Complete guide to visiting Cenote Escondido in Tulum. Discover Tulum’s Hidden Cenote within a lush forest far from the hustle-and-bustle of the Pueblo.
Looking for a quite, hidden place to snorkel, swim, and relax in rainforest surrounds near Tulum? I’ve got you covered.
Cenote Escondido is a beautiful open air sinkhole located just a short hop from town. This cenote offers crystal clear waters, a small cliff jump, and an untouched jungle forest.
Better yet, Cenote Escondido is right next door to another similar sinkhole, Cenote Cristal, meaning you can get two cenotes out of one short trip from Tulum!
Don’t Miss: 26 Top Things to do in Tulum
- About Cenote Escondido Tulum
- Where Is Cenote Escondido?
- What to Expect at the Escondido Cenote (Mayan Blue)
- Scuba Diving at El Cenote Escondido
- What to Bring to the Escondido Cenote in Tulum
- Best Time to Visit Cenote Escondido
- Where to Stay in Tulum To See Cenotes
- Should I visit Cenote Cristal Also?
- More Cenotes To Visit in Tulum
- Cenote Escondido Faqs
- More Tulum Adventure Travel Guides & Blogs
About Cenote Escondido Tulum
- Cenote Escondido Opening Hours: 9 am to 4 pm, 7 days a week
- Cenote Escondido Price: 150 MXN pesos (can no longer get a discount for both cenotes)
- Diving tickets: 300 MXN
- Lifejackets: Not mandatory
Cenote Escondido translates to hidden cenote in Spanish. It's a great name for this open air sinkhole in Quintana Roo, since it really is tucked away. Its second name is Mayan Blue, which again, is a suitable name since the water here is stunningly clear and blue!
This cenote is a deep and long-stretching natural sink hole measures roughly 20 feet by 150 feet and looks almost like a river at first glance. You'll find beautiful trees and lush vines and green shrubs all around its edge.
Cenote Escondido is located on the left side of the road (heading west from Tulum) directly opposite Cenote Cristal (Naharon). However, to purchase tickets, you'll first need to stop on the opposite side.
This cenote is great for snorkeling, free diving, scuba diving, and just relaxing, as you'll find out below!
Best Cenote Escondido Tour from Tulum
Looking for the easiest and most convenient way to visit El Escondido Cenote from Tulum? Want to combine it with Tulum's other major tourist attraction; the Archeological Zone (Mayan Ruins)? You're in luck!
Best Escondido Cenote Tulum Tour: Archeological Zone & Cenote Tour (includes entry fees)
One of the best ways to get to the Hidden Cenote is to book this guided trip from Tulum. This is a great option since you'll tick off two must-visit spots in one day!
- Hotel pickup/drop-off
- Multi-lingual guide
- Visit Tulum Mayan Ruins followed up by a refreshing swim at Escondido Cenote.
- Includes all entry fees
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Where Is Cenote Escondido?
Cenote Escondido is located approximately 3.8 miles (6 km) southwest of Tulum Centro (Pueblo). You'll find it on the right side of the road on highway 307 (Chetumal-Cancun).
Below I've pinned the exact location which is accurate.
Yes, you can see that it looks quite far from the road. That's because this really is a hidden cenote. You have to walk or ride down a long gravel road to reach it from the highway (more below).
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 Escondido Cenote from Tulum quite easily on your own.
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. So, 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-$40 USD in Tulum from one of the many rental shops on the main road.
Conversely, a 24-hour rental of a bicycle costs $130-$150 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 DiscoverCars.com or Rentalcars.com first.
Remember: Cenote Esconido is hidden. Keep an eye out on the right side of the road for Cenote Cristal, pay there, then cross the road to Cenote Escondido.
If you take the independent route, expect the following times from Tulum Town.
- Drive: 8 minutes
- Bike Ride: 15 minutes
- Walk: 1 hour
Unfortunately I don't believe there is a colectivo going towards these cenotes. I tried asking around but had no luck. However, this might change. You'd want to find one heading to Muyil Ruins or Sian Ka'aan and get off at the entrance.
What to Expect at the Escondido Cenote (Mayan Blue)
Once you've paid at Cenote Cristal, cross the road and you'll see the entrance tucked away. From here, you'll show your band and the staff will open the chain-wire gate.
Next, you'll continue down a long gravel road through the jungle for about 10 minutes (walking). I parked my bike at Cenote Cristal, but really should have just taken it as there is adequate parking at the end.
Once you arrive, remember to shower (mandatory). You'll find picnic tables, a toilet block, and a small hut near the entrance.
From here, the long-stretching, aqua-blue cenote reveals itself behind the jungle trees.
One reason why I love Cenote Escondido Tulum is that it's a really great freshwater sinkhole for snorkeling! If you bring your own mask and snorkel, you'll have lots of fun free diving and exploring the epic underwater world.
Plus, since you don't have to wear a lifejacket here like you do at Dos Ojos or Gran Cenote, you can actually free dive down!
There are several steep ledges that you can swim down to and loads of freshwater fish relaxing on the edges. Additionally, if you're lucky, you can spot a turtle or two swimming through the cenote.
