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Cenote Tours from Merida

Cenote Tours from Merida

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is renowned for its sun, sands, Maya ruins—and cenotes, underground sinkholes filled with swimmable fresh water. Explore these secret aquatic worlds, which are accessed through caves, from the town of Merida. Here’s how.

What is a Cenote?

Cenotes are natural underground swimming holes that are formed as sinkholes when porous limestone bedrock collapses. These deep pools of fresh groundwater have been filtered by the surrounding soil, leaving them so crystal clear that tiny fish and plants are often visible dozens of feet below. Cenotes were revered in the ancient Maya culture because they were a source of fresh drinking water—the word cenote means “sacred well” in the Mayan language. Swimming in a cenote is a wonderful way to cool off from the oppressive jungle heat; snorkeling, scuba diving, and rafting through the underground caves are popular activities too.

Top Cenotes Near Merida

*Ik-Kil, one of the area’s most popular cenotes, is just two miles (three kilometers) from the UNESCO-listed Maya ruins of Chichen Itza. With hanging vines and waterfalls surrounding an iridescent swimming hole that’s more than 130 feet (40 meters) deep, it’s easy to see why the blue waters of this picturesque natural phenomenon—known as the Sacred Blue Cenote—are visited so often.

  • ThoughCenote Dos Ojosis most often accessed via the Maya ruins of Tulum, the world-famous scuba diving spot can also be visited from Merida. Certified divers will enjoy exploring more than 1,640 feet (500 meters) of underwater caves here—and might recognize the area from the 2001 IMAX film Journey into Amazing Caves.

*Cuzama, about 45 minutes southeast of Merida by car, is a small town known for its large number of cenotes, each of which is accessed in different ways. Cuzama’s three main cenotes are Chelentun, Chacsinicche, and Bolonchojol—all recognizable by their incredibly clear waters and otherworldly stalagmite and stalactite formations.

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3 Tours and Activities | All Merida Tours

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Priority Access: Tour Cenotes Oasis Maya from Cancún and Playa del Carmen

Priority Access: Tour Cenotes Oasis Maya from Cancún and Playa del Carmen

star-5
Explore the Yucatan jungle's flooded sinkholes, or cenotes, during this full-day guided eco-adventure. Paddle through the underground caverns on kayaks, snorkel in the subterranean aquatic habitats and float on the azure water on inner tubes. Listen as your guide recounts Mayan folktales about mythical guardians that protect these sacred water sources. This small-group tour, limited to 19 people, includes snacks, a gourmet picnic lunch, and round-trip hotel transportation.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$129.99
From
$129.99
Taking safety measures

Experience Los 7 Cenotes with lunch and bike ride (Transportation not included).

Experience Los 7 Cenotes with lunch and bike ride (Transportation not included).

star-5
Escape the city and discover a world of subterranean sinkholes on a private tour of Los 7 Cenotes. On arrival, you’ll embark on a bike tour of the geological area, home to seven limestone sinkholes of different depths. Snorkel, swim, and splash in the natural pools, biking between each before you enjoy a traditional Mexican lunch. Water and coffee throughout the day are included.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$129.00
From
$129.00
Taking safety measures

Cancun 2-Tank Cenote (Cave) Dive

Cancun 2-Tank Cenote (Cave) Dive

star-3
Delve into the waters of the Yucatan's vast subterranean caverns on this exclusive 2-tank trip for certified scuba divers. Along with a professionally trained guide you'll experience the famed Mayan cenotes or sinkholes just beyond Cancun. Witness the impressive visual effects of haloclines while diving among the many limestone rock formations of this massive underground cave system, and learn about its unique role in Mayan history as you go.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$204.58
From
$204.58