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TULUM CENOTE TOUR

tulum-cenote-tour

...the #1 most popular tour in Tulum...

TULUM CENOTE TOUR—THE #1 TOUR IN TULUM

A Tulum cenote tour is an activity that combines sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling, ziplining, and Mayan history all jam-packed into an affordable, full-day package.

It is commonly known that Tulum is an important and integral part of Mayan culture in the Riviera Maya. It is lesser known that cenotes played a key role in Mayan religious beliefs and ceremonies.

During your Tulum cenote tour, you will be guided through two ancient cenotes. They were chosen from several due to their beauty, accessibility, and historical significance in the Tulum area. You will have an opportunity to explore, swim, snorkel, cave trek, and zipline your way in and around them.

With the Tulum ruins standing majestically at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, the ancient city represented a citadel of strength that demonstrated Mayan Conquest over the rough and unforgiving natural habitat of the surrounding jungle. The city was a physical feat that represented the essence of a nearly lost culture.

Although the Mayans relied on a number of man-made structures for their physical survival, they also used natural structures as a connection to their spiritual understanding of the world. Cenotes, in fact, were central to their religious beliefs. The Mayans believed cenotes were paths that led into the underworld. If traversed deeply enough, they believed, the cenotes would eventually lead to the land of the dead.

Of course, with today’s technology, we know this is not true. However, these sorts of beliefs and Mayan connection to the cenotes were central to an entire ancient civilization. Today, Tulum cenote tours have become one of the most popular tourist activities in the Riviera Maya (as documented by magazines like National Geographic). These cenotes once served as a pathway connecting the living and the dead. These same cenotes now serve as a conduit connecting modern-day tourists to the ancient civilization of the Mayan empire.

WHAT IS A CENOTE ANYWAYS?

If you’ve neither been to Tulum nor the Yucatan Peninsula area, you may not be familiar with the term “cenote.” The word cenote comes from the Mayan language. The English equivalent would be “sinkhole.” However, there are several very distinct differences between your average sinkhole and the cenotes that have formed in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The primary difference between a cenote in the Riviera Maya and a traditional sinkhole is the underground river system that runs through all cenotes in the entire Yucatan Peninsula.

When a sinkhole normally caves in, there is simply an excess of hollow space underneath the surface. Ground soil weight on top of the hollow space causes the ground surface to fall in. At the end, all that’s left is a hole in the middle of nowhere. Boring, right?

On the other hand, when ground caves in around the Yucatan Peninsula, there is an underground river directly below. This underground river fills up the sinkhole with fresh water. What would normally be a boring sinkhole now becomes a fascinating cenote. A new cenote has thus formed. Cenotes in the Tulum area exist directly over the underground river system. This means several things:

  • First, each cenote has a water inlet and a water outlet.
  • Second, there is a constant flow of freshwater through a cenote.
  • Third, the water flowing in and out of a cenote is usually cool—because it comes from underground. (NOTE: This is absolutely refreshing on a hot Mexican day!)

Due to these remarkable differences, cenotes are completely different from traditional sinkholes. Moreover, cenotes are very unique to the Yucatan Peninsula. This is the exact reason that a Tulum cenote tour is one of the most popular activities around.

ARE THERE MANY CENOTES IN TULUM AND THE SURROUNDING AREA?

As you’re traveling from the Cancun Airport to Tulum, you will see an endless sea of green jungle along the way.

In fact, other than what has been cleared away for residential areas and tourist resorts, the entire Riviera Maya and Tulum area is surrounded by thick jungle. Much of this jungle has never been explored due to the sheer density of the foliage and the massive size of the jungle footprint.

However, within the Mayan jungle lies thousands and thousands of cenotes—many of which have yet to be discovered. Thus, when someone asks if there are a lot of cenotes in the Riviera Maya and Tulum area, the answer is yes. The jungle surrounding Tulum is chock-full of cenotes and ancient Mayan relics. There are literally thousands in the area on both public and private property throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.

