Cenotes on the Riviera Maya

Edventure Tours provides exceptional cenote, jungle, lagoon and turtle tours in the Riviera Maya - having been in the area and doing tours for 30 years! They are a family owned and operated business that offers the best of the area, from the pristine turquoise waters of the Caribbean to the ancient Mayan ruins, with much more in between! They provide tours for families of all ages - tots to seniors - and offer private tours for couples or groups of all sizes. Customizable tour options are available.

The Edventure tours are all-inclusive, which means your tour fee covers round trip transportation, group guide, equipment rental, lunch and beverages.

Chac Mool (Claw of the Jaguar)

  • Entrance fee: $15 USD
  • Restaurant, bathrooms
  • 10-5 daily
  • 22 km south of Playa Del Carmen/Almost across from Puerto Aventuras.
  • Two cenotes. Large cavern zone with beautiful views of jungle from inside cavern. Personal cameras not allowed, on-site cameras available for photo purchase.

Ponderosa (El Eden)

  • Entrance fee: $8 USD
  • Bathrooms
  • 10-5 daily, except Saturdays
  • 3 km south of Puerto Aventuras
  • Exceptionally beautiful. Short walk on path takes you to Coral Cenote, which has a large island in the center of it. 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.

Chikin Ha (Points of Direction)

  • Entrance fee: $15 USD
  • Bathrooms are available
  • 5 km south of Puerto Aventuras just before Xpu-Ha/Across from Barcelo Maya Hotel/Long way down bumpy road.
  • Footpath through jungle will take you to some other cenotes - one is big & almost dry with lots of fossils. Swimming: Can swim through tunnel to underground air chamber.

Kantun Chi

  • Entrance fee: $28 US
  • Kayaks available for rent, restaurant, bike rentals, horseback riding, small zoo.
  • Just past Chikin Ha Cenote
  • 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. Rental snorkeling equipment available.


  • Entrance fee: 100 pesos/$6 USD
  • Snackbar
  • Just past Cristalino Cenote/Close to highway.
  • In light jungle setting with more open air/sunlit more than Kantun Chi, which creates more algae. Visitors are no longer allowed to jump off the roof.

Tajma Ha (Taj Mahal)

  • Entrance fee: $15 USD
  • Bathrooms, restaurant
  • 10-6 daily
  • 26 km south of Playa Del Carmen/5 km south of Puerto Aventuras/Just south of Xpu-Ha.
  • 4 interconnected cenotes. Snorkeling: Advanced - Requires swimming 5m underwater under a rock wall to come into a large open cave with that has light shining through from ceiling above.

Dos Ojos (Hidden Worlds)

  • Entrance fee: $25 USD
  • Snorkel tours available, bathrooms, restaurant
  • 10-5 daily
  • 48 km south of Playa Del Carmen/3 km south of Xel-Ha/On right 4 km down dirt road.
  • Part of Nohoch Nah Chich cave system. Location of filming for Imax Journey into Amazing Caves documentary. Superb snorkeling. Very popular. Stalactites & stalagmites everywhere.

Temple of Doom (Calavera/Skull)

  • Entrance fee: $15 USD
  • No facilities
  • 2 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right/Very rugged rocky unmarked jungle path approximately 50 yds from road.
  • 3 holes in ground (one 30 ft & two 4 ft in diameter) create skull shape, hence the name. Shaded by thick jungle canopy. Great Swimming - 10 ft drop down into cenote. Rope swing & ladder - though you may want to bring your own rope just in case.

Gran (Sac Aktun/White Water)

  • Entrance fee: $30 USD
  • Guided tours and rental equipment, bathrooms
  • 10-5 daily
  • 5 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right.
  • 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. Fun snorkeling. Fantastic. Spectacular. Paradise.

Car Wash (Aktun Ha/Water Cave)

  • Entrance fee: $15 USD
  • Bathrooms
  • 9-5 daily
  • 8 km from Tulum on road to Coba/4 km past Gran Cenote on left.
  • Can drive right in approximately 30 m (100 ft) to cenote & locals used to wash vehicles here, hence the name. Snorkeling: Good in winter months. Too much algae growth in warmer months. Many small tropical fish. Swimming: Very easy access. Like a small lake. Good. Fun.

