Cenote Carwash

Last Updated Jun 13, 2024

Cenote Carwash is a hidden gem nestled between Tulum and Cobá in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula. If you're tired of the usual tourist spots and crave a more authentic experience, this cenote is your ticket to adventure. As someone who seeks out the road less traveled, Cenote Carwash captivated me with its fascinating mix of nature, history, and a touch of the unexpected.

Known officially as Cenote Aktun Ha, Cenote Carwash earned its curious nickname from a quirky past – locals using it as a convenient car wash station due to its proximity to the main road. Fortunately, this is over now. What was once a pitstop for passing drivers has transformed into a haven for explorers, promising crystal-clear waters, intriguing underwater life, and the occasional company of a resident crocodile!

Join me on a journey through this natural wonder, as we delve into its unique features and discover why Cenote Carwash is a must-visit destination in Tulum.

Cenotes: Nature's Hidden Oasis

You might have heard something about cenotes – those mystical sinkholes scattered across the Yucatan Peninsula, holding secrets as old as time. But what exactly are they, and why should you abandon the beaten path to explore their wonders? Let me explain it.

The Yucatan Peninsula is a cenote haven, boasting four main types: open cenotes, semi-open cenotes, cave cenotes, and underground cenotes. Each type offers a unique experience, from open pools connected to underground rivers, ideal for swimming and relaxation, to cave cenotes accessible through land-level entrances, perfect for divers.

These cenotes aren't just geological marvels; they carry profound cultural significance. To the ancient Mayans, cenotes were passages to the underworld, sacred sites for rituals and ceremonies. So, as you dip into these crystal-clear waters, remember to treat them with the respect they deserve – refrain from littering and use biodegradable sunscreen to preserve their natural beauty.

The Yucatan's cenotes are a testament to the earth's ancient times, inviting you to uncover the magic concealed beneath the surface. Not so easy to find in a modern, hasty world.

Cenote Carwash Halocine

Why Cenote Carwash is a Must?

Now that you know why cenotes should be an obligatory stop during your vacation in Riviera Maya, let’s focus more on Cenote Carwash .

Cenote Aktun Ha is a unique spot filled with history, a vibrant underwater garden, and now and then, a shy crocodile. Plus, there are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy.

The Mayan name—Aktun Ha—means "water cave" which perfectly fits the cenote. It's about 50 meters wide and 3 meters deep, with a cavern area that goes down to 18 meters. Certified cave divers love its deeper parts with stalactites.

What makes Cenote Carwash special is its underwater garden. You can snorkel through this burst of underwater colors, with turtles and fish as your companions.

To add a touch of magic, a shy crocodile is living here. Though meeting it is rare, I haven’t met it during my visit, it shows how nature and visitors can live together. Everybody claims that this crocodile is very little, and doesn’t pose any threat. You can see many photos of it at Trip Advisor.

In summer, the waters of the cenote get covered with algae, and raise the water temperature. The cenote at this time of the year looks even more like a garden and the color contrast underwater is amazing when sun rays hit the water surface.

Diving in Cenote Carwash

Facilities at Cenote Carwash

Cenote Carwash is wallet-friendly. It’s open daily from 8 am to 5 pm and the admission is $200 pesos , and you can secure a locker for an additional $20 pesos. Life jackets are not obligatory but you can rent them for an additional $30 pesos and if you forgot your snorkel equipment you can also rent it for $30 pesos. You can even get a towel for another $30 pesos. For all the rentals, you need to leave your ID as a deposit, so make sure you have it on you during your visit.

Considering the wonders awaiting you, it's a steal!

Although this cenote is not as developed as some others in the area, there are a couple of facilities in place to make your experience enjoyable and comfortable.

There is a simple parking area to leave your car or scooter. Inside, there are changing rooms, toilets, and the lockers lockers I mentioned earlier. The lockers are quite small so nothing more than a small backpack can fit in.

Showers are also available, and you must use them before entering the cenote. Remember that any chemicals included in lotions, shampoos, or sunblocks are harmful for the delicate cenote ecosystem, so be sure you wash everything off before splashing in the waters.

Sometimes, usually during the weekends, there is a food stall open with snacks and drinks. However, you’ll be safer to take some food and water with you, in case, it won’t be available during your visit.

The cenote also has picnic tables, a wooden platform to walk around the cenote, and a diving platform to enter the cenote with a splash. There is a rope attached to buoys across the cenote to help weaker swimmers or just get a break.

What to do in Cenote Carwash

There are a couple of activities to enjoy during your stay in Cenote Carwash.

1. Swimming and Snorkelling

Everybody can enjoy it, no matter if you are a good swimmer or not, as life jackets are available for rent. It is a vast, open cenote with plenty of space . Unlike the crowded spots, Carwash lets you enjoy a peaceful swim in crystal crystal-clear waters. You can also jump from the platform, and free-dive.

You can also snorkel around to see beautiful underwater plants, colorful fish, and maybe spot the shy crocodile. Remember to keep a safe distance if you’re lucky!

Fauna en el Cenote Carwash

2. Diving

Divers will want to spend longer at the cenote . The main pool is quite deep and there are many large caves on its sides. The cavern area goes as deep as 18 meters, and you can enjoy its stalactite formations and speleothems that are found all over the cave passages.

After the water thrill, you can take a stroll around the cenote along the wooden platform, munch on your snacks at the picnic area, and take many photos for your social media.

