Discover why you need to swim at Cenote Dos Ojos, a stunning sinkhole located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. This NEEDS to be on your bucket list!
Cenote Dos Ojos in Tulum might easily be the most famous cenote in the world. It has appeared in multiple documentaries and movies, and I can honestly understand why. It’s just incredibly beautiful!
The blue water that almost looks painted, incredible rock formations, and plenty of opportunities for divers make it one of the most beautiful cenotes near Tulum. Check out my other favorite cenotes in the are in this video below.
But First, What Is a Cenote?
I already know what is a cenote! I know, I know – after all, cenotes have become super popular these past few years, especially thanks to Instagram and travel blogs. However, many people don’t really know what exactly is a cenote, and I do believe it’s important to understand what is their significance to the Mayans so we can be more respectful.
A cenote is a natural sinkhole dating back several centuries. Said in simple words, when limestone caves collapse they expose a natural pool. This pool then gets filled with rain water and with the water that flows through underground rivers, to which these sinkholes are connected to. Voilà, you’ve got yourself a cenote!
Cenote 2 at Cenote Dos Ojos – Image by Raphael of Journey Wonders
The word cenote comes from the Mayan term dzonot, which means well. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that all cenotes look the same. In fact, there are 4 types of cenotes:
• Open Cenotes – Open cenotes are like natural, open pools, which can be more or less deep. Some of these open cenotes are also connected to an underground river passage (which makes them great for diving!). An example of a beautiful open cenote is Cenote Azul near Playa del Carmen.
• Semi-open Cenotes – As the name implies, semi-ioen cenotes have some parts that are exposed and some portions that are partially hidden by a cave. An example of a famous semi-open cenote is Gran Cenote.
• Cave Cenotes – This type of cenote can be accessed via a land-level entrance. Once you make your way in, it opens up to an underground pool which can have both shallow and deep areas. Cenote Dos Ojos, which I’ll tell you all about in this post, is a cave cenote, and so is the more off-the-beaten path Cenote Oxman near Valladolid.
• Underground Cenotes – This type of cenote is the most difficult to reach as they are, in fact, underground. Only experienced divers can access underground cenotes. An example of underground cenote is the Pet Cemetery Cenote near Tulum.
Cenotes are not just natural pools and caves, they have a great cultural and religious significance to the ancient Mayans, who believed that the cenotes were passages to the underworld. In fact, Mayans often performed rituals in the cenotes and treated the sites as sacred.
This means that you should too. Please be responsible! Don’t litter the cenote, always take your trash back with you, and only apply biodegradable sunscreen before swimming in the cenote.
Cenote Dos Ojos: An Introduction
Cenote Dos Ojos, contrary to popular belief, is not a single cenote but it’s actually a system made of two different cenotes. These are connected via a passageway that measures 400 meters long. Name explained! – in fact, Cenote Dos Ojos means Two Eyes Cenote in Spanish.
Dos Ojos also boasts the record for the deepest underwater passageway, which is 118 meters (396 feet) deep, although the cenote itself is a maximum of 10 meters (33 feet) deep.
The water is transparent, blue, really one of the most crystal clear waters I’ve seen in my entire life (and I’ve been around quite a bit!). The temperature of the water is a pleasurable 24-25 Celsius degrees (in the high 70s Fahrenheit).
I could not find a name of the two cenotes, I suspect they are just called Cenote Dos Ojos 1 and 2. Most people spend most of their time at the main cenote, as the second one is darker and less inviting – yet really beautiful in a different way. It’s not unusual to see bats here as well. And if you really like bats, there’s another cave called Bat Cave that can be visited only led by a guide!
Both sinkholes feature beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, but these are pretty fragile so please don’t touch them. You’ll find both shallow and deeper areas in the cenotes, so it’s a good option for families with children as well.
The Facilities at Cenote Dos Ojos, Tulum
Cenote Dos Ojos in Mexico is one of the cenotes with the best facilities.
▶ Here you can find bathrooms and changing rooms, as well as lockers for rental.
