Gran Cenote might be the most popular cave diving site near Tulum. But with stunningly clear waters through which amazing light shines from above, a plethora of beautiful lirios and other plants lining the cavern and it being home to turtles, bats, small fish and other marine wildlife, it is easy to see why.
Sometimes called a “garden cenote” by those who see it, the beautiful environs make it a great place to relax and cool off as well as to explore while snorkeling or cave diving. It’s a simply unmissable cave diving experience if you are on the Yucatan Peninsula. It has both attractive shallow areas suitable for snorkelers and swimmers and deeper depths where cave divers with good skills can see breathtakingly decorative walls, geology, and underwater wildlife.
Head out of Tulum village on the road to Coba and around 4-5km on you will find Gran Cenote. There is a large parking area which is easy to spot from the road. You can drive there very quickly but many people prefer to hire a bike or walk as it’s not too far. There are also at least a couple of nice feeding and watering spots – bars and restaurants – along the way, which can make for a very pleasant trip.
The entrance to the cenote is located through some very attractive gardens. Before proceeding inside you can take a little splash in the open shower space.
Before proceeding inside you can take a little splash in the open shower space.
Snorkelers can enjoy spending time in the sandy area to the bottom of the stairs. Explore some of the formations in the shallow waters of the cave structure or spend time with fish and turtles swimming among the lily pads.
The “Grand Cenote” is an enduringly popular location on the Tulum dive scene, being the favorite of a great many local and visiting divers. It is also very well equipped with facilities. There are changing rooms, toilets, gardens to relax in nearby, lockers for you to store your equipment if necessary and even a small shop selling snacks and drinks.
Diving here with Koox is a 1-tank dive. The water temperature is a refreshing 20°C and the air temperature is 25-30°C.
We will provide you with all the necessary equipment for this dive: 5mm wetsuit, boots, fins, mask, BCD or a plate with harness and wing, DIN regulators scuba pro, Hog, Aqualung, apex, dive computer, lights and a GoPro camera.
It is usually a good idea to bring biological bug spray with you.
Classification: you need cavern or cave diving qualifications in order to do a Gran Cenote dive tour. Very good buoyancy skills will be required.
The large entrance area to the sinkhole is around 200m in diameter, with two entrances separated by a short, dark rocky tunnel and surrounded by beautiful gardens. These make a paradise-like spot to relax in before or after your dive. If you have been picturing lying on the grass beneath some palm trees as a key part of your break in Mexico, Gran Cenote near Tulum is the place to make it happen.
The cenote is part of the huge Sistema Sac Actun (The White Cave), a system of underground rivers – the longest in the world – which stretches for over 346 km beneath the surface of the Yucatan Peninsula. More than 130 cenotes are connected to the system, with this one near Tulum being one of the best regarded.
Beneath the water, the cenote is a marvel of magnificent geology in the form of incredibly decorative tunnels, stalagmites and stalactites, most very pale in color. With plenty of light beaming down from the surface and several routes to explore, this cenote is pretty much a must-see for cave divers visiting the local area.
The surface of this large cenote itself is well worth viewing on its own. Even if all you fancy is a swim or snorkel through the shallower areas you will be well rewarded – especially when spending time in the sandy area at the bottom of the stairs at the entrance. Families of turtles like to make their home here, so if swimming with these fascinating little creatures has always been your dream, now could be the time!
After this, you can swim beneath the cave roof and see the bats fly past over your head.
The play of light through the almost translucent blue-green waters of Gran Cenote is jaw-dropping when you see it for the first time. Visibility is high throughout the year and you can get some amazing shots with very little practice. The excellent light penetration in most of the cenote makes it a great place for underwater photography as well as for snorkeling.
From it’s shallow end to the circular further edge which has a depth of around 10 meters, the bottom of the cenote starts off as a sandy paradise and drops away down to the intriguing deeper sections. Exploring areas like this is, simply put, one of the reasons which many people get into cavern diving to see in the first place.
The tunnels beneath the ground offer several different routes for skilled divers to enjoy. There are permanent guide ropes in place but do be sure you have the right local guide in order to manage this occasionally challenging dive.
|Gran Cenote tours||Prices USD||Duration|
|1 dive in Gran cenote||$159||8 – 11:30am / 1 – 4:30pm|
|2 dives in different locations (we recommend: Gran Cenote & Dos Ojos)||$189||8am – 12:30pm / 1 – 5:30pm|
|3 dives in different locations (we recommend: El Pit & Dos Ojos & Gran cenote)||$239||8am – 4pm|
|1 cave dive in Gran Cenote||$189||8am – 1pm / 1 – 6pm|
|2 cave dives in Gran Cenote’s Cuzana Loop & Paso del Lagarto||$249||9am – 2pm|
|2 cave dives in different cenotes: Gran Cenote & Dos Ojos or Calavera||$249||9am – 2pm|
|Private dive tours||personalised ofer||at your convenience|
2-4 people small group visits – every day, meeting points available: Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras
Open water certification or equivalent is required for scuba diving.
Cavern & Cave diving certification is required for cavern & cave diving.
For private tours, please contact us, so we can provide an exclusive offer for you.
Transportation to and from the meeting point
High-quality dive equipment rental: full dive gear set, tanks, air, 5mm wetsuit, boots, fins, bcd, dive computer and torches
Free GoPro & video lights rental
Insurance for you and your belongings
Prices are fixed, regardless of the number of people in the group.