How to Visit Cenote Jardin del Eden: The Ultimate Guide


Cenote Jardin del Eden: a less crowded alternative to Cenote Azul

The Cenote Jardin del Eden, sometimes called Cenote Eden or Cenote Ponderosa, is one of the most beautiful cenotes in Playa del Carmen.

It’s one of my favorite cenotes in the region due to its easy access and the effort put in place for its preservation. Plus, it’s less touristy than its neighbor, the Cenote Azul, and of course, we love that!

To help you organize your visit to the Cenote Jardin del Eden, here is my complete guide with all the practical information, the activities to do, the facilities, how to get there from Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and my personal opinion on the cenote.

So, how do you visit the Cenote del Eden?

What to do and see at Cenote Eden

After taking a mandatory shower, you’ll arrive directly in front of this large open cenote with its turquoise water.

what to do cenote eden
Cenote Eden Playa del Carmen

Here, visitors often seek to cool off with a swim or simply float leisurely, as I did. Additionally, it’s a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.

This cenote serves as a great diving spot, thanks to its expansive underwater cave system linking it to Cenote Coral, and waters reaching depths of up to 51 ft (15.5m).

Fringed by rocks and lush trees, the site offers several spots for visitors to relax, including docks and chairs.

Similar to Cenote Azul, here too, you’ll find large rocks offering perfect pit-stops within the water.

The water clarity is simply mesmerizing, revealing an underwater world teeming with various fish species such as Guppy,  green swordtail, Cichlids, aquatic plants, and supposedly small turtles. I didn’t manage to spot the turtles, but I suspect those who dive might have a better chance of seeing them!

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the clear water of Cenote El Eden

You have the option to dive into the water at spots where the depth reaches 13-16 ft, either from a platform or even off a tree.

I observed children, adults, and even a lady well into her sixties bravely jumping from the tree. Hats off to her! 😍

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One of the jumping spots at Cenote Jardin del Eden

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled as the area surrounding the cenote is home to fascinating wildlife, with numerous iguanas and birds, including the Yucatan Jay showcasing its bright blue wings. They’re impossible to miss, as there are quite a few of them!

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An iguana at Jardin del Eden
Yucatan Jay
Yucatan Jay, Cenote Jardin del Eden

Jardin del Eden Amenities

The cenote has managed to maintain its wild charm, even though it offers all necessary amenities: toilets, mandatory showers, lockers (for a fee), life jackets (not compulsory, 50 pesos), and snorkeling equipment (25 pesos).

There are a few picnic tables and chairs (but I wish there were more), several stairways for water access, and docks for lounging.

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Jarrdin del Eden, Playa del carmen
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Jardin del Eden cenote, also called Ponderosa

As swimming tends to build up an appetite, there’s a small snack bar that prepares burritos, tacos, and choripan, in addition to selling chips, etc.

I opted for the burrito (130 pesos), which was filled with rice, deliciously grilled chicken, lettuce, and frijoles. It’s quite large and can be shared between two people if you’re just a bit peckish.

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The chicken burrito, Cenote Jardin del Eden
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The snack bar at Cenote Jardin del Eden

Additionally, there’s a massage service available (30 minutes for 350 pesos, 1 hour for 600 pesos).

One lady told me she specifically came to the cenote just for the massage as it was her last day of vacation. While I didn’t personally try it, according to her, it was fabulous.

massage cenote jardin el eden
massage cenote jardin el eden

My Opinion on Cenote Jardin del Eden

I have a love-hate relationship with Playa del Carmen.

I can’t stand it in high tourist season because the crowds make me anxious.

But I quite like it in the off-season because it has everything you could want: a variety of cafes and restaurants, several beautiful beaches, and a strategic position for visiting the surrounding areas, whether it’s the Riviera Maya, Cancun, or the state of Yucatan.

Therefore, I was determined to find a cenote in Playa del Carmen that was both serene, not overly crowded, and at the same time, close enough to downtown, given that I commute by colectivo.

My choice was the Cenote Jardin del Eden, the immediate neighbor of Cenote Cristalino and Cenote Azul, which is one of the most well-known cenotes in Mexico.

