Cenote Cristalino Playa Del Carmen: Price, Hours & Tours

The Riviera Maya is renowned for its stunning nature-based swimming spots known as cenotes. One of the most beautiful cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula is Cenote Cristalino close to Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

In this article, we have created a comprehensive guide that includes stunning photographs from Cenote Cristalino and useful information about going to Cenote Cristalino and the other Cenotes located in Mexico.

We also have a list of cenotes to pack with helpful items to take with you for swimming and snorkeling in the sparkling natural swimming pool.

Cenote Cristalino is one of my personal favourites. It is a gorgeous cenote for a day off in the water, snorkeling, or simply relaxing in an unspoiled setting.

In this blog, I will share all you need to know concerning going to Cenote Cristalino and how to reach the place opening hours, admission costs, what you can expect, what to do and the best suggestions to visit.

Find out more about everything you need to know about Cenote Cristalino near Playa del Carmen!



Cenotes are natural sinkholes formed when the roof of an underground cave collapses, exposing a pool of clear, freshwater below. These unique geological formations can be found primarily in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, which has become a popular attraction for tourists and divers alike.

The word Cenote is derived from the Mayan word dzonot, which means sacred well, reflecting the significance these natural wonders held for ancient civilizations.

Cenotes are not just ordinary swimming holes; they also hold immense cultural and historical importance. Cenotes were considered sacred by the ancient Maya civilization and were often used for religious ceremonies and as sources of drinking water.

Many cenotes were also used as burial sites, making them highly significant archaeological sites today.

Types Of Cenotes

Cenotes can vary in their size, depth as well as type. Some cenotes are partially opened due to a collapsed ceiling, which exposes the groundwater beneath or is completely open. Sinkholes that are underground and cave-like, while other sinkholes are semi-underground.

Jug or Pit Cenotes

The jug cenote is characterized by its narrow entrance that gradually widens as you descend into its depths. As sunlight filters through the gaps above, it creates mesmerizing patterns on the water’s surface, casting an ethereal glow upon everything in sight. These cenotes often have vertical walls adorned with lush vegetation cascading into their crystal-clear depths.

Cylinder Cenotes

One of the most fascinating types is the cylinder cenote. Named for their cylindrical shape, these cenotes offer an unforgettable experience for adventurers seeking to delve into the secrets of the underground world.

As its name suggests, this Cenote resembles an ancient well or water tank due to its deep, vertical walls. These stunning formations can reach endless depths, making them perfect for diving enthusiasts exploring uncharted territory beneath the Earth’s surface.

Basin Cenotes

These cenotes are characterized by their wide and open cenotes, formed when the roof of an underground cave collapses, creating a large circular or oval-shaped depression.

Basin cenotes can vary greatly in size and depth. Some may have shallow waters with easy access, while others can plunge to incredible depths, reaching several meters below the surface.

The water in these cenotes is often incredibly clear due to a lack of flowing currents or algae growth. This makes them popular destinations for swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving among tourists and locals.

Cave Cenotes

Among the different types of cenotes, cave cenotes hold a particular fascination for those who dare to venture into their mysterious depths. These mesmerizing underground caverns offer an otherworldly experience unlike any other.

These types of cave cenotes are known as vertical shafts. As the name suggests, these cenotes resemble deep wells or vertical tunnels leading into the Earth’s interior. The walls are often covered in intricate stalactite formations, creating an ethereal atmosphere as sunlight filters through cracks above, casting enchanting rays on shimmering turquoise water below.

Cenotes In Ancient Mayan History

There was a time when the early Mayans utilized cementitious to serve as water sources to provide their water supply. The most famous cities, such as Chichen Itza were built around cenotes to reflect this reason, considering that the only water source in Yucatan Peninsula has almost no rivers and only a handful of lakes.

Some believed cenotes as a means to access the underworld and the afterlife. Cenotes in the past played an important role in Mayan ceremonies as well as sacrifices.

The Mayans put valuables and human bodies into cenotes to serve as an offering to their gods. Divers have discovered several human remains and other objects that date to the Mayan period inside the sinkholes.

cenote cristalino playa del carmen

What is Cenote Cristalino?

Cenote Cristalino can be described as our second most-loved natural cenotes in Playa del Carmen.

The name Cristalino already reveals that the water in the swimming pool appears crystal clear. It’s one of the extremely popular Cenote between Tulum in Mexico and Playa del Carmen.

