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How to Visit Cenote Cristal Tulum (Naharon): Complete Guide

How to Visit Cenote Cristal Tulum (Naharon): Complete Guide

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover this laid-back natural sinkhole that is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving– just a short distance from Tulum Town!

Cenote Cristal and the very close-by Cenote Escondido are just outside a stone-throw distance from Tulum in the popular tourist region of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Cenote Cristal (Cenote Crystal), is a beautiful, round, blue-water sinkhole offering the perfect place to snorkel, relax, and jump into the crystal clear water.

Below, I’ll detail everything you need to know about visiting the Cristal Cenote for an epic day trip!

Boardwalk at cenote cristal, tulum

About Cenote Cristal in Tulum

  • Opening Hours: 9 am to 4 pm, 7 days a week
  • Price: 150 MXN pesos (can no longer get a discount for both cenotes)
  • Diving tickets: 300 MXN
  • Lifejackets: Not mandatory

Quite obviously, Cenote Cristal translates directly to "Crystal Cenote" in Spanish. This name comes from its crystal clear fresh water which is a beautiful mix of emerald green and turquoise blue.

This is an open cenote, which is a natural sinkhole connecting to an underground network of fresh water. It's quite large and has an almost perfect round shape making it look almost like a natural swimming pool. This cenote is located in a beautiful forest and jungle, with lots of green vegetation surrounding the edge.

Cenote Cristal is located on the right side of the road (heading west from Tulum) directly opposite Cenote Escondido (Mayan Blue).

Interestingly, this cenote's second name Cenote Naharon, is named after the incredible undersea cave find of a 25-year-old female that is one of the oldest skeletal finds in North America (10,000 years). This was found in the Chan Hol undersea cave network.

Underwater jungle sinkhole at cenote cristal in tulum mexico

Where is Cenote Cristal?

Visitors will find Cenote Cristal located approximately 3.8 miles (6 km) southwest of Tulum Centro (Pueblo). This cenote is on the right side of the road with a very large and obvious sign.

Location: Cenote Cristal

The pin marks the entrance where you will need to pay the fee. From here, it's a very short walk to the swimming area, passing fresh water showers, picnic tables, and a toilet block with change rooms on the way.

Map showing the location of cenote cristal

How to Get To the Cenote From Tulum

If you don’t want to book the Triple Cenote Tour (it's great value), you could also get to Cristal Cenote from Tulum quite easily on your own.

By Taxi

The first option is to simply pay for a taxi from downtown Tulum Town (Pueblo). The price should be about $100 MXN each way. The only problem with this option is that there aren’t any taxis waiting at Cenote Cristal or Cenote Escondido.

You might need to walk the road back or wait a while to catch one coming back from the Muyil Ruins or Sian Ka'an.

Independent: Car, Scooter or Bicycle

One of the best ways to explore all of the epic Tulum attractions and Cenotes is to rent your own transport. You can pick up a scooter for $30-$45 USD in Tulum from one of the many rental shops on the main road.

Conversely, a 24-hour rental of a bicycle costs $145-$160 MXN. Alternatively, many travelers choose to rent a car instead, which can be equal to or cost just a little bit more than a motorbike. I always compare the best rates and prices at

If you take the independent route to Cenote Cristal, expect the following times from Tulum Centro.

  • Drive: 8 minutes
  • Bike Ride: 15 minutes
  • Walk: 1 hour
Oliver riding a motorbike to cenote cristal and escondido, mexico
Pull over at this sign to Cenote Cristal y Cenote Escondido

Looking for a Cenote Tour from Tulum?

Looking for the easiest and most convenient way to visit El Cristal Cenote from Tulum? Unfortunately, there are no tours to this one, but it is quite easy to get to yourself!

Alternatively, if you're looking to see the best cenotes in the region in a single way, then by far the best way to do so is by joining in on the Triple Cenote Tour.

You’ll get: 

  • Hotel pickup/drop-off
  • Multi-lingual guide
  • Visit Gran Cenote, Calavera Cenote & Casa Cenote
  • Includes all entry fees

This is excellent value as transport in Tulum is notoriously expensive. Furthermore, the entry fees for each add up to $40 USD alone and are included in your ticket.

Alternatively, if you want a tour of Tulum's Archeological Zone followed by a swim at Cristal's neighbor: Cenote Escondido, then you can book the Tulum Ruins & Cenote tour instead.

Jumping into blue water at cenote cristal tulum

What to Expect at the Cristal Cenote (Naharon)

As soon as you arrive, you'll pass the facilities and lay eyes on this beautiful blue-water cenote.

From here, there are three entrances where you can get into the water. These are wooden platforms with rails, making it easy (albeit a bit slippery) to get in.

Dive platform at cenote cristal in tulum, mexico

The Diving Platform

The diving platform at Cenote Cristal is a 12-foot-high jump into deep water. This isn't a crazy jump, but it's fun nonetheless.

As with most Yucatan Peninsula Cenotes, there is also a few ropes stretched from each side. This allows you to have a break and relax in the water.

Water depth: Maximum 8 m - (approximately 20 feet).

Wooden dive platform in the mexican forest

Snorkeling at the Cenote Cristal

Since the water is very clear at Cristal Cenote, it's perfect for snorkeling! While you can rent a snorkel set from the entrance, I'd recommend bringing your own instead to save money.

You can actually purchase them in Tulum town quite cheaply.

Swimming in tulum cenote
People swimming in the blue water of the cenote

Facilities at Cenote Cristal (Naharon)

Along with the diving platform and wooden entrance platforms, there are numerous facilities at Cenote Cristal including

  • Several picnic benches around the circumference
  • Large dirt parking space at the front (for motorbikes, cars, and bicycles)
  • Toilets, change rooms, and showers
  • Snorkel and life jacket rental
  • Hammocks slung on the palm trees around the cenote
Hammocks on palm trees at cenote cristal tulum

Can You Scuba Dive at Cenote Cristal?