Of course, you can’t dream too much: everything easily accessible is always more touristy, no matter the city, region, or country.

But considering that the Riviera Maya is the nerve center of tourism in Mexico, you could say that Cenote Jardin del Eden is an oasis of tranquility.

As with all cenotes, if you arrive early, you’ll have a great experience that allows you to feel close to nature!

Plus, Jardin del Eden opens at 8 am so you can enjoy it for a good while, probably until about 10:30-11 am when people start arriving in larger numbers.

Prices and Hours of Operation for Cenote Jardin del Eden

  • Open from 8 am to 5 pm every day except Saturday, with last entry at 4 pm.
  • Adults: 200 pesos, children: 100 pesos
  • Snorkeling gear rental: 25 pesos, life jacket: 50 pesos

Tips for Visiting Cenote Jardin del Eden

  • Arrive early to enjoy the cenote with fewer people around (the best time is between 8 am and 11 am). Additionally, the light and water colors are much more beautiful in the morning or around 3 pm to 4 pm
  • Bring water shoes, as they are really handy for preventing injuries from rocks and slips
  • Avoid applying sunscreen as you’ll have to shower before entering the cenote anyway
  • Bring your snorkeling gear to explore the underwater life, it’s stunning! Alternatively, you can rent equipment on-site for 25 pesos.
  • Ensure you have enough water or other hydrating beverages (alcohol is prohibited)
  • Be aware that smoking is prohibited
  • Carry cash for payment
  • If you wish to scuba dive, you need to arrange for an instructor or guide in advance

How to Get to Jardin del Eden

From Playa del Carmen:

  • By public transportation: It costs 35 pesos for a one-way trip. Take a colectivo heading towards Tulum (from the intersection of Calle 1 Sur and Avenida 45 Norte) and tell the driver that you are getting off at Cenote Jardin del Eden. On your return trip, be careful as you will need to cross the road on foot to catch a colectivo back to Playa del Carmen.
  • By car: It’s a 20-minute drive from downtown via Carretera 307 – there is free parking available on-site.
The colectivo station in Playa del Carmen: on the left are the ones going to Tulum

From Tulum:

  • By public transportation: Take a colectivo heading towards Playa del Carmen (40 pesos) and let the driver know that you’re getting off at Cenote el Eden. The driver will drop you off right across from it and you’ll need to cross the road on foot, so please be cautious. On your way back, you’ll already be on the right side to catch a colectivo back to Tulum!
  • By car: Follow Highway 307 towards Playa del Carmen for about 30 minutes.

Once you’ve spotted the sign on the highway, you need to make your way to the entrance to pay.

where is cenote jardin del eden
The cenote entrance sign
parking cenote jardin eden
The Cenote Jardin del Eden parking

Then, you need to continue on the path (a 10-minute walk if you’re on foot) to reach the cenote and its facilities, where there’s another parking lot.

road cenote jardin del eden
The road to Cenote del Eden

Where to Stay to Visit the Cenote Jardin del Eden

The Cenote Jardin del Eden is located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, so you could choose to stay in either of these two cities for easy access to the cenote.

Where to stay in Playa del Carmen

  • 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? 

Where to stay 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!

Other Cenotes to Know About

And to get to know all the best cenotes in Mexico, by region, you can also read my guides:

Rent a car in Cancun

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

While it’s not super useful to visit the city, having a car is a must to discover the rest of the country.

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!
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  • 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:

How to find a cheap flight to Cancun

Cancun International Airport a large airport that receives many flights from Europe and North America, with the major known companies (Air Transat, Air Canada, Iberia, Aeromexico, Interjet, KLM, etc.). It will be very easy to find tickets at the date that suits you.

To find a cheap flight to Cancun as well as the best domestic flights in Mexico, you should use our flight comparison tool in partnership with Skyscanner. It is guaranteed to get you the best price!

My tip
 How to get from the Cancun airport to your hotel:

Book your trip now and save money!

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visit cenote eden playa del carmen


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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