If you are in Cancun but looking to add some adventure tour trip, you are in the right place!
In this article, we will take a look at some of the most popular cenote tours from Cancun – one of the most popular places in the Yucatan Peninsula. Cancun is a busy destination known for its all-inclusive resorts and white-sand beaches that are visited by millions of tourists. But it is also within a few hours of many hidden gems in Yucatan – like the gorgeous cenotes where you can swim, snorkel and even dive.
How to visit cenotes near Cancun?
Many travelers rent a car to see some of the most beautiful cenotes, but you can also do it as part of one of the cenote tours from Cancun.
There are dozens of cenotes near Cancun that have become popular with travelers, but there are also many lesser-known cenotes, and the best part about taking a tour is that you will have a local guide show you some of the best cenotes near Cancun that haven’t been affected by mass tourism.
After all, visiting cenotes is one of the best things to do in Mexico, and you shouldn’t miss out on this fun experience, just because you don’t have a rental car!
In my article, I’m going to take a look at the top 10 cenote tours from Cancun that are perfect for an adventurous traveler like you 🙂
What are cenotes?
A cenote (pronounced seh-no-te) is a sinkhole filled with fresh groundwater that is formed when the bedrock collapsed exposing the groundwater underneath.
There are thousands of cenotes in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with most of them are either too hard or impossible to access. But there are also dozens of cenotes that are easily accessible from Cancun, like some of the most famous cenotes near Tulum that you can visit on a day trip.
If you want to discover some of the best cenotes in the region that you have seen all over social media, taking one of the cenote tours from Cancun is a no-brainer.
Are you ready to learn about the best cenote tours from Cancun? Keep reading! 😉
In my article, I sourced some of the best-priced, top-rated cenote tours from Cancun that will help you choose the right tour.
A word about best cenote tours from Cancun
Note that most cenote tours from Cancun include a stop in at least one cenote and also fun activities like kayaking, zip-lining, snorkeling and also visiting Mayan cenotes.
My guide provides a good variety which means you can find tours that include a combination of all the above activities. Some of the best cenote tours from Cancun typically take all day and are accompanied by an English-speaking guide. Most of them also include lunch, entrance fees to cenotes, and a pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.
How to book cenote tours from Cancun
To find the best cenote tours from Cancun, I recommend Viator, a top travel company that offers thousands of tours in different parts of the world. Viator has tours all over the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as other parts of Mexico, so it’s worth checking them out. Another great company is Get Your Guide which also has a great variety of cenote tours from Cancun.
Both companies allow you to receive a full refund if you cancel your tour at least 24 hours in advance.
1. Tour Cenotes Oasis Maya by Xcaret from Cancún and Playa del Carmen
Rated – 5 stars – 427 reviews
Explore the Yucatan jungle’s flooded sinkholes, or cenotes, during this full-day guided eco-adventure. Paddle through the underground caverns on kayaks, snorkel, and float on the azure water on inner tubes while your guide will tell you about Mayan folktales.
And, if you didn’t know that cenotes were used by Mayans for important rituals and even sacrifices, you will love learning their history.
This small-group tour is limited to 19 people. Mayan cenote adventure tour allows you to snorkel and kayak in four cenotes amid aquatic flora and fish. Whether you want to rappel down rock walls in a semi-open cenote or zipline over an ancient cenote, you will love this high-rated tour with a personal touch.
What’s included in the tour: snacks, a gourmet picnic lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, use of necessary equipment, and round-trip transportation to your hotel.
2. Discover 3 cenotes and 1 lagoon from Cancun
This is one of the best cenote tours from Cancun for those travelers who like a combination of adventure and nature that includes three cenotes and a gorgeous Lagoon Kaan Luum in the middle of the Mayan jungle. Cenotes are perfect for cooling on a hot summer day and make for one of the best getaways from the busy Cancun.
You will visit cenote Zacil-Ha, where you can refresh in a cenote and ziplane, Gran Cenote, one of the most popular cenotes near Tulum, and Cenote Cristalino, one of the best-hidden cenotes in the area.
Check my complete guide to Gran Cenote to prepare for your trip.
During the tour, you will have a chance to explore cenotes and also learn about their history and significance as ceremonial places for the Mayans. At the end of the tour in the cenotes and the lagoon, you will enjoy a delicious lunch in a Mayan restaurant in the middle of the jungle.
