How to Visit Kaan Luum Lagoon in Tulum Mexico in 2023
Do you want to visit Kaan Luum Lagoon in Tulum Mexico? You’ve come to the right place!
After I first moved to Playa del Carmen, visiting Kaan Luum swimming hole was one of the very first excursions that I went on with some local friends, and it still remains as one of the best hidden gems in Riviera Maya!
In this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know about visiting Kaan Luum Lagoon, 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 Kaan Luum Lagoon Tulum Mexico guide!
What is Kaan Luum Lagoon?
Meaning “Yellow Earth” in the Mayan language, Kaan Luum Lagoon (“Laguna Kaan Luum” in Spanish) is a secret swimming hole and natural attraction that makes for a fun excursion from Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or the Riviera Maya.
The lagoon’s most notable feature is a deep cenote in the center, where the depth changes drastically and leaves a very sharp contrast in the color of the water from bright turquoise to dark blue.
While at the lagoon, visitors can sunbathe on a wooden pier, swim in the shallow waters, or participate in more adventurous activities like kayaking or paddleboarding.
Why Visit Kaan Luum Lagoon Tulum?
Kaan Luum Lagoon is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path excursion in Riviera Maya.
As a less well-known attraction, it definitely stands out as one of the region’s hidden gems.
Perfect for families or adventurous travelers, the lagoon is not very commercialized and offers a unique opportunity to swim, hang out, and relax in a shallow natural swimming pool.
If you want to visit a naturally beautiful place in Riviera Maya that is not overrun with tourists, then visiting Laguna Kaan Luum will be perfect for you!
What is Kaan Luum Lagoon Like?
Laguna Kaan Luum is a massive natural pool, almost perfectly circular in shape, with a dark and deep center. The shades of the water vary from emerald green to the darkest blue.
Once you arrive, you’ll walk out onto the narrow wooden dock extending from the entrance. At the end of the dock, you won’t be able to miss the deep cenote in the middle.
Visitors can hang out on the dock, sunbathe, or swim in the shallow water while enjoying the lagoon’s natural beauty and refreshing waters. Some benches and shaded palapas are available near the entrance for extra seating.
Where is Kaan Luum Lagoon?
Kaan Luum Lagoon is located about 15 minutes south of Tulum, Mexico or a little over an hour drive south from Playa del Carmen.
The lagoon is situated right off the main highway 307, further inland from the Caribbean coast and just northeast of Sian Ka’an.
Driving times from nearby destinations are as follows:
- Tulum to Kaan Luum Lagoon: 15 minutes
- Playa del Carmen to Kaan Luum Lagoon: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Cancun to Kaan Luum Lagoon: 2 hours 15 minutes
How to Get to Laguna Kaan Luum Tulum
There are a few different ways to get to Kaan Luum Lagoon depending on your car situation and where you’re coming from.
👀 Looking for the easiest way to get to Kaan Luum Lagoon? Book the best Kaan Luum Lagoon tour by clicking here!
Drive to Kaan Luum Lagoon
On your own, the best way to get to Kaan Luum Lagoon is by driving or renting a car.
Driving directions from Playa del Carmen
From Playa del Carmen, take the main highway 307 directly south from Playa del Carmen for just over an hour.
Be on the lookout for a sign marking the main entrance on the left side of the highway. It can be easy to miss so it’s best to track your location with GPS on your phone if you can.
Once you turn off the highway, you’ll have to drive down a bumpy road for a few minutes before arriving at the entrance.
Driving directions from Tulum
From Tulum, take the main highway 307 south for about 6 miles, then make a left turn at the Kaan Luum Lagoon entrance sign.
Kaan Luum Lagoon Parking
Once you arrive, there is a large parking lot just outside of the cenote entrance where you can park for free.
👉 For a hassle-free experience, book your car through my favorite rental service Discover Cars by clicking here!
Take a Taxi to Kaan Luum Lagoon
Alternatively, you could take a taxi to Kaan Luum but it will be more expensive, especially if you’re coming from Playa del Carmen.