TULUM CENOTE TOUR MAP

WHY GO ON A TULUM CENOTE TOUR?

There are a plethora of reasons that you would want to go on a Tulum cenote tour. In this section, you going to learn about why other people go on cenote tours in Tulum and why you should as well.

Here are a few of the most common reasons:

Your reasons for taking a Tulum cenote tour may vary from these. Don’t hesitate to come up with your own ideas regarding why you want to visite the cenotes surrounding Tulum.

WHAT HAPPENS ON A TULUM CENOTE TOUR?

Because a Tulum cenote tour is a full day activity, there are a number of different things that happen throughout the day. You can either consider the activities individually, or you can consider them as pieces in a collective whole of a full‐day, all inclusive tour. Anyway you look at it, a Tulum cenote tour is an amazingly affordable way to spend one day of your vacation. Here’s what happens on a Tulum cenote tour:

Visit two of the most popular cenotes in the Tulum area

During your Tulum cenote tour, you will visit two of the most popular cenotes in the Tulum area. These two cenotes were chosen among hundreds in the Riviera Maya. They were chosen because of their beauty, accessibility, and historical significance within the Mayan realm. If you’ve ever wondered what a cenote is, your wonder will be completely alleviated by the end of your Tulum cenote tour.

Snorkel and swim in the cool cenote water

During your visit to several cenotes in Tulum area, you will have the opportunity to swim in the cool and refreshing water. Moreover, if swimming was not enough, you will also be given a chance to snorkel just above the cenote floor. While snorkeling, you will witness a plethora of flora and fauna residing in and around the cenote bed. If you have a waterproof camera or video camera, this is where it would really come in handy.

Learn the Mayan historical connection to cenotes and why cenotes were important

During the entirety of your Tulum cenote tour, you will have a guide to help you along the way. Best of all, our guides are educated and well-versed in Mayan history. Consequently, s/he can explain the historical connection that the Mayan people had to cenotes. Our guides are also bilingual, so if there is any sort of translation along the way that you need help with, s/he will be glad to assist you.

Eat a delicious and authentic local meal

A full day tour would not be complete without at least one meal. Your Tulum cenote tour includes a delicious and locally-prepared meal. You will be served an appetizer, several choices of meat, and a multitude of non-alcoholic beverages. In addition, locally-produced salsa will be served throughout the meal to adjust the flavor of the aforementioned food. If you enjoy spicy food, you will not be disappointed. However, spicy food is not your cup of tea, you can eat your food without that extra kick.

Zipline Through the Jungle

During the entirety of your Tulum cenote tour, you will have a guide to help you along the way. Best of all, our guides are educated and well-versed in Mayan history. Consequently, s/he can explain the historical connection that the Mayan people had to cenotes. Our guides are also bilingual, so if there is any sort of translation along the way that you need help with, s/he will be glad to assist you.

Have Fun/Create Memories

Due to the uniqueness of the cenotes in the Tulum area, it is likely that you may never see such a site again in your life. This is what a true exotic vacation is made of and the ultimate essence of fond memories created via travel. Our customers rage on and on about the fun they have during their Tulum cenote tour. We’re confident that you will as well.

Your reasons for taking a Tulum cenote tour may vary from these. Don’t hesitate to come up with your own ideas regarding why you want to visite the cenotes surrounding Tulum.

HOW MUCH DOES A TULUM CENOTE TOUR COST?

The price of a Tulum cenote tour includes transportation both to and from a pick-up / drop-off point. Because we receive customers from all over the Riviera Maya, the price of your Tulum cenote tour depends on where you are coming from. Choose an option below.

From Tulum

Includes the following:

$79 USD/p.p.

From Playa Del Carmen

Includes the following:

$ 89 USD/p.p.

From Cancun

Includes the following:

$109 USD/p.p.

Considering all that you receive, we believe that a Tulum cenote tour is one of the most affordable activities in both Tulum and the greater Riviera Maya area.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING ON A TULUM CENOTE TOUR?