So, whether you're a thrill-seeker or someone who loves a quiet moment with nature, Cenote Carwash has it all. It's my go-to place for a perfect mix of adventure and tranquility.

How to Get to Cenote Carwash

Now that the allure of this cenote has captured your imagination, let's see how you can get there from the commodity of your hotel.

It is located 5.5 miles from Tulum. on the Quintana Roo 109m road to Coba, and getting there is not that complicated.

Getting to Cenote Carwash from Cancun

If you're starting your Yucatan adventure from Cancun, the journey itself to Cenote Carwash is very attractive as you will travel through the tropical beauty of the region.

If you opt for a hassle-free experience by booking a bus ride from Cancun to Tulum via the ADO buses, this scenic route allows you to sit back, relax, and anticipate the wonders that await. It takes about 2.5 hours and costs $242 pesos. Evening buses are cheaper, but you would need to stay overnight in Tulum and visit the cenote the next day in the morning.

Upon arriving in Tulum, you can either rent a car to reach the cenote, taxis, or even bicycles and scooters as it is only a 5.5-mile stretch from Tulum to Cenote Carwash. If you’re seeking an authentic local experience, the colectivo is a gem. It is a shared minivan, that covers the Tulum-Coba route. Inform the driver that Cenote Carwash is your destination, and they'll drop you off conveniently along the way.

From Playa del Carmen, the road to Cenote Carwash is equally accessible. A bus ride from Playa del Carmen to Tulum via ADO buses is also a convenient option. It takes only 1 hour and costs between $74 pesos and $120 pesos depending on the departure time.

If you value freedom and flexibility, renting a car is a good choice, no matter if you drive from Cancún or Playa del Carmen. It’s easy to travel, just follow Highway 307 and in Tulum, take the QROO 109m road to Coba. Keep an eye out for the sign leading you to Cenote Carwash, ensuring you don't miss this natural wonder. Si valoras la libertad y la flexibilidad, rentar tu propio coche es una buena opción, ya sea que manejes desde Cancún o Playa del Carmen. Es fácil viajar, solo sigue la autopista 307 y en Tulum, toma la carretera QROO 109m hacia Cobá. Mantén un ojo en el letrero que te lleva a Cenote Carwash, asegurándote de no perderte esta maravilla natural.

Diving in cenote Carwash

Cenote Carwash - More Practical Tips

You already know the opening, hours, prices, and facilities available but let me share with you some more practical information to make sure your experience at Cenote Carwash is seamless.

Best Time to Visit Cenote Carwash

The beauty of Cenote Carwash is that it welcomes visitors throughout the year. Whether you're escaping winter chills or embracing summer vibes, this cenote promises a refreshing retreat regardless of the season.

Mexico's weather can be your ally. Consider visiting the cenote during the dry season, which typically spans from November to April. This period usually has clear skies, comfortable temperatures, and minimal chances of rain – factors that contribute to an ideal cenote day.

If you're keen on having the cenote all to yourself, set your alarm clocks for an early start. The morning hours, right after the cenote opens at 8 am, let you enjoy the tranquil atmosphere before the midday crowd arrives. Also, the diving conditions are often optimal in the morning, providing clearer visibility and a more peaceful underwater experience.

Entonces, enfócate en el pronóstico del tiempo, elige el momento que se alinee con tus preferencias y ¡prepárate para la aventura en Cenote Carwash!

Even during the busier months, Cenote Carwash remains less crowded compared to its counterparts in Tulum. If mornings aren't your cup of tea, aim for a midweek visit, which tends to be less hectic than the weekends.

So, set your sights on the weather forecast, choose the timing that aligns with your preferences, and get ready for the adventure at Cenote Carwash!

Cenote Carwash Entrance

What to Bring to Cenote Carwash

Your ticket gets you access to the cenote, but it's good to come prepared. Bring your own mask and snorkel to save on rental costs. Quick-dry water shoes help you navigate the terrain comfortably and a waterproof phone pouch ensures your gadgets stay dry during all the excitement if you want to take photos in the cenote.

If you wish to bring a drone or a professional camera, get ready for extra costs. You will have to pay $150 pesos, so you might prefer a small camera or a phone if you’re short on your budget.

A quick reminder – leave the sunblock behind. To protect the delicate ecosystem, it's a sunblock-free zone. Consider a hat for some stylish sun protection or sun-protective clothing. If you have put some cream on you before visiting the cenote, make sure you wash it off in a shower before entering the waters.

Ready to Discover the Marvels of Cenote Carwash?

Whether you're a snorkeling enthusiast, an adventurous diver, or someone seeking a tranquil spot to escape the crowds, Cenote Carwash has something for everyone. The clear waters, the diving platform, and the underwater wonders will create for you an atmosphere of pure enchantment.

As you plan your holidays in the Riviera Maya, consider adding Cenote Carwash to your must-visit list. Explore the cenote at your pace, immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters, and perhaps, catch a glimpse of the elusive crocodile.

Book your stay in Tulum, arrange your transportation, and get ready to discover it all. No matter if you’re a solo traveller or come with family or friends the Cenote Carwash as well as the rest of the Cenotes will make your vacation in Riviera Maya even more interesting.

Get ready for fun at Cenote Carwash! Bring your swimsuit and snorkel gear. Enjoy the magic of this amazing place, make lasting memories, and explore its beauty. Let the Riviera Maya charm you. Your exciting adventure is waiting at Cenote Carwash!

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