You can expect the price to be about $700 pesos (~$35 USD each way) from Playa del Carmen. From Tulum, it would probably be around $100 pesos (~$5 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 Kaan Luum Lagoon
If you don’t have a car, you can still get to Kaan Luum Lagoon by taking a colectivo (shared van) from Playa del Carmen or Tulum. This is definitely not as convenient but can be done.
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.
Take the colectivo from Playa del Carmen all the way to Tulum and the price should be about $50 pesos (~$2.50 USD), which you’ll pay upon exiting.
Once you’re in Tulum, you’ll have to transfer to a colectivo going south from Tulum to Felipe Carrillo.
Keep in mind that these colectivos do not run very frequently so you may have to wait a while for one to drive by, and it will be harder on the return trip.
From the entrance at the highway, you’ll have to walk about 10 minutes before reaching the lagoon.
Colectivo from Tulum
From Tulum, you’ll want to get on a colectivo headed south from Tulum to Felipe Carillo.
Tell the driver you’re going to Kaan Luum Lagoon and they’ll drop you on the side of the highway. It’s then about a 10 minute walk to the lagoon entrance.
Travelista Tip: If you have trouble getting the colectivo to Felipe Carillo, you could also consider grabbing a taxi from Tulum to Kaan Luum Lagoon, which is only about 15 minutes away.
Book a Tour to Kaan Luum Lagoon
If you don’t want to deal with driving or renting a car, then the most hassle-free way to visit Kaan Luum Lagoon is by booking a tour, which are typically all-inclusive and offer hotel pickup, lunch, and added activities or visits to nearby cenotes.
My top recommendation for a Kaan Luum Lagoon tour is the Lagoon Xplorer tour with Aloha Paddle Club, which will give you an exclusive standup paddleboarding experience on the lagoon.
Kaan Luum Lagoon is the perfect place for standup paddleboarding since the water is so calm and you’ll get to venture further around the lagoon on the boards.
👉 Book the Lagoon Xplorer tour with Aloha Paddle Club by clicking here!
If standup paddleboarding isn’t your thing, there are also many other incredible Kaan Luum Lagoon tours available, where you can also visit nearby ruins and cenotes. Check out these top-rated Kaan Luum tours below:
Kaan Luum Lagoon Hours
Kaan Luum Lagoon is open daily from 9:00AM-4:30PM. It’s best to arrive early to beat the crowds.
Kaan Luum Lagoon Entrance Fee
The entrance fee for Laguna Kaan Luum is $300 pesos (~$15 USD) per person for foreigners. The Kaan Luum Lagoon price for Mexicans is $200 pesos.
Here’s a breakdown of the Kaan Luum Lagoon prices:
- Standard Entrance Fee: $300 pesos (~$15 USD)
- Mexican Nationals: $200 pesos (~$10 USD)
- Local Quintana Roo Residents: $150 pesos (~$7.50 USD)
Best Time to Visit Lagoon Kaan Luum
The best time to visit Kaan Luum Lagoon is on a weekday as it can get very crowded with locals and Mexican families on the weekends.
If you do visit on the weekend, the dock will probably be pretty full and you’ll be fighting for a spot!
Kaan Luum Lagoon Amenities
There are very few amenities at Kaan Luum Lagoon so you’ll want to bring everything you need with you.
There are restrooms on-site at Laguna Kaan Luum.
Showers are available at the lagoon and it is recommended to shower before entering in order to remove any sunscreen or residue that may be harmful to the lagoon.
Food and Drink
There is not much food and drink for sale at Kaan Luum Lagoon. A few drinks are available for purchase but I would recommend bringing your own snacks and drinks to enjoy on the pier or under the shaded palapas.
Rules for Visiting Kaan Luum Lagoon
It’s important to know that Kaan Luum Lagoon is a protected area and the local conservators work hard to preserve and protect the lagoon’s natural environment and delicate eco-system.