Cash

Money for your remaining balance, tips, and souvenirs

Swimming Suit / Bikini

Bring a swimming suit for swimming and snorkeling

Sunglasses

Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes (polarized is a bonus)

Biodegradable Sunscreen

Protect your skin with sunscreen lotion (BIODEGRADABLE ONLY)

Sunhat

Protect your face with a sun hat ("sombrero" in Spanish)

Water Shoes

Wear water shoes if you have sensitive feet

There are a number of different accessories that you should bring on a Tulum cenote tour. Of course, what you bring is completely up to you—but always remember this: LESS IS MORE. The less you bring, the less you will have to tote around with you, misplace, or potentially lose.

In any case, here are a few of the most common things that people forget to bring and wish they had. Items are ordered from the most important to the least important.

If you reserved your Tulum cenote tour with us, you have already paid a reservation deposit via PayPal. At the point of pick up, you will need to pay the remaining balance for your Tulum cenote tour. We only accept cash for this portion of your payment. The payment must be made in either USD or the equivalent in MXN. Be sure to check with your customer service representative in order to verify the amount. In addition, you will need money for purchases that are outside of the tour. This includes things like souvenirs, tips for your guide, etc. Although these additional expenses are completely optional, be sure that you bring money for them just in case.

Because you will be in the water several times throughout your Tulum cenote tour, you will need to bring a swimsuit. What type of swimsuit you bring is completely up to you. We recommend that you wear your swimsuit throughout the day. This way you can avoid having to change your clothes. Moreover, you won’t have to carry two sets of clothing with you. We recommend NOT bringing any extra clothes unless you are absolutely sure that you will use them.

If you have sensitive eyes, sunglasses are mandatory under the Caribbean Sun. During your Tulum cenote tour, you will encounter overhead sunshine, light reflecting off the fresh cenote water, and intermittent light coming through the canopy of the forest. If you want to protect your eyes, bring along a pair of quality sunglasses. If you want to be a cenote guru you could even where polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses disperse the reflection of light off the water and allow you to look deeper into the cenote when it is sunny.

Unless you already have a deep tan started before you go on your Tulum cenote tour, you may want to wear sunscreen. Although not mandatory by any measure, sunscreen will protect your skin from harsh UV rays that can cause sunburn – and even lead to skin cancer. While some people consider sunscreen absolutely mandatory, others don’t use it at all. Whatever kind of person you are, it is necessary that YOU ONLY USE BIODEGRADABLE SUNSCREEN. You will not be allowed into the cenotes unless your sunscreen is biodegradable. Why? Because non-biodegradable sunscreen damages the fragile cenote ecosystem.

In addition to sunscreen, those who are especially sensitive to ultraviolet light may also want to wear a sun hat. If you’ve ever looked at tourists in the area, you will see that many of them are sunburned throughout their trip to Tulum. Moreover, it is usually their face, neck, and shoulders that get burned the worst. A basic sun hat will help protect the most vulnerable parts of your body from excess sunlight and potential sunburn. If you forgot to bring a sun hat from home, there are a number of different shops around Tulum that sell handmade straw hats. They are great for blocking the sun and prices are usually quite reasonable.

Twenty years ago it was almost impossible to find someone who wore water shoes during cenote tours in Tulum. Today it is very common. If you have sensitive feet, you may want to wear water shoes to traverse the paths surrounding the cenotes that you will visit. Of course, water shoes are not mandatory. As always the less you bring on your Tulum cenote tour, the less you have to lose or misplace.

Of course, you are welcome to bring anything else you want during your Tulum cenote tour. As has been said, pack light to make your trip more enjoyable!

TULUM CENOTE TOUR ITINERARY

The following is the approximate itinerary for a Tulum cenote tour. Of course, this itinerary may change due to weather, cenote availability, season, coronavirus, or any other sort of force majeure.)

