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La Ruta de los Cenotes – Cancun closest cenotes to visit in a half-day trip

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Are you wondering where you can check out some Cancun Cenotes? Unfortunately, there are no cenotes in Cancun that you can visit. The closest cenotes to Cancun are located along the Ruta de Los Cenotes Puerto Morelos.


La Ruta de Los Cenotes in Puerto Morelos is the best place where you can find the spectacular cenotes near Cancun. So if you are staying in one of Cancun’s beautiful resorts, and you don’t really want to leave for the whole day, visiting “la Ruta de los Cenotes” is the best option for you. As in just a few hours, you can cover even two or three cenotes.

As a matter of fact, among the things to do in Riviera Maya, La Ruta de Los cenotes (the cenote route) is one of the most interesting. You can, in fact,  visit so many cenotes in one day, because they are located along a road, one after the other.

Therefore I frankly suggest you should save one day for this trip if you are vacationing either in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or along the Riviera Maya. You can check on the below map to see the distances.

girl on a zipline over a lake
Photo © Cenotes Zapotes

Where is la Ruta de los Cenotes Cancun?

If you are interesting in visiting Cancun Cenotes, the ones that you find in la Ruta de los cenotes are the closest.

La Ruta de los Cenotes Puerto Morelos is a beautiful well-paved 37km (about 20 miles) road through untouched thick vegetation that goes from Puerto Morelos, a lovely fishing town situated about 35 km south of Cancun, to Leona Vicario, a nontouristic town located on the way to Merida.

Along this road, you will find one after another on both sides, many beautiful cenotes of different types and shapes. Many of them have been transformed in fully equipped adventure parks with all sorts of activities, like the zip line, quads, mountain bikes and so on or modern representation of Mayan rituals such as ceremonies or temazcal.

They became part of organized tours for the short distance from the main hotels and the comfortable facilities. I am not really fond of this kind of activity as I believe the cenotes can be better enjoyed in the tranquility of nature, without many man-made structures and noises that are different from birds chirping and monkeys howling.

However, tourism has become one of the main sources of income for those communities that own or manage the cenotes and they obviously try to make the best advantage of it. How to blame them?

Despite the touristic exploitation, I am happy to say that they manage to conserve the beauty of those cenotes and you, nature lover like me, can still enjoy them fully and without spending so much time on the transportation. Here I tell you my favorite cenotes in the Ruta de Los cenotes.

Besides having visited some of them, I am writing this guide with the precious help of my friend, great photographer and major expert of the Mayan land, Sandra Salvadò, and her beautiful blog El camino màs corto.

If you know some Spanish you should go straight there and leave my site, and if you don’t know Spanish you should still check out her blog anyway just for the amazing pictures.

Actually, you will find some of her pictures on this blog as well.

Here is a map with all the cenotes you will find in the Ruta de cenote. You will see the map on a sign right at the beginning of the road in Puerto Morelos.

girl looking at a lake surrounded by a tropical jungle
Photo © Cenotes Zapote

What is a cenote

Heritage of the Mayan culture the cenotes of Yucatan are deep underwater lakes that are filling with blessing the entire peninsula.

The entire flat and low region is made of limestone bedrocks which allow the rainwater to filtrate the soil allowing huge deposits of water and underground rivers.

The importance of the cenotes goes back to the Mayan times, the pre-Hispanic population that inhabits this area. They used the cenotes not only as precious and unique sources of water provision but also sacred places for their religious ceremonies.

More about the history and geology in my post on the origin of the cenotes.

Cenotes of Yucatan - Homun and cuzama - Boundless RoadsCenotes of Yucatan - Homun and cuzama - Boundless Roads
Diving in a cenote

La ruta de los Cenotes Puerto Morelos

Just like the popular towns of Homun and Cuzamà in Yucatan, La Ruta de los cenotes in Puerto Morelos is another area where you can visit more cenotes in one day. Here is a list of the best Puerto Morelos cenotes along “la Ruta de los Cenotes.

Las Mojarras

One of the largest of Puerto Morelos Cenotes. Las Mojarras is a huge open cenote with green emerald water, 65mt large, and with a 6 mt platform for jumping.

They have also camping facilities, bathrooms and changing rooms.  It’s located at km 12.6

la ruta de los cenotes - Puerto Morelos - Cancun - Boundless Roads
Cenote Las Mojarras – Photo courtesy elcaminomascorto.es

7 bocas

This cenote is the one I regret not having seen. It’s structured like a tunnel with 7 entrances ( 7 Bocas means 7 mouths in Spanish. And you can swim through the tunnel itself.

