Discover why you need to visit Cenote Eden near Playa del Carmen. This open-air sinkhole really does look like the Garden of Eden…
Cenote Jardin del Eden is some people’s favorite cenote. It’s clear to see why given that this cenote is true to its name – it looks like the Garden of Eden with its crystal clear water and lush jungle that looks almost untouched. It is arguably one of the most beautiful cenotes in Playa del Carmen, if not Mexico.
READ ALSO: 11 Best Cenotes near Playa del Carmen
Cenote Jardin del Eden is an open cenote with clear and refreshing water that offers relief from the heat of the tropics. It’s known by a few other names such as Cenote Garden of Eden, Cenote Ponderosa, or simply Cenote Eden. So, when the locals or your taxi driver mentions any of these other names, don’t get confused because they all mean the same cenote!
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But First, What Is a Cenote?
You might already know what is a cenote. After all, cenotes have become super popular these past few years. If that’s the case, feel free to skip this paragraph! However, many people don’t really know what exactly is a cenote, and in my opinion it’s really important to understand what is their significance to the Mayans.
A cenote is a natural sinkhole dating back several centuries. When limestone caves collapse they expose a natural pool. This pool then gets filled with rain water and with the water flowing through underground rivers, to which these sinkholes are connected to. Voilà, you’ve got yourself a cenote!
The word cenote comes from the Mayan term dzonot, which means well. But not all cenotes look the same. there are essentially 4 types of cenotes:
• Open Cenotes – Open cenotes are like natural, open pools, and they can be more or less deep. Some of the open cenotes are also connected to an underground river passage (which makes them great for diving!). An example of an open cenote is Cenote Nicte Ha near Tulum, and so is Cenote Jardin del Eden.
• Semi-open Cenotes – As the name implies, this type of cenote has some parts that are exposed and some portions that are partially hidden by a cave. An example is Cenote Zaci near Valladolid.
• 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 for example, one of the most famous cenotes, is a cave cenote.
• 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 have great cultural and religious significance to the ancient Mayans, who believed that the cenotes were passages to the underworld. In fact, Mayans 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.
All You Need to Know About Cenote Jardin del Eden
Cenote Eden is quite large. Since this is an open cenote, it looks like a giant natural swimming pool, the water is so clear that you can see right through the bottom. Be extra careful when you are swimming in this cenote, though, as some areas can be very deep. If you are not a good swimmer, it’s recommended that you always wear a life jacket when you go swimming in this cenote.
Another cool thing about Cenote Jardin del Eden is that it’s right next to other 3 cenotes near Puerto Aventuras: Cenote Azul, Cenote Cristalino, and Cenote Kantun Chi. So you can make it a full day excursion by visiting two or 3 cenotes, it’s a great day trip from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
The name Garden of Eden Cenote is a fitting choice for this one because it truly is a picture of untouched beauty. It’s surrounded by lush greenery, and there are plants growing in the water. The rocks that surround the cenote are covered in green moss.
For this reason, snorkeling is another favorite activity among tourists who visit the cenote Jardin del Eden in Riviera Maya. Snorkeling gives you the opportunity to see the underwater marine life that thrives in this cenote. Plus, the water temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius throughout the year, so it’s very nice to swim here.
In the middle of the cenote, you will find rocks that sit at the bottom of the cenote floor, submerged underneath the water. You can sit here to rest and soak up the sun. When you sit on the rocks, small fish will swim around you, and if you’re lucky, some will come towards your feet to give you a “fish spa”. This might be ticklish for some people, but in my opinion it’s a fun experience to try.
Cliff jumping is also a fun activity to try at Cenote Jardin del Eden, Playa del Carmen. A portion of the cenote features a tall cliff (12 feet)that can be used as a jump-off point. But not to worry, you don’t have to jump in if you don’t want to. You’ll find very well maintained wooden decks all around the cenote. You can jump from this platform or use the stairs to get down to the water.
Aside from swimming and snorkeling, Cenote Jardin del Eden is a sinkhole popular with divers, as a portion of the cenote extends to an underground cave. The visibility under water is super, and divers will find plants, rocks, and all kinds of fish. Some people have even spotted slider turtles!
This cenote is located about 18 minutes from Playa del Carmen so it’s easily accessible, which contributes to the popularity of the cenote. But since it’s a big cenote, it does not feel like it’s overrun by tourists at all.
