Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

My favorite cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula

By Sergio Camalich

Cenotes are one of the many reasons why the Yucatan Peninsula is famous all around the world. If you don’t know what is a cenote, let me explain you:

Cenotes are natural pools of fresh water. They can be uncovered, partially covered or completely covered by rock formations that give them a really unique feeling to each cenote. A unique personality, if you may say.

While I was traveling around the area, I fell in love with cenotes and I decided I wanted to visit as many as possible, and though I didn’t visit them all(there are thousands), I still wanted make a list of my favorite ones, as it might help you in the future.

Here it goes!

Cenote X-Batún


This one has a special place in my heart, because it was the first cenote I’d ever visited.

It’s located south to the beautiful city of Mérida and it’s better if you go by car, which I was really lucky to have, thanks to my couchsurfing host!

It is a completely open pool, surrounded by some cliffs, covered in tree roots and its water is so clear that if you take some snorkeling gear, you’ll have a great experience.

Cenote Samulá

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Samulá is located just a bike ride away from Valladolid, west to the state of Yucatan.

If you plan your trip well, you should be able to arrive to Samulá before noon and you’ll be amazed by the sunlight coming through the small hole on top of cafe, reflecting the light all around the crystalline water.

The water is cold but easy to get used to and the small island on the middle of the cenote creates a great view point that not many people dare to reach.

Cenote Santa Rosa


Santa Rosa is one of the several cenotes you’ll be able to find around the small town of Homún, just a colectivo ride away from Mérida.

This was my first completely covered cenote, meaning that no natural light was coming in from the outside.

It has 2 jumping platforms and jumping from them into the dark waters of the cenote was a really hard thing for me to do, but here’s a video to prove I did it!

Cenote Tankach Ha


Tankach Ha is one of the three cenotes you’ll find near the archaeological site of Cobá. You can rent a bike to get there or, as I did, hitchhike.

What makes Tankach Ha so special? One more, it is completely covered and the air here is so rare that it gets harder to breath every minute you stay inside. Also, the water here is so clear, that there’s almost no division between what you see above or under the water, making it possible for you to easily see down its 35 meters deep. This is specially scary when you jump from its 6 meter platform.

Cenote Dos Ojos


It doesn’t matter what you think of the Riviera Maya and its ‘too touristy’ vibe, there’s no denying that cenote Dos Ojos is crazy amazing.

Whether you are there to dive, snorkeling or just swim around in the surface, this natural wonder is incredible, surrounded by stalagmites and stalactites all over, it feels like you are in another world.

You just need to take a short colectivo ride from Tulúm to reach there and you’re ready to go!

If you’d like to see more about Dos Ojos, here’s a small video I did.


Of course, there are plenty of other cenotes that are totally beautiful, Ik Kil, X’keken and Gran Cenote, just to name a few, but the list would grow infinitely.

What about you? Have you ever been to any of these cenotes? What are other cenotes you’d recommend?

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