This is also one of the best cenote tours from Cancun if you are looking for the most value! The tour departs early morning and brings you back to your hotel in the evening.
What’s included in the tour: lunch box, entrance tickets to Lagoon Kaan Luum, entrance tickets to cenotes.
3. A day tour to Bacalar, Cenotes, and 7 color Lagoon with lunch from Cancun
Bacalar is a quiet town that offers a different side of Yucatan with its incredible scenery and opportunities for recreation like sailing, kayaking, cenote swimming, and even diving!
Bacalar is more than 4 hours away from Cancun which is why visiting with a tour is a great option because you don’t have to drive for hours! When you arrive, you will take a pontoon ride on the Bacalar lagoon and experience the Cenote Azul and Cenote Cocalitos.
This tour offers a great value, as you don’t have to worry about driving, or spending money on food and hotels which you would have to do if you visit Bacalar on your own.
What’s included in the tour: breakfast, lunch, access to cenotes, and a tour of Lake Bacalar.
4. ATV, Ziplining, and Cenote swimming experience tour from Cancun
This is one of the best cenote tours from Cancun for adrenaline lovers that includes exploring the jungle by ATV, zip-lining, and refreshing in a cenote.
First, you get to ride through the jungle on an ATV and later zip-line through over the canopy and walk on hanging bridges in the ecological park. The tour ends with a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of a cenote. Besides transfers, guidance, and safety gear, a tour package includes snacks and bottled water.
What’s included in the tour: round-trip transportation to your hotel, a certified guide, security equipment, all of the activities, and snacks.
5. Three cenotes private tour
Discover three different styles of a cenote on a half-day tour to Cenotes Zapote Ecopark, with round-trip transportation from your hotel.
Choose from three jump pads at the 205-foot (63-meter) deep Zapote Cenote, then bike or hike to Las Palmas Cenote. Finally, snorkel among stalactites and stalagmites, and go through the jungle on a zip line, in the Abuelo Cheche cenote.
This private tour is a perfect option if you want to enjoy the gorgeous cenotes without waiting for others in your group, and take stunning photos. The tour has a flat rate that covers up to six people: a great choice if you traveling with a family or a group of friends.
What’s included in the tour: lunch, bottled water.
6. Mayan adventure from Cancun
This day tour is a perfect way to discover three extraordinary ecosystems of the Mayan world which will show you the incredible biodiversity of the region and enjoy fun activities like snorkeling and exploring an underground river in the middle of the lush jungle followed by a swim in cenotes.
La Caleta de Yal-kú, located in the coastal town of Akumal, is one of the best-hidden gems in the region where you can swim and enjoy spectacular landscapes.
A stop in a beautiful place close to Xpu-Ha but deep in the jungle where you will find 2 incredible cenotes, open and semi-open where you can refresh, jump and snorkel or just relax in the hammocks.
What’s included in the tour: a pick and drop off at your hotel, bottled water, lunch, and use of snorkeling equipment.
7. Chichen Itza Sunrise and Cenote Ik Kil from Cancun
Rated – 5 stars, 151 reviews
One of the most popular cenote tours from Cancun, the sunrise tour of Chichen Itza allows you to beat the crowds at Chichen Itza – one of the most popular Mayan ruins in Yucatan. The private sunrise tour of Chichen is followed by a visit to the gorgeous Cenote Ik-Kil where you can jump into one of the most popular cenotes in Yucatan before it gets busy.
Since this is a private tour, the itinerary is flexible and you can add another archaeological site, like Ek Balam, Coba, or Tulum to your itinerary. This is one of the best cenote tours from Cancun that consistently gets good reviews and allows you to enjoy some of the most popular places in Yucatan all without crowds and the heat.
What’s included in the tour: a pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, entrance fees to Mayan ruins and cenotes, bottled water, breakfast, and a private tour.
8. Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour
Ready for a cultural experience in the heart of Yucatan?
This is one of the most popular cenote tours from Cancun that has thousands of reviews from happy customers. The tour includes stops in Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil, and Valladolid, a colorful colonial town, and one of the most beautiful Pueblos Magicos in Mexico.
This is a perfect tour if you are visiting the Yucatan Peninsula for the first time, and want to get familiar with some of its top highlights, as well as learn the Mayan history.