Be responsible when visiting and make sure to follow these rules:
- No sunscreen (even biodegradable)
- No swimming in the center
- No speakers
- No alcohol
- No smoking
- No littering
Things to Do at Kaan Luum Lagoon
Here are the best things to do at Kaan Luum Lagoon:
1. Sunbathe on the pier
One of the only structures at Laguna Kaan Luum is a narrow wooden pier, which is usually covered with visitors. It’s a great spot to sunbathe or sit on the edge with your feet in the water.
There is no beach at Kaan Luum so you’ll have to use your towel or belongings to claim your spot on the pier, as it can get crowded.
2. Swim in the shallow water
The depth of the water around the pier ranges from about waist to shoulder deep, so it’s easy to stand freely, swim around, and enjoy the refreshing waters of the lagoon.
It’s the perfect place to escape the heat and enjoy a natural outdoor swimming pool. Swimming in the center is prohibited and there are ropes and warning signs marking the no-swim zone.
3. Snorkel around the lagoon
Aside from some little fish, there’s not a ton to see underwater but the water at Kaan Luum Lagoon is shallow and usually clear if you want to venture around the sides of the lagoon and do some snorkeling.
If you do want to snorkel, I would recommend bringing your own snorkel set, as rental gear is not available on site.
4. Treat yourself to a clay mask
Kaan Luum Lagoon is layered with soft sand and there are particular areas near the edges of the lagoon with soft brown clay that can be used to treat yourself to a natural clay mask for your face and skin.
Fun Fact: It’s actually from this soft sand that Kaan Luum got its naming meaning “Yellow Earth.”
5. Take pictures on the wooden swings
There are also some wooden overwater swings and hammocks near the side of the lagoon where you can take some fun photos while swinging and splashing around in the water.
The swings and hammocks can get crowded so be sure to arrive early for the best photo opportunities!
6. Go paddleboarding or kayaking
Another more adventurous activity at Kaan Luum Lagoon is to go paddleboarding or kayaking.
The best way to do this is by booking a tour, as the tour operator will provide all the equipment and be your certified guide.
The cool thing about paddleboarding at Kaan Luum lagoon is that you can venture further away from the crowds into areas of the lagoon that are normally off limits to the general public.
Plus, the calm waters at Kaan Luum are the perfect conditions for beginners! Kayaks can also be rented for an additional fee.
🏄♀️ Book the best Kaan Luum Lagoon standup paddleboarding tour by clicking here!
7. Go scuba diving
With its cenote at a depth of about 80 m (262 ft), Kaan Luum is also a popular spot for scuba diving and free diving.
If you are a certified diver and want to dive in the Kaan Luum cenote, you can do so by booking a dive with a certified guide. It’s recommended for more advanced divers.
8. Climb the scenic viewpoint
Near the side of the lagoon, you’ll find a recently constructed scenic viewpoint with a Mexican flag that you can climb to get a better view of the lagoon.
It’s a makeshift wooden structure with stairs that’s only a couple of stories tall–so not super high but a good spot for photos!
How Long to Spend at Kaan Luum Lagoon
Expect to spend anywhere from 1-3 hours exploring Kaan Luum Lagoon.
What to Bring to Laguna Kaan Luum
Here are a few items I would recommend bringing to Kaan Luum Lagoon:
- Rash Guard: Sunscreen is prohibited at Kaan Luum Lagoon (even biodegradable) so you’ll want to bring a rash guard if you need sun protection. Once you’re on the pier, there is no shade.
- Sun Hat: Bring a sun hat for extra sun protection while in the water as there is not much shade on-site.
- Beach Towel: Don’t forget to bring a beach towel to dry off after swimming in the lagoon. These microfiber beach towels are a great option as they are lightweight and dry quickly.
- GoPro or waterproof camera: Bring a a GoPro or waterproof camera to take some fun pictures in the water.
Tips for Visiting Kaan Luum Lagoon
Follow these tips to make the most of your Kaan Luum Lagoon experience:
- Get there early: Arrive as early as possible for a chance to have the lagoon to yourself and get to see it undisturbed.
- Bring a rash guard: Sunscreen is not allowed at Kaan Luum Lagoon so you’ll definitely want to bring