Cenote Dos Ojos Tulum - 2023 Guide Everything you need to know
Table of Contents
Cenote Dos Ojos is one of the most magical Cenotes in the Riviera Maya. Whether you’re there to relax and unwind or to explore what lies in the blue waters of the cenote, you will not be disappointed.
Cenote Dos Ojos (sistema Dos Ojos) is located between the towns of Tulum and Playa Del Carmen and Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula. It is a very popular cenote and is part of the Sac Actun cave system – the world’s largest underground cave system.
We have visited Cenote Dos Ojos several times in the past 6 years, and we are here to help you plan the perfect adventure and exploration of this magnificent site.
Cenote Dos Ojos means Cenote Two Eyes in English. It owes its name to the sinkholes that form the shape of two eyes that look into the sky. The cenote is located near Tulum and Playa del Carmen. It displays an enchanting view of two eyes staring at you! The marvelous underground cavern is well decorated with natural wonders such as stalactites, stalagmites, and tree roots lining its ceilings and floors.
If you are into snorkeling or diving, then be sure to join a snorkeling tour (or diving tour) or bring your equipment and explore at your own leisure! With its extensive network of caverns, it is no surprise that this cenote is very popular among divers.
Parque Dos Ojos near Playa del Carmen has 5 cenotes, and Cenote Dos Ojos is by far the most famous, photographed, and stunning cenote. Visitors can also explore Jaguar and Nicte Ha (both open-air), El Pit (for diving), or Los Monos (the Monkey Cenote).
What are the Cenotes?
The cenotes are the pearls of Mexico‘s Yucatan Peninsula. Pronounced seh-NO-tay, these water-filled sinkholes are created when an underground cave ceiling collapses and reveals groundwater underneath the limestone rock – making for some stunning vistas! Not only do locals adore them but tourists and social media have made the cenotes increasingly popular with visitors from across the world.
The water of the cenote is usually cooler than the rather warm waters of the Caribbean. But although it might seem cold upon entering due to its underground origins, it is actually the perfect relief from a hot and humid day in the Riviera Maya.
The Mayans used them as a source of fresh water but also for sacrificial acts, and items such as gold jewelry artifacts or animal remains were discovered deep inside some cenotes.
Yucatan is home to around 6,000 cenotes that are a mix of semi-open, open, or underground cenotes:
Semi-open cenotes: These underground cenotes have small openings in their ceilings that let air and light permeate, such as Dos Ojos. There is something magical about these cenotes; the beams of sunlight streaming through them create an ethereal atmosphere. Our absolute favorites are Cenote Ik Kil, which can be included on a day trip to Chichen Itza, and Cenote Suytun near Valladolid – both semi-open caverns of crystal clear waters!
Underground cenotes: If you’re looking for a unique adventure during your stay in Playa Del Carmen, check out the three cenotes near Coba ruins. These natural wonders are located underground within a cave system without any light to illuminate their distinctive waters. Exploring these unexplored depths will be an unforgettable experience!
Open cenotes: Gran Cenote, Cenote Carwash are some of our favorite open-air cenotes. These special caves have crumbled and now expose themselves to bright blue skies, perfect for swimming beneath on a warm day. Visitors are additionally welcome to hang out around the water’s edge too! Aside from Cenote Carwash, we also love visiting Cenote Azul in Playa Del Carmen, Cenote Zacil-Ha near Tulum, and lastly, but by no means least -Cenote Oxman, close to Valladolid.
How can you get to Cenote Dos Ojos
About 12 miles (18 km) north of Tulum (in between Tulum and Playa del carmen), situated conveniently along the main Tulum – Cancun road lies Cenote Dos Ojos!
There are many ways to get here (keep reading to learn more), but the most convenient are renting a car or booking a taxi. A rental car makes for the simplest way to get there as parking is plentiful and makes moving around easy. If you’d rather explore tour options or take public transportation, that’s absolutely an option too. Also, there are plenty of tours that depart from both Cancun and Tulum daily, while the cheap Colectivos are always available.
The bus and collectivo drops you off at the park entrance. You can get a ticket at the Cenote Dos Ojos entrance for $17 USD, and from the entrance, it’s a 2km walk on foot to get to the cenote (this is around 20 each away). If you come with a rental car or taxi, you can skip the walk and just drive from the Cenote Dos Ojos entrance to the cenote.