There is a small stair to enter and it’s very deep and quite challenging, if not dangerous to scuba diving. It’s located at km 16. (12miles)

Verde Lucero

la ruta de los cenotes - Puerto Morelos - Cancun - Boundless Roads
Cenote Lucero Verde – Photo courtesy of elcaminomascorto.es

Another open cenote with turquoise-green waters (depending on the weather) surrounded by lush vegetation with two platforms of different sizes to jump from. They also have a sort of zip line from which you can jump in the water. (km 17 – 12.7 miles)

After swimming you can relax under the palapa and look for spider monkeys.

It’s open every day from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.

Cost 300 MXN (15 USD) 150 MXN (7.5 USD) for Mexican residents.

la ruta de los cenotes - Puerto Morelos - Cancun - Boundless Roads
Cenote kin ha.

Kin-Ha

This is one of my favorites and when I have a friend coming to visit I used to take them there. The company that runs it always work with big groups and offer quode tours in the jungle and a visit to another bigger open cenote.

I never do that and always stick to Kin-ha. It’s a cave cenote you need to climb down some stairs or, if you are brave, jump from a trunk. If you like to chill there and enjoy the magic of the jungle they have drinks and some snacks and hammocks to lay down and relax. I suggest you should arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Cenote la Noria

la ruta de los cenotes - Puerto Morelos - Cancun - Boundless Roads
Cenote La noria – Photo courtesy elcaminomascorto.es

This is my second favorite, it’s less known and more secluded, it’s located right before Kin-ha on a detour on our right. You will see a small sign. It’s a cave cenote as well, with wooden stairs to get to a platform. You can also jump if you wish. They also have bathrooms where you can also get change, but all very basic.

Cenotes Zapote 65,2 km

Cenotes Zapote is a Park that includes 4 different cenotes, 2 open cenotes, and 2 cave cenotes (underground).

The park offers different activities and different packages that you can choose from, on their website.

During the tour a guide will assist you along your circuit and also the facilities have safety rails to access the cenotes which are suitable for every age

There is a regional buffet with handmade tortillas presented in Yucatecan tacos and fresh water for you to purchase.

Cenote Boca del Puma 53.2 km

Adventure seekers will find their perfect spot in the Cenote Boca del Puma which is a real park with 7 ziplines and ATV guided tours in the jungle. You can check out the full program on their website.

How to get to la Ruta de los Cenotes from Cancun

There are organized tours that would include one of these cenotes in the Ruta de Los Cenotes, but if I were you I would either rent a car or if you don’t feel comfortable you could go by taxi. If you contract a taxi for one day for 2 people it would cost you more or less like an organized tour but you will be on your own and can make your own personalized itinerary.

How to get to la Ruta de los Cenotes if you are traveling solo

As a solo traveler, worry not, you can still get to la Ruta de los Cenotes, on your own with no fear, it’s just more expensive as you don’t get to share the expenses. You can rent a car on your own and drive all the way there. It’s completely safe. Or if you don’t feel like driving, you can still hire a taxi. See below for more details.

How far is Puerto Morelos to Cancun

If you are concerned about the distance, don’t be. Puerto Morelos is only 30 minutes drive from Cancun and very easy to reach either by bus or by car.

Visiting la ruta de los Cenotes by car

The best way to visit La Ruta de los cenotes is on your own, by car. (check out car rental rates) From Cancun, you would take the Carretera federal direction, Playa del Carmen. When you arrive in Puerto Morelos you have to make sure you drive up on the bridge but keep your right as if you were going in town. Past the bridge, before it ends, on your right you will see the entrance and the map (picture above).

From Playa del Carmen, you will need to keep your right at the bridge in Puerto Morelos, and once you are at the roundabout below the bridge you make a U-turn as if you were to go back to Playa del Carmen, right after 200 mt, before the end of the bridge you will see the sign to turn right.

There you are on La Ruta de Los cenotes.

All the cenotes will be perfectly marked by a big road signed. You cannot miss them.

If you are concerned about renting a car in Mexico you can read my tips on how to drive in Mexico.

la ruta de los cenotes - Puerto Morelos - Cancun - Boundless Roads
Photo courtesy of elcaminomascorto.es

Visiting la ruta de los Cenotes by bus 

There are no public transportations that go to the cenotes however what you can do if you are coming either from Playa or Cancun is to take a bus from your city (playa del Carmen or Cancun or the minivan would stop all along the Carretera federal – main road-)  to Puerto Morelos.

  • the big regular ADO buses that run every hour/ half an hour  (route Cancun – Playa del Carmen or Playa del Carmen- Cancun)
  • the combi which are white minivan – they leave every few minutes as soon as they are full and they stop along the main road.

PUERTO MORELOS RUTA DE LOS CENOTES MAP

PUERTO MORELOS RUTA DE LOS CENOTES MAP (CLICK TO OPEN THE MAP)

For further reading

    cenotes of Yucatan - Boundless Roads
    Best cenotes of Yucatan: the towns of Homun and Cuzamà
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