How to visit Cenote Azul (Riviera Maya)


Cenote Azul: Perfect for Families!

If you are looking for a natural pool to enjoy with your loved ones, you should visit Cenote Azul in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is one of the most beautiful and family-friendly cenotes in the region.

A cenote is a natural sinkhole filled with fresh water. Some cenotes are open and look like lakes, while others are closed and located inside caves.

Open cenotes are usually easier to access and more suitable for families. But not all of them have the facilities and services you need for a comfortable visit.

That’s why Cenote Azul is a great option. It is located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and it has everything you need to have a fun and relaxing day.

In this guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about Cenote Azul: what to do there, how to get there, where to stay, and more.

Are you ready to discover this amazing place? Let’s go!

What is Cenote Azul like?

Cenote Azul is an open cenote that looks like a large pool with different depths. It is ideal for the whole family!

Children can swim in the shallow areas and rest on the big rocks that are in the water.

There is also a dock that makes it easy to get in and out of the water. And if you need extra safety, you can rent a life jacket.

For those who are more adventurous, there are deeper areas where you can dive from a 16ft platform.

One of the best things to do at Cenote Azul is snorkeling. The water is crystal clear and full of fish and plants. You can bring your own snorkel gear or rent it for 70 pesos.

And if you want a free spa treatment, just let the little fish nibble on your feet. They will eat the dead skin and make your feet softer. It tickles a bit, but it’s fun!

cenote azul playa del carmen
The rocks of cenote azul in Playa del Carmen
cenote azul
Le Cenote Azul dans la Riviera Maya

What to do near Cenote Azul?

Cenote Azul is not only a great destination by itself, but also a perfect base to explore other attractions in the Riviera Maya.

Here are some of the places you can visit nearby:

  • Cenote Cristalino and Cenote Jardin del Eden: These are two other open cenotes that are very close to Cenote Azul. You can visit them on the same day or choose your favorite one.
  • Kantun-Chi Ecological Park: This is a must-see place if you love cenotes. You can visit five different cenotes (Kantun Chi, Saskaleen Ha, Uchben Ha, Zacil Ha, and Zihil Ha) and a cave with stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Xpu-ha Beach: This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. It is only 5 minutes away by car from Cenote Azul. You can enjoy the white sand, the turquoise water, and the relaxed atmosphere.
  • Akumal: This is another beach town that is famous for its turtles. You can swim with them in their natural habitat. It is only 15 minutes away by car from Cenote Azul.
underground river kantun chi
Underground River, Kantun-Chi

My tips for visiting Cenote Azul

Here are some tips to make your visit to Cenote Azul more enjoyable:

  • To protect the cenote, avoid using sunscreen and insect repellent, even if they are biodegradable.
  • To avoid crowds, visit the cenote during the week. It gets very busy on weekends, especially on Sundays.
  • To have more privacy, go to the cenote early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The peak hours are between 10 am and 3 pm.
  • Bring your own food and drinks! There are several tables under the shade where you can have a picnic. Although you can also buy some snacks at the entrance.

How much does it cost to enter Cenote Azul?

  • Adult 150 pesos, children 4-7 years old 100 pesos
  • Life jackets 40 pesos or snorkel gear 70 pesos

How to get to Cenote Azul?

Cenote Azul is located on Highway 307, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. You can get there by car or by public transportation.

From Playa del Carmen

  • By car: Drive south on Highway 307 towards Tulum for about 20 minutes. You will see the signs for Cenote Azul at the entrance of the Barceló Resort Hotel. Turn right and follow the road to the parking lot.
  • By public transportation: Take a colectivo (a shared van) that goes to Tulum from the corner of Calle 1 Sur and Avenida 45 Norte (click here for the location). The fare is about 35 pesos. To go back, cross the highway and wait for a colectivo that goes to Playa del Carmen.

From Tulum

  • By car: Drive north on Highway 307 towards Playa del Carmen for about 30 minutes.
  • By public transportation: Take a colectivo that goes to Playa del Carmen. The fare is about 40 pesos.

My Advice
If you want to visit more cenotes in one day, you can book this 4 cenotes tour (click here!) that departs from Tulum.

