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Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido, Tulum: Prices + Info [2024]

Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido in Tulum are a fantastic choice to include in your DIY cenotes tour (what, you weren’t doing one?!). Since these two they are right next to each other, it’s a must to visit them at once so you can experience and marvel at the beauty of both.

Cenotes Cristal and Escondido are two different sinkholes located in the same place, so with one entrance fee, you’ll be able to enjoy them both. They are quite popular among the tourists, although they aren’t as crowded as other cenotes in Tulum such as Cenote Dos Ojos or Gran Cenote.

The cenotes are located just south of Tulum and are quite accessible from the center of Tulum, so there are no excuses not to visit them! But first…

What Is a Cenote?

Cenotes have become wildly famous in the last few years (hello influencers!) but…do people know what they really are? Since Mexico is filled with ancient traditions and history, it doesn’t come as a surprise that cenotes had a special significance to the Mayans, and it’s important that we understand it in order to be more respectful. 

A cenote, which in Mayan means well, is a deep, natural sinkhole dating back several centuries. It results from the collapse of limestone caves that expose underground water, creating natural pools with fresh, clear water both from the rain and underground rivers. 

In the times of the Mayans, they were used mainly for water supplies, but they also had an important spiritual significance, as they believed cenotes were passageways to the underworld. 

There’s not only one type of cenotes, but four! 

Open Cenotes – Open Cenotes look like natural, open pools with different depths, depending on each cenote. While they’re not deep into the ground or within a cave, some of them are connected to underground river passages, which makes them great (and really exciting!) for diving. Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido are open cenotes, similarly to Cenote Carwash and Cenote Nicte-Ha.

Semi-Open Cenotes – These cenotes join the best of both worlds; they have an open-air section, exposed to the light, and another one partially hidden by a cave. An example is Cenote Calavera.

Cave Cenotes – Cave Cenotes can be accessed via a land-level entrance and climbing down a staircase. Cave cenotes have an underground pool, which adds to the mystery and charm, and they have both shallow and deep areas. 

Underground Cenotes – These cenotes are the least visited ones because they’re quite difficult to reach; as you may have guessed, they are underground! These hidden cenotes can only be accessed by experienced divers. 

All You Need to Know About Cenote Cristal, Tulum

Cenote Cristal, also known as Cenote Naharon or Cenote Crystal, is an open-type cenote so it really feels like you are swimming in a giant pool, only this one is a natural part of the forest. This natural swimming hole is indeed true to its name – it boasts of crystal clear waters to the point that you can see what is underwater without the need to dive in or use a snorkeling mask! It’s also surrounded by towering trees and lush vegetation, some of which have crawled into the rocky bluff that surrounds this cenote.

Cenote Crystal in Tulum features three separate platforms that can be used to access the water. This is why it’s considered family-friendly; these platforms make it easier to get into the water even for kids (and toddlers).

There is also a guide rope about a foot above the water that you can use to rest from swimming or to pull yourself towards one section of the pool. If you are not a good swimmer, this tool can come in handy because you can never underestimate the size of this natural pool!

Aside from the three platforms, there is also a 12-foot high jumping platform, ideal for thrill-seekers who want to jump into the cool and crystalline waters of this Cristal cenote.

All You Need to Know About Cenote Escondido, Tulum

Cenote Escondido is a hidden paradise located 3 km away from the southern exit of Tulum. As the name in Spanish implies (hidden cenote), the Escondido Cenote is completely hidden by the untouched and lush forest, but once you uncover this cenote, you’ll be in awe by its fresh and crystalline waters.

Cenote Escondido, in Quintana Roo, is popular among leisure swimmers and avid divers, but many of those who visit this cenote also like to snorkel because the crystal clear waters make it easier to marvel at the underwater marine life that calls this cenote home. Along with Cenote Cristal, Cenote Escondido is ideal even for beginners to snorkeling or diving.

The natural pool of Cenote Escondido measures 15 by 130 feet in size. The edge of this cenote is fringed with palm trees on a rocky bluff, and because the water in this natural pool is extremely clear, you can see the fish that swim even from the surface. There are also stunning rock formations that can be seen at 20 meters in depth.