Escondido (Mayan Blue)

  • Entrance fee: 120 pesos (includes Cristal)
  • Bathrooms
  • 4 km south of Tulum on left/Across from Cristal Cenote/2 km walk in Jungle.
  • Tarzan & Jane style. Beautiful, crisp, clear, secluded. One of least known. Good swimming and snorkeling location. Some great stone formations.

Cristal (Naharon)

  • Entrance fee: 120 pesos (includes Escondido)
  • Bathrooms
  • 4 km south of Tulum on right.
  • Great swimming and snorkeling location.

Cenote Xunaan-Ha

  • Entrance fee: 50 pesos for adults and 25 pesos for children
  • No facilities
  • Located just north of Akumal is, Chemuyil, a small Mayan village home to many locals who work in Akumal and the surrounding areas. If you take a right off of the highway you can wind your way through town, and there will be signs for Cenote Xunaan-Ha.
  • It is a small cenote off the beaten path tucked away in the lush jungle landscape. You can swim, float, or snorkel.. Don't forget to bring your mask; there are bountiful fish to follow, and an occasional freshwater turtle that will come out of hiding to tease you! Watch out for mosquitoes! Use of repellents is prohibited unless they are biodegradable (but none is best). If you stay in the sun, or the water, they don't tend to bother you.

Tres Bocas

  • Entrance fee: $20 USD
  • Restaurant, bathrooms
  • 10-5 daily
  • Heading south from Cancun on 307 just south of Puerto Morelos you will see a huge arch on your right hand side. There will be signs for various cenotes, and if you are a freshwater lover this is truly heaven on earth. With over 100 cenotes scattered over the next 19 kilometers west bound there are many fun adventures to be had. There are multiple spots along the way that have signs posted out front, and you can certainly venture out on your own and find some incredible cenotes. However, if you travel the 19 kilometers to Tres Bocas, you will surely enjoy the experience.
  • Tres Bocas, meaning three mouths, is a ranch that has (you guessed it) 3 different cenotes. The first is located about 10 minutes on foot from where you are able to park. It is a great spot, with a shaded palapa area, an amazingly clean (and beautifully tiled) composting toilet, and a screened in palapa for camping overnight. There is also a Temazcal located on the property that is available for you to use. There are 2 other cenotes on the property, however, they are a bit of a hike in, and make SURE you have a competent guide with you. Hire a Mayan Guide. Tres Bocas is well worth the haul, and it is very rarely crowded so you get the place to yourselves.

Casa Cenote/Cenote Manatee

  • Entrance fee: $10 USD
  • Full restaurant and bathroom facilities
  • Located 20 miles south of Puerto Aventuras, and just north of Tulum, there is Cenote Manatee often referred to as Casa Cenote. The cenote is located in a residential area called Tankha. There are signs for Casa Cenote on the highway that will direct you to the left hand turn off. Once you drive through the residential area of Tankha you will come upon an open lagoon on your left (Casa Cenote).
  • The Cenote is a large open lagoon that has a strong current. If you swim up the canal a bit you can float down as you snorkel and check out the freshwater fish and deep waters below. This cenote is used frequently by cave dive instructors to do skill drills and training. The freshwater flows under the road and when on the beach side you can experience the freshwater bubbling up into the sea which makes for fun currents, and a great variety of fish. There is a great restaurant Casa Cenote on the beach side which has great BBQ on Sundays. Right off the beach from the restaurant is great snorkeling with huge parrot fish, and massive schools of a variety of different fish.

Half Moon Bay Snorkeling Guide - Akumal, Mexico

Half Moon Bay is one of the best snorkeling spots on the Riviera Maya. The water level is relatively low which is great for visibility. The coral is healthy and plentiful and visitors should be careful to not disrupt or damage it. For those not staying in Half Moon Bay, the preferred place to start is at La Buena Vida, located between "The Wasteland" and the "Gorgon Forest".

