Cenote Zacil ha Tulum

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Cenote Zacil ha Tulum - 2023 Ultimate Visitors Guide

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Cenote Zacil Ha, Tulum: A Family-Friendly Cenote

Located in Tulum, Cenote Zacil Ha is an open-air natural pool with mesmerizing crystal-clear waters that you don’t want to miss … especially if you are traveling with kids!

Quintana Roo is home to numerous cenotes which can make it difficult to choose the right one that isn’t too crowded. However, what makes this cenote special is its family friendliness. It’s not as beloved as other options; however,it offers more privacy and a peaceful experience for visitors and their children. 

Cenote Zacil Ha Pool
Cenote Zacil Ha Pool

Touring the cenotes of Tulum is a thrilling experience, but can prove to be difficult when traveling with your children. Luckily, Zacil Ha exists – its name meaning “clear water” and discovered 30 years ago – as it provides all kinds of amenities such as two swimming pools that are nowhere near as deep compared to other local cenotes. It has been developing rapidly over recent years and has become one of my personal favorite spots for adventure-seekers accompanied by their families! To get more insight into some other favorite sites in this area, watch my video now  – you won’t regret it!


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Cenote Zacil Ha Ramp
Cenote Zacil Ha Ramp

What are the Cenote?

Have you heard of cenotes? These naturally occurring sinkholes have become increasingly popular on social media, with Instagram users often posting pictures from them. Despite their widespread popularity however, many people are not aware of their true significance to the Mayans and how they were formed. A cenote is a natural pool that dates back thousands of years; when limestone caves collapse it reveals an underground river which then fills up with rainwater – this creates the stunning pools we now know as cenotes!

The etymology of “cenote” is derived from the Mayan term seh-no-teh, or “well”. Despite their origin, cenotes come in all shapes and sizes; there are essentially four kinds.:

  • Open Cenotes – Open cenotes are stunning, natural pools with various depths perfect for diving. An example of this is Cenote Azul near Playa del Carmen and Zacil Ha cenote. What’s more, some even have underground river connections that provide an extra-special experience!
  • Semi-open Cenotes – True to its namesake, Cenote Zaci—a remarkable cenote located at the heart of a city!—is composed of caverns and grottos that are partially exposed in some areas yet remain hidden away in others.
  • Cave Cenotes – To discover the mysterious, magical world of cave cenotes like Cenote Xkeken close to Valladolid, one must access via a land-level entrance. Once inside this subterranean oasis, you’ll be met with an underground pool that holds both shallow and deep sections – perfect for swimming no matter your skill level!
  • Underground Cenotes – This type of cenote, the most difficult to reach, as they are underground. Only experienced divers can access these types of cenotes. An example of an underground cenote is the Pet Cemetery Cenote near Tulum.

Cenotes were of great cultural and religious importance to the ancient Mayans, who believed that they were passages to the underworld. In fact, Mayans performed rituals in cenotes and treated them as sacred sites.

About Cenote Zacil Ha Tulum

If you’re seeking a delightful dip in the crystal-clear and turquoise water of Cenote Zacil Ha, it’s just 8.5 km away from Tulum along the road that links Coba with Tulum – perfect for those who have spent an entire day exploring the amazing Mayan ruins! Not only does this open-air cenote look like a natural swimming pool, but there are also two pools available to cool down from the sweltering tropical heat. 

Cenote Zacil Ha Ticket Office
Cenote Zacil Ha Ticket Office

Come to Cenote Zacil Ha for its soothing respite, and take advantage of all that nature has on offer! With an average depth of three meters, this natural pool is the perfect destination for a family swim. If you’d like to take it further and dive into this cenote, make sure that your open water or cavern diving certification is in-check; allowing you access to explore its connected caves with Cenote Carwash just one of them! You won’t miss the entry point thanks to the deep blue hue tinting one side of the pool. 

