Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Sammie

Experience The Magic of Cenote Azul [Guide]

Cenote Azul
@copyright Sarah Barlow 

Table of Contents


Are Cenotes Safe


Reasons to visit Cenote Azul


Cenote Azul Useful Information


How to get there


What to Bring


Restaurants near Cenote Azul

There are over 6,000 cenotes in Mexico, and Cenote Azul is one of the biggest! These mystical sinkholes surrounded by the luscious greenery of Mexican jungles transport you to a place I’m assuming looks similar to Narnia. With every cenote I’ve checked off my list, each one is more breathtaking than the last. 

It would be a crime to visit Mexico and NOT make the time to see this geological phenomenon of the Yucatan Peninsula. Their cool crystal waters enchants you and gives you an experience unlike any other in a place you can only dream of. Revered by the Mayans to have healing properties in their mineral laden waters, and a place of great spiritual significance to connect with their gods, these swimming holes are a local and tourist favorite.

cenote azul
Cenote Azul 2021

What is a Cenote?

Cenote Azul is one of thousands of cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. Cenotes are natural sinkholes where the cave ceiling has collapsed revealing its unique passageways to the world. Historically, this happened after a combination of geological and climatic events took place causing acidic rain to seep into cracks of the earth, eroding the limestone and in turn forming these massive cave systems.
You can think of Cenotes as little openings to see bits and pieces of these intertwined cave systems. When you visit, see if you can dive and find the entries and exits of the caves (while being careful!).
The Yucatan Peninsula is home to some of the longest and oldest underground cave systems in the world. Cenote Azul is not alone, being one of hundreds of cenotes over 66 million years old!
cenote azul
@Copyright Isabella Biava

Cenote Fun Facts:

I’m geeking. Honestly, they are so interesting..and gorgeous. Here you go, 3 interesting facts you can memorize and impress your friends with.
1. Cenotes have great Mayan significance. They were believed to be portals to the underworld where gods, ancestors, and supernatural beings resided. 

2. The Mayans used cenotes for ritual offerings and burials. Things such as ceramics, jewelry, and human bones have been found at the entrance to several cenotes such as Cenote Sagrado. Freaky. But don’t worry, I didn’t see any bones when I went to Cenote Azul. 

3. Cenotes are thought of as having healing effects from their mineral laden waters. Meaning you enter a human and come out immortal.

cenote Cristalino
A cenote right next to Cenote Azul

Are Cenotes Safe?

YES! Cenotes are mother nature’s answer to a swimming pool. They are free from currents so you will never have to worry about undertow or rip tide. And there are no predators such as crocodiles or sharks.
Cenote Kantunchi
A cenote right next to Cenote Azul

Reasons to visit Cenote Azul:

1. Its location is easily accessible– Located between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, Cenote Azul is right on the main Mexican Highway 307. Check out its location and how to get there HERE.

2. It’s huge, and has many fun pockets to explore- Cenote Azul is popular with the locals as well as the tourists. HOWEVER, it has many small coves and separate pools to keep it peaceful. It’s a huge cenote therefore even if it is at max capacity you can still find your space to lay out or take a dip in the refreshing waters. 

3. It’s out in the sunshine! This cenote is an ancient cenote meaning its cave walls have eroded to give it the look of a forgotten lagoon deep within the mayan jungle. 

4. It is right next to other cenotes- Cenote Azul is near Cenote Cristalino, Kantunchi, and Jardin of Eden (I love this one as well). Pick and choose and make a day of it!

5. You can try out cliff jumping! Don’t worry I’m not suggesting anything outrageous. BUT if you fancy some adrenaline coursing through your veins you’ll be pleased to hear about the 15 foot cliff you can jump off into the fresh emerald water. And if 15 feet sounds 15 feet too many, you can work up the courage over the afternoon to jump off the ledge that is just a few feet over the water’s edge.

jardin of eden
Another cenote right next to Cenote Azul

Cenote Azul Useful Information:

  • Opening Hours: 8:30-5:30. I’d suggest getting there early or much later in the day to have the most privacy. But don’t worry too much because Cenote Azul is large and can accommodate even at max capacity. 
  • COST: 140 MXN Pesos for adults, 80 MXN Pesos for children. CASH ONLY (dollars or pesos)
  • Wear only biodegradable sunscreen PLEASE. I get it, I pretty much glow in the dark but these magical waters have very delicate ecosystems. Let’s take care of them now so we get to enjoy them for years to come.
  • Lifejackets are NOT mandatory but are available for rent. 40 MXN pesos per jacket.
cenote azul
@copyright Isabella Biava

How to get to Cenote Azul?

Time from Cancun: 1 hr 35 min drive (60 miles/96 km)

Time from Playa del Carmen: 24 min drive (16 miles/27 km)

Time from Tulum: 33 min drive (25 miles/40 km)

You can arrive by car, taxi, or collectivo.

By Car:

Renting a car in Mexico is not as terrifying as people make it out to be. It can be quite cost efficient. I rented mine for $32 a day with insurance. People in Mexico tend to be aggressive drivers however it’s no more aggressive than driving in any big city in the USA.

By Taxi:

Taking a taxi is simple and cheap. Take the taxis from the taxi stand, they have meters so you don’t have to worry about being ripped off. And for good measure, have small bills on hand because they often “don’t have change”.  I have heard whispers about a female only taxi service but have not found solid evidence that it exists currently in the Yucatan. If you have any information regarding a female taxi service, please leave a comment below! That being said as a younger white female, I took many taxis while living in Mexico and I felt perfectly safe. But keep your wits about you and I wouldn’t suggest taking a taxi in the middle of the night.

By Collectivo:

Taking a collectivo is a wonderful option for getting around. Priced around 130 pesos ($6) from Cancun to Tulum and about 40 pesos ($2) from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum. Collectivos will stop wherever as long as it is on the route. This is helpful because the route they will take will be on the main highway 307 that Cenote Azul is on. 

mexican cenote

What to Bring:

  • Swimsuit
  • Sandals- You’re in the jungle but you’re not IN THE JUNGLE. You can leave the hiking boots at home
  • Biodegradable sunscreen- Save the fish!
  • GoPro- You are going to want to capture all of the life that goes on under the water.
  • Sunglasses- It is an open cenote, so there will be lots of sunshine!
  • Snorkel- You will be so jealous when you see others with one. If you don’t have one, no worries because YOU CAN RENT SNORKEL GEAR.
  • Snacks but NO ALCOHOL

Restaurants near Cenote Azul

dona juanita
Doña Juanita
There is a small shop/restaurant on site of Cenote Azul that sells soda and tacos if you’d like a small lunch.

BLoved Lounge and Restaurant–  International 

2 mile from Cenote Azul

Address: Rd. Carretera Federal, Cancun – Chetumal Km. 264-5, 77790 Xpu Ha, Q.R., Mexico

Hours: 7am-11pm

081– Italian

3.9 miles from Cenote Azul

Address: Calle Neptuno Mz 2, Lote 2, Tuk Tulum Plaza, local 9, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico


Doña Juanita– Mexican family style

17 miles from Cenote Azul

Address: Av Benito Juárez 45 Sur-Local 1, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

Hours: 8am-6pm

Mom’s Hotel– American

25 miles from Cenote Azul

Address: Calle 4 Nte entre 25 y 30 avenidas, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

Hours: N/A

If you would like a guide or useful tips for visiting another cenote, please leave a comment below! 


A day at Cenote Azul Mexico Guide