10 cenotes in Tulum you didn’t know existed


June 25, 2020

Tulum, Quintana Roo is one of the most trendy destinations in Mexico.

The beaches, its majestic archeological ruins, and the Mayan jungle are some of the things that make thousands of people, celebrities and influencers fall in love with it.

Tulum's beaches and cenotes are examples of the natural attractions in the area, so visiting this beach town is an opportunity for tourists to connect with nature like never before.

The Mayan culture and the Cenotes

You probably know what cenotes are. These natural formations can be found in the Yucatan Peninsula, therefore the cenotes were very important to the Mayas -the ancient civilization that lived in the area.

Some researchers agree that both cenotes and caves represented fertility and life to the Mayan culture because they were hidden and underground. They also represented the female womb and the connection between the physical world and the Xibalba, the Mayan underworld.

According to the Mayans, the cenotes are the entrance to the underworld. They were the connection to the spiritual world, according to the Popol Vuh, the sacred Mayan book.

For researchers, it is not surprising that great civilizations lived near rivers and seas. Ancient Egypt, for example, became one of the most important civilizations thanks to its location near the Nile River, which allowed the development of agriculture and trade in this area.

Banner of real estate developments in Tulum.

Cenotes were very important for the development of the Mayan Civilization. Therefore, it is quite common to find cenotes near archaeological sites, since cenotes were a source of freshwater. That is why great constructions like Chichen Itza and Uxmal were built near cenotes.

As a result, the Mayans worshipped the cenotes. As mentioned previously, the Mayas considered them a fundamental part of their sacred rituals: Offerings such as jewelry, vessels or even human sacrifices were placed inside them.

In recent years, and thanks to technological advances, it has been possible to explore cenotes and caves, which has allowed the recovery of many objects and human remains.

10 cenotes in Tulum that you didn't know existed

As explained in 5 must-visit cenotes in Yucatan, cenotes are the result of soil erosion and water filtration. They can be classified according to their opening, which can be open, closed or semi-open.

For example, a closed cenote is one that looks like a cave and is deep, while an open one, as its name suggests, is visible.

Therefore, the younger the cenote is the more closed it is.

Although cenotes are fairly common in the Yucatan Peninsula and locals are familiar with them, it is important to take some precautions.

You have to follow all the instructions given by the people in charge of the cenote. Remember that cenotes are part of a complex underground river system. There are deep cenotes that must be explored with the proper equipment and instructions.

In the blog entry Cenotes to visit in Tulum, we made a list of the tourists' favorites. Below is a list of 10 cenotes in Tulum that you didn't know existed and should visit on your next trip.

1. Cenote Xcacelito

This cenote is one of the hidden gems of Tulum.

This natural attraction takes its name from the Xcacel beach, a not so crowded beach that you can visit while you are in Tulum. This place is a sea turtle sanctuary.

Cenote Xcacelito.
Xcacelito is an open cenote surrounded by nature. It is very close to the beach and is part of a protected ecological reserve.

2. Cenote Cristalino

Cenote Cristalino is another of Tulum's hidden beauties.

Its shallower parts are between 2 and 3 meters deep, while in others it reaches 6 meters.

In this cenote, the use of sunscreen is forbidden. The reason? Chemicals can affect the flora and fauna of the area. If you want to explore the beauty of Cenote Cristalino, you must follow all the instructions.

Due to its depth, we recommend the use of life jackets if you do not feel safe to enter the water.

Cenote Cristalino.
Cenote Cristalino is a cenote you can't miss in Tulum. Try to follow all the safety instructions to enjoy the experience.

3. Cenote Car Wash

Also known as Aktun-Ha.

It gets its peculiar name because years ago there was a car wash near there, which no longer exists. The name became popular and now this is one of the cenotes you can't miss when you visit Tulum.

In its shallower parts, this cenote reaches 5 meters. The deepest parts, where diving is practiced, are up to 15 meters deep.

Like the other cenotes on this list, Car Wash is surrounded by nature, which makes it ideal for cooling off from the heat. You can practice snorkeling and get to know the variety of fish that live in the area, and if you are very lucky you can even see turtles.

Cenote Car Wash.
Many of the cenotes in Tulum are perfect for diving and snorkeling, and Cenote Car Wash is no exception.

4. Cenote Kaan Luum

Although Kaan Luum is actually a lagoon, it connects to an open cenote about 82 meters deep, which makes visiting Kaan Luum a totally amazing experience.

The landscape that Kaan Luum offers us has no comparison and is a small sample of the paradise called Tulum.

The waters of the lagoon are not very deep, however, it is important to take precautions in the cenote and avoid introducing waste.

Cenote Kaan Luum.
Kaan Luum is a natural beauty without equal. One of the recommendations we have to follow is to avoid the use of non-biodegradable sunscreens.