▶ A large wooden deck area at the main cenote makes for a great entry point. There are stairs to go down in the water at both cenotes, but make sure you watch out for the shallow rocks right below the surface.
READ ALSO: 11 Unmissable Day Trips from Tulum
▶ Life jackets (I heard that they are now mandatory) are included in the price of the entrance ticket, but it’s an extra cost if you want to rent snorkeling gear at Dos Ojos. If you do want snorkeling gear, make sure you pay for it in advance at the ticket booth, since the cenote and the ticket booth are very far from each other. Mask and snorkel cost 50 MXN, and fins 70 MXN.
▶ You can also upgrade your ticket to a guided snorkeling or diving tour, although for diving I recommend going with a reputable diving school instead. You’ll find a few diving tours in the paragraph about tours.
▶ At Cenote 2 Ojos there are also lifeguards on duty, but always keep an eye on your children if you are traveling with kids. Parking is free and there’s a restaurant on site (although with such a great choice of restaurants in Tulum, I suggest heading to town for a meal.)
▶ You can even have massages (some reviewers say this was the best massage they ever got!), and there are covered picnic areas where you can sit and enjoy your lunch, so bringing your own picnic is definitely a good idea!
Cenote Dos Ojos: Practical Info
Cenote Dos Ojos Price
The Dos Ojos Cenote entrance fee is quite expensive, costing 350 pesos (about US$ 18 at the time of writing). Only cash is accepted. If you prefer, you can buy a ticket online in advance.
Where is it located?
Cenote Dos Ojos is located 22 km north of Tulum, which is about a 20-minute drive. Cenote Dos Ojos address is Carretera Federal 307, km 244.5 Here below you can see it in the map:
Dos Ojos Opening Hours
Cenote Dos Ojos is open 8 AM to 5 PM.
What’s the best time to visit Dos Ojos?
If you want to avoid the crowds, definitely come in the early morning. I came at 8.30 AM and had the cenote pretty much for myself until 9. At 9.30 the crowds started to arrive and I escaped to Cenote Nicte Ha!
Cenote Dos Ojos Snorkeling
✓ Possible – you can either bring your own gear or rent it at the entrance when you pay for your ticket.
Dos Ojos Cenote Diving
✓ Possible but you need to organize it with a diving center in advance. Cenote Dos Ojos is really popular with divers (many of whom are at their first experience).
Best Tours to Cenote Dos Ojos
If for whatever reason you prefer to join a Dos Ojos Cenote tour, you have plenty of choices, no matter if you’re staying in Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya. Check out my favorite Cenote Dos Ojos tours.
TOURS TO CENOTE DOS OJOS FROM CANCUN
▶ Tulum and Dos Ojos Cenotes: 5-Hour Guided Tour – This tour to Tulum and Dos Ojos Cenote will bring you to two of the most iconic places in the area… in just half a day! Enjoy first an express 1-hour tour of the archaeological site of Tulum, spend some time at the beach (one of the best ones in Tulum!), and then refresh yourself with a swim at Cenote Dos Ojos. ⇒ BOOK IT HERE
▶ Private Tour to Dos Ojos Cenote – prefer to go private? This tour includes a private snorkeling guide at Dos Ojos & lunch, plus transportation and admission ticket. ⇒ BOOK IT HERE
CENOTE DOS OJOS TOURS FROM PLAYA DEL CARMEN / RIVIERA MAYA
▶ Tulum and Dos Ojos Cenotes: 5-Hour Guided Tour – a guided tour of Tulum ruins plus time to explore on your own, free time at the beautiful Tulum beach and finally a swim at Dos Ojos. Does it get any better? Pickup from Playa del carmen, Riviera Maya, Cancun, or Tulum. ⇒ BOOK IT HERE
▶ Private Tour Turtle Experience and Cenote Swim – two of the best swimming experiences you can have in Mexico combined. On this private tour you’ll get to first swim with turtles at Akumal Beach, then you’ll get to soak in Cenote Dos Ojos. You’ll finish the tour with lunch. ⇒ BOOK IT HERE
▶ Diving Tour in Dos Ojos and Bat Cenote – Explore two cenotes, Dos Ojos and the Bat, on this guided scuba diving tour. The Bat and Cenote Dos Ojos diving require basic diving certification, but the shallow waters are ideal for beginners. Otherwise, you can snorkel instead. ⇒ BOOK IT HERE