The meaning is “Crystal Clear Cenote” Cenote Cristalino is a stunning open cenote located just 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Cenote (pronounced “say-know-tay”) is a freshwater pool hole formed when limestone shatters to create a natural sinkhole in the Yucatan peninsula.

Cenote Cristalino is known for its crystal clear waters and breathtaking underwater rock forms.

Visitors can enjoy a dip in the cool waters, dive into the cave, jump off an edifice, or dive for a deeper dive into marine life.

What To Expect At Cenote Cristalino?

Cenote Cristalino offers three distinct natural pools that are distinct from the others. There is a small cavern-like pool right at the beginning of the entry point when you first enter.

Another natural swimming pool is a huge open-air area that connects with an even smaller size through the tiny cave. There are plenty of mangroves in addition.

Pro tip: Pack snorkeling equipment so you can see the mangroves underwater. It’s quite cool to view from this angle.

This third one is smaller, and trees surround that. The pool is a little deep, making it a good choice for children to try their snorkeling skills if it’s the first time you’ve done it.

Another draw of Cristalino Cenote is the two swings. One swing is hung on the side of the half-cave, while the second swing is hung from a tree on the cliff’s top.

Apart from great snorkeling and swimming as well as snorkeling, you can also enjoy some cliffs jumping on Cenote Cristalino.


Cenote Cristalino has a few more amenities than other cenotes in the region. However, it is not the most commercialized.

Showers and restrooms

Bathrooms and showers are provided in Cenote Cristalino, which is an enclosed structure.

Showering before entering the Cenote is advised to remove any sunscreen or other residue.


Lockers are available for rent for $100 (~$5 USD) to help ensure your possessions are safe.

But, most people keep their personal belongings on the side and keep their eyes on them throughout the day.

Food and Drink

There’s a small tent with a great variety of food and drinks. Be sure to take some extra money in case you’re hungry.

Gear Rentals

If you’re looking to go snorkeling, the snorkeling equipment is available for rental at around $100 pesos per day (~$5 USD).

But, to ensure you get the perfect fitting and hygiene, I suggest you bring your snorkel gear.

Lounge Chair Rentals

Plastic lounge chairs may also be rented at additional charges (around 100 pesos) If you wish to relax and unwind near the Cenote.

Why Visit Cenote Cristalino?

A visit to a cenote is a unique experience where you enjoy nature’s beauty in the Riviera Maya area.

It’s the ideal activity to take a break from the heat or if there’s a lot of seaweed on the beach.

Cenote Cristalino is different because there are many activities to do, from climbing cliffs to swimming to floating through stalactite caves.

There’s also an incredible cenote that is hidden at the back of the park that should be noticed!

Where is Cenote Cristalino Playa del Carmen?

Cenote Cristalino is located 13 miles (21 kilometers) to the south of Playa del Carmen, right from the main road 307. It’s located about halfway in between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

The entry point is on the right-hand side of the Highway, just after Puerto Aventuras and across the street from the Barcelo resorts.

The driving times for nearby destinations are the following:

  • Playa del Carmen to Cenote Cristalino distance is 25 minutes
  • Tulum to Cenote Cristalino distance is 30 minutes
  • Cancun to Cenote Cristalino distance is one hour and 30 mins

How to Get to the Cenote Cristalino

There are many ways to travel to Cenote Cristalino, depending on your driving situation and the location you’re traveling from.

Drive to Cenote Cristalino

The most efficient method to travel to Cenote Cristalino is renting or driving from Playa del Carmen allows you to discover the Cenote at your speed.

If you have a car in Mexico, set Cenote Cristalino’s direction on the GPS, and drive towards the southwest from Playa del Carmen on the main highway 307 for approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers).

The Cenote is right from the main road on the right-hand side, just after Puerto Aventuras, and there are highway signs to guide you.

When you reach the entrance to the Cenote, there is free parking on the site.

Man in suit driving a car from vehicle interior

Taking A Taxi To Visit Cenotes

If you don’t own the luxury of a car, you may take taxis in Playa del Carmen or Tulum, but it’s more expensive.

A Playa del Carmen to Cenote Cristalino taxi can cost about 400 pesos ($20 USD) for each direction.

Remember that getting a taxi for the return journey will be more difficult, so it’s better to make arrangements with the taxi driver who drops you off.

Be aware that on return, you’ll need to call taxis from the Highway If no taxis are waiting in the Cenote.