It includes access to Cenote Azul and other cenotes in the jungle, with zip line, snorkel, canoe, and traditional Mayan lunch.

What to bring to Cenote Azul?

  • Cash (cards are not accepted)
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Snorkeling gear (you can also rent it on site)
  • Aquashoes (water shoes) which are very practical to avoid slipping
  • Underwater camera or waterproof case for your phone

Where to stay to visit Cenote Azul?

Cenote Azul is located halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. You can choose to stay in either city, depending on your preferences and budget.

Here are some of my recommendations for hotels in both cities:

Playa del Carmen

If you want to enjoy the lively atmosphere, the nightlife, and the shopping options of Playa del Carmen, you can stay at one of these hotels:

  • Che Playa Hostel & Bar Adults Only: great hostel to meet other travelers and party, with a rooftop terrace that has a bar and a small pool, with several offered activities. Clean, with good wifi and a great welcome. From only 13 $usd for the dormitory or 37 $usd for a private room!
  • Hotel Lunata: a charming hotel with hacienda style decoration, which is hidden on Quinta Avenida, very close to the beach. Quiet, with a garden, rooms with balcony, and has very friendly service. From only 82 $usd per night!
  • Porto Playa Condo Beach Club: here you will find a spacious apartment ideal for a family, with fully equipped kitchen, living room and terrace. The hotel has a large swimming pool, a gym and a restaurant, starting at 172 $usd per night!
  • The Reef Playacar Resort & Spa: located on the beautiful beach of Playacar, just a few minutes from Fifth Avenue. Ideal for a romantic stay, with a beautiful tropical garden, two pools, a gym and a spa. 200 $usd with the “all inclusive” formula.
  • Hotel Xcaret Mexico All Parks All Fun Inclusive: it is definitely the best hotel in Playa del Carmen! Ideal for couples and families with children as this luxury hotel offers an exceptional package including meals and access to its parks (Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xel-Ha and Xenote). Starting at 860 $usd per night, all inclusive.
My tip
Check out my comprehensive guide to find the perfect hotel or resort for your stay. Here’s the link: Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen? 


If you prefer a more relaxed and bohemian vibe, you can stay at one of these hotels in Tulum:

  • Mayan Monkey Tulum: an excellent value for money. Nice modern hostel with a good atmosphere, a pool, bar and garden. Including fast wifi, kitchen access, yoga classes, coworking spaces, and bike and motorcycle rentals. Dorms and private rooms starting at only 24 $usd per night.
  • Casa Almendro: if you are looking for a little more comfort, you will like this small cheap hotel in the center of Tulum. It’s a green oasis with a rooftop terrace with chairs and hammocks. There are king size beds and breakfast is included, from only 50 $usd per night!
  • Diamante K: is a high-end hotel but at a very fair price, which is exceptional in Tulum, especially for a hotel with direct access to the beach in the hotel zone! Bohemian chic atmosphere, including a restaurant, hammocks and beds on the private beach, and a massage service. Bungalows are 207 $usd per night.
  • Habitas Tulum: this small eco-friendly hotel with a chic design is ideal for a romantic stay in Tulum. It is a true oasis of peace, hidden among the palm trees, with a magnificent swimming pool and a private beach. There are also yoga classes on the terrace at sunset. From 371 $usd per night!
  • Kanan Tulum- Adults Only: this is the ultimate option for a luxury stay in Tulum. It is an ecological hotel for adults only, located on a beautiful private beach with hammocks and beds. With a fantastic rooftop terrace with a bar; the hotel also has an excellent restaurant, great rooms and a very friendly welcome. From 566 $usd per night!

Rent a Car in Mexico

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore the Riviera Maya and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use Cars, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Booking Cars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

Find the best flight to the Riviera Maya

To visit Cenote Azul and other attractions in the Riviera Maya, you will need to fly to Cancun International Airport. This is the nearest airport to Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

There are many airlines that offer flights to Cancun from different countries (for example: Iberia, Aeromexico, Interjet, KLM, etc.).

To find the best flight deal to Cancun, I recommend you to use our flight comparator in partnership with Skyscanner. This is the best way to compare prices from different airlines and find the cheapest option!

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: Here you will find all my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico.

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visit Cenote Azul Mexico


I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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