Facilities Available at Cenote Eden, Playa del Carmen
Jardin del Eden Cenote might look untouched and pristine, but there is an adequate amount of facilities available for tourists. Basic facilities are provided such as bathrooms and a life vest rental stall. You can also rent snorkeling equipment. Both the snorkeling equipment and life vest rental cost 25 pesos each.
You will also find plenty of small palapas (huts) that you can use to repair from the heat or enjoy your picnic meals. There is food available at the cenote but the options are quite limited. You can opt to bring your own food though, especially if you intend to stay longer, but bringing alcoholic drinks is strictly prohibited.
Cenote Ponderosa: Practical Info
➤ Cenote Eden Entrance Fee: The entrance fee to Cenote Jardin del Eden is 200 Pesos for adults and 100 Pesos for kids. Cash only.
➤ Where is it located? Cenote El Jardin del Eden is located 26 km south of Playa del Carmen, just south of Puerto Aventuras in the Riviera Maya. It’s next to Cenote Cristalino and Cenote Azul. From Playa del Carmen it’s about a 20-25 minutes drive.
Here you can see it in the map:
➤ Cenote Jardin del Eden opening hours: Cenote Eden is open from 9AM to 5PM. Closed on Saturdays.
➤ What is the best time to visit Cenote Eden? Cenote Eden is a popular cenote in Quintana Roo, so it’s best to visit early in the morning or right before closing time so you can avoid the crowds during peak hours. However, it doesn’t get as crowded as Gran Cenote and Cenote Dos Ojos, so don’t worry.
How To Get to Cenote El Eden
Cenote Eden is about 26 km south of Playa del Carmen and 40 km north of Tulum. There are plenty of transportation options available to get here.
– Walk to the Cenote
If you stay at the Barcelo resorts, you are lucky because you can get to Cenote Eden by walking. Simple as that! Cenote Jardin del Eden is located just across the highway from where the resorts are located. Just be very careful when you cross the highway, cars go fast!
– Rent a Car
You can also rent a car to get to Cenote Eden. I always recommend renting a car if you’re planning on visiting a few attractions around Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or Tulum. It’s just easier to get around and you’ll end up saving a lot of time and money. ➤ RENT A CAR HERE
There is free parking on-site. To get here, you need to drive south via the 307 highway from Playa del Carmen. Once you pass Puerto Aventuras, the cenote is only 5 minutes away. When you see the sign to the entrance for Barcelo Hotel, turn left to get to the cenote, which is not too far away from the main road.
– Take a Colectivo to Cenote Jardin del Eden
Taking the colectivo (a shared van) is the cheapest option available to get to Cenotes Jardin del Eden. You can take the colectivo from the colectivo stop at 2nd street in Playa del Carmen, and choose the colectivo that is bound south for Tulum. Tell the driver to drop you off at Cenote Jardin del Eden, or Barcelo Hotel. The cost of the colectivo ride is usually 30 Pesos one-way.
You can also take a colectivo from Tulum. Make sure you take one headed northbound towards Playa del Carmen and tell the driver “Cenote Jardin del Eden” or “Barcelo”.
If you are visiting Cenote Eden from Cancun, you’ll have to take two colectivos, one to Playa del Carmen and from there one to Tulum.
– Take a Taxi to Cenote Jardin del Eden
You can also opt for this convenient transportation option that will take you to El Jardin del Eden Cenote with ease. From Playa del Carmen a taxi ride to the cenote will cost about 300 pesos. If you want to save on the cost of hiring a taxi, you can share it with somebody else who’s headed to the same cenote or Cenote Azul (the more popular neighbor of Cenote Eden), or Cenote Cristalino, which is also close by.
Pros and Cons of Cenote Eden
Pros of Cenote Eden, Mexico
- Cenote Eden is large and one of the most beautiful cenotes in Playa del Carmen.
- It’s great for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
- Cenote Eden preserved in its natural condition. The cenote has the right balance of tourist facilities and that natural cenote feel.
- It’s easily accessible from Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Cons of Cenote Jardin del Eden, Mexico
- Cenote Jardin del Eden can get crowded during weekends and during certain times of the day. Make sure you plan your visit to avoid the crowds.
- It’s slightly more expensive than other cenotes in Playa del Carmen, although not by much.