We have divided Half Moon Bay into eleven sections. Each of these sections are described below.

Very common


Less common

Rare/sightings [#]

Sea turtle [20]

Redtail Parrotfish

Goldspot Goby

Slippery Dick

Blue Tang

Sharknose Goby

Bar Jack

Redband Parrotfish

Yellowtail Snapper

Yellowtail Parrotfish

Stoplight Parrotfish


Black-Ear Wrasse

Sergeant Major

Bluestriped Grunt

Ocean Surgeon


Spanish Hogfish

Smooth Trunkfish


Night Sergeant

Pudding Wife

Longfin damselfish

Lane Snapper


Dusky Damselfish

Belted Cardinalfish

Foureye Butterflyfish

Dog Snapper

Beau Gregory

Banded Butterflyfish

Stoplight Parrotfish


Queen Parrotfish

Spotfin Butterflyfish

Spotted Trunkfish

Yellow Goatfish

Yellowtail Damselfish


Yellowtail Hamlet

Princess Parrotfish

Grey Snapper

Barred Hamlet [1]

Electric ray (torpedo) [1]

Barracuda [2]

Stingray [2]

French Angelfish [1]

Sharksucker [1]

Trumpetfish [3]

Peacock Flounder [1]

Houndfish [1]

Scrawled Filefish [1]

Permit [1]

Scrawled Cowfish [2]

Scorpionfish [1]

WADING POOL: Water is usually 1-2 feet deep with rocky bottom with lot of seagrass and other algae. Visibility was from mediocre to nil. Fish were mostly gobies although juveniles and the occasional trunkfish could be spotted. The two turtles we saw there were youngsters (<1 ft) zipping around.

HIGH PLAINS: Mostly rocks, sand and silt with some algae and lots of urchins. Depth gradually increases up to the deep. A fair amount of waves since this section is not protected by reefs. Not many fish but a good place to look for urchin shells. Visibility can be good to mediocre.

THE DEEP: Mostly silt with a few algae. Depth is 10-20 feet. Not much to see although I did meet my biggest turtle there (a 4.5 ft loggerhead). There is also the occasional barracuda. A good option to go from one end of the bay to the other since waves are not as strong as in the High Plains. Visibility usually good.

GORGON FOREST: Lots of soft arborescent coral and the occasional brain coral on a mostly sand/silt bottom. Low number of fish but we mostly go there for the coral and the conch shells. Most of the shells already have inhabitants (hermit crabs), so do not pick them up.

THE LABYRINTH: A very well deserved name. Lots of hard coral and reef leaving corridors you can swim through. Extreme caution must be used so that the coral (and your skin) are left intact. Moderate amounts of fish with large number hiding under the reef. Visibility is usually very good to good. One of our favorite spots.

SOUTH WALL: Impassable reef wall with a lot of waves. Stay away.

THE WASTELAND: Silt bottom with strong current. Nothing much to see even though visibility is usually very good.

TURTLE CITY: Name says it all. A relatively boring mixture of rocks, sand, silt and sea grass with a few coral islands. Visibility is usually passable to very poor. However, this is where the turtles hang out since over half of our turtle sightings were in this section. We almost always began and ended our dives in there.

CORAL ISLANDS: The junction between this section and Turtle City is a sudden rise in the sea bed leading to pretty rough waves. That is where squid and a good amount of fish like to hang out. If you can take the action, you won’t regret it. Just hang on to your mask. This section consists of islands of hard and soft coral where big brain corals are evenly interspaced for a thoroughly enjoyable snorkeling experience. Highest density of fish is found here including large schools of blue tangs and surgeonfish. Visibility usually very good. Our favorite spot overall.

SPONGE GARDEN: Mostly sandy bottom with some coral islands. Very good visibility. Most of the sandy patches are covered with low lying yellow coral or sponges. Best spot to see rays.

NORTH WALL: Impassable reef wall with heavy waves. Again, more prudent to stay away. However, we have been able to explore it on a particularly calm day at high tide. Very beautiful. Have seen three turtles in one visit.

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