The Ultimate Guide to Cenote Cristalino

Tulum and the surrounding area of the Yucatan Peninsula is dotted with thousands of ancient cenotes that have flooded over time with a spectacular spectrum of vibrant colours from deep turquoise to crystal clear blue, and Cenote Cristalino is no exception.

Cenote Cristalino
Cenote Cristalino aerial drone shot

Cenote Cristalino is an open-air cenote located just north of Tulum in Puerto Aventuras, the name ‘Cristalino’ implies that the water in this cenote is crystal clear – and it definitely is.

The cenote is surrounded by lush mangrove trees, tropical fish, birds, and iguanas making it a truly immersive experience. It’s a smaller cenote compared to others, and less busy, making it the perfect environment to relax in peace and quiet.

Quick Tips & Advice for Cenote Cristalino

Entrance Fee: 200 pesos depending on the season ($11 USD)

Opening Hours: 8am to 5:30 pm every day

Make sure to bring mosquito spray, towels, and snorkelling gear. Make sure not to use mosquito spray or sunscreen before entering the cenote, or shower first.

Arrive around 9 am and not on the weekends, to avoid the crowds.

Do not dive in this cenote, you will break your skull!

Cenote Cristalino with turquoise water

About Cenotes

The Yucatan peninsula has an estimated 6000+ cenotes, most are undiscovered and or well hidden in the jungle and impossible to get to. Luckily, there are many that have been thoroughly explored and equipped with the proper infrastructure. Many of these are located around Tulum and in the state of Yucatan.

Cenotes are sinkholes that have naturally occurred in limestone rock after hundreds of thousands of years of erosion, or the collapse of caves, revealing the underground water and reservoir underneath.

Initially, the cenotes, especially in the Yucatan were initially formed more than 60 million years ago after the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs struct the northern Yucatan peninsula.

There are different types of cenotes, including open air (which are the most popular), semi-open cenotes, and underground cenotes which are popular with cave diving and snorkeling, if you’re skilled enough.

Cenote Cristalino is one of the many open-air cenotes found along the Riviera Maya, and it’s one of the nicest in our opinion, partly due to the crystal clear water and the lack of large crowds of tourists.

All About Cenote Cristalino

Located just on the outskirts of Puerto Aventuras along the highway towards Tulum, Cenote Cristalino is one of the smallest in the region, and also the cenote with arguably the nicest crystal clear water, hence the name.

The cenote is only around a 30-minute drive north of Tulum and once here you may as well check out the nearby Cenote Azul as well as Cenote Jardin Del Eden, also in Puerto Aventuras.

The cenote is quite cold, due to the depth (6 meters) and underground caves the water flows into, which is great if you’re looking to cool off. If you are driving there is free parking on-site, and the walking path to the cenote is clean and well maintained.

What to do at Cenote Crisatlino

There is a jumping platform roughly three and a half meters above the surface where you can jump and take a plunge, do not dive though, the water isn’t deep enough.

One of the best things to experience is to sit on the edge of the cenote and dangle your feet in the water, allowing little hungry fish to clean (and tickle) your feet.

Just when you think you’ve seen all of this tiny cenote, there is a surprise waiting for you underneath. On the furthest end of the cenote you’ll find an underground cavern, which you can dive down and explore if you’re brave enough, so make sure you bring your snorkel gear (you can also rent them on site).

Cave diving in Cenote Cristalino

You can even go diving in Cenote Cristalino if you’re up to the challenge, but make sure to contact a local dive center in Puerto Aventuras or Tulum to organize a diving expedition before you go.

Cenote Cristalino Prices

The price of Cenote Cristalino is typically 200 pesos but can be raised during high season, which we find is a bit expensive considering the facilities (or lack there of) of the cenote. Life jackets are included for free if you need them.

You can rent a locker for 100 pesos and a plastic lounge chair for another 100 pesos if you feel like relaxing in comfort. There is a bathroom and change room on site, as well as a snack shop if you get hungry.

Chilling at Cenote Cristalino

How to get to Cenote Cristalino

Cenote Cristalino is very easy to get to as it’s located along the main highway (Carretera Federal), stretching from Tulum to Puerto Aventuras. There’s a massive sign on the highway that says Cenote Cristalino, so you won’t miss it.

The best way to get there is by renting a car at one of the many car rental places in Tulum, Playa Del Carmen or Cancun. If you do go by car, make sure to choose the Kantun chi park road entrance as they have free parking, whereas the side closer to Cenote Azul is paid.

If you don’t have a car the next best option is to simply take a colectivo from Tulum centro on the main highway near 7-eleven and grab the van heading to Playa Del Carmen and tell the driver to drop you off at Cenote Cristalino. The cost is only around 40 pesos.

If you’re coming from Playa Del Carmen get the colecitvo heading to Tulum under the highway overpass Avenida 50 and Avenida Benito Juarez right near the Mcdonald’s

We recommend arriving at the cenote quite early (around 9 am) to avoid the crowds, and definitely don’t come on the weekends as it’s much busier then.

Nearby Cenotes

While in the area, you may also want to explore the nearby cenotes – Cenote Azul and Cenote Eden, which are just a stone’s throw away from Cenote Cristalino. Each cenote offers a unique experience, making it worth the visit.

Best Time to Visit Cenote Cristalino

To beat the crowds, consider visiting early in the morning when the cenote opens. The sunlight during the midday can create a magical play of light on the water, but this is also when it’s most crowded. The cenote is open all year round, but the weather can be more unpredictable during the rainy season (May through October).

In conclusion, Cenote Cristalino is a spectacular slice of natural beauty that offers an immersive, unique, and exhilarating experience, setting it apart from other tourist attractions. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast, nature lover, or simply looking for some serene moments, Cenote Cristalino, with its clear blue waters and enchanting surroundings, will captivate your senses.

So, the next time you’re in Tulum, make sure you set aside a day to explore this hidden gem, creating memories that will last a lifetime. With this ultimate guide in your hands, you are all set for a memorable trip to Cenote Cristalino.

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