Cenotes you have to see in Coba


June 24, 2020

Coba is a very interesting tourist destination, one that you should visit while you are in Tulum, Quintana Roo.

Why? Coba is home to one of the main Mayan archaeological sites in the area. It has beautiful cenotes that will allow you to connect with nature.

Here is all you need to know about the cenotes in Coba, how to get there and other things you can do in the area.

What is it like to visit Coba?

Coba was a very important city of the ancient Mayan civilization. It is believed that it was founded in 100 B.C., and at its peak it had about 50,000 inhabitants.

Today this place remains as an archaeological site and tourist attraction near Tulum.

In fact, one of the reasons why Quintana Roo is a top tourist destination is because it has many places with history about the Mayan culture; some are well known, while others are just being discovered.

Coba retains its original name, which means 'chopped up water' because it is located near 5 lakes, which were key resources for its existence.

When you visit Coba, the first thing you will notice is the intense green color of nature, since this place is surrounded by the Mayan jungle.

Unlike Tulum, there is no beach in Coba, however, this will allow you to have a different experience, to explore and discover more of the Mayans and nature.

In addition, the open spaces are perfect for biking or walking.

Cenotes in Coba

Many tourists choose to visit Coba to see the archaeological site, but there are 3 cenotes that have also become very popular, where you can spend a morning swimming and enjoying nature.

The cenotes are located about 15 minutes from the Mayan ruins, so you can include them in your tour in just one day.

Cenote Choo-Ha.
Something these cenotes share is that they have stalactites and stalagmites.

Continue reading to learn more about each cenote in Coba, and all the activities you can do there.

1. Cenote Choo-Ha

It is located southwest of Coba and is one of the most beautiful cenotes in the area, thanks to the stalactites and its waters that I include are clearer than many cenotes.

From the moment you arrive you can see a small underground entrance, about 10 meters deep, which you can descend by means of a wooden staircase.

Choo-Ha is an enclosed cenote, which means that most of it is in a cavern -or dome-, which can only be accessed by small entrances.

Swimming in an enclosed cenote is a very different experience compared to swimming outdoors in an open or semi-open cenote.

The main attraction of Choo-Ha is not only in its rock formations, but in the relaxed atmosphere it offers, since it is not as crowded as other cenotes.

Another thing worth mentioning is that its waters are shallow, so it is a good option for children to have fun, and for people who are learning to swim.

Among the services available in this cenote are showers, which should be used before entering the cenote to keep the water clean and avoid contamination.

2. Cenote Tamcach-Ha

Tamcach-Ha, is another of the closed cenotes in Coba and has several similarities with Choo-Ha, as both have stalactites and stalagmites.

In order to enter this cenote you have to descend about 17 meters by a wooden staircase.

Unlike Choo-Ha, its waters are turquoise blue and a little less crystalline, but this is due to its depth of approximately 35 meters.

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The advantage of this? You can dive from two platforms, the highest of which is 10 meters (33 feet). You can also swim much more freely and snorkel.

Showers, toilets, parking, and renting life vests are some of the services available in this cenote.

3. Cenote Multum-Ha

Multum-Ha is the last Coba cenote on this list and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in the entire area.

The name - Multum-Ha - means "hill of stones under water", because under its crystalline water you can see several rocks.

This cenote is closed like the two previous ones, and to be able to access it you have to go down about 18 meters by a spiral staircase.

Here you will find a wooden platform that has several ropes tied to it, which you can hold on to while you are swimming, to give you more security.

Just like Tamcach-Ha you can venture into the water, because it has enough depth to do so, while the depth is ideal for snorkeling.

The services offered are the same, so you don't have to worry about anything being missing.

Other cenotes near Coba and Tulum

The cenotes of Coba listed above are of top tourist attractions that you must visit.

However, if you still feel like getting to know more cenotes in the Riviera Maya, there are some very close to both Coba and Tulum.

  • Gran Cenote: It is one of the closest and one of the favorite destinations for all those who visit the ruins of Tulum. This is the open type, so it is your choice if you want to swim outdoors.
  • Cenote Carwash: It is called this because a few years ago they used to wash cars very close to it. This one is the same as the open type and it's a little bit after the Gran Cenote.
  • Cenote Escondido: It is only 3 kilometers west of the city of Tulum, is a quiet place, large and surrounded by the mangroves characteristic of the reserve of Sian Ka'an.
  • Cenote Azul: It is a big and open cenote that is located a little farther away -between Xcaret and Xelhá-, and it is worth visiting. Its waters are shallow so it is ideal for family trips with the little ones.
Gran Cenote.
The entire Riviera Maya -and the Yucatan Peninsula- are full of cenotes, and many of them can be visited.

