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Visiting Gran Cenote, Tulum: A Practical Guide

Visiting Gran Cenote, Tulum: A Practical Guide

Visiting Gran Cenote in Tulum? Here’s everything you need to know before you book your trip. 

Gran Cenote certainly is impressive – as the name suggests, this is one of the largest cenotes in Mexico.

But that’s not the only reason Gran Cenote is so adored. It’s famous for its incredibly clear waters, expansive network of caves, boardwalks, and gorgeous scenery above and below the water. 

It’s no wonder then that it’s one of the more popular swimming destinations in Tulum.

While other cenotes are ideal if you want to cliff jump or swim in open waters, Gran Cenote is unique for its dramatic underground scenery and numerous snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about visiting Gran Cenote.

Why Visit Gran Cenote?

Gran Cenote, Tulum

There are so many things to do in Tulum, no matter your interest. So, you might be wondering:  Is Gran Cenote really a must-see destination when you’re in the area? Absolutely. And we’ll tell you why. 

Gran Cenote is one of the most incredible locations in Mexico, renowned for underwater adventure and as a photographer’s dream destination. So let’s explore why you need to visit Gran Cenote in detail.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Put simply: Gran Cenote tops the list of best places to snorkel in Tulum.

The translucent waters give you better opportunities to see fish and turtles than you’ll find just about anywhere in Tulum. 

In fact, sea turtles aren’t only possible to spot here; they’re often seen in numbers, making it an excellent location for observing the elusive yet beautiful creatures on your trip to Tulum.

Scuba diving at Gran Cenote is sometimes allowed, but you’ll need to plan in advance and schedule a tour if the rules allow. 

If you’re lucky enough to scuba dive in Gran Cenote, you’ll be able to experience this incredible location from a new vantage point that makes it that much more surreal. 

An Epic Picnic

We love Gran Cenote because it’s a great place to spend a few hours. You can easily find enough to do to hang out for half a day. And, when you get hungry, you can purchase food from an on-site vendor or snack on anything you may have brought with you. 

There are bathrooms to wash up before you eat, and the picnic tables and sunny spaces are great locations to have a meal. 

Once you’ve finished eating, see if you can secure a hammock. We can’t think of a more relaxing afternoon in Tulum than getting some rest in a hammock between swims.

A Photographer’s Paradise

If you’re looking for fantastic photos, you can’t do much better than Gran Cenote. Whether you want to capture underwater images of turtles, fish, or the incomparably clear blue waters, Gran Cenote is a photogenic location like no other. 

Wooden walkways, mangroves, caves, and sparkling waters give the perfect background for a picture that will last a lifetime. 

What Makes Gran Cenote Unique?

Gran Cenote, Tulum

Gran Cenote is one of many cenotes in Mexico, but most visitors consider it one of the best. So why is Gran Cenote such a popular choice for travelers worldwide?

The caves here separate Gran Cenote from other locations in Tulum. It’s an extensive system of underground formations that make for some of the best opportunities for snorkeling anywhere you’ll find. 

The white-walled caves are met with cavernous features and wildlife, making it one of Tulum’s most exciting underground experiences.

Planning Your Visit to Gran Cenote

Gran Cenote Address 

Quintana Roo 109, 77796 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

Gran Cenote Tulum Opening Times 

You can enter Gran Cenote Tulum from approximately 8am to 4pm. Doors may open a few minutes late, so it’s best to show up and expect to wait in line before entering, especially if you need to buy a Gran Cenote Tulum ticket. 

We suggest going early in the morning if you plan to do other activities while in Tulum.

Gran Cenote Tulum Cost

You’ll need to pay 500 pesos per person when you visit Gran Cenote Tulum. 

Bear in mind that you’ll spend more if you’re booking it as a part of a package with other cenotes, but it may be a better deal overall, depending on what else the tour includes.

Remember, if you’re going with a group, the cost isn’t just for parking; you’ll need to pay for each individual who wants to visit Gran Cenote.

Additional Rentals and Costs

You’ll also want to budget for other expenses when you visit Gran Cenote. 

For example, if you want a life jacket or need snorkeling gear, you’ll also need to rent these, as you won’t receive them with the price of admission. 

How to Get to Gran Cenote from Tulum

Gran Cenote, Tulum

Now that you know more about planning your trip to Gran Cenote, it’s time to figure out how you’ll get there. 

You can reach Gran Cenote easily – it’s about a ten-minute drive from most Tulum beach hotels or downtown resorts, 

But what’s the best way to get to Gran Cenote in Tulum? It depends on your budget, preferences, and other unmissable things you want to do in Tulum.

Visiting Gran Cenote Independently 

Gran Cenote, Tulum

So what’s the best way to get to Gran Cenote independently? It depends if you want to fit in other locations that day, have access to a car, or would instead get some additional exercise by biking. 

Driving to Gran Cenote

The easiest way to get to Gran Cenote is by car, so if you rent one, we’d recommend traveling in your vehicle and going cenote hopping or visiting some Mayan ruins later that day.

Driving to Gran Cenote gives you the freedom to come and go as you please, and it’s an excellent way to explore some of our other favorite locations, depending on how many days you’re in Tulum.

Biking to Gran Cenote

Another way we love to reach Gran Cenote Tulum, Mexico, is by bike. Rent a bicycle at your hotel or nearby, and you can cruise over in about half an hour. 


If you want to take a taxi from Tulum to Gran Cenote, it’ll cost around 150 pesos. But the only problem with taking a cab to Gan Cenote is you may have to wait around longer when you’re trying to leave.

Rideshares like Uber aren’t an option in Tulum, so you’ll need to take a taxi to and from Gran Cenote if you don’t bike or drive. 

Tours to Gran Cenote

We love exploring Tulum independently, but we get it if you’d rather head to Gran Cenote on a tour.

If you want to experience three cenotes, including a private sinkhole underground, you’ll want to book this epic Gran Cenote Tulum tour (it even includes lunch!).

Not only will you get plenty of time in one of our favorite cenotes, but you’ll also see some fantastic locations while on tour.

Another option we love is visiting Gran Cenote alongside Cenote Cristal and Escondido via bicycle on this exciting tour.

Where to Stay for Gran Cenote

Azulik Resort

Azulik Hotel

Azulik Resort in Tulum is an excellent place to be if you want to stay in an eco-resort focused on health and wellness. Oh, and it boasts an excellent spa that channels natural therapeutic techniques. 

Not only is this one of the more unique resorts in Tulum, but it’s also only about 15 minutes from Gran Cenote. The beachside hotel is a great location to start and end your day, especially if snorkeling and water activities are at the top of your list. 

When you’ve finished exploring the caves and tranquil fresh waters of Gran Cenote, head back to this luxury hotel and stay in the Moon Suite to experience nature’s beauty in style.

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Gran Cenote Map