Upon entering the site, you will find a common area with changing rooms, lockers, and bathrooms. Life jackets are provided at no extra charge as part of your ticket, but you need to pay to rent snorkeling gear.
Swimming experience in Cenote Dos Ojos
At Cenote Dos Ojos, there are two distinct swimming pools (the two eyes). Eye 1 is on the left as you enter and is for the more adventurous, as it is a deeper pool ideal for snorkeling and diving. Eye 1 offers a dedicated space on the left side of their platform for divers to properly prepare and enter into the ocean depths below.
Eye 2 is more shallow and is perfect for a relaxing swim in the crystal clear waters of the cenote. This is a larger cenote pool area for an easy, relaxing swim. This cenote’s right side also has hammocks hanging from nearby trees. A wooden walkway with steps leads down to Eye 2, and you can fully appreciate the cenote’s gorgeous scenery and lush vegetation as you descend into Eye 2. The water depths make it ideal for those who may be less confident in their swimming abilities. This is the perfect cenote to unwind in an atmosphere of pure tranquility and relaxation!
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Dos Ojos
Immerse yourself in a world of adventure and exploration when you snorkel or dive into the mesmerizing depths at Dos Ojos. The cenote is one of Mexico’s premier diving locations. With an extensive network of captivating caves and cavern systems to explore, this will for sure be a very memorable experience. You can book a diving or snorkeling tour and really immerse yourself in the rich geological history of the cenote.
Book a guided Cenote Dos Ojos Tour and Bat Cave
Adding to the thrill and adventure at Cenote Dos Ojos is a visit through the must-see bat cave. Only accessible via guided Cenote Dos Ojos tour (you can pre-book from your hotel in Playa del Carmen or Tulum), your ticket includes rental of a wetsuit, fins, snorkel/mask – all for just US $34. Then let your guide take you on an underwater journey into the bowels of this mysterious cavern as they navigate you around its winding passageways until reaching the spectacular bat cave!
How to Pack for Cenote Dos Ojos
Exploring the cenotes in Yucatán is an exceptional experience that you must be prepared for. Pack these items when visiting the cenotes, so your outing will be one to remember!
Bring Cash: Many cenotes, especially the smaller ones, do not take credit cards. Therefore you should always have cash on hand to rent life jackets or purchase snacks and drinks. Generally speaking, it is better to carry pesos as opposed to other foreign currencies for your convenience. Some of the larger cenotes may accept card payments at entry, but once inside will only accept cash -so be sure to come prepared!
Pack Towels: If you’re visiting the larger cenotes, towel rental is offered. However, we found it more efficient and hygienic to bring our own towels.
Bring your Snorkeling Equipment: If you’re interested in snorkeling at Cenote Dos Ojos, don’t forget to bring or rent the gear when you arrive. If your itinerary involves visiting multiple cenotes for a snorkel session, then it’s definitely worth buying yourself a personal set of equipment – this will be much more economical than renting each time.
Water shoes: If you are planning a trip to the Yucatan, don’t forget to bring along some water shoes! Not only will they provide more traction on the wooden pathways around cenotes, but they also help tremendously with shallower entrances where submerged rocks might be present. Swim shoes can make your journey smoother and easier – so throw them in your bag before visiting this enchanting destination!
No Sunscreen or Bug repellent Spray: Due to the sensitive ecology of these special areas, sunscreen or mosquito spray is not allowed while swimming – but you can wear it afterward! You also need to take a shower prior to entering the cenote.
Bring a Waterproof Camera: An action camera such as a GoPro or an Osmo Action is the perfect way to capture your favorite memories on the go.
And of course if you are up for a road trip make your way to Chichen Itza and the magical cenotes of the Chichen Itza park. We have also put together guides for the best cenotes for families near Tulum.
And don’t forget to stay up to date with the latest safety updates on Mexico.
Tips and FAQ for Visiting Cenote Dos Ojos
Before you set to explore the magical beauty of Cenote Dos Ojos, here are some helpful tips and frequently asked questions to ensure you have a safe and memorable experience!
If you decide to explore Cenote Dos Ojos without a guide, it’s essential that you know how to find the cenote park. Located 30 miles south of Playa del Carmen along Highway 307 and 14 miles north of Tulum, Parque Dos Ojos is easy to spot with its bold highway sign announcing your arrival!
