If you've ever been to Mexico, chances are you've come across a fair amount of cenotes. These sinkholes of blue beauty have grown extremely popular over the years as tourist flocked to them by the dozens. Swimming in a cenote is a wonderful thing, but the hoards of tourist and sometimes even waiting lines can turn an amazing experience into a check off a bucket list. I've stayed in Mexico for a month in May 2018, had my dose of touristy things and decided to spend my last few weeks there exploring and searching for unknown cenotes, off the beaten path style. Here are the hidden gems that I've come across:



  I found this Cenote while we where driving from Chichen Itza to Merida, I was randomly looking through Google maps and noticed 'Cenote', clicked on it, saw that it only had 42 reviews (compared to the usual 200+ that you find at popular crowd-infested ones), and decided it would be a good place to explore. Needless to say, we were not disappointed, we had the place to ourselves for an entire hour until a group of locals came by to take a dip. When you get to the location on maps, ask anyone around you and they'll point you to the entrance.

Entrance fee: 35 pesos

Drive time from Chichen Itza: 31mins

cenote la noria

 There is hardly anyone there during the weekdays, this cenote is mostly open but you do need to go down a flight of stairs to reach the water. There's a rope to swing on, high platforms to jump off from, and many people like to go there for diving since it's approximately 18 meters deep and 47 meters wide. There are bats there, but they won't bother you in any way.

Entrance fee: 100 pesos

Drive time from Puerto Morelos: 27mins


cenote nicte -HA

   This cenote is known by the locals and they like to go there after work and during the weekends to relax. It's completely open, surrounded by luscious green vegetation and some portions of the water even contain lillypads! I was really surprised that there aren't many tourists that know about this place since it's so beautiful and near Tulum. Be sure to bring snorkeling gear with you as swimming in this cenote is sure to leave you daydreaming. 

Entrance fee: 100 pesos

Drive time from Tulum: 20 mins


Cenote Kin Ha


    This partially underground Cenote is equipped with a zip line as well as a jumping deck made out of wood. It's a great place to spend a couple of hours in, and I recommend coming around noon (or earlier) but not too late or too early, as to maximize your time there while the light shines through the opening.

Entrance fee: 5$, you can bargain for less

Drive time from Cancun: 1 hour

Cenote Aktunzots

Cenote Aktunzots is a fairly new kid on the block and is as off-the-beaten-path as it gets when it comes to non-touristy cenotes. Just check out the video and be blown away. For the location: right now (June 2018), the cenote doesn't show up in google maps when you search for it, so you either need to 1.) go to their facebook page click on the map under their 'about' tab, and get the 'here' app available for android and apple devices, the location is shown on this app, or 2.) if you have an iPhone, go to Instagram and write 'cenote aktunzots', click on the first tag that appears (Esmeralda, Quintana Roo, Mexico), then click on the location shown on the map (above the pictures), and then open the location in MAPS (iPhone maps, not google maps, google maps will show you a false location, and if you go to their instagram page and click on their location highlighted in blue, it will also show you a false one, even if you open iPhone maps from there).

Entrance fee: 100 pesos

Drive time from Coba: 30 mins.



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   While searching for cenotes to go to that weren't as touristic as other ones, I came across this awesome article over at featherandthewind.com . It mentions a day trip from Merida to Cuzama to explore very non-touristy cenotes. The article does an amazing job of informing and summarizing everything you need to know so please check it out.

Here's a link to their youtube video about their cenotes trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppy07GewnuE


cenote Verde Lucero

     An open cenote with a couple of small caves inside of it, like a lot of cenotes on this list, this one also has a zip line and a cliff for jumping. There wasn't anyone there when we went, and it's easy to get to and near the highway but when you get there the area itself is so secluded that you feel like you're in the middle of the jungle

Price: 120 pesos

Drive time from Puerto Morelos: 20 mins