Note that, unlike the previous tour, this tour doesn’t include entrance fees to Chichen Itza, which have to be paid in cash.
What’s included in the tour: Hotel pick-up and drop-off, a certified bilingual guide, entrance to a cenote, a 30-minute stop in Valladolid main square, buffet meal.
9. Private Day Tour to Chichen Itza, Coba, and Ik-Kil Cenote
Not a fan of group tours?
This private tour offers stops in Chichen Itza, Coba, and Cenote Ik Kil and is an excellent option if you want a more personal approach. A licensed guide will accompany you to archeological areas of Chichen Itza and Coba where you can learn the history of the Mayan ruins before enjoying a delicious buffet lunch and taking a refreshing swim in a cenote.
Chichen Itza is one of the most popular Mayan ruins in Mexico and visiting it with a guided tour will save you a lot of hassle, as you will not have to deal with transportation, waiting in line to buy tickets and navigating the area on your own.
What’s included in the tour: a pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, a certified guide, a private tour of the Mayan ruins, sweet snacks, soft drinks & 2 cans of beer/per person, and lunch.
10. Sacred Adventure at Xenotes! 4 Different Cenotes
Rated – 4,5 stars, 24 reviews
This cool tour offers an adrenaline-loaded journey into the heart of the Mayan jungle along the Ruta de Los Cenotes, so come prepared for some serious fun!
This is the ONLY tour in the Riviera Maya that allows you to learn the different types of cenotes: semi-open, open, ancient, and cavern. During the tour, you can also enjoy activities like rappelling, zip-lining, kayaking, and jumping in cenotes before refueling with a delicious picnic lunch.
The tour leaves early morning and brings you back in the late afternoon. For the best experience, bring water shoes, a GoPro, and a swimsuit, and wear clothing that dries fast.
What’s included in the tour: round trip transportation with a certified guide, visit four different types of cenotes, different types of activities like zip line, kayak and water exploration swim, soft drinks, fruits of the season, and sweet bread.
Equipment: life jacket, rappel equipment, kayak, and lunch.
11. Cancun Jungle Tour: Tulum, Cenote Snorkeling, Ziplining, Lunch
If you are in the mood for taking a thrill ride through the Yucatan jungle on a full-day tour, this is one of the best cenote tours from Cancun for you!
The tour begins in Tulum where you explore the ancient Mayan ruins and later take a hike into the jungle to the Sac Actun and Nohoch Nah Chich cenotes—two vast underground river systems—and snorkel through their caves while marveling at stalagmites and stalagmites. Your next set of adventures includes rappelling into a sinkhole and ziplining through the rainforest.
The tour includes a stop at the Maya community of Rancho San Felipe, a lesson in Tulum history at the site of the famous Tulum ruins, and a traditional Mayan buffet lunch.
What’s included in the tour: Professional guide, lunch, beverages, all necessary equipment, use of towels and showers, hotel pickup and drop-off.
12. ATV, Ziplines, and Cenote Swim with Lunch and Transport
One of the most popular cenote tours from Cancun, this day trip is jam-packed with action and cool activities. First, you explore the jungle on an ATV, then jump a cenote for a refreshing dip, and later fly above the treetops on a zip line. Only travelers who are 18 years old and above are permitted to drive their own ATV.
Bring a towel and wear biodegradable sunblock and closed-toe shoes.
What’s included in the tour: A traditional Mayan lunch, bottled water, round-trip transportation from your hotel, all equipment for your activities, and admission to Ruta de Los Cenotes Park.
13. Ek Balam, Mayan Cenote from Cancun
Dreaming of swimming in cenotes and visiting one of the least explored Mayan ruins in Yucatan?
This popular day tour will pick you up in your hotel and transport you to Ek Balam, home to one of the tallest pyramids in the Yucatan Peninsula and an impressive tomb with well-preserved stone masks, where you can learn the incredible history of this archaeological area from a local guide.
The tour also includes a stop at the nearby cenote and a delicious Mayan lunch made from local ingredients. This tour provides a more personal experience as groups are limited to 14 people.
What’s included in the tour: entrance fees to Mayan ruins, entrance fees to cenote, and traditional Yucatec food.
14. Discover 5 magnificent cenotes from Cancun
Finally, if you want to visit nothing but cenotes, this tour is for you!
