How to Visit Casa Cenote Tulum Mexico in 2023
Want to visit Casa Cenote in Tulum Mexico? You’ve come to the right place!
I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen, and Casa Cenote is one of my favorite cenotes near Tulum to visit for a fun and relaxing outdoor adventure.
It’s actually where I got scuba certified and did my first dives so it definitely holds a special place in my heart!
In this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know about visiting Casa Cenote including how to get there, entrance fees, opening hours, things to do, places to stay, and top tips for visiting.
Read on for my ultimate Casa Cenote Mexico guide!
What is Casa Cenote?
Known for its crystal clear emerald water and lush mangroves, Casa Cenote is a long freshwater cenote located just north of Tulum, Mexico.
What sets Casa Cenote apart from traditional cenotes is that it’s more like a long lazy river that feeds directly into the sea–creating a unique underground clash of freshwater and saltwater known as an estuary.
At Casa Cenote, you can swim, float, snorkel, or even paddle board in a beautiful natural setting. With its shallow depths and clear water, it’s also an extremely popular spot for beginner scuba divers.
Fun Fact: Casa Cenote is also known as Cenote Manati (Manatee Cenote) as it was once home to many manatees.
Where is Casa Cenote?
Casa Cenote is located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast in the state of Quintana Roo, about 7 miles (11 km) north of Tulum or about 37 miles (59 km) south of Playa del Carmen. Driving times from nearby destinations are as follows:
- Tulum to Casa Cenote: 20 minutes
- Playa del Carmen to Casa Cenote: 50 minutes
- Cancun to Casa Cenote: 1 hour 45 minutes
Casa Cenote Map
What is Casa Cenote like?
Casa Cenote is a bit different from your traditional cenote in that it’s not like a swimming hole but more like a lazy river with clear emerald green water.
Surrounded on both sides by lush mangroves, you won’t find any jumping ledges or places to rest outside of the water.
Once you enter the cenote you’ll be swimming, floating, or snorkeling with the only way out back at the entrance. Be prepared for lots of swimming!
There is a gentle current that you’ll be swimming against so I would definitely recommend wearing a life jacket so you don’t get worn out. The cenote is about 6 m (20 ft) deep so you will not be able to stand.
🐊 You’ll also want to be on the lookout for Panchito, a small and friendly crocodile that lives in Casa Cenote. There are warning signs near where he’s known to hang out but he’s not known to be harmful!
How to Get to Casa Cenote (Cenote Manatee)
There are a few different ways to get to Casa Cenote depending on your car situation and the size of your group.
👀 Looking for the easiest way to visit Casa Cenote? Book the best Casa Cenote tour by clicking here!
Drive to Casa Cenote
The best way to get to Casa Cenote is by driving or renting a car, which gives you much more freedom to explore the cenote at your own pace.
I recommend booking your rental car with Discover Cars, which conveniently lets you compare rentals online from multiple companies.
Driving Directions from Playa del Carmen
From Playa del Carmen, take the main highway 307 south for about 30 miles. Once you see the highway sign for Casa Cenote, you’ll need to make a U-turn at the next turnaround.
Then make a right turn at the sign for Cielo Maya Tulum and follow the road for less than a mile to the Casa Cenote entrance on the left hand side.
Driving Directions from Tulum
From Tulum, take the main highway 307 north for about 5 miles, then make a right turn at the sign for Cielo Maya Tulum and follow the road to the cenote entrance.
Parking at Casa Cenote
Once you arrive, there is a large parking lot just outside of the cenote entrance where you can park for free.
Take a Taxi to Casa Cenote
Alternatively, you could take a taxi to Casa Cenote but it will be more expensive, especially if you’re coming from Playa del Carmen.
You can expect the price to be about $600 pesos (~$30 USD each way) from Playa del Carmen. From Tulum, it would probably be around $120 pesos (~$6 USD).
But keep in mind that securing a taxi for the return trip will be much more difficult so it’s best to try and pre-arrange pickup with the same taxi driver that dropped you off.
Take Public Transportation to Casa Cenote
By public transportation, you can also take a colectivo (shared van) to Casa Cenote but it will require a bit of walking in the hot sun!
Colectivo from Playa del Carmen
The main colectivo station to Tulum is located in downtown Playa del Carmen near Highway 307 and the Chedraui grocery store (behind the McDonald’s) where you’ll see the white vans lined up.
Once you get on, you’ll want to tell the driver you’re going to Casa Cenote (also known as Cenote Manati) and you’ll pay upon exiting. It’s best to track the GPS on your phone so you know when you’re getting close.
The cost should be less than $50 pesos (~$2.50 USD) each way and you’ll want to make sure you have small bills on hand (pesos are best) as most drivers don’t have much change.
When taking a colectivo to Casa Cenote, you’ll be dropped off on the side of the highway, so you’ll need to carefully cross to the other side, and then it’s about a 20-minute walk to the cenote from there.
Related Reading: How to Get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum
Colectivo from Tulum
From Tulum, the process is the same but you’ll want to get on a colectivo headed north to Playa del Carmen.
