Cenote Azul in the Riviera Maya (Yucatan Peninsula)
Cenote Azul is one of many cenotes in the state of Quintana Roo. The Yucatan Peninsula is full of cenotes, with over 6,000 known in the area. A cenote is a sinkhole that connects to an underground water body or system, often in the form of caves. Formed over the last ice age, the cenotes in Mexico offer an incredible experience.
Cenote Azul is in Quintana Roo, a bit south of Playa del Carmen. It’s pretty easily accessible, relatively cheap, and a beautiful place to visit. Visiting cenotes like Cenote Azul makes our list of the best Playa del Carmen tours, and we super recommend going to check it out!
Staying in Playa del Carmen? Be sure to check out our favorite hotels in Playa!
If you’re in the Riviera Maya, visiting a cenote is a definite must. Cenote Azul is easy to get to, cheap to get in (about 70 pesos), and offers a relaxing and fun way to spend a few hours. Cenote Azul is one of our favorite cenotes for kids, as there are shallow areas for kids to stand. There are also small cliff jumps where you can jump in from about 5 meters off the water. Because it is shaped like the letter “L” you can usually find some quiet areas in which to relax.
Cenote Azul Hours
Cenote Azul is generally open every day of the week from sunrise to around 5:00pm. Times may change depending on the time of year and hours of daylight. However, we recommend figuring out a quiet time to try to go visit. Get there early, go on a weekday if possible, and avoid any crowds. As one of the more popular cenotes in this area, it can get busy on weekends and during the middle of the day.
Getting to Cenote Azul
Cenote Azul is about 26 km south of Playa del Carmen, just a few minutes past Puerto Aventuras. It sits right in a row of other cenotes, including Cenote Eden and Cenote Cristalino. To the right you can see a Cenote Azul map to help you find the location. There are signs on the highway where the entrances are to these cenotes, but it’s good to know where you’re going anyway!
Our favorite way to get to Cenote Azul is via colectivo. You can read our article on getting from Playa del Carmen to Tulum to learn how to take the colectivos from Playa del Carmen. You can also take a colectivo up from Tulum. The colectivos will stop right at the cenote, or across the street at the hotel Barceló. Just tell your driver cenotes or Barceló to get right to the cenote!
You can also take a taxi or rent a car. Most taxi drivers will know Cenote Azul, but you can also mention Barceló. If you’re driving yourself with a rental car, there is a parking lot right next to the cenote, so you can drive right up.
It’s important to know that there isn’t much out at the cenote itself. You should bring what you want for your day. Here are a few things to consider bringing:
- Biodegradable Sunscreen – Because of the fragility of the life and water, it’s crucial to not bring regular sunscreen to a cenote. The oils and chemicals will dirty the water and harm the fish.
- Biodegradable Bug Spray – There are often quite a few bugs at cenotes, so bug spray is a good idea. However, normal bug sprays will severely harm the environment and dirty the water. Don’t be the one person at the cenote disregarding the beautiful environment!
- Snacks and Drinks – Although there’s a snack bar, you can bring in your own water, food, and drinks. This can help you save a few dollars, and you can have some healthy food. Be aware that alcohol is not allowed at Cenote Azul, so leave the booze at home!
- Snorkels and Fins – There isn’t a ton to see at Cenote Azul in the water, but it sure is clear and interesting. Although you won’t see the same fish you see at better snorkeling spots in Mexico, it is a wonderful experience to snorkel in the freshwater cenote. There are no rentals, so bring your own snorkels and fins if you want!
- Towels and Clothes – There are bathrooms and changing rooms, but no towels. It’s usually hot here, so you may not need one. However, if you want to dry off or have something on which to sit, we recommend bringing your own towel and a change of clothes.
Food, Bathrooms, Activities
In addition to the actual cenote, you will find other offerings and amenities at Cenote Azul. There are bathrooms to use or change in, a small snack bar to get lunch, and an opportunity to buy some food for the fish. They are pretty basic amenities, so don’t expect too much. However, for your day at the cenote, it’s more than enough!
Cenote Azul Tours
There are some tour companies that offer guided tours to Cenote Azul and other cenotes. Frankly, we don’t recommend paying more for a guided tour. Most people are more than capable of getting there and going themselves. However, if you’re more comfortable with a guide, you can find a tour like the ones from CenoteAzulTours.com. If you want to go yourself and save the money, you’re welcome to ask us any questions!