Cenotes are water-filled sinkholes which result from a collapse in the limestone. These amazing pool-like structures are abundant on the Yucatan peninsula, and can be open to the sky, partially underground, or completely underground.
Cenote Dos Ojos is part of the longest underwater cave system known to mankind (Sistema Dos Ojos or Two Eyes System), and all 3 types of cenotes interconnected by underwater caverns are easily accessible with a guided tour.
Add Cenote Dos Ojos to your bucket list now! This unforgettable experience is a must for any adventure-seeker.
Getting to Cenote Dos Ojos Near Tulum
Cenote Dos Ojos is located on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, a 30 minute drive north from Tulum. It makes for a fantastic day trip if you are visiting the area. We rented a car and easily drove there from our place in Akumal. There are multiple signs for Cenote Dos Ojos along the highway and it’s listed on Google Maps. You really can’t miss it. The other options are to take a taxi or hop on a colectivo van along the highway and have it drop you off there.
Exploring Cenote Dos Ojos
Cenote Dos Ojos is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds and experience having a cenote all to yourself. Once you arrive at the large palapa entrance, the friendly staff will greet you and go over the various entry packages. It’s cash only, so bring enough to cover your entrance fees. The standard entrance fee and life jacket rental is $350 MXN (~$19 USD). You get to hang out and snorkel at either of the cenotes as long as you like.
However, this is one of the very rare occasions when we are going to HIGHLY encourage you to pay more for a private snorkeling guide. Why do you need a guide? Because it’s the only way you’ll get to go past the entrance area, snorkel in a covered cenote with bats, go through underwater tunnels (if you’re up for it), and see active stalagmites and stalactites up close.
Two options for the guided tour: $550 for a group guided tour (where you have to wait until a group of tourists forms) or $850 per person (~45 USD) for a private tour (just your travel group and the guide). These packages include a small locker for your belongings and full equipment rental with waterproof flashlight, snorkel, mask, and wetsuit. We opted for the private guided tour, mostly because it was my birthday (yay!) and we dislike being held back by other people in tour groups. It was AMAZING. Seriously, get the private tour!
If you’re interested in scuba diving, we have good news for you! You do NOT need to be cavern certified to dive here. You are required to be scuba certified, have dived at least once in the past year, and reserve your spot ahead of time. The dive tours are handled by a separate business, which is located in one of the side huts before the main entrance area. Unfortunately, they only accept cash and there were no ATMs around when we visited. The cost to dive at Dos Ojos was $140 USD per person (including rental equipment).
After you pay the entrance fee, take a shuttle (50 pesos) or drive up to the main parking area where there are bathrooms and showers (to rinse off anything that will contaminate the water). The guide will take you to the locker area to get fitted for your rental equipment and store anything you don’t want to get wet in the lockers. We brought our own snorkel, mask, and fins, but you may want to borrow a wetsuit. The freshwater in these cenotes is much cooler than the warm Caribbean waters.
At some point, a photographer will offer to follow you around on your tour to take pictures for a very steep price. We opted for taking our own with our underwater camera. The guide happily took our pictures with our camera when we asked nicely.
Once you strip down to your bathing suit and flip-flops, a path leads the way through the lush jungle towards the first cenote, where you’ll be allowed to swim or snorkel around in the crystal clear water. If you’re lucky, you might also get to see divers lighting up the underwater caverns with flashlights.
The second cenote is where you’ll get access to the cave with bats. The guide helps you explore the connected caverns and underwater formations. THIS unforgettable experience is what you paid extra for. After making your way through a tight tunnel of stalactites and stalagmites, you enter a large, covered cenote with a tiny hole up top where a bit of light shines through. The bats will be hanging all over your head on the roof of the cave. Since we arrived early, we were the only ones in the cave with our guide. It was a fantastic experience.
Your guided tour is over once you exit the bat cave area, but you can float in the cenotes for as long as you’d like.
What to Bring to Cenote Dos Ojos
Remember not to wear any lotions, makeup, or hair products that will contaminate the water.
- Cash for Entry
- Mosquito Repellent – must be biodegradable
- Sunscreen – must be biodegradable
- Bathing suit
- Snorkel & Mask – rentals are available
- Fins – rentals are available
- Underwater camera
After Cenote Dos Ojos
After the cenote tour was over, we grabbed a beer at the open-air restaurant on-site and relaxed in the hammocks. If you are on a cenote kick and ready to see more (like we were), then head on over to snorkel or kayak at Casa Cenote, located right on the shore just north of Tulum.
Would you enter the cave full of bats at Cenote Dos Ojos? Leave your answer in a comment below!
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