Cenote Zacil Ha Entrance
Cenote Zacil Ha Entrance

Exploring the depths of Zazil Ha Cenote is an adventure like no other! From 8 to 35 meters deep, you’ll stumble upon a captivating chamber called “Las Lágrimas,” where glimmering stalactites drip down from the ceiling resembling water droplets. Whether swimming or snorkeling, always be sure to bring your own life jacket for greater security; and if you’d like some underwater views – make sure you equip yourself with necessary snorkeling gear (although renting may not be available at this particular cenote). Soak up all that nature has to offer in one unforgettable trip.

Remember, no sunscreen is allowed in any cenotes throughout Mexico to prevent water pollution. The cenote itself isn’t huge and can become swarmed quickly by a throng of sightseers; therefore it’s essential to plan your visit wisely so you’re not there when a tourist bus or on the weekend arrives!


Swimming in Cenote Zacil-Ha

If you’d like to submerge yourself in this wondrous cenote, make sure to visit on a day when there aren’t too many people. Sundays are the busiest days – so consider visiting another day of the week. You must possess an open water or cavern diving certificate if you wish to plunge into its depths which are around 10 feet deep and not particularly large. Once inside, you can explore the connected cenotes such as Cenote Carwash located within Tulum!

The aquatic beauty of Cenote Zacil-Ha is unparalleled; its deep blue waters a majestic sight to behold. This cenote, or cave, connects with other nearby underground sites and provides an opportunity for your family to observe many species of birds native to the area including fluttering bluebirds and yellow-feathered varieties that adorn the tall trees creating their nests. Additionally, we offer a variety of activities that will ensure each member of your family has an unforgettable experience during your visit!

How to Get to Cenote Zacil Ha

Depending on your budget, there are numerous transportation options for you to explore when travelling to Cenote Zacil Ha.

Rental Car

If you are wanting to explore Cenote Zacil Ha from Tulum, renting a car is the way to go! It’s only about 8 kilometers away and will save you time as well as money. Take the Tulum/Coba road towards Coba and look for a sign on your left pointing in the direction of this beautiful cenote. Once there, park your car with ease – plentiful parking spots await!

Taxi to Cenote Zacil Ha

If you’re looking for a more secure choice to travel from Tulum to Cenote Zacil Ha, consider taking a taxi. You can spot one at the center of Tulum or have your hotel contact one on your behalf. In terms of time spent in transit, it’ll take approximately 20-30 minutes if you are situated near Tulum Beach while only 10 minutes if closeby to downtown Tulum. Regardless of where you originate from, make sure not to be taken advantage by overcharging rates! Hire a private driver for the day.


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Perhaps you could consider hiring a private driver to get around Tulum? It doesn’t make much sense for a one-way trip to Cenote Zacil Ha since the cenote is only just nearby, and it’s quite costly (upwards of 100 USD). But if your plans include visiting other cenotes or exploring locations like Coba Ruins on that same day and do not want anything structured tours, then this might be an ideal solution. I took this option when I was there!

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.

Bike to Cenote Zacil-Ha

If you’re looking for an exciting way to reach Zacil-Ha Cenote, why not rent a bike? You can find one in Tulum at the economical rate of 150 MXN per day and it’s only 8 kilometers away. Just be sure to stay mindful of the Mexican heat!

Take a colectivo from Tulum

Experience the ultimate convenience and affordability with a colectivo (shared van) ride to Cenote Zacil Ha. As you travel from Tulum towards Coba, make sure to notify your driver that they need to drop you off at this destination. For anyone coming from further away such as Cancun or Playa del Carmen, look into how to get there via Tulum first – which is easy since directions on getting both from Cancun and Playa are available online!

Facilities Available at Cenote Zacil Ha, Tulum

Cenote Zacil Ha stands out with the rather generous and wide array of amenities:

  • Bathrooms
  • Changing areas
  • Life jacket rentals
  • Lockers
  • Zipling: For the most daring thrill-seekers, one of the coolest experiences is ziplining above a cenote and then jumping in! For just 10 MXN (roughly $0.50) you can have an unforgettable time that will take your breath away.
  • Jumping Platforms: At the cenote, you’ll find several platforms to jump from as well as a rope to hold onto for safety.
  • Man made pools: In case the cenote gets a bit too populated, you can always make use of one of our two magnificent man-made swimming pools as an excellent alternative – especially if you have kids with you.
  • Restaurant: An on-site restaurant serving up delicious food, tacos, cold beer, drinks and snacks. Plus, there are plenty of cozy covered areas where you can take the time out for some restful relaxation after your swim.
  • Lifeguards on duty, making it an ideal spot for families with small children.
  • Parking: If you prefer to take your own vehicle, Cenote Zazil Ha in Tulum offers complimentary parking!