As you plan your trip to Cenote Dos Ojos, remember that while the admissions booth is conveniently situated near the highway, its cenote itself lies 1.5 miles down a rugged dirt road–thus making it important for you to be mindful of your transportation choices.
It’s really easy to get to Parque Dos Ojos from Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun. Let’s take a look at your options:
How to get to Cenote Dos Ojos
Rental Car: Renting a car is the easiest and most convenient way to explore the Yucatan peninsula and have an amazing adventure while you are visiting all of the incredible cenotes. We chose to rent one and made our way from Tulum straight to Cenote Dos Ojos with ease! As soon as we arrived, there was plenty of parking space conveniently included in our tour ticket at the entrance! Traveling by car in the Yucatan peninsula gave us peace of mind that no other transportation option could offer so that we were free to explore these hidden gems worry-free. Renting a car is the ultimate way to explore the incredible cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula and sites in the Riviera Maya.
You have total autonomy when it comes to your vacation itinerary, and you can stop for spontaneous detours whenever inspiration strikes! Additionally, having access to a trunk gives you extra storage space so that lugging around heavy backpacks isn’t necessary – rather, just grab what you need from the vehicle safe-haven at any time.
Locating Cenotes Dos Ojos is super straightforward if you’re traveling by vehicle – just take Highway 307 from Playa del Carmen or Tulum and keep a lookout for the distinctive sign indicating Cenote Dos Ojos Cenote Park (Parque Dos Ojos). When you spot it, simply turn towards the park! You’ll need to make an additional stop at its main gate to get your admission fee taken care of before they’ll give you directions on how exactly to reach Dos Ojos. A dirt road will lead you there in only a few kilometers, but don’t worry – upon arriving, there’s plenty of parking close by so that walking would be kept minimal.
Book a Taxi: You can also take a taxi to Dos Ojos from Tulum, and while the price should be fair, make sure that you set a price before you embark on your journey. Taking a taxi to Dos Ojos is another excellent choice for transportation. You can employ one who will drop you at the entrance, making it the most budget-friendly option and safe option if you don’t feel like driving; however, keep in mind that from there, you’d have to either rent a bike or walk down a 1.5 mile road straight to your destination – cenotes! On the other hand, if you choose wisely and hire a driver for an entire day, this could be both more convenient and economical than occasional trips with many smaller taxis throughout the day.
All it takes is some proper negotiation with your driver, usually at a flat rate. I’ve utilized this service twice before and found many drivers willing to offer me such deals! Don’t miss out on experiencing all that life has to offer – let taxis be your ticket around town today! You can ask your hotel staff for driver recommendations.
Based on my experience in the area, here are some ballpark figures: a full-day hire would be somewhere between 800 and 1000 pesos ($40 – $50 USD), Playa del Carmen to Dos Ojos probably 600 pesos ($30 USD) while Tulum to Dos Ojos could set you back 400 pesos ($20 USD).
Is there Uber in Cancun, Tulum, Valladolid or Playa del Carmen?
Unfortunately, no. Even though the app is functional there has been a lot of push-back from the local taxi-mafia and some violence so for your safety, we would suggest against using it.
Colectivo (Local taxi-bus): Colectivo’s are public buses that pass Dos Ojos’ entrance road and make a stop. All you have to do is inform the driver of your destination, and they’ll drop you at a close distance from the ticket booth for Dos Ojos. It’s an easy walk away!
This is the cheapest way to tour the Rivier Maya but also the least convenient as you depend on the schedule of the Collectivos. Also, it’s a comfortable way to move around, especially for larger groups. Contrary to other transport services, these don’t have a set schedule; they leave when full of passengers. You can join them at their starting point or hail one down along the highway!
To get to Dos Ojos from Playa del Carmen, take a colectivo from Avenida Juarez or the highway under the bridge – please note that this is a recent change as they previously departed from Calle 2. Look for vans with “Tulum” written in their window and when you board, let the driver know your destination is Dos Ojos. The drivers will always keep passengers informed of when it’s time to disembark at the park entrance near the highway.
For Tulum, you can find these buses outside of the ADO bus station on the main street or along any highway heading north out of town. The fare will likely cost around 40 pesos from Playa del Carmen, but cheaper still if departing from within Tulum city limits. Once onboard, simply pay the driver when disembarking at your destination – which for this route will be a park entrance near Dos Ojos cenotes! To make sure you arrive exactly where you need to be, consider renting bikes from the admissions booth close by and cycling onwards towards your final destination: an invaluable experience awaited by vast underground caves with crystal clear waters just waiting to amaze you!