Because this is a large and open cenote, it never feels overrun by tourists. This is, therefore, a great choice for anyone who wishes to enjoy the natural Mayan pools in a solemn and quiet atmosphere.

Facilities Available at Cenotes Escondido & Cristal

When you visit Cenotes Cristal and Escondido, it feels like an untouched natural gem in the middle of a thick forest. Even the area near the cenote is filled with trees, shrubs, and vines that crawl into the water, but even though it feels like breaking into an unspoiled forest, there are enough facilities available at both of these cenotes to add convenience to its visitors.

▶ There are parking facilities available for those driving to the cenotes.

▶ There are wooden tables and chairs that you can use to relax or enjoy your food. There is even a grilling area for those looking to upgrade their picnic!

▶ Toilets, showers, and changing rooms are available, so you can easily change into and out of your swimming suit or clean up before you leave.

▶ You can rent life vests for your swim if needed; while the Naharon Cenote isn’t too deep, some portions of Cenote Escondido can be as deep as 20 meters so wearing a life vest is highly recommended.

Useful Info for Your Visit

Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido Prices

The cost of entry is 150 Pesos (7.5 dollars) per person at the time of writing, and you can use that to access both cenotes.

Where are Cenote Escondido and Crystal Cenote in Tulum?

Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido are on opposite sides of the 307 Highway, only a 5-minute drive from Tulum town. 

Cenotes Cristal & Escondido Opening Hours

Both cenotes open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM.

What’s the best time to visit Cenote Cristal and Escondido? 

The ideal time to visit both cenotes is during the early morning (as soon as it opens) or late in the afternoon (right before it closes). The tourist buses arrive at noon, so this is when you can expect the highest number of visitors. Make sure you buy your ticket before 4 PM if you opt to visit in the afternoon!

Can you snorkel at Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido? 

Yes! Both of these cenotes offer ideal conditions for snorkeling with their crystal clear waters.

Is diving possible at Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido? 

Yes, but only those with cave diving certifications are allowed to dive in these cenotes.

Best Tours to Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido

If for some reason you decide to join a tour to Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido instead of visiting on your own, I got you covered! The following tours not only take you to the Cenotes, entrance fee included, but they also take you to other nearby cenotes and offer fun experiences to upgrade your cenote-visiting day.  

READ ALSO: 13 Best Cenote Tours from Tulum

➤ The Cenote Triple Adventure Tour in Tulum starts with a stop at Casa Cenote for the ultimate jungle swim, then moves on to visit the semi-open Gran Cenote and finishes at Cenotes Cristal & Escondido for some snorkeling, cliff jumping and relaxing. If you have little time to go cenote-hunting, this is the perfect tour to enjoy all of them in a few hours. ➥ BOOK IT HERE   

➤ In the Cenote Trail Jungle Bike tour you’ll venture into the wilderness as you ride your bike along the lush jungle trails, stopping at Gran Cenote, Cenote Cristal, and Cenote Escondido for a swim. Snorkel gear is included, so you’ll be able to explore the subterranean caves of Gran Cenote and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of Cenotes Cristal and Escondido, before enjoying a delicious lunch to end the tour on a high note. Pickup from your hotel is available. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Cenote Trail: Caves Visit and Bike Tour is perfect for those looking for a little adventure. You’ll start the day cycling along beautiful jungle trails and learn all about the Prehistoric past of the Yucatan as you walk through a cave with stunning formations, right before heading to explore three cenotes: Gran Cenote and Cenotes Cristal and Escondido. You’ll also enjoy a brunch in a secret jungle lodge to complete the experience. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

How to Get to Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido

Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido are right in the outskirts of Tulum, so it’s really easy to get there and there are quite a few transportation options to choose from. 


Driving in Tulum is probably the easiest way of getting around, and visiting Cenotes Cristal and Escondido is not the exception. The cenotes are 4 kilometres from Tulum town and the drive shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.  

