 98% of the Yucatan cenotes are still unexplored.

Photos of Gran Cenote .