If you’re looking for a hidden spot not known by many tourists and foreigners, then Kaan Luum Lagoon just south of Tulum is a place you must check out. It’s essentially a very large cenote or shallow lake in the shape of a large circle full of turquoise blue water where you can enjoy the day swimming or just relaxing in a hammock.
Kaan Luum Lagoon is located in the middle of the Mayan jungle about 15 minutes south of Tulum off of the main highway 307, also located just north of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
Quick Facts & Tips About Kaan Luum Lagoon
The name Kaan Luum literally translates to the ‘yellow land’ in the Mayan language.
Entrance fee: 300 pesos ($15 USD) for foreigners, 200 for locals.
Opening hours: Every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
The section of the lagoon that is suitable for swimming, demarcated by ropes, has a depth of 2-3 meters and is considered very secure. On the other hand, the Cenote area, which has a depth of 85 meters, is strictly restricted to certified divers accompanied by their instructor or guide.
About Kaan Luum Lagoon
Known as Tulum’s best-kept secret, locals have been trying to keep the crowds to a minimum here to avoid tourists from overcrowding and contaminating the beautiful blue and turquoise water.
In the very middle of the lagoon is a large cenote that is cordoned off from the rest of the swimmable area. This is because the cenote apparently has a strong undertow that will suck you to the bottom of the lagoon, so be careful not to cross this point. Everywhere else is fine to swim, however, it is quite shallow.
It is also recommended to avoid wearing sunscreen (unless it’s eco-friendly) as this will contaminate the lagoon and over time turn the color of the water to something other than the stunning color it is now, and also harm the natural ecosystem.
You are allowed to bring food and even beer (maximum 6 beers per family) but no pets are allowed. If you want to fly a drone in the Kaan Luum Lagoon it’s 150 pesos to do so, which is worth it as you’ll get many great shots of the lagoon. There are of course hammocks, swings, and cabanas so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Things to do at Kaan Luum Lagoon
Snorkel & Swim
Swimming is one of the most basic and simplest things to do at Kaan Luum Lagoon. Swimming up to the point where the cords are is considered safe in the calm waters.
However, if you plan to swim on the Cenote side, it is not allowed unless you are accompanied by a dive instructor or guide.
Make sure to bring your own snorkeling equipment as they don’t have rentals on site. While there may not be much to see underwater, have fun exploring the surrounding mangroves, and you might come across some fish that like to gather there.
To dive in Kaan Luum, a certification is required and it is necessary to book a dive with a diving school. There are many schools available in Tulum or Playa del Carmen that can arrange a dive in Kaan Luum or other nearby cenotes.
You can rent kayaks from them or bring your own for a fee of 150 MXN at the entrance to explore the lagoon. It’s a great way to enjoy the scenery and have a fun time on the water.
The Lagoon has a new lookout that provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the lagoon. To find it, simply follow the boardwalk and turn left.
If you arrive at the venue when it opens at 9 am, you will find that there are not many people around, and the sun will be positioned on your left side, making it an ideal time to capture some beautiful photos.
Go for a Swing
Overwater swings and hammocks made of wood can be found near the edge of the lagoon. They provide a great opportunity to take playful photographs while swinging and enjoying the water.
To avoid the crowds in the swings and hammocks, it is recommended to arrive early for the best photo opportunities.
Laguna Kaan Luum has only one structure, a thin wooden dock that is frequently crowded with tourists. The dock is an ideal location to soak up the sun or perch on the edge with your feet submerged in the water.
Unfortunately, there is no sandy coastline to be found at Kaan Luum. Therefore, if you plan on spending time there, you should bring along a towel or other belongings to secure your spot on the pier, as it tends to get quite busy
How to get to Kaan Luum Lagoon
There are several options to get to this amazing lagoon, but the best way in our opinion is by renting a car. As you travel south on highway 307 from Tulum or Playa Del Carmen, look for a sign on the left side marking the entrance for Kaan Luum Lagoon. Or you can simply type in Kaan Luum Lagoon on Google Maps.
After leaving the highway where the sign directs you, you’ll be driving down a bumpy road until you reach the parking lot and main entrance.
The other option is of course public transportation from Tulum or Playa Del Carmen. If you’re coming from Playa del Carmen you can find the minivans or ‘colectivos’ near the McDonald’s under the overpass on highway 307. Simply ask for a colectivo to Tulum, it should only be around 30 pesos per person.
Once in Tulum transfer to a Felipe Carrillo colectivo which passes the lagoon. Once you pass by, ask the driver to stop and he’ll let you off. Once you get off, walk down the road for about 10 minutes and you’ll reach the main entrance. You can also take the colectivo from Tulum to the Muyil Ruins and stop on the way, the price is around 70 pesos.
Another alternative is simply renting a taxi from the city center which is only 15 minutes away. On the return back you may wave down a colectivo on the main highway or wait for a taxi.
The last option is, of course, a tour, which we don’t really recommend as it would be a little pricier and you would have basically the same experience. However, if you do it on your own you can go at your own pace and leave when you want. You’ll be able to find tours in the Tulum town center.
Kaan Luum Lagoon Cost
The entrance fee to Kaan Luum Lagoon is 300 pesos ($15 USD) for foreigners which may seem pricey compared to other cenotes and attractions in the area, but we feel it’s definitely worth it. For locals, it’s 200 pesos.
Kaan Luum Lagoon Opening Hours
Kaan Luum Lagoon is open every day from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm during the low season and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm during the high season. We recommend arriving in the morning around 9-10 am so you can beat the crowds and get some beautiful pictures without any tourists ruining the shot.