When we were in Mexico, we visited one of the most beautiful Cenotes near Tulum! Now it’s time for us to share everything you need to know about visiting The Gran Cenote. At this cenote, there are 140 square meters of swimming where you’ll be surprised by small fish, turtles, and even bats flying in the cave between the two sinkholes.

Pin for Pinterest of Gran Cenote in Tulum.

In this post, you can find all the pros and cons of visiting the Gran Cenote and everything else you’d need to know so there are no surprises once you get there! 

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Cave inside a cenote in Tulum.

Everything you need to know before going to Gran Cenote

If there’s one thing you need to know about the Yucatan Peninsula it is that there are tons of cenotes all around. And more and more are forming over time due to erosion. It can be quite difficult to figure out which ones are worth visiting and which ones aren’t.

We were looking for cenotes in Tulum and then this one popped up as one that is worth visiting (huge shoutout to all the IG’ers out there). Since it is so close to Tulum we decided it was worth going there for a day trip and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

There are mixed reviews on the internet about the Gran Cenote, and we cover the pros and cons below, but if you go early enough in the day and get some swimming in before the crowds come then we’re sure you’ll have a good time.

At Gran Cenote, there are two sinkholes where you can swim and from what we noticed, more people spent time at the bigger one where the smaller one didn’t get as much attention and had lots of room for swimming (with turtles too).

Little turtle swimming in water in Mexico.

Grand Cenote, Tulum information

Opening hours: They’re open every day from 8am – 4:45pm
Gran Cenote Address: Quintana Roo 109, 77796 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Phone number: +52 998 980 0332
Entrance fee: THEY ONLY TAKE CASH. 300 Pesos per person.
Rental gear: You are able to rent goggles, flippers, and life jackets if needed. We didn’t do this.
Facilities: There are bathrooms and (cold) showers on site which are included in the price. There are also lockers you can rent to put your valuables.

Dom swimming around Gran Cenote in Tulum.

Pros and cons of Gran Cenote

Pros

  • It’s easily accessible by taxi. Roughly a 5-minute ride from town.
  • You can also rent a bike for the day and bike to Gran Cenote from Tulum.
  • You can make it an all-day activity.
  • Gorgeous crystal clear water.
  • Swimming with TURTLES!!
  • Lots of room to swim.
  • Great place for some cool IG pictures.

Cons

  • It is quite expensive compared to other cenotes (300 pesos / $15 USD per person).
  • If you go in the middle of the day then it can get quite busy.
  • There are lots of people taking pictures. This takes away a little bit of the beauty of the Gran Cenote but it’s expected for how close it is to Tulum and how easy it is to get there.

Taking everything into consideration and where it’s located then the price is a little bit on the expensive side compared to other cenotes but if you’re looking for a short day trip from Tulum or Playa Del Carmen then this is the perfect cenote to visit and spend an afternoon at.

Jo swimming in a cenote in Mexico.
Beautiful trees and water in Mexico.

Entrance into Gran Cenote

If you go by bike or walk then don’t worry you won’t miss the entrance. There is a huge car park and a big fence so it should be super easy to spot. If anything you can put Gran Cenote into Google Maps and you won’t miss it.

We took a taxi there because we came from Playa Del Carmen and it was just easier that way but we’d definitely recommend biking if you have the time! Otherwise, a taxi is super easy to find and should cost between 60-100 Pesos depending on where in Tulum you’re coming from.

Once you actually get to Gran Cenote from Tulum you’ll have to pay at the entrance and it is CASH ONLY. So please remember that or else you’ll have to go back to town and withdraw money. Back when we went it was only 180 Pesos per person. But now because of its popularity, the price has gone up to 300 Pesos a person.

Little cute turtle in a cenote in Mexico.

What’s it like in the Gran Cenote

So once you’re in and have paid and got changed they will make you shower before going towards the Gran Cenote (for sanitary reasons)! Just so you’re prepared. They have showers and bathrooms there for use so I guess that’s part of the crazy 300 Pesos fee.

Once you’re all set you can bring your stuff down with you and put it in a locker or leave your towels up on the grassy area where we spent a few hours just hanging out, sun tanning (read: getting sunburned), and playing games.

If you do get there early in the morning we recommend getting into the water early and taking advantage of the quiet morning before it gets busy in the afternoon. Usually right after lunch and into the afternoon are the busiest hours.

Beautiful Gran Cenote in Tulum, Mexico.

There are also two entrances/staircases into the cenotes and we actually went to the smaller entrance that is a little bit hidden and is where the smaller cenote is.

There we swam with a few turtles and had way less people around us. The two cenotes are connected though so no matter which staircase you take you will be able to access the whole place. But you will have to swim through a bat cave to get between the two! 😉

We can definitely recommend spending the day there if you have the time. Pack some snacks to enjoy while tanning up in the grass and whenever you have the need to cool down then go for a quick dip in one of the cenotes.

The price is a little steep but that’s why we made the best of it and just enjoyed the whole day there and enjoyed the beauty of one of many cenotes around the Yucatan Peninsula.

Dom exploring a cenote in Mexico.

Other cenotes in Tulum

Here’s a list of a few more cenotes in and around Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula. Just in case you love Gran Cenote and want to go explore some more.

Thesee are all cenotes in and around Tulum, Valladolid, PDC, and Cancun. that are worth checking out if you want to explore more of them. You can expect to pay anywhere from 50-300 Pesos for most cenotes.

It seems like the prices go up every year so expect to pay a little extra than expected. They understand there’s a market for it and people are willing to pay so we completely understand and that’s why we decided to make more of a day trip out of it and enjoy a full day exploring cenotes in Tulum.

Jo admiring the view of this beautiful cenote close to Tulum.

Other related posts

Other relevant information about the trip

Always have cash with you when you go. You don’t need to bring a ton but we’d say around 1000 Pesos to get into the cenotes and then pay for the cabs or collectivos. There are tons of cenotes around Tulum so if you find any other awesome ones you’d recommend then please let us now so we can add them to the list of cenotes to visit next time!

Besides that, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen are awesome places to explore. Sian Ka’an is near Tulum and is an adventure-filled trip you can go on, and the island of Cozumel right off of PDC is worth visiting as well.

Enjoy your time in Mexico and be safe out there on your adventures and in case you haven’t start packing yet then don’t worry we got you with the ultimate Mexico Packing List.

Have fun!

Dom & Jo
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