TOURS TO CENOTE DOS OJOS FROM TULUM
▶ Dos Ojos & Casa Cenote Adventure from Tulum All Inclusive – no matter if you are a snorkeler or scuba diver, you can join this tour that caters to both (which makes it a family-friendly tour). You will be able to snorkel or dive with a guide at both Casa Cenote and Cenote Dos Ojos. It’s also more affordable than most other diving tours. ⇒ BOOK IT HERE
▶ Dos Ojos Cenote Private Tour with Mayan Lunch – If you prefer the privacy and convenience of a private tour, this private tour brings you to Dos Ojos. By departing early in the morning, you’ll enjoy the two cenotes away from the tourist crowds! You’ll get lunch as well. ⇒ BOOK IT HERE
How to Get to Cenote Dos Ojos
Cenote Dos Ojos is located inside the Dos Ojos Cenote park where you can also find Cenote Nicte Ha, Cenote The Pit, and other cool cenotes. There are quite a few transportation options to get to Dos Ojos Cenote that you can choose from. Let’s see them all.
TAKE A COLECTIVO TO CENOTE DOS OJOS
Colectivos (shared taxis in Spanish) are often the best way to move the Riviera Maya. Once you understand how they work, they are really easy to use: stand on the side of the highway and wave at any minivan coming your way. Tell the driver your destination when you get on (or show the name on your phone if you don’t speak Spanish), and pay when you get off (it’s always very cheap!).
➤ If you want to get to Cenote Dos Ojos by colectivo, take it on highway 307 going north from Tulum, towards Playa del Carmen. There is no fixed schedule, but shuttles pass every few minutes. The shuttle will leave you at the entrance and usually costs about 40 pesos from Tulum Town.
⚠️ Careful though: from the entrance and the ticket booth it takes about 30 minutes by walking to get to Cenote Dos Ojos. The path (around 2 km long) is on a dirty road and there’s no transportation available, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes. If you’re coming by colectivo, avoid going at midday when it’s too hot!
If you don’t want to walk for that long, check out one of the other options – this, however, it’s the cheapest way to get to Dos Ojos.
BOOK A PRIVATE DRIVER FOR THE DAY
One of the best day trips from Tulum in my opinion is visiting the best cenotes in the area – I would say all of them, but considering there are thousands of cenotes in Yucatan and Quintana Roo it’s a liiitlle difficult!
If you want to visit multiple cenotes and other attractions in one day, you can consider hiring a private driver to optimize your time just as I did. It was more costly, but this way I was able to visit 6 cenotes in one day, and I didn’t regret it one bit!
Shop around a bit before settling for a driver; I was first quoted high prices such as $150 or more for the day, and then found a friend of a friend that was willing to do it for $100. It’s not cheap, I know, but Tulum and Riviera Maya are way more expensive than the rest of Mexico. If you’re with 1 or 2 other friends and you can split the cost, it’s totally worth it!
TAKE A TAXI TO DOS OJOS
➤ The ride from Tulum Town to the Dos Ojos park takes about 20 minutes and shouldn’t cost you more than 200 pesos. If they ask you for more money, make sure you haggle!
➤ If you are staying at Tulum Beach you are a little further away, so budget an extra 100 pesos.
Taxis will leave you at the entrance of the park, but if you don’t want to walk you can ask the driver to wait for you to buy the ticket and drive you to the cenote (obviously with a surcharge), which is over 1 km away.
RENT A CAR IN TULUM, PLAYA DEL CARMEN OR CANCUN
Many people are scared of driving in Mexico, but I didn’t find the roads in the Riviera Maya to be bad at all. Renting a car means more freedom, and you’ll be able to park right in front of the cenotes, which will save you a lot of time and hassle. Why not opting for a road trip through Yucatan?
Plus, renting a car in Mexico is generally cheap. I rented a car multiple times in Merida with absolutely zero issues.