This cool adventure includes stops in Tulum and four cenotes in the area where you can enjoy the crystal clear waters and spend a relaxing day before going back to Cancun. As part of the tour, you will also visit the open-type cenote with a Mayan ritual.
Recharge with a traditional Mayan lunch before your final stop in Playa del Carmen where you can explore the famous La Quinta Avenia (the fifth avenue) and buy traditional Mexican handcrafts.
What’s included in the tour: lunch, bottled water, admission to cenotes
15. Best cenote diving tour from Cancun
If you are a certified diver and also have special cenote diving training, this is one of the best cenote tours from Cancun.
On this tour, you get a chance to dive into the waters of the Yucatan’s vast subterranean caverns. You will be accompanied by a trained guide and experience the famed Mayan cenotes near Cancun.
During the tour, you will witness the impressive visual effects of haloclines while diving among the many limestone rock formations of this massive underground cave system and learn about its unique role in Mayan history.
What’s included in the tour: cenote dive, wetsuit and use of diving equipment, lunch, hotel drop off. Note that hotel pick-up is not included.
Things to know before booking cenote tours from Cancun
- Pay in Cash – All cenotes accept ONLY cash. If you want to rent snorkeling gear, a life vest, or get a snack, you also have to pay in cash.
- You have to rinse yourself off before entering the cenote – This is the main rule because cenotes are filled with fresh groundwater that can be easily contaminated by chemicals in your sunscreen, body lotion, or perfume. Most cenotes have showers on-site, and you will be asked to use them before entering a cenote.
- There’s marine life – Cenotes are home to an array of flora and fauna which you can see while diving and snorkeling. For example, Cenote Car Wash is known for its stunning underwater garden and Gran Cenote has many turtles and fish.
- Not all cenotes are the same – While some cenotes are open and look more likes lakes, others are closed or semi-closed and can be accessed via stairs leading down the caverns.
Types of cenotes near Cancun
Open cenotes near Cancun
Open cenotes look more like big lakes than dark caverns filled with fresh underground water. Open cenotes have plenty of sunshine are generally warmer to swim in and often have open decks where you can sit down and relax after taking a swim. Some of the most popular open cenotes near Tulum are Cenote Car Wash and Cenote Escondido
Semi-open cenotes near Cancun
Semi-open cenotes are underground but have an opening where you can see the light. These cenotes are particularly popular for photography because the light creates a gorgeous sight by illuminating the clear blue water in these cenotes during certain hours of the day. Some of the most popular semi-open cenotes near Tulum are Cenote Dos Ojos, and Cenote Ik Kil.
Underground cenotes near Cancun
Closed cenotes are completely underground and have no natural light. These cenotes tend to be darker and much cooler than open cenotes, as they get little sunshine. If you want to visit cool underground cenotes near Tulum, consider visiting one of Coba cenotes that can be accessed via a ladder leading into the cavern.
A final word on taking cenote tours from Cancun
Although some people prefer visiting cenotes on their own, taking a guided tour of cenotes near Cancun is a great option if you don’t want to drive for hours, pay the entrance fee to cenotes, and deal with all of the logistics of planning your day.
Viator and Get Your Guide are great platforms where you can find dozens of group and private tours of cenotes with various activities that fit your taste and budget.
I hope you enjoy your tour and have a great time during your trip 🙂
More resources on planning your trip to Mexico
Looking for best cenote tours from Cancun is only one part of planning your adventure. Whether you need to book a car, organize a tour or book a flight while in Mexico, use my suggested services.
Agoda.com – a great website for budget accommodations in Cancun and other parts of Mexico.
WorldNomads – Great service for insurance coverage that will keep you safe on the road.
Safety Wing – Excellent insurance plan for long-term travelers that offers competitive rates is you are planning to stay on the road several weeks in a row.
GetYourGuide.com – This is one of the best platforms for finding best cenote tours from Cancun. Get Your Guide is my favorite platform that offers awesome tours and top-notch guides in many destinations in Mexico.
DiscoverCars.com – There’s nothing like exploring the vast Yucatan Peninsula at your own pace. Consider renting a car at Discover Cars if you want more freedom exploring this part of Mexico.
CheapoAir.com – One of the best platforms for saving money on flights within Mexico and beyond.
Booking.com – a popular website with tons and tons of options for accommodations of all sorts.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase through the links in this article.