It used to be the case that you couldn't dive at Cenote Cristal. However, now it is possible, as long as you pay a 300 MXN diving fee.

Furthermore, many open-water dive courses in Tulum do their entry-level dives here, since Cenote Cristal is not too deep and easy to access.

However, if you're looking to go scuba diving in Tulum cenotes, I'd recommend Cenote Escondido, Cenote Calavera, or Cenote Dos Ojos instead of this one, since it's really quite small and doesn't have too many caverns to explore.

Scuba divers at cenote cristal

What to Bring to Cenote Cristal

Here are a few things that I recommend to bring when visiting Cenote Cristal in Tulum.

Cenote cristal tulum

Can You Wear Sunscreen at Yucatan Cenotes?

One thing you definitely don't want to bring to any of the Cenotes in Tulum is sunscreen. That's because it is forbidden due to the harm it can cause to the delicate ecosystem.

While you might think "reef-safe" sunscreen is okay, the locals don't and will get very frustrated if they see you breaking this rule.

What About Cameras & Drones At Cenote Cristal?

Unlike some of the other cenotes in the area, you are free to bring drones and large cameras to Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido! However, I didn't send my drone up since I felt it would disturb the ambience.

Best Time to Visit Cristal Cenote

Cenote Cristal is a laid-back natural sinkhole without the crazy crowds that you might find at Gran Cenote or Cenote Calavera.

This means that you can visit at any time and have a great time. If you want to take magical photos of the blue water, I'd suggest heading down around midday, when the sun is high in the sky.

Entrance to the water at cristal cenote tulum

What About Cenote Escondido?

As you now know, there are two cenotes right opposite each other; Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido.

While once upon a time you could get a discount deal to visit both cenotes, this has now ended as of 2023. You will now need to pay the full price to visit both (150 pesos each).

You will purchase your tickets at the Cenote Cristal entrance. If you want to visit Escondido (the Hidden Cenote) as well, I'd recommend doing that second.

If you want to save your money and have to pick one, I'd recommend Cenote Escondido over Cenote Cristal. The reason is that Escondido (Mayan Blue) is bigger, and you'll have more to explore.

Cenote escondido in tulum, mexico

More Cenotes To Visit in Tulum

My goal is always to help you plan an epic trip, wherever in the world you go. So, if you're looking for variety or more cenotes Tulum and the Mayan Riviera, make sure to check out some of my other guides below.

  • Cenote Calavera - the epic Skull Cenote. Great for cliff jumping and vacation photos with the iconic swing.
  • Cenote Car Wash - another large open cenote with great cliff jumping and snorkeling
  • Gran Cenote - one of the most popular but most beautiful cenotes in Tulum
  • Cenote Dos Ojos - amazing cave cenote with some of the best snorkeling and diving in Mexico
  • Casa Cenote - an awesome hidden gem that is one of the best Tulum sinkholes for scuba diving.
Tulum instagram spot at gran cenote

Where to Stay in Tulum

Wondering about where to stay in Tulum? Generally speaking, there are two areas, Tulum Town (Pueblo), and the Tulum Hotel Zone (Tulum Beach).

Tulum Town is a laid-back town close to the ADO bus station and has loads of hotels, guest houses, hostels, restaurants, bars, and everything else you could imagine.

The Tulum Hotel Zone is located closer to the beach, where you'll find more high-end hotels, beach resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs. Here are the 3 top picks from both neighborhoods.

Casa malca tulum accommodation

1. Casa Malca Luxury

Perfect for couples searching for a luxury, private, & relaxing resort. Situated on a private beach surrounded by palm trees and offers luxury spa treatments with a large outdoor swimming pool.

Mamasan treehouses cabins outdoor seating area

2. Mamasan Treehouses & Cabins Unique

Stay in an epic tree house just 100m from South Tulum Beach! Features an epic root-top jungle bar with rooms overlooking the ocean.

Mayan monkey tulum bar and outdoor area

3. Mayan Monkey Budget

The best hostel for a party vibe where you can make lifelong friends. Just a short walk to Tulum Center where you can find many restaurants and bars.

FAQs About Cenote Cristal

How much does Cenote Cristal Entrance fee cost?

Entrance to the Cenote Cristal in Tulum costs 150 MXN pesos. You can visit both Calavera and Cenote Cristal at the same time for 300 MXN. There is no longer a discount to visit both.

Why is it called the Cristal Cenote?

Cenote Cristal translates to Crystal Cenote in Spanish. While I'm not 100% sure why this is, I'd assume it's due to the amazing clear water.

How deep is Cenote Cristal?

This cenote is quite shallow compared to other natural sinkholes in the Mayan Riviera at only about 6 m depth (20 feet).

Can you scuba dive at Cenote Cristal Tulum?

Yes, this is a good place to practice and for beginner divers to learn their open water. However, there's not too much to see, so I'd suggest looking for other cenotes like Cenote Calavera and Cenote Dos Ojos instead.

That's a wrap for this detailed guide to visiting Cenote Cristal. I hope I've convinced you to visit and to check out Cenote Escondido on the way too!

If you're looking for more inspiration for Tulum and the Yucatan peninsula, make sure to check out some of my other guides below as well.

Bike on the beach in tulum

Plan Your Tulum Accommodation

Still in the planning stages of your trip? Perhaps you're booking on the fly. The below accommodation guides will help you plan where to stay in Tulum.

Alternatively, stay in Playa del Carmen.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.