Cenote Azul – Riviera Maya hidden treasure
Nestled in a lush natural garden of tropical vegetation the Cenote Azul is one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of the Riviera Maya.
Actually not so hidden, but surely a treasure!:)
If I had to choose one among all the Riviera Maya Cenotes (open, not cave cenotes) I would pick this one.
Do not confuse it with the Cenote Azul Bacalar, though.
Why the Cenote Azul is my favorite of all?
- it’s wide open and huge
- the water is crystal clear
- there are two platforms to jump from
- it’s immersed in a lush vegetation
- it has a very reasonable price
- there are benches where to relax and enjoy the sound of nature (not on weekends)
- huge and convenient car park
- lockers where to leave your stuff (great for solo travelers)
How to get to Cenote Azul
Getting to the Cenote Azul by car
The Cenote Azul is located on the Carretera Federal, the main road that goes from Playa del Carmen to Tulum (see the picture of Map).
You cannot miss it as there is a huge sign on the side of the road.
There is a huge car park available.
As I always say, hiring a car in Mexico is the best option as you are free to move around as you please and make any stops.
You can also read The honest truth about renting a car in Mexico
The last time I went to visit this cenote, I went to check out a couple of spots and then drove back to Puerto Aventura for a nice walk around and a coffee stop. If I was with a taxi or public transportation it would have been really inconvenient.
Getting to Cenote Azul by public transport
Whether you are leaving from Tulum or Playa del Carmen, you can get to the Cenote Azul by Colectivo, a public minivan that is available 24/7 leaving from the main road in Tulum Centro (stop anywhere) or in Playa on Calle 2 between 10th and 15th av.
Tell the driver to leave you by the Cenote Azul. From the entrance there is not much walking to do.
Getting to Cenote Azul by Taxi
It’s always advisable to ask your hotel for a reliable taxi driver and agree on the price beforehand.
- make sure you agree on the details, such as how long he’s willing to wait and such.
- Also, it’s better to exchange numbers, just in case.
- Pay him only after the service.
- Make sure the price you agree is for the entire trip, not one way.
Since you are there you can also make the most of your time and visit the Cenote Cristalino, which is just a few steps away. It’s smaller but very interesting.
Cenote Azul Price
Here below I included the information available at the entrance on prices as follows:
- Entrance fee Adults 120 MXN ( 7 USD)
- Rental of life Jacket 40 MXN
- Mask and snorkel rental 70 MXN
Cenote Azul facilities
Once you turn into the Cenote Azul side road, you need to drive by the ticket office, pay for your entrance, and follow the path. It’s like a drive through but you need to get out of the car in order to reach the window and pay.
You will then reach a huge car park “estacionamiento” where you can safely leave your vehicle. Before getting to the cenote you need to first shower.
This is the first rule of the cenote: you cannot swim if you don’t shower first.
Also, you cannot wear any body lotion of any sort, including mosquito repellent or sunscreen because it can pollute the water. Even the eco-friendly stuff.
So please be respectful.
If you don’t want to leave your belonging in the car or you want to lock your car keys and money you can use the lockers.
Just walk on the path around the cenote and ask the lady at the bar/shop and she will give you the key for a few pesos. This way you can enjoy your day at the Cenote Azul worry-free.
How to enjoy Cenote Azul to the fullest
Once you are all set up you can enjoy the view from above before getting in the water.
You will walk by a platform where the bravest will jump.
I enjoy watching and photographing them and never dared jump but it’s actually only 3.5 mt height. It’s not a lot.
Also on that part of the cenote, below the platform, the water is 6 mt deep, even if it doesn’t seems like that, because it is so crystal clear.
Let me know if you made it 🙂
If you walk past the platform following the edges of the cliff surrounding the cenote, you will reach a nice shady area with tables and benches and a small restaurants/convenience store and a souvenir shop where you can have your snacks or drinks.
From there some nicely made stares will take you down to the emerald green pool among a lush tropical jungle.
A few other platforms at the water level are there for you to practice your jumps but make sure you check the depth of the water before any shenanigans.
On the right side of the cenote the water is definitely shallower.
I kept staring at this soothing view and although it was a Sunday and people were starting to coming in and crowding up the place, it was still pleasant.
Some tourists were cheering up a girl in her shy attempt to jump, a stranger to them and yet they felt for her and wanted to encourage her to win her fears. It was nice. Especially when she finally jumped. YAY!
There are hand made trails that run through and around the cenote conveniently placed for the people to move around at ease.
You can definitely spend the entire day there, swimming, reading, sleeping or just enjoying the mighty nature. Soaking in all the good vibes.
Map of the Riviera Maya Cenotes
Cenote Azul Rules
- Shower before bathing
- DO NOT use sunscreen and mosquito repellent or any other lotions before swimming
- Use the life jacket if you cannot swim
- No pictures are allowed with a professional camera ( I knew before I could take mine – oops!)
- Only jump from the allowed platforms
- Do not litter – take your trash with you
- Respect nature in general
- It’s not a rule but I would suggest you should avoid Sundays and Saturdays if you don’t like crowds and enjoy the peace and quiet.