  • 8:30 AM – 9:15 AM* – Picked up at a designated meeting point
  • 9:15 AM – 11 AM – Driven from your meeting point to initial tour starting point
  • 11:00 AM – 11:30 – Introduced to your English-speaking guide
  • 11:30 AM – 12:15 PM – Visit your first cenote. This visit will include cenote entrance fee, a life jacket, snorkel and mask, and an locally cooked meal. Your English-speaking guide will explain the specifics about that particular cenote.
  • 12:15 PM – 2:30 PM – Lunch is served. After your first cenote visit, you’re provided a delicious locally cooked meal. This includes your choice of meat, vegetables, handmade salsa, and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages.
  • 2:30 PM – 3:10 PM – Second cenote visit. You are then driven to your second cenote site which includes a mini jungle tour, a zip line, and your second cenote visit.
  • 3:10 PM – 3:15 PM – Enter the jungle trail and walk to zip line location
  • 3:15 PM – 3:40 PM – Zip line through jungle canopy down to underground cenote. Your guide will explain the physical properties and history of the second cenote in your tour.
  • 3:40 PM – 3:45 PM – Farewell to guide/Drive back to initial meeting point
NOTE: PICKUP TIME WILL VARY FOR EACH DESIGNATED MEETING POINT BASED ON DISTANCE FROM TULUM.
(For example, the designated meeting time for pickup from Cancun will be earlier than the pickup time in Tulum.)

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?—RESERVE NOW!

Hopefully by now you can see the value in a Tulum cenote tour.

Don’t wait until we are all booked up before making your reservations.

Reserve your Tulum cenote tour now!

TULUM CENOTE TOUR — F.A.Q.

Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions that we regularly receive from customers. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.

General Questions

A cenote is a type of sinkhole that is unique to the Yucatan Peninsula. There are hundreds of cenotes—both discovered and undiscovered—within the Riviera Maya. Cenotes form when the underground river system erodes the jungle floor, eventually causing a collapse. However, what makes a cenote unique is what happens after. Once the jungle floor caves in, the hole fills with water and becomes accessible from the ground. Think of a cenote as a swimming hole.

The ancient Mayan people saw cenotes as doorways to the underground, and by extension, the afterlife. There were a number of different religious ceremonies the Mayans performed both inside and around the cenotes that you will visit on your Tulum cenote tour.

You will visit two of the most popular cenotes in the area. Which cenotes you visit will be determined by season and availability. Your sales agent will be able to tell you which cenotes you will visit at the time you make reservations.

All the equipment necessary to participate in the activities offered during your Tulum cenote tour are included. You do not need to bring any special equipment to participate in our tour. Nonetheless, there are several suggested items that you may want to bring—including cash for tipping, biodegradable sunscreen, a sun hat, water shoes, etc.

Our Tulum cenote tour is a full day activity that lasts approximately 6 hours. This estimate does not include transportation, whose length will be determined by your specific pick up location and which city you are staying in (e.g. Tulum, Akuma, Puerto Aventuras, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Cancun, etc.).

The minimum age limit for Tulum cenote tour participants is FIVE YEARS OF AGE. Of course, all minors participating in our tours must also be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Yes, you can bring your own camera on a Tulum cenote tour. In fact, we strongly encourage it. However, you may want to consider bringing a waterproof camera. A non-waterproof camera will likely be damaged by the exposure to water during your tour.

Activity Questions

Your Tulum cenote tour includes the following activities: transportation, an English-speaking guide, swimming, snorkeling, cenote exploring, and jungle zip lining.

You do not need to be a good swimmer in order to participate in a Tulum cenote tour. Because we provide you with a life vest, you can easily float above the water. However, you will need to be comfortable moving around in the water because some of the navigation involves following a guide through underground water tunnels where you cannot touch the bottom.

For all practical purposes, there is no weight limit for ziplining. However, if you are extremely overweight, you may want to consider another activity. Some parts of your Tulum cenote tour include navigating relatively narrow tunnels and underground spaces. An extremely overweight person may have difficulty traversing these areas.

Food & Drink Questions

Yes. Lunch is included with your Tulum cenote tour.

