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Last updated on April 14, 2021
Gran Cenote is a spectacular freshwater hole bordered by jungle and caves. Easily accessible from Tulum, it is a good spot to snorkel one of these extraordinary geological formations. The beds are covered with moss and aquatic plants, and inhabited by many turtles and some freshwater fish.
Gran Cenote is located 2,5mi/4km north of Tulum, on the road to Cobá. From Tulum, you can get there by car, taxi, collectivos (local taxi vans), or even by bike (20 minutes). The entrance fee is 200 pesos pp. This cenote can be very crowded, try to arrive early.
3 wooden stairs and platforms allow easy entry into the water.
Gran Cenote is a spectacular C-shaped sinkhole, measuring approximately 150m in length. It is bordered on one side by jungle and on the other by cliffs and caves.
The snorkeling area is made of two circular sinkholes linked by a swimmable cave. On average, the depth in the cenote is 10 to 13ft/3 to 4m, but it can reach 30ft/10m in some places.
Gran Cenote allows you to snorkel in unique aquatic landscapes, with rocks covered with moss and aquatic plants. At the foot of the cliffs, you can also discover immersed roots. Freshwater turtles are easy to spot everywhere in the cenote, but fish are rare.
Gran Cenote also boasts beautiful flooded caves that you can snorkel in. The caverns’ roofs have columns and stalactites, and rea inhabited by bats. Follow the signs in the cenote, particularly for the caves swimming limits.
There is a small café at the entrance of the Cenote.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Coral reef with colorful fish
Freshwater pools with rocks, algae and fish
Freshwater pools and caves
Marine reserve with shallow lagoon and colorful fish