Taking A Collectivo To Get To Cenote Cristalino

Because Cenote Cristalino and many cenotes located around Playa del Carmen and Tulum are situated on Highway 307, taking a colectivo from either town is a simple and affordable alternative.

There are many collectivos that run both ways along Highway 307 between Cancun and Tulum. If you are in Playa del Carmen, you can take a collectivo to travel either way.

You can find the white vans of the colectivo around the central area and other significant points of interest, such as the bus terminals in Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Find out from the drivers which direction they’re heading and inform them that you’d like to get off at Cenote Cristalino to allow them to make stops on their route in line with.

On the return trip to Playa del Carmen or Tulum, signal a collectivo on the road that goes in the direction you want to go.


Getting Around By Rental Car

The best flexible method to reach Cenote Cristalino is hiring a car. You can effortlessly access the natural swimming spot in Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Cancun by renting a car.

It is our preference to move from one to destination and discover. If you intend to explore a number of different places throughout your journey, it’s surely the most affordable alternative to possess your own vehicle; however, it is contingent on the budget you have set and your travel plans, of course.

If you’re planning to hire a vehicle for your journey, pick it up at the airport once you arrive in Cancun since this is the most popular rental car station. Be sure to reserve it ahead of time since prices are lower.

Taking A Cenote Cristalino Tour

Another alternative is to book a Cenote tour to Cenote Cristalino. This is the safest alternative as you’ll be taken to from the hotel you are staying in and lunch will be served all day.

This tour through cenotes will take you to two other cenotes, including a turquoise-coloured lake and Tulum’s most gorgeous beach.

Cenote Cristalino Opening Hours

Cenote Cristalino opening hours are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. You’ll need to be there as early as possible to avoid the crowds and enjoy the Cenote without interruption.

Best Time to Visit Cenote Cristalino

It is possible to go to Cenote Cristalino all year long. The natural pool is usually open from 9 am to 5 pm daily. The last entry time is 4 pm.

Crystal cenotes are one of the most well-known Cenote located in Playa del Carmen. It is quite busy, especially during peak season.

The natural pools are busy in the afternoon.

If you are looking for an uncrowded day or If you’re looking to snap photographs, the morning hours are the best option. Also, at the day’s closing, you’ll see fewer people just before closing time. But remember that you need to arrive by 4 pm to be allowed to enter.

During the week, the pools are less popular than on the weekends as tourists from Mexico typically need to be back at work.

Pro tip: Go off the peak season to stay clear of crowds!

diving cenote cristalino mangroves

Entrance Fee for Cenote Cristalino

The Cenote standard Cristalino entry fee for foreigners is 200 Pesos (~$10 USD). This fee includes a rental of a life jacket.

In addition to the Cenote Cristalino entrance price, lockers are available at $100 per day (~$5 USD), snorkelling equipment, and plastic chairs for lounges.

Here’s a breakdown of Cenote Cristalino price:

  • Standard Entrance Fee: $200 pesos for adults and $150 pesos for children
  • Mexican Nationals: $170 pesos for adults and $120 pesos for children
  • Quintana Roo Residents: $150 pesos for adults and $100 pesos for children

What is Cenote Cristalino Like?

Cenote Cristalino is an uninhibited cenote that offers an idyllic natural setting with numerous waters to explore, dive into, or dip in the pool.

In the middle is a major cenote with an intermediately high-jumping ledge and a variety of smaller, more private and natural pools that are shallow to explore on the edges of.

Also, there’s a stalactite cave where you can swim through or float in, as well as a natural cenote in the back which is to be noticed.

Rules for Visiting Cenote Cristalino

There are some important guidelines to follow while visiting Cenote Cristalino:

Sunscreen & Swimming

They are crystal-clear, clean water cenotes that are not just beautiful. They also contribute to the ecosystem’s overall health on the peninsula. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain Cenote Cristalino and others clean.

This means that the natural swimming areas require to be free of garbage and other waste. This includes sunscreen, mosquito repellents, and other lotions for the body.

Can I Wear Biodegradable Sunscreen At Cenote Cristalino?

The simple answer is No way! Sunscreen, mosquito repellents, and other sprays and lotions can be applied to our bodies, which can be harmful to the environment and cannot be decomposable. Even biodegradable sunscreen!

The reason is that the majority of biodegradable sunscreens are only partially biodegradable. Even those leave an odour, contaminating the crystal-clear cenote water.

At Cenote Cristalino and many other swimming spots where you can swim, you must shower before entering the water to get rid of any substances on your skin.