Read Next our favorite cenotes in Mexico:

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 in Tulum

And don’t forget to stay up to date with the latest safety updates on Mexico.


Cenote Zacil Ha price

Currently, entrance to Cenote Zacil Ha is 200 Pesos ($15 USD) per person. With its vast array of exceptional amenities and established infrastructure, the cenote offers extraordinary value for your money!

Cenote Zacil Ha location

Cenote Zacil Ha is located at km 8.5 on the Tulum-Coba Road and can easily be seen from the left side of the road. If you’re having trouble finding it, just look for Cenote Carwash which is right next to it (and I also recommend checking out – more details here). You can get a better sense of where it’s located with this map:

Cenote Zacil Ha opening hours

At Cenote Zacil Ha, guests can enjoy its natural beauty daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. During peak times of the year however, it opens even earlier at 9 AM! So don’t miss out on a chance to explore one of Yucatan’s most enchanting cenotes during your stay in Mexico!

What is the best time to visit Cenote Zacil Ha?

Cenote Zacil Ha is a favorite spot for nearby families. To make the most of your visit, arrive when it opens or right before it closes, and try to avoid the weekends if you can— that’s when locals tend to flock here.

Pros and Cons of Cenote Zacil Ha

Pros of Cenote Zacil Ha:

  • Cenote Zacil Ha is ideal for families!
  • Take your fun to the next level with an exciting zip-line ride before diving into one of nature’s wonders.
  • The complex features modern amenities and conveniences, making it a great stop along the way from Tulum to Coba while you explore these majestic ancient pyramids.
  • At Zacil Ha cenote, there are also opportunities for cave diving at an incredibly affordable entrance fee
  • Less crowds than other popular spots like Gran Cenote or Cenote Dos Ojos!

Cons of Cenote Zacil Ha:

  • Cenote Zacil-Ha may not be the best choice for a large group of tourists due to its limited size.
  • Lacks that authentic natural experience and awe which I prefer in cenotes like Cenote Calavera.

What to Pack for Cenote Zacil Ha

For a remarkable and contented time at the gorgeous Cenote Zacil-ha, be sure to have these indispensable items on hand!

  • Swimwear: Undeniably, this is a must-have item for anyone looking to explore the cenotes!
  • Snorkel Mask or Goggles: Let the crystal clear waters of the cenotes beckon you to explore their mysterious depths – but don’t forget your snorkeling gear! To take advantage of this amazing opportunity, you’ll need all the necessary equipment.
  • Water Shoes: I always advise travelers to invest in a good pair of water shoes before exploring Mexico’s cenotes. These natural grottos can be full of sharp rocks, so having some comfortable footwear will make your journey much safer and more enjoyable. Additionally, these waterproof shoes are also ideal for snorkeling on the coral reef!
  • Water Bottle: When you set off for a Mexican getaway, be sure to brace yourself for its sultry and muggy atmosphere. To make your journey more eco-friendly, don’t forget to bring along a refillable water bottle! Just bear in mind that the tap water there isn’t safe for drinking – opt for clean sources of H2O when refilling or invest in a LifeStraw filter bottle so each gulp is filtered before it reaches your lips.
  • Camera: The mesmerizing beauty of these cenotes is enough to make anyone snap a picture. If you have a waterproof camera or GoPro, why not take your photography even further by taking the plunge and bringing it into the water for some remarkable shots?

Other Things to Do Near Zacil Ha

After you’ve explored this majestic cenote, why not take part in some thrilling activities?

      • Take off on an intrepid expedition to uncover Tulum’s wealth of awe-inspiring cenotes! With such a plethora of stunning locations, 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!

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.