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2 beach/snorkeling questions

13 posts
2 beach/snorkeling questions

We will be traveling to MX in two weeks. Last time we were here we rented a car and went to Tulum and YAL KU Lagoon. We plan to do this again.

1. Would anyone be able to recommend a beach close by to Yal Ku that is worth a visit and that possibly has good snorkeling off the beach?

2. Also, any noteworthy cenotes around this area?



Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
12,869 posts
1. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

Here is a list of some of the cenotes in the area. You should bring your own gear to most of them.

Chac Mool (Claw of the Jaguar)

Location: 22 km south of Playa Del Carmen/Almost across from Puerto Aventuras.

Description: 2 cenotes. Large cavern zone with beautiful views of jungle from inside cavern.

Open: 10-5 daily.

Facilities: Bathrooms, Restaurant.

Snorkeling: Yes. Larger of 2 cenotes offers view to large room.

Entrance Fee: Yes.

Ponderosa (El Eden)

Location: 3 km south of Puerto Aventuras.

Description: Exceptionally beautiful. Short walk on path takes you to Coral Cenote, which has a large island in the center of it.

Open: 10-5 daily.

Facilities: Bathrooms

Swimming: Very easy access. Nice overhang with tree that can be scaled to jump into cenote.

Snorkeling: Excellent. One of the most popular snorkeling sites. Unlimited visibility. Wide variety of fish, eels, turtles & aquatic plant life.

Entrance Fee: $5 US.

Chikin Ha (Points of Direction)

Location: 5 km south of Puerto Aventuras just before Xpu-Ha/Across from Barcelo Maya Hotel/Long way down bumpy road.

Description: Footpath through jungle will take you to some other cenotes – one is big & almost dry with lots of fossils.

Facilities: None.

Swimming: Can swim through tunnel to underground air chamber.

Entrance Fee: Yes.

Kantun Chi

Location: Just past Chikin Ha Cenote.

Description: 4 mostly half dome cenotes (Kantun Chi, Zaskaleen, Uchil Ha, Zazil Ha) along a series of light jungle trails. Most remote one has ancient looking Mayan temple next to it. Several tours stop here.

Facilities: Restaurant, bike rentals, horseback riding, small zoo.

Swimming: Not very inviting.

Snorkeling: Yes. Rental equipment available.

Entrance Fee: $10 US.


Location: Just past Kantun Chi/Close to highway.

Description: Beautiful, very primitive & rarely visited. Good for hanging out. Will probably have place to yourself. Likely to see more locals than tourists.

Facilities: None.

Swimming: You can dive into cenote from 3.5 m (15 ft) tall ledge.

Entrance Fee: 25 pesos.


Location: Just past Cristalino Cenote/Close to highway.

Description: In light jungle setting with more open air/sunlit than Kantun Chi, which creates more algae.

Facilities: Snackbar.

Entrance Fee: 30 pesos.

Taj Mahal

Location: 26 km south of Playa Del Carmen/5 km south of Puerto Aventuras/Just south of Xpu-Ha.

Description: 4 interconnected cenotes.

Open: 10-6 daily

Facilities: Bathrooms, Restaurant.

Snorkeling: Advanced. Requires swimming 5 m underwater under a rock wall to come into a large open cave with that has light shining through from ceiling above.

Entrance Fee: 40 pesos.

Dos Ojos (Hidden Worlds)

Location: 48 km south of Playa Del Carmen/3 km south of Xel-Ha/On right 4 km down dirt road.

Description: Part of Nohoch Nah Chich cave system. Location of filming for Imax Journey into Amazing Caves documentary.

Open: 10-5 daily

Facilities: Bathrooms, restaurant.

Snorkeling: Superb. Very popular. Stalagtites & Stalagmites everywhere.

Entrance Fee: $10 US/$25-40 US for snorkel tours.

Temple of Doom (Calavera/Skull)

Location: 2 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right/Very rugged rocky unmarked jungle path approximately 50 yds from road.

Description: 3 holes in ground (one 30 ft & two 4 ft in diameter) create skull shape, hence the name. Shaded by thick jungle canopy.

Facilities: None

Swimming: Great. 10 ft drop down into cenote. Rope swing & ladder – though may want to bring your own rope just in case.

Gran (Sac Aktun/White Water)

Location: 5 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right.

Description: Ladder steps lead to half moon shaped cenote decorated with small passages & openings. One of most popular sites. Good for all ages. Shallow on one side/deep on other. Famous for brilliant speleothem decorations & crystal clear water.

Open: 10-5 Daily

Facilities: Bathrooms

Snorkeling: Fun. Fantastic. Spectacular. Paradise.

Entrance Fee: 50 pesos.

Car Wash (Aktun Ha/Water Cave)

Location: 8 km from Tulum on road to Coba/4 km past Gran Cenote on left.

Description: Can drive right in approximately 30 m (100 ft) to cenote & locals used to wash vehicles here, hence the name.

Open: 9-5 Daily

Facilities: Bathrooms

Swimming: Very easy access. Like a small lake. Good. Fun.

Snorkeling: Good in winter months. Too much algae growth in warmer months. Many small tropical fish.

Entrance Fee: 20 pesos.

Cristal (Naharon)

Location: 4 km south of Tulum on right.

Facilities: Bathrooms

Swimming: Great

Snorkeling: Great

Entrance Fee: Yes. Includes entrance to Escondido across the street.

Escondido (Mayan Blue)

Location: 4 km south of Tulum on left/Across from Cristal Cenote/2 km walk in Jungle.

Description: Tarzan & Jane style. Beautiful, crisp, clear, secluded. One of least known.

Facilities: Bathrooms

Swimming: Good

Snorkeling: Good. Some great stone formations.

Entrance Fee: Included in Cristal entrance

13 posts
2. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

Wow! This list is totally awesome! Thank you soooo much!

Maria & John

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
12,869 posts
3. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

I try, lol

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
170 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

Dumb question

To get into the water at the Cenotes do you have to either go down in a harness or by rope or can you walk into the area?

Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
9,405 posts
50 reviews
5. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

sunlovergal - for a good beach close by Yal Ku with good snorkeling off the beach I would definitely recommend Akumal Bay - the beach itself is beautiful, and the snorkeling is good as well. Turtles, rays, and all kinds of fish, sometimes you'll see a big fishball being herded around by a large barracuda or two.... One of our favorite places.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
12,869 posts
6. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions


Each cenote is different.

13 posts
7. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions


Thanks for the information! Can't wait to get to Mexico!

Maria & John

Level Contributor
35 posts
12 reviews
8. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

skier05 That is the most comprehensive and information specific list of cenotes I have seen anywhere! THANK YOU!!!

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
12,869 posts
9. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

Thanks, I try.......

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
150 posts
10. Re: 2 beach/snorkeling questions

Skier......you truly are the Akumal expert...that is one freakin comprehensive list of cenotes....makes me feel like we missed out on them....this time!