Lunch will include an appetizer, a locally-inspired main course featuring your choice of beef, chicken, or vegetables, a local dessert, and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages.

We understand that many Americans and Canadians eat bland food and do not like food with strong flavor. Instead of making the dishes themselves spicy, we provide spicier salsa on the side. This way, those who like spicy food can add the salsa to their dish. While those who do not like spicy food can just eat it as it is. We do our best to keep everyone happy!

We do not serve alcoholic drinks during our Tulum cenote tour. Moreover, alcoholic drinks are not available for purchase during the tour.

Transportation Questions

Yes, transportation is included with your Tulum cenote tour. This is exactly why you see several different prices based on your pickup / drop-off location. The ticket price that you see for each location reflects the added cost for transportation based on distance from Tulum.

The pickup / drop-off point will depend on which city you are staying in. Your sales representative will send you all the information you need once you choose your tour date and pay your reservation deposit.

Tickets from Cancun and Playa Del Carmen cost more because of the added cost of transportation for picking you up/dropping you off at locations further from Tulum. For example, if we pick you up at a meeting point in Tulum, it is much less distance/time/gasoline than if we picked you up from a meeting point in Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Thus the price difference.

Payment & Refund Questions

In order to go on a Tulum cenote tour, there are two payments that must be made: a 1) a reservation deposit, and 2) the remaining balance. The reservation deposit can be paid via Paypal. The remaining balance must be paid in either USD or the equivalent in Mexican pesos.

Your reservation deposit is a partial payment that you pay upfront in order to reserve your Tulum cenote tour. Once this reservation deposit is made, you will have a reserved and guaranteed tour spot on your specified date. Your reservation deposit must be paid via PayPal. The type of payment that PayPal accepts will depend on PayPal’s policies for your specific country. For example, in some countries, PayPal only accepts credit cards and bank deposits. On the other hand, in other countries you can pay at convenience stores or with e-check.

NOTE: You DO NOT need a PayPal account im order to use PayPal. Simply use the “Checkout As Guest” option and pay with credit card if you don’t have or want a PayPal account.

Your remaining balance is your total purchase minus your reservation deposit. It is paid at the time you begin your tour. Your remaining balance must be paid in cash (either USD or the equivalent in Mexican pesos).

Due to the nature of our product service, we do not offer refunds. This includes both your reservation deposit and remaining balance. If you pay a reservation deposit, you are in our books and we’ve already saved a space for you. If you decide to change your mind and not go on your Tulum cenote tour, the responsibility is on you. This is the reason we do not give refunds for any part of your purchase price.

No, you do not get your money back if you do not like the tour. We rarely—if ever—receive complaints about our tour. We eat, sleep, and breathe Tulum cenotes. We believe in our product. We are 100% confident that you will enjoy your Tulum cenote tour.

Wedding Parties / Bachelor(ette) Parties / Groups / Etc

Yes, we offer group discounts. Please let us know exactly how many people will be attending and we can give you a discount based on the size of your group. We can accommodate groups of all sizes. If necessary, they may be broken up and lead by different tour guides. However, we will find a way to accommodate them. Again, please talk to your service representative. Let us know how large your group is.

Our Tulum cenote tour is a perfect fit for a bachelor/bachelorette party. Why? Because it is fun! In addition, it is a positive and healthy activity. Moreover, if you are the designated party planner, a full-day activity is one less day of planning that you need to do. Send us a reservation request and we can get back to you with a group discount and all available options so that you can make an informed decision about whether a Tulum cenote tour is right for your group.

Yes, we can help you celebrate a birthday party during your Tulum cenote tour. Although we don’t get into party planning, we can sing a birthday song and present a special birthday dessert for the person who is celebrating his/her birthday. Fill out a reservation request, and we will get back to you regarding your birthday requirements.

SEE WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING:

"The cenote tour in Tulum came to us as highly recommended. I now pass on the same recommendation to you. INCREDIBLE!!!."
Mark Johnson
Minneapolis, MN