In very few places of the world you will find these wonderful natural formations, so don't miss the opportunity to admire the beauty of nature here.

Tips for visiting the cenotes in Coba

Improvised trips are quite good, as they give you a sense of adventure and satisfaction in facing the unknown.

However, it is well known that a well-planned trip can be just as good, saving a lot of time and allowing you to enjoy each tourist place to the fullest.

For that reason we will tell you the things you can take with you on your visit to the cenotes of Coba -and surroundings.

  • Wearing comfortable clothes is the most important thing of all, to explore both the archaeological site and the cenotes without any problems.
  • Swimming suit and towel are equally essential, because you cannot visit the cenotes and not swimming.
  • Glasses, hat -or cap-, very useful accessories to explore Coba.
  • Biodegradable mosquito repellent. This place is a jungle, so it will help to get rid of mosquito bites.
  • Biodegradable sunscreen to protect your skin from UV radiation when walking or biking.
  • Enough bottled water to keep you hydrated at all times, as there won't be many places where you can buy more.
  • A camera, so you can shot the best moments of your visit and share them with your friends and family.
  • Some snacks, that you can eat at any time during your trip and share with your companions.

It is important to use biodegradable skin products - such as repellents, sunscreen or cream, to avoid damaging the ecosystem.

Many of the products on the market today are environmentally conscious, so it's easy to find such versions.

Also, don't forget to stop by the showers -as in the case of Choo-Ha-, so that you can refresh yourself and make sure you're taking 100% care of the water in the cenotes.

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We also recommend that you bring your own cash, so that you can pay for the accesses, buy food, souvenirs, among other things that you find on your way.

And our main advice is that you have a good time, forget about any worries you might have and connect with the magic that surrounds Coba.

How to get to Coba?

And how can you get to this tourist place? What roads should you take?

You should know that there are ways to get there by public transportation, but we recommend that you take your car so you can get there in less time and enjoy everything it has to offer.

Getting to Coba is quite easy, as it is very close to the city of Tulum, only 45 minutes away.

Here are some of the possible routes you can take:

  • To get from the archaeological site of Tulum you have to take first the Tulum-Cancun road, and then take the federal highway 109 to Coba.
  • If you are visiting the Gran Cenote it is much faster, because you only have to head northwest on the same highway 109.
  • From Chichén Itzá you have to pass through Pisté, take the Kantunil-Cancún highway to Valladolid, and then continue on the Gulf Coast highway.

The cenotes in Coba are very close to the archaeological site.

Just go south and take the Quintana Roo Nuevo Durango-Cobá highway, then go west on Q ROO/Cobá and you're done.

And when can you go?

The access to the archaeological zone is from 8:00 to 17:00 hours from Monday to Sunday, and most of the cenotes from 9:00 to 18:00 hours.

Our recommendation is to go early so you can have enough time to explore everything.

Visit the archaeological site of Coba

We have already mentioned throughout this article that the main attractions of Coba consist of its Mayan ruins, its cenotes and its nature itself.

That is why your visit is not complete if you are not going to explore the archaeological zone of Coba. Why? Because they offer you an incredible experience.

The archaeological site of Coba
And this is possible because nature has surrounded the Mayan ruins.

As we mentioned at the beginning, our recommendation is that you walk around the whole complex, although you can also rent a bicycle and do it that way.

The star building in this area is the pyramid of Nohoch Mul, famous for being very high and having about 120 steps.

If you have the opportunity to climb this pyramid, do it, so you can admire the extension of the whole jungle from the top.

But don't forget to be careful with the steps, because we remind you that this pyramid is many years old, so not all the steps are intact.

Other ruins you can see are the Oval Temple, the Ball Game, the Paintings and the Church Temple.

Coba, an interesting destination

Quintana Roo contains several of the most beautiful places in the world, such as the jungle, the paradisiacal beaches, the coral reefs, the cenotes and the emblematic Mayan ruins.

Coba meets several of these requirements, as it is an area with several Mayan ruins, surrounded by jungle and with several cenotes, making it an ideal choice if you want to feel like exploring into the unknown.

In addition, the cenotes themselves are the reason to visit Coba, since they are natural formations where you can do activities such as swimming, cenote diving, or just spend the day and relax.

Discovering all tourist attractions in Coba is worthwhile, and even more because it is close to Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

Do you want to know why investing in Tulum is a good idea? Visit our article to learn more about investing.

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