⇒ CHECK OUT HERE the best prices for rental cars in Riviera Maya
Pros and Cons of Cenote Dos Ojos, Riviera Maya
Pros of Cenote Dos Ojos
• It’s one of the most incredible cenotes in Mexico – that water!
• It’s near Cenote Nicte Ha, so you can visit both in one day.
• It’s great for both snorkeling and diving.
Cons of Cenote Dos Ojos
• Cenote Dos Ojos price for the entrance is expensive compared to most other cenotes.
• It’s one of the most popular cenotes, so it does get very crowded
• To reach it, you might need to walk for 20 minutes under the sun if you come by colectivo or taxi.
Other Things to Do Near Cenote Dos Ojos
I’ve spent quite some time around this area, so here are a few ideas for things to do once you’ve visited Cenote Dos Ojos.
▶ Visit other cenotes near Tulum. If you’re looking for another cool one, I personally like Cenote Calavera but there are honestly so many great ones! I always recommend setting aside at least one day to check out a few cenotes in the area.
▶ Spend some time at the beach and enjoy all the many things to do in Tulum – you won’t get bored, that’s for sure.
▶ Check out the Tulum ruins and if you have time venture further to visit the Coba Ruins, where you can still climb the pyramid. Or go further and visit Chichen Itza, one of the 7 Wonders of the world (unmissable!).
▶ Take a day trip to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, where you’ll find the bluest water, dolphins, and even crocodiles!
What to Pack for Cenote Dos Ojos
This is a list of the essential items you should bring with you when you visit Cenote Dos Ojos.
➤ Swimwear: Of course. This is an essential item to pack with you when you visit a cenote! I’m currently in love with bikinis from ZAFUL – I kinda want to buy them all!
➤ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Please make sure not to apply regular sunscreen before entering a cenote. Not only it’s expressly forbidden in many of them, it’s just really bad for the water and its creatures. If you need to use sunscreen, only go for 100% biodegradable sunscreen. Help maintain the cenotes as beautiful as they are!
➤ Water Shoes: Not necessary for this cenote in particular since it’s an open one, but in general I always recommend investing in a pair of water shoes if you’re planning to spend some time in Mexico visiting cenotes, which can be rocky, or snorkeling in the coral reef.
➤ Snorkel Mask or Goggles: The crystal clear waters of the cenotes will make you want to take a closer look at what lurks beneath the surface of the water. Snorkeling gear is what you need to make this possible. At Cenote Dos Ojos you can also rent the gear, but if you’re planning to snorkel in a few different occasions it makes a lot more sense to buy the equipment.
➤ Water Bottle: Mexico has tropical weather so you can expect it to be hot and humid. Try and bring a refillable water bottle around with you to reduce the consumption of plastic. However, the tap water in Mexico isn’t generally safe to drink, so make sure to refill your bottle with safe water, or buy a LifeStraw water bottle that comes with a water filter so you can drink the tap water.
➤ Camera: Because these cenotes feature one-of-a-kind natural beauty, it is hard to pass up the opportunity to capture them in photos. Even better if you have an underwater camera or GoPro, so you can take it in the water with you.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
The Dos Ojos Cenote price in 2021 is 350 MXN (approximately 17 USD).
You have a few options to get from Tulum to Cenote Dos Ojos. You can take a colectivo (shared taxi), which is the cheapest option, a regular taxi, or hire a car with driver for a day (recommended if you are planning to visit a few cenotes in one day). You can also rent a car and drive on your own, which is a great option if you’re planning a road trip.
Of course you can! Most cenotes can be visited easily on your own. There are some instances, though, where a particular cenote can only be visited accompanied by a guide. Other times, you might want to join a tour for convenience.
I recommend the Tulum and Dos Ojos Cenotes: 5-Hour Guided Tour – This tour will bring you to two of the most famous places in the area… in just 5 hours! First enjoy an express 1-hour tour of the archaeological site of Tulum, spend some time at the beach (one of the best ones in Tulum!), and then refresh yourself with a swim at Cenote Dos Ojos. Pickup is included from your hortel in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum.
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