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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 29 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Alex Robinson

These twin cenotes are spectacular: marking the entrance to one of the longest underground rivers in the world – filled with water as clear as ocean air, passing through submerged caverns covered with spectacular cave formations and teeming with strange cave fish, crustaceans and bats. The cenotes are a premium cave-diving location and were used as locations for The Cave movie and the BBC’s Planet Earth documentary.

You don’t need to be a cave diver to visit. Some of the most beautiful caverns are accessible to snorkellers. PADI open water divers can go further and designated cave divers can explore the deeper caverns. Any diving requires advanced booking.

Price from: £12
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Dos Ojos is 22km north of Tulum on Highway 307. The turn-off is well signposted. If you don’t have a car, it’s a 30-minute/1.5-mile walk from the main road to get there, so take a taxi – and agree a price for them to wait for you. Parking is free. There are lockers, changing rooms and toilets on site.

Scuba diving trips need to be organised in advance with a designated tour operator. Expect to pay around £150 for a single tank dive. PADI certificates essential; open water minimum. You can also take a guided tour of the two eyes and the Bat Cave (about £25).

When to do it

The cenote is open all year round, seven days a week for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

The weather in the Mayan Riviera is generally good all year round, and the water is always warm enough for swimming. The rainy season from May through October sees the fewest visitors to Mayan Riviera – and fewer crowds at the cenotes. The dry season – November through April – gets busy. If you can, avoid peak season in December to January, when it gets oppressively crowded, especially around Christmas and New Year.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Jashita

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[4.6 miles]

Luxurious couples-focused beach pavilions overlooking one of the Yucatan’s few bays, twenty-minutes north of Tulum

Official star rating:

Villa Pescadores

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[13.9 miles]

Tulum ruins perched on a cliff and turquoise sea lapping talc-white sand: it’s all about location in this rustic beach-cabin retreat.

Official star rating:

Kai Hotel Tulum

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[14 miles]

A good value hotel on the choicest stretch of sand and in the shadow of Tulum ruins. Its cabanas come with ocean views.

Official star rating:

Coco Tulum

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[19.1 miles]

Beachside party hotel with great value rooms in traditional barefoot-chic Tulum beach cabanas, with comfort. Adults only.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Mayan Riviera


Talc-white beaches, reefs teeming with life, ruined temples in misty rainforests – the Riviera Maya offers a family or romantic beach holiday with a dash of Indian Jones adventure.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Gran Cenote

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[11.6 miles]

Lily-covered, glassy-clear and filled with terrapins and tropical fish, this cenote near Tulum is easy to reach and fabulous to swim in. Big caverns make for spectacular cave diving.

Best for ages: 6+ | £7

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Mayan ruins of Coba

Quintana Roo, Mexico[40.1 miles]

An authentic, atmospheric and less-visited Mayan site, set in lush, wildlife-rich forest. Climb to the summit of the 126ft-high Nohoc Mul pyramid – the tallest on the Mayan Riviera.

Best for ages: 13+ | £5

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Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[63.8 miles]

A UNESCO-listed biosphere that preserves wetlands, forests and turtle-nesting beaches – one of the Yucatan’s last truly wild places.

Best for ages: 8+ | £50

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Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..


Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[3.6 miles]

A snorkellers’ theme park, comprising a series of broken, crystal-clear bays and glassy streams, teeming with brightly coloured marine life and fringed with low tropical forest. Safe, supervised snorkelling plus swimming with (captive) dolphins and manatees.

Best for ages: 4+ | £80


Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico[6.5 miles]

A simple nature-based theme park with a safari-park zoo, a cenote for swimming, a spectacular cave and a rainforest canopy zip-line adventure.

Best for ages: 4+ | £30

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Mayan ruins of Tulum

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico[12.9 miles]

Iconic, though modest, Maya ruins perched on a cliff overlooking a beautiful beach and a turquoise ocean.

Best for ages: 10+ | £2

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Round-ups that include this experience

23 World’s best scuba dives

Multiple countries

Passionate scuba diver, journalist, author and diving expert Tim Ecott recommends the world’s best scuba dives, from spellbinding wrecks to dazzling reefs, whale sharks to wobbegongs.

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