Opening Hours for Cenote: Dos Ojos Opening
Dos Ojos is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
Expert tip: The cenote is quiet at the opening, and it gets quiet in the last hour before close, and we found that a lot of the stalls and food options closed before the cenote itself closed.
How much does Dos Ojos Cenote cost?
Dos Ojos Cenote has two options when it comes to passes:
Option 1: At 350 pesos (roughly $17 USD) is the standard entrance that comes with a plethora of perks. You get a complimentary lifejacket, parking, and access to both swimming holes within the cenote. This is the ticket we got for our family as we merely wanted to swim and relax that afternoon.
Option 2: For an extra $700 peso (approximately $34 USD), you can book the Cenote Dos Ojos tours, which includes a locker rental, snorkeling gear rental, and an invigorating guided journey through the cenote. Plus, you will have access to explore the captivating bat cave! There’s no cutoff time for your visit, so feel free to remain as long as desired – my family (2 adults and 2 kids)stayed all afternoon since there are plenty of activities and it is such a tranquil spot.
What is the Best Time to Visit Dos Ojos
Best time to visit cenote Dos Ojos is right at the opening and right before closing. Weekends also tend to be busier. This is very popular, and I advise you to make plans to be here early before the tour buses arrive (around 10 am)
Let’s protect the fragile environment and maintain the integrity of cenotes by following some simple rules. By doing so, we can help guard nature against further deterioration and ensure its beauty for future generations to come.
Be courteous and respectful to others by keeping the noise level down so that everyone can appreciate this place in peace.
Take a shower before plunging into the waters of a cenote
Avoid utilizing any types of sunscreen or bug spray your skin, as they can have detrimental impacts on the environment, even those with an “eco-friendly” label.
No jumping is allowed at Cenote Dos Ojos.
Don’t touch the Roots, Stalactites, or Stalagmites. Do not disrupt the gorgeous roots, stalactites, or stalagmites inside Cenote Dos Ojos (or any cenotes, for that matter). There are numerous signs firmly informing you of this and anyone who does so will be held accountable. Respect these natural wonders; leave them to flourish in their beauty! The ecosystem of the cenote is very delicate and should not be disturbed. It is a punishable offense to physically touch or take anything from the cenote, so be sure to pay attention, as there are several warnings at every entrance point in Dos Ojos.
No Alcohol is allowed in the park. This includes all alcoholic beverages and beer. Swimming is strictly prohibited at Yucatan’s cenotes if you have had an alcoholic beverage. Furthermore, no alcohol should be brought into the Cenote Dos Ojos visitor area.
What we love about Cenote Dos Ojos:
The spectacular rock formations are a sight to behold, standing as a testament to the incredible power of nature.
The pristine, crystal-clear water
What we didn’t like:
Its immense popularity means it’s almost always crowded, making it a less-than-ideal destination.
Pricier relative to other cenotes in the area
Instagram and photography tips
To capture the most stunning shots of this cenote, it’s ideal to arrive early and be there when doors open at 8 am (this is true for all cenotes in the Riviera Maya). You’ll not only have the entire place to yourself but also enjoy optimal lighting conditions. Additionally, it’s advised that you bring a tripod along since, because of its semi-open nature; you may encounter either extreme darkness or strong contrasts in light levels.
Other Things to Do Near Dos Ojos
After you’ve explored the majestic Dos Ojos, why not take part in some thrilling activities?
Take off on an intrepid expedition to uncover Tulum’s wealth of awe-inspiring cenotes (Cenote Azul, Gran Cenote, Cenote Jaguar) ! With such a plethora of stunning locations in the Riviera Maya, you and your closest companions will have days full of unforgettable memories.
Unwind and relax at the gorgeous Tulum Beach, and don’t forget to try one of the many amazing restaurants in town (try the tacos and local beer)
Take a trip to the ancient Tulum ruins, National Parks and, if you find yourself with extra time, venture even further to ruins of Chichen Itza – a stunning location and one of the 7 Wonders of the World!
Enjoy an unforgettable day trip to the magnificent Sian Ka’an Biosphere breathtakingly blue waters and get up close with dolphins and even some crocodiles!
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