Do your part and keep these ecosystems in good shape and fit!

What to Pack for Swimming Underwater with Snorkel Gear

We’ve made a quick checklist of what we’ve used to make our trips easier for Cenote Cristalino.

If you want to capture underwater images of Cenote Cristalino, a GoPro and GoPro Dome or other action cameras are great. The latest GoPros are waterproof, so you can put them in the water without carrying a case.

If you are bringing your smartphone, there are affordable cases for phones that can be used in water or professional waterproof phone cases. They are extremely effective, and the pictures can be amazing.

One thing that makes navigating the pools more enjoyable is footwear for water.

Things to Do at Cenote Cristalino

Here are a few of the most enjoyable things to do in Cristalino Cenote Riviera Maya:

Go cliff jumping: In the main pool area, it is possible to find a high cliff which you can climb and leap in the Cenote.

The ledge measures 12 feet high and doesn’t appear at all high; however, to be honest, I could not get myself up to make the plunge!

1. Snorkel through a cave

One of the most exciting things about Cenote Cristalino is that it’s a cave-like tunnel that allows you to swim through.

Cave’s ceiling is adorned with stalactites. The water is the most beautiful hue of blue turquoise.

It’s a fantastic place to swim or float on the back of your head to take in the amazing rock structure

2. Experience a fish spa.

In Cenote Cristalino, you will find a number of smaller ponds and bodies of water in which you can take a seat on the platform and sink your feet into the water.

If you keep your feet in a straight line and your feet are still, the tiny fish will show up and offer you a complimentary exfoliation. It’s an odd feeling, but you’ll be used to it!

3. Discover a hidden cenote

At the back toward the back Cenote El Cristalino you will find signs that will take you to Cenote Escondido. This is a cenote hidden that is a bit more remote.

The area is far less crowded and is among the most stunning regions in Cenote Cristalino. Escondido Cenote is truly an undiscovered natural paradise.

How Long to Spend at Cristalino Cenote

You can expect to spend between 3 to 4 hours looking around Cenote Cristalino.

Tips for Visiting Cenote Cristalino

Follow these guidelines to get the most out of your Cristalino Cenote Experience:

  • Wear a rashguard: Sunscreen is not allowed in Cenote Cristalino (even biodegradable). Therefore, if you require sun protection, take a rashguard. There are a few shaded places in the Cenote, but there’s still a lot of sunshine.
  • Water shoes are recommended. Never venture to a cenote with wearing water shoes because the ground is usually rough and very uncomfortable on the soles.
  • Don’t forget Cenote Escondido. Follow the signs towards the back to the back of the Cenote to Cenote Escondido, which is the most beautiful and secret Playa del Carmen cenote. This is my favourite place at Cenote Cristalino, where you can chill out in quiet and shallow pools.
  • Be there in the early hours. Arrive as early as possible to get ahead of the masses and enjoy the beautiful natural Cenote Cristalino.

FAQs About Cenote Cristalino Playa del Carmen

Here are the responses to many of the questions that are asked most often concerning Cristalino Cenote:

How much does Cenote Cristalino cost?

Cenote Cristalino entrance fee is Cenote Cristalino entrance fee is 200 Mexican Pesos (~$10 USD) for foreigners. This includes the rental of a life jacket.

Can you dive at Cenote Cristalino?

At 5 meters (16 feet) in depth, Cenote Cristalino is shallow and not ideal to dive in.

Do you need to book in advance to visit Cenote Cristalino?

There is no need to make a reservation to go to Cenote Cristalino. Arrive and pay the entry cost to gain access to the Cenote Cristalino.

Do you need to book in advance to visit Cenote Cristalino?

To reach Cenotes after leaving Playa del Carmen, you could book tours of the Playa del Carmen Cenotes tour and drive a rental vehicle or take a taxi or even a colectivo (shared van).

Nearby Cenotes to Visit

If you’ve got more time after going to Cenote Cristalino, check out these popular cenotes near Playa del Carmen. Both are the best Cenotes. Cenote Jardin del Eden and Cenote Azul are in the same place.

I’ve gone to all three of the open cenotes, and all are worth visiting! Keep in mind that each one has a separate entry cost.

playa del carmen cenote azul

Final thoughts: Cenote Cristalino

Three cenotes are located in the region, Cristalino Cenote is my favourite and the least known.

There are so many different (and hidden) locations to discover outside of the principal Cenote; it’s worth an excursion of a day if you’re seeking a cenote close to Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

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