Cenote Azul

How to Visit Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen Mexico in 2022

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Do you want to visit Cenote Azul in Playa del Carmen? You’ve come to the right place!

As a Playa del Carmen resident since 2018, I’ve been lucky enough to visit many of the incredible cenotes near Playa del Carmen. Cenote Azul is one of the best cenotes in the area for a fun and relaxing outdoor adventure.

In this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know about visiting Cenote Azul, including how to get there, opening hours, entrance fees, what to expect, things to do, and top tips for visiting.

Read on for my ultimate Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen guide.

Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen

What is Cenote Azul?

Meaning “Blue Cenote,” Cenote Azul is one of the most popular cenotes near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Native to the Yucatan peninsula, cenotes are freshwater swimming holes that are formed when limestone collapses to create a natural sinkhole.

Cenote Azul is known for its beautiful waters ranging in color from emerald green to dark blue and stunning underwater rock formations. Visitors can take a dip in the refreshing waters, go for a swim, or even snorkel and explore the underwater life.

Why visit Cenote Azul?

Visiting a cenote is a totally unique activity where you can get to experience the natural beauty of the Riviera Maya region.

What sets Cenote Azul apart is its beautiful shallow waters, which makes it easy to stand and suitable for children and families.

Plus, it’s one of the closest cenotes to Playa del Carmen and is very accessible and easy to get to.  

Cenote Azul Riviera Maya Mexico Bridge

Where is Cenote Azul?

Cenote Azul is located about 13 miles (21 km) south of Playa del Carmen, right off the main highway 307.  It’s about halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.  

The entrance is on the right side of the highway just past Puerto Aventuras and across the street from the Barcelo resorts.  

Driving times from nearby destinations are as follows:

  • Playa del Carmen to Cenote Azul: 25 minutes
  • Tulum to Cenote Azul: 30 minutes
  • Cancun to Cenote Azul: 1 hour 30 minutes

Travelista Tip: At the same location, you’ll find two other popular cenotes  – Cenote Eden and Cenote Cristalino. You can visit all three cenotes in one day or choose to spend your time at just one.  

Cenote Azul Map

How to Get to Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen

There are a few different ways to get to Cenote Azul depending on your car situation and where you’re coming from.

👀 Looking for the easiest way to visit Cenote Azul? Book the best Cenote Azul tour by clicking here!

Drive to Cenote Azul

The easiest way to get to Cenote Azul is by driving or renting a car, which gives you the freedom to explore the cenote at your own pace.

Follow the Cenote Azul directions on your GPS and drive south from Playa del Carmen on the main highway 307 for about 13 miles (21 km). 

The cenote is located directly off the highway on the right side just past Puerto Aventuras and there are highway signs to direct you. 

Cenote Azul Parking

Once you arrive at the cenote entrance, free parking is available on-site.

👉 For a hassle-free experience, book your car through my favorite rental service Discover Cars by clicking here!

Cenote Azul Riviera Maya Mexico

Take a taxi to Cenote Azul

If you don’t have a car, you can also easily hail a taxi from Playa del Carmen or Tulum but it will be more expensive. You can expect a Playa del Carmen to Cenote Azul taxi to cost around $400 pesos ($20 USD) each way.

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.

Playa del Carmen Taxi

Take public transportation to Cenote Azul

By public transportation, you can also take a colectivo (shared van) to Azul Cenote from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Colectivo from Playa del Carmen

The cheapest way to get to Cenote Azul is to take a colectivo from the main bus depot in Playa del Carmen near the Chedraui grocery store and Highway 307 (behind the McDonald’s).

Once you get on, you’ll want to tell the driver you’re going to Cenote Azul and you’ll pay upon exiting. It’s best to track the GPS on your phone so you know when you’re getting close. It takes about 30 minutes and the stop is just past Puerto Aventuras.