Book a Tour to Casa Cenote
If you don’t want to deal with driving or renting a car, then the most hassle-free way to visit Casa Cenote is by booking a tour.
There are many Casa Cenote tours available and many include visits to other nearby cenotes like Dos Ojos, as well as transportation and snorkeling equipment. Here are some of the best Casa Cenote tours:
My personal favorite and top recommendation is the standup paddleboarding tour with Aloha Paddle Club. I’m a member of their paddleboarding club and they are the very best paddleboarding providers in the area!
Casa Cenote is the perfect place for standup paddleboarding because the water is so calm and tranquil. Plus all of your transportation, equipment, and food are included.
👉 Book the Casa Cenote standup paddleboarding tour with Aloha Paddle Club by clicking here!
Casa Cenote Opening Hours
Casa Cenote is open daily from 9am to 5pm. I would recommend getting there as early as possible to beat the crowds.
It’s also best to visit Casa Cenote during the week, as it can get very crowded on weekends when locals have the day off.
When I did my scuba certification, we were one of the first people there and the cenote was so beautiful to see in the early morning hours!
Casa Cenote Entrance Fee
The Casa Cenote cost for visitors is $150 pesos (~$8 USD) per person, which includes a life jacket rental.
If you’re planning to bring a GoPro to Casa Cenote, you’ll also have to pay an additional fee of around $100 pesos (~$5 USD).
Snorkeling gear is not included in the Casa Cenote price but can be rented for an additional cost.
Casa Cenote Amenities
Here are the amenities available at Casa Cenote:
Casa Cenote Gear Rentals
Snorkeling gear can be rented at the main entrance for an additional fee. The cost is a little expensive at around $20 USD per person and isn’t really the best quality equipment.
If you want to snorkel, I would recommend bringing your own snorkel gear. This ensures cleanliness and that you’ll have the best and most comfortable fit for your mask and equipment.
Casa Cenote Lockers
Lockers are available at the main entrance for an additional fee (around $50 pesos) to safely store your belongings while you are in the cenote.
Casa Cenote Restrooms
There are no formal restrooms at Casa Cenote–only porta-potties in the parking lot. They are actually pretty disgusting so I would recommend going to the bathroom before you get there!
Casa Cenote Restaurant
Just across the road from the cenote entrance, you’ll find the Casa Cenote Hotel and restaurant with a beautiful oceanfront view.
This is a sit-down restaurant where you can dine after visiting the cenote. The Casa Cenote restaurant menu includes mainly Mexican dishes and apparently they are famous for their margaritas!
Best Things to Do at Casa Cenote
These are the best things to do at Casa Cenote:
Probably the most popular thing to do at Casa Cenote is just to swim and float down the cenote. This natural swimming hole is similar to a lazy river, with a gentle current flowing through it.
You can swim down the cenote against the current for about 250 m in total and then turn around and float back to the entrance. The current can be strong in some places so you’ll definitely want to wear a life jacket!
While you’re swimming, you’ll get to admire the abundant mangroves, birds, and wildlife that thrive in this cenote eco-system. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for Panchito, the small Casa Cenote crocodile who lives there!
Casa Cenote snorkeling offers crystal clear waters and is another fun thing to do while visiting. At Casa Cenote, you can rent snorkel gear on-site, or bring your own if you have it.
Casa Cenote is home to a variety of cenote fish, blue crabs, and other underwater wildlife. You’ll also get a glimpse of the ancient underwater rock formations and caves.
Travelista Tip: There is also a guided tour available for purchase that includes snorkeling and a guide for about $500 pesos (~$25 USD) per person but honestly it’s just as easy to do it on your own.
3. Standup Paddleboarding
If you’re looking for a tranquil place to paddleboard, Casa Cenote is the perfect spot! The waters are calm and clear, making it ideal for beginners. And there’s plenty of natural beauty to take in while you paddle.
I recommend booking a standup paddleboarding tour with Aloha Paddle Club. They’re the experts on standup paddleboarding in Playa del Carmen and will make sure you have an unforgettable experience!
Plus, all your equipment, transportation, tacos, and high-quality photos are included.
👉 Book the Casa Cenote standup paddleboarding tour with Aloha Paddle Club by clicking here!
4. Scuba Diving
Casa Cenote is also one of the most popular scuba diving sites in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and is where I got scuba certified! Underneath the cenote, you’ll find an expansive network of caves and caverns.
The shallow waters (6 m deep) make it perfect for beginners, and the variety of fish and blue crabs that can be seen makes it a great spot for all levels of divers. You’ll likely see many scuba diving instructors performing skills tests in the shallow water near the entrance.
One unique feature of Casa Cenote scuba diving is the halocline–a line where fresh and saltwater meet. You’ll also want to be prepared for colder water when diving in cenotes–I had to wear two wetsuits!
If you’re interested in Casa Cenote diving, I would recommend arranging your dive ahead of time.
👉 Click here to book a Casa Cenote dive for beginners
👉 Click here to book Casa Cenote + Dos Ojos dive for certified divers
If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to explore Casa Cenote, try kayaking! You can rent a kayak at the entrance to the cenote, and paddle your way around the crystal clear waters, taking in the stunning scenery and wildlife.
