Located just south of Puerto Aventuras right up the 307 highway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Cenote Azul is one of the largest cenotes in the whole Yucatan Peninsula (which is filled with about 6,000 cenotes in total).
Due to its open air type and unique size, Cenote Azul or Blue Cenote is one of the most popular cenotes in the Riviera Maya and definitely a favorite of families as its shallow pools are perfect for children to swim and have a good time.
As you may know, cenotes are underground rivers formed naturally by rain water filtering through the limestone floor typical of the region. Some scientists even think that some of these cenotes were originally formed by the same meteorite that killed the dinosaurs millions of years ago, as it hit exactly in the area where the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula are located. The holes formed by this extraordinary collision were slowly but steadily filled with rain water over the years, creating this fascinating ecosystem that’s unique in the world and attracts so many visitors all year round.
Some cenotes, such as Cenote Azul, are open air sinkholes that have become natural pools of fresh water, while others stay mostly underground offering great opportunities for divers to discover their submarine caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites. ç
The peculiarity about Cenote Azul is that although at 600 feet wide it’s one of the largest in the region filled with open pools of different depths, it also has it’s hidden caves underground for divers to explore, offering the best of both worlds.
Due to its large extension, Cenote Azul offers lots of possibilities for visitors. As said before, families love it because they can stay in the natural pools of shallow waters and relax knowing that their kids will be safe in these small and cute natural swimming pools.
These pools are also popular among grown ups who just want to sit down, sunbath, and let the numerous little fish present in these waters to “eat from their feet skin” as in some very expensive Spas in the region. As long as you don’t make any sudden movement the fish will come to you and give you their special treatment while cleaning your skin of its dead cells you no longer need.
For the most adventurous visitor, Cenote Azul also features a series of deeper pools where you can practice cliff jumping and experiment with different acrobatic jumps. Teenagers love this area as it offers more of a challenge for them and because it also provides more space for swimming around and explore a little bit deeper.
Near to this cliff jumping section you find an area where visitors usually practice snorkeling. As the waters are deeper and the natural pools larger, visitors can explore at ease and enjoy in wonder while discovering actual dept of the underwater world of Cenote Azul and looking at the different types fish you can find here.
You can bring your own snorkeling equipment or rent one at the entrance, in any case the experience is unforgettable as the crystal clear waters of Cenote Azul offer extraordinary visibility underwater.
Finally, scuba divers enthusiasts can also practice their favorite activity at Cenote Azul. As it’s not a particularly deep cenote (maximum depth tops at about 30 meters), it’s the perfect setting for beginning divers. To practice scuba diving at Cenote Azul all you need is to provide a level one Open Water certification.
However, in contrast with what happens with snorkeling equipment, in order to practice scuba diving at Cenote Azul you need to bring your own equipment or rent it from a nearby diving center and bring it yourself, as there’s no diving shop within the Cenote Azul facilities.
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You can find the entrance to Cenote Azul at the Cancun - Tulum highway (also known as 307 highway) at kilometer 266. This is right in front of the Barceló resorts complex and right after Cenote Cristalino and Cenote Jardín del Edén.
The entrance fee is just $150 pesos or about $8 USD depending on the currency exchange at the time of your visit. If required, the entrance fee includes a life vest. Before visiting Cenote Azul it’s important to remember that you can’t use a normal sunscreen here. The only sunscreen accepted is biodegradable sunscreen to avoid polluting the waters of the cenote. Same thing with mosquito and bugs repellents. Also, smoking isn’t allowed within the premises of Cenote Azul. You can bring your own food, although alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed. Pets, glass bottles, and drones aren’t allowed at Cenote Azul, and it’s the same thing for fins for swimming/snorkeling/scuba diving. These rules are in place to keep the cenote is good conditions and keep its pollution to the minimum possible. If we all respect these simple rules, we can be sure that we’ll have a Cenote Azul to visit for years to come.
As you can see, Cenote Azul is truly a wonder of nature. A magical place in which you can spend an extraordinary day accompanied by your family, friends, or with your significant other in a romantic getaway. Although the Riviera Maya is filled with cenotes, few offer such a complete and diverse experience as Cenote Azul. Its natural beauty is unparalleled and it also boasts the required facilities to make of your visit an unforgettable experience. It doesn’t matter if you just want to relax for a little bit, swim, snorkel, or practice scuba diving, Cenote Azul is going to surprise you with its beauty and the wide variety of activities available for you.
Come and enjoy with responsibility of this natural wonder and take your vacations in the Riviera Maya to the next level!