The cost should be around $40 pesos (~$2 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 Cenote Azul Riviera Maya, you’ll be dropped off on the side of the highway, and it’s just a short walk to the entrance 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 from Tulum to Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen Colectivo

Book a Tour to Cenote Azul

If you don’t want to deal with driving or renting a car, then the most hassle-free way to visit Cenote Azul is by booking a tour with transportation included.

This 2×1 combo tour includes swimming with sea turtles at Akumal, followed by a leisurely stop at Cenote Azul, where you can swim and hang out in the cenote.

👉 Book the best Cenote Azul + Akumal tour by clicking here!

Akumal Sea Turtle
Sea turtles in Akumal Bay

Cenote Azul Opening Hours

Cenote Azul hours are daily from 8:30am – 5:30pm.  You’ll want to arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds and get to experience the cenote undisturbed.

Best Time to Visit Cenote Azul

Like most Riviera Maya cenotes, the best time to visit is on a weekday. Cenotes are generally much more crowded on weekends (especially Sundays) when local families have the day off.

Blue Cenote Riviera Maya Mexico

Entrance Fee for Cenote Azul

The standard Cenote Azul entrance fee is $120 pesos ($7 USD). Life jackets can also be rented for $40 pesos ($2 USD).  Once you pay the Cenote Azul cost for entrance, they will give you a wristband that allows you access into the cenote.

Here’s a breakdown of the Cenote Azul prices:

  • Standard Entrance Fee: $120 pesos ($7 USD)
  • Quintana Roo Residents: $100 pesos ($5 USD)
  • Children: $80 pesos ($4 USD)

What is Cenote Azul like?

Cenote Azul is an open cenote that offers a maze of natural pools, rock formations, and swimming holes.  In the center, you will find a large open swimming area with a moderate jumping ledge.

As you venture towards the back, there are also impressive natural-looking bridges that connect the different pools. With so many bodies of water, there are lots of open and more secluded areas to explore.

It’s also a beautiful place to just wander around among the trees and cenote trails and find a spot to swim or dip your feet in the water.

Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen

Rules for Visiting Cenote Azul

There a few important rules to abide by when visiting Cenote Azul that you will see posted prominently at the cenote entrance:

  • No sunscreen (even biodegradable)
  • No flippers
  • No alcohol
  • No glass
  • No fishing
  • No drones
  • No smoking
Cenote Azul Rules

Things to do at Cenote Azul

Here are some of the best things to do at Azul Cenote Riviera Maya:

Swimming

The overall vibe at Azul Cenote Playa del Carmen is more chill and relaxed, which makes it the perfect place for swimming and just hanging out in the water.  Most of the pools are pretty shallow and you’ll be able to stand waist-deep.

When you’re swimming, you’ll want to be very cautious as the underwater rocks are extremely slippery. My friends and I actually had quite a few laughs as we struggled to walk across the slippery rocks! 😂

Travelista Tip: Make sure to wear water shoes to protect your feet and make it much easier to walk in the water.

Swimming at Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen

Snorkeling

With its crystal clear water, Cenote Azul is also a good place for snorkeling and getting to see the underwater life, cenote fish, and unique rock formations.

Snorkel gear can be rented for an additional fee but I would recommend bringing your own snorkel set if you want an up-close view of the tiny cenote fish.

Azul Cenote Playa del Carmen Mexico

Cliff Jumping

At Playa del Carmen Cenote Azul, there is a larger swimming area in the center that has a ledge for jumping.  At around 3 m (10 ft) high, it’s not extremely high but just enough to test your nerves! 

If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline rush, head over to nearby Cenote Eden, where you can jump from a much higher level cliff or tree branch.

Cenote Azul Cliff Jumping

Fish Spa

At any cenote, you can experience a natural fish spa. Simply hold your bare feet still under the water and the tiny fish will start to exfoliate your feet.

It’s a weird tingly sensation but it’s fun to try!  As soon as you start moving your feet, the fish will swim away.

Travelista Tip: Skip the overpriced fish spas on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen and experience an authentic one for free at a cenote!