Keep your eyes peeled for fish and other marine life as you enjoy this fun and adventurous activity at Casa Cenote.
What to Bring to Casa Cenote
Here are a few items I would recommend bringing to Casa Cenote:
- Biodegradable sunscreen: Be sure to bring biodegradable sunscreen as regular sunscreen is prohibited when visiting cenotes.
- Water shoes: It’s a good idea to wear water shoes as the ground is very rocky when you’re walking down to the cenote, and is very uncomfortable on bare feet.
- Snorkel gear: Snorkel gear can be rented at Casa Cenote but I would recommend bringing your own snorkel set to ensure the best fit and guarantee cleanliness.
- GoPro or waterproof camera: Bring a GoPro or waterproof camera if you have one to capture your Casa Cenote experience and take some fun underwater pictures.
- Rash Guard: The water at Casa Cenote can be very cold so I would recommend bringing a rash guard to stay warm and also protect you from the sun without the need for sunscreen. When I was there I needed two wetsuits to stay warm!
- Beach Towel: You’ll definitely want to bring a towel to dry off after you get out of the cenote. These microfiber beach towels are a great option as they are lightweight and dry quickly.
- Change of clothes: Be sure to bring a change of clothes to change into after you get out of the cenote so you’ll be dry and comfortable on the ride back.
Where to Stay at Casa Cenote
Just across the street from Casa Cenote, you’ll find a small beachfront hotel known by the same name. If you’re looking for a beautiful and quiet place to stay, consider booking a room at Casa Cenote Hotel.
The hotel has a beautiful beachfront location, swimming pool, and an on-site restaurant to enjoy the views. The accommodations are a bit older Mexican-style but are spacious and comfortable.
👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Casa Cenote Hotel
Tips for Visiting Casa Cenote
Follow these tips to make the most of your Casa Cenote experience:
- Bring biodegradable sunscreen: Regular sunscreen is prohibited at Casa Cenote so biodegradable sunscreen is absolutely essential if you need sun protection. You can pick up my favorite brand on Amazon here.
- Wear a life jacket: As I mentioned, it’s a long swim to the end of the cenote and back against the current so you’ll definitely want to wear a life jacket unless you are up for a workout and want to tread water the entire time!
- Bring your own snorkel gear: Bring your own snorkel gear if you want to save money on the rental and to ensure the best fit and cleanliness. Rental snorkel masks never seem to fit me right so I always prefer to bring my own mask and snorkel.
- Get there early: Arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds and get to experience Casa Cenote before it gets crowded with divers and paddleboarders.
- Cross the road to check out the ocean views: Before or after your visit to Casa Cenote, take a moment to cross the road and check out the ocean on the other side! It’s a nice beach view and you’ll get to see where the cenote empties out into the ocean.
FAQs about Casa Cenote
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Casa Cenote:
Casa Cenote hours are daily from 8AM-5PM. It’s best to arrive early to beat the crowds.
Casa Cenote is about 250 meters (840 ft) long. If you swim all the way to the end and back, it’s a total of about 500 meters.
You do not need to book in advance to visit Casa Cenote. You can simply arrive and pay the entrance fee. However, if you’re arranging a tour or scuba dive, then you’ll definitely want to book in advance.
There is a “friendly” crocodile that lives at Casa Cenote known as Panchito. When swimming at the cenote, you’ll see signs indicating where he’s known to hang out. But don’t worry, he’s used to being around humans and is not known to be harmful.
Conclusion: How to Visit Casa Cenote (Cenote Manati)
Are you ready to visit Casa Cenote Tulum? I hope this guide was helpful in planning your visit!
It’s such a unique cenote that’s so much different from many of the other cenotes near Playa del Carmen.
Casa Cenote is definitely worth a visit if you enjoy nature and you’re looking for a unique outdoor adventure near Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
Traveling to Mexico soon?
These are the Mexico travel resources I use and recommend:
🏨 Hotels: I always find the best deals for Mexico hotels and resorts on Expedia or Booking.com. If you prefer a vacation rental, check VRBO as they are often cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: I recommend using Skyscanner for the best Mexico flight deals. Be sure to sign up for their price alerts for your preferred travel dates.
🚗 Rental Cars: I like to use Discover Cars because you can compare multiple car rental companies and see detailed ratings for overall value, ease of pick-up, efficiency of agents, car condition, and overall time spent.
🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: I recommend booking a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation for the quickest and most hassle-free option!
🤿 Tours & Activities: I always use Viator or GetYourGuide for booking tours and activities in Mexico. You can cancel up to 24 hours before the tour for a full refund, plus they have excellent customer service if you were to have any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: After my Dad broke his hand in a taxi accident in Playa del Carmen, I always recommend buying travel insurance before your trip for added peace of mind! I recommend Travel Insurance Master for short trips or Safety Wing for digital nomads.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Don’t forget to add biodegradable sunscreen to your Mexico packing list! Regular sunscreen is prohibited when swimming in the ocean and cenotes in Mexico, so you’ll need to pack some biodegradable sunscreen for sun protection. I recommend Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is reef-friendly, vegan, and cruelty-free.