Tip: If you're a confident free diver, take a peak at the huge cavern entrance just below the cliff jump ledge. It's epic!
Cliff Jumping at Cenote Escondido
Directly near the entrance, you'll see a rock ledge and tree rope swing which is a great cliff jumping spot. It isn't too high, at just around 12 feet (3.5 meters). The water depth is at least 20 feet here, so it's totally safe to jump.
You'll find a convenient entry point just beside this ledge to get back up or slide in if you don't feel like jumping.
The Second Entrance
If you continue down the length of the cenote to the very end, you'll find another wooden entrance to the cenote. This is the quiet end away from the cliff jump. As a result, it makes for the perfect place to hang out in the sun or just snorkel.
Facilities at Cenote Escondido Tulum
While Cenote Escondido and Cenote Cristal used to be combined as a one-stop, double cenote experience, the local owners have changed their business plan to separate the cenotes. Obviously, this means more money for them, but it also means there are facilities at both cenotes including:
- Adequate dirt parking for cars, motorbikes, and bicycles
- Toilets, showers and changing rooms
- Wooden picnic tables for sitting and relaxing
Scuba Diving at El Cenote Escondido
Yes, it's definitely possible to go scuba diving at Cenote Escondido (Mayan Blue). A scuba diving entry ticket costs 300 MXN, and if you have your own equipment, you can explore this open sinkhole by yourself.
If you don't have your own equipment or would prefer to scuba with a guide, there are plenty of scuba diving shops in Tulum.
I didn't go scuba diving at this cenote but instead stuck to freediving. However, when I dove down to check out the huge underwater carven entrance near the cliff jump ledge, it sure made me wish I had a tank with me!
What to Bring to the Escondido Cenote in Tulum
Here are a few things that I recommend to bring when visiting Cenote Escondido in Tulum.
- Mask & snorkel – will save you money instead of renting one
- Travel towel
- GoPro – the only cameras allowed without a fee (more below)
- Telekin GoPro Dome – for unique half-in-out photos
- Grayl Bottle – to filter tap-water on the go (free clean drinking water without the plastic)
- Hat – no sunblock allowed
- Clothes for swimming
- Small travel backpack
And... What not to Bring
Like all Cenotes in the Yucatan, you are not allowed to wear sunscreen. I'd also avoid bringing too many valuable items as there are no lockers at either cenote.
What About Bringing Cameras & Drones?
Finally, a cenote in Tulum that allows cameras and drones for free!
I didn't send my drone up drone this time because I felt it would disturb the peaceful ambience. However, I did have some fun taking photos of the Cenote with my camera and GoPro.
Best Time to Visit Cenote Escondido
Unlike some of the more popular cenotes in Tulum like Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera, Cenote Escondido is usually quite peaceful and devoid of crowds. This means visiting time doesn't matter too much!
However, if you want to see the sun lighting up the blue water, it's best to visit in the middle of the day when the sun is high.
Where to Stay in Tulum To See Cenotes
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 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 - Perfect for couples searching for a luxury, private and relaxing resort. It's situated on a private beach surrounded by palm trees and offers luxury spa treatments and a large outdoor swimming pool.
- Mamasan Treehouses & Cabins - Stay in an epic tree house just 100m from South Tulum Beach! Features an epic root-top jungle bar with rooms overlooking the ocean.
- Myan Monkey - By far the best hostel for a party vibe and making lifelong friends. The perfect choice for backpackers looking for accommodation in a great location. Just a short walk to Tulum Center where you can find many restaurants and bars.
Should I visit Cenote Cristal Also?
As you know by now, Cenote Escondido and Cenote Cristal are right next door. You even buy the ticket at the same booth (at Cenote Cristal).
But the question is, should you visit both cenotes? In my opinion, yes you should! Both cenotes are very beautiful and a great place to hang out and cool down. This is also a great way to spend a whole day relaxing just outside of Tulum.
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 expore.
More Cenotes To Visit in Tulum
Did you enjoy this guide to Tulum's Hidden Cenote? Check out some of the other epic cenotes in my posts 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 sink holes for scuba diving.
Cenote Escondido Faqs
Entrance to the Cenote Calavera 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.
Escondido translates to hidden in Spanish. Once you arrive, it's easy to see where it got its name. This cenote is hidden in the forest just off the main highway.
It seems that the original name for this cenote was Mayan Blue. However, the old sign is now gone. Some still prefer to call it by its old name.
This cenote is quite deep at roughly 20 meters maximum depth. There are large white rock formations on the bottom which means the depth varies.
Yes, this amazing clearwater sinkhole makes for a great place to scuba dive. The scuba diving entry ticket price is 300 MXN pesos per person.
More Tulum Adventure Travel Guides & Blogs
And, that's a wrap for this detailed guide to visiting Cenote Escondido in Tulum, Mexico!
I hope you've been inspired to visit this amazing natural sinkhole to escape the crowds in Tulum and enjoy some time in nature.
While you're still here on my blog, make sure to check out some of my other guides and articles for more inspiration for your vacation!