Cenote Azul Natural Bridges

How Long to Spend at Azul Cenote

Expect to spend anywhere from 1-3 hours exploring Cenote Azul. There aren’t a ton of things to do so you’ll just be swimming and relaxing in the water.

Amenities at Cenote Azul Mexico

Cenote Azul is a smaller cenote and has a few amenities but is not as commercialized as some of the other bigger cenotes in the area.

Restrooms and Changing Rooms

Restrooms, changing rooms, and showers are available towards the back of Cenote Azul. There is a small fee (around $5 pesos) for use of the facilities.

Lockers

There are also lockers for rent to safely secure your belongings while you’re in the water. However, most people just leave their personal items on the sides and keep an eye on them throughout the day.  

Food and Drink

At Cenote Azul, there is a small stall that sells some drinks and snacks but the selection is limited. No alcohol is allowed.

Gear Rentals

If you want to snorkel, snorkeling gear can be rented for around $70 pesos per person (~$4 USD). However, to ensure the best fit and cleanliness, I would recommend bringing your own snorkel set.

Cenote Azul Rocks and Foliage

Cenote Azul Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of visiting Cenote Azul:

Pros of Cenote Azul

  • Closest to Playa del Carmen
  • Inexpensive
  • Shallow water
  • Easy to stand
  • Good for families

Cons of Cenote Azul

  • Few amenities
  • Not much food and drink
  • Small jumping ledge
  • Can get crowded
  • Rocks can be dangerous

What to Bring to Cenote Azul

Here are some important items I would recommended bringing when visiting Cenote Azul:

✔️ Water Shoes

✔️ Beach Towel

✔️ Snorkel Gear

Tips for Visiting Cenote Azul

Follow these tips to make the most of your Azul Cenote experience:

  • Bring a rash guard: Sunscreen is not allowed at Cenote Azul (even biodegradable) so if you need sun protection, you’ll want to bring a rash guard. There are some shady spots at the cenote but still lots of sun.

  • Wear water shoes: I never go to a cenote without water shoes as the ground is always pretty rocky and extremely uncomfortable on bare feet.

  • Be careful when walking in the water: As I mentioned, the rocks at Cenote Azul are extremely slippery so you’ll want to be extra cautious when walking in the water to avoid slips and falls.

  • Get there early: Arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds and get to see the untouched beauty of Cenote Azul.
Cenote Azul

FAQs about Cenote Azul

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Azul Cenote:

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

No, you do not need to book in advance to visit Cenote Azul. You can simply show up and pay the entrance fee to be granted access to the cenote.

How far is Cenote Azul from Playa del Carmen?

Cenote Azul is located about 13 miles (21 km) south of Playa del Carmen, with a driving time of about 25 minutes.

How do you get from Cenote Azul to Playa del Carmen?

To get from Cenote Azul to Playa del Carmen, you can drive a rental car, take a taxi, or take a colectivo (shared van).

Do I need water shoes for cenotes?

Water shoes are essential when visiting cenotes to protect your feet from the rocky surfaces and will make your experience so much more enjoyable.

Nearby Cenotes to Visit

If you have extra time when you’re done visiting Cenote Azul, then I would definitely recommend checking out Cenote Eden and Cenote Cristalino, which are located at the same site.

I have been to all three of these open cenotes and they are all worth visiting! Just keep in mind they each have separate entrance fees. Check out my full guides for all the details:

Eden Cenote Playa del Carmen
Cenote Eden
Cenote Cristalino
Cenote Cristalino

Final Thoughts: Cenote Azul

Are you ready to visit Cenote Azul? I hope this guide was helpful in planning your visit!

It’s such a chill and beautiful cenote if you’re looking for an easy cenote to visit near Playa del Carmen.

If you want to visit some even more incredible cenotes in the region, check out my complete guide to the best cenotes near Playa del Carmen.

Like this Blue Cenote Playa del Carmen post? Pin it for later!

Traveling to Mexico soon?

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🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: I recommend booking a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation for the quickest and most hassle-free option!

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🚨 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.