5. Cenote Escondido

Cenote Escondido shares the entrance with Cenote Cristal, as it is almost in front of it. Before reaching it you will have to go through a large stretch of jungle and vegetation, since as its name suggests, this cenote is hidden and protected by nature.

Cenote Escondido is an open cenote located 3 km south of Tulum and is perfect for swimming and connecting with nature.

Since it is 17 meters deep, you can also dive in it. One of the main safety recommendations for visitors is not to hang from the mangroves and trees surrounding this cenote.

Cenote Escondido.
Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido are almost ‘brothers’ since they share the entrance and are in front of each other.

6. Cenote Tak Be Ha

Although this cenote is located near the Cenote Dos Ojos, Tak Be Ha is a natural attraction that shows the passage of time and water filtration.

In the dome of the cenote you can see stalactites that have formed as a result of water filtration.

On its deepest side, Tak be Ha reaches up to 8.5 meters, making it a perfect place for diving. Due to its structure, it is recommended to dive or snorkel with a guide.

Cenote Tak Be Ha.
Tak Be Ha is a natural attraction that every explorer and diver cannot miss. Its rock formations are the result of the passage of time and are the perfect setting for adventure.

7. Cenote Sac Actun

Sac Actun is part of the world's largest underwater system.

The Sac Actun cenote is connected to the Cenote Dos Ojos, one of the most famous and important cenote in Tulum and the Riviera Maya.

This connection that covers 347 kilometers is being explored by underwater archaeologists, who have found animal remains that are more than 12,000 and 15,000 years old, as well as human remains and Mayan treasures.

Cenote Sac Actun.

Something that makes Sac Actun special, besides its incredible formation, is that it is part of the largest underwater system of cenotes in the world.

8. Cenote Xunaan Ha

One of the charms of this cenote is that it is one of the least crowded.

Since not many people visit it, Xunaan Ha keeps a mystical vibe and allows you to experience nature at its best. Some of the recommendations when visiting this cenote are to avoid the use of chemicals -unless they are biodegradable- and garbage.  In this area you can find fresh water turtles.

If you are thinking of visiting Xunaan Ha, bring a mosquito repellent.

Cenote Xunaan Ha.
If you are thinking of visiting a cenote but don't want it to be too crowded, Xunaan Ha is the perfect place for you.

9. Cenote Angelita

The cenote Angelita is a very particular cenote. To begin with, one of the things that attracts expert and amateur divers is that this cenote is approximately 60 meters deep and seems to be an underground river.

In Angelita you can experience the union of salt water with fresh water, resulting in a layer of hydrogen sulfate that gives the feeling of watching a mist.

Those who have had the opportunity to explore Angelita, have mentioned that the atmosphere of the place resembles a magical forest, making it a unique diving experience.

Cenote Angelita.

Visiting Cenote Angelita is a unique experience for explorers. The natural phenomenon of salt and fresh water colliding creates a kind of sub-river.

10. Cenote El Pit

El Pit is one of the most famous cenotes among underwater archaeologists since human and animal remains have been discovered in this cenote that are 11,300 and 13,600 years old, respectively.

This cenote gets its name because it is semi-open and the sun's rays illuminate the almost 30 meters deep. Exploring this cenote is an unforgettable experience.

Cenote El Pit.
Cenote El Pit gets its name because it is a semi-open cenote and the sunlight allows visitors to explore with natural light.

Visit Tulum, Quintana Roo

Tulum is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Mexico, which, thanks to its privileged location, receives thousands of national and international tourists.

Located in the state of Quintana Roo, this beach town was already popular with the residents of the Yucatan Peninsula. Its archeological ruins are part of many travel agency tours.

Tulum is the Mexican Caribbean gem you have to visit.

Although the Riviera Maya is the second most important destination in Mexico, Tulum is a beach town that has grown thanks to the flow of tourists.

Tulum is a natural paradise. The Mayan jungle surrounds the whole place along with the Caribbean Sea.  Therefore, this beach town is perfect for people who want to connect with nature and rest from the stress of the big cities.

This has raised Tulum's status, making it a favorite destination among celebrities who want to enjoy the beach and privacy.

One of the reasons to invest in Tulum is that, in recent years, luxury tourism has made this beach town the perfect destination for fashionable events. For example this year, Tulum will host the Mexico Fashion Show 2020.

Tulum, Mayan beauty

Researchers consider Tulum as one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico, both for its architectural beauty and for the information in this place, such as the Mayan murals, a testimony of the pre-Hispanic period of which there is not much information available.

It is believed that the ancient city was larger than it appears. Thanks to its privileged location, ancient Tulum was prepared for enemy attacks. Its strategic position gave it advantages to protect its residents, making it one of the most important cities in Mesoamerica.

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