To make your way to Cenote Escondido & Cenote Cristal, Mexico 307 Highway is the road you need to take toward the south. The parking facilities are on the right side of the road, and each cenote is on one of the sides. There’s a big sign indicating the location, so you won’t get lost.  


This is a convenient option for anyone who wants a hassle-free way to travel to the cenotes. From Tulum, you can get your hotel to book you a cab and then ask the driver to pick you up at an agreed time, or ask for their number to call them when you’re ready to go. 


Since the cenotes are so close to Tulum town, getting there by bike is completely doable! You ought to be comfortable with the idea of biking for a few kilometers along a two-lane road. There are plenty of bike rental companies in Tulum at varying rates; make sure to shop around to find the cheapest option available.

Pros and Cons of Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido, Tulum, Mexico

Pros of Cenotes Cristal & Escondido

• These cenotes are easily accessible from the center of Tulum.

• They are quite close to the highway so you won’t need to walk far to reach them.

• They are bundled as one entry ticket and it’s fairly affordable. 

• You can enjoy a wide range of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

• Both cenotes are quite large so they don’t feel overrun by tourists even during peak hours or seasons.

Cons of Cenotes Cristal & Escondido

• Both are open-type cenotes. Even when it’s suitable for diving, this isn’t the best cenote to go to if you are looking for an ideal cavern diving experience. 

• There are no places to buy food or drinks in the cenotes, so you have to bring your own food.

Other Things to Do Near Cenote Cristal & Escondido

The Tulum area has plenty of attractions, and there are tons of things to do after your visit to Cenotes Cristal & Escondido. Here are some of them:

▶ Still craving for more swimming in the middle of the jungle? Visit other cenotes near Tulum! You can head to Gran Cenote nearby, or to Cenote Calavera for the cave cenote experience. I recommend you set aside a day to explore as many cenotes as you can in the area, or take a cenote tour with a guide.

▶ Visit the Tulum Ruins, a historical site with views to die for! If you’re into history and have the time, add the Coba Ruins or Chichén Itzá to your itinerary. They are a little further, but the visit is magnificent. 

▶ Enjoy the mouth-watering Mexican gastronomy at some of the most classic restaurants in Tulum.

▶ Take a day trip from Tulum to explore the gems of the Yucatan Peninsula. There’s just so much to see!

▶ Ride a bike to the beach in Tulum, visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and enjoy the many other things that Tulum has to offer.

What To Pack for Cenote Cristal and Escondido

Here’s the list of essential items you should take on your Cenote Cristal & Cenote Escondido visit. 

Swimwear: Duuh! No matter what’s missing on your bag during this visit, your swimsuit cannot be it. 

Snorkel equipment: Snorkeling is the favorite activity in most cenotes, so be sure to take your mask to enjoy the underwater world of these ancient sinkholes. If you’re going on a tour, most of them include the gear, but if you’re planning on visiting several cenotes it’s best to have your own! 

Sunscreen: This should be a must on every trip to protect your skin, but be aware that, if you’re going to swim in a cenote or around corals, it can be very harmful to marine life and the environment. Always use 100% biodegradable sunscreen, and apply it before embarking on the trip, not right before jumping into the water. 

Water bottle: Mexico is hot, period. This means you’re going to drink water all day long, so help your economy and the environment by taking your own reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones every other hour. Bear in mind that Mexico’s tap water isn’t drinkable, so be sure to refill it with safe water or get a bottle with a filter to make it safe. 

Microfiber Towel: After a good swim in the cenote, you’ll want to dry before changing back into your clothes, and the best way to do it is with a microfiber towel. They dry up very quickly and can be folded until they’re really tiny, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space. 

 ➤ Camera: Of course you’ll want to save the beauty of the cenotes in your mind…but unless you’ve got super memory, you’ll need a camera to capture it all. Ideally, make it an underwater camera, so you can take it on your snorkeling adventures with you.

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  • Virginia Bello

    Virginia is a writer originally from Montevideo, Uruguay. She left her career as a TV Producer to gain more freedom and never looked back. She's been traveling the world full-time ever since! Virginia has traveled extensively through Latin America, Europe and Asia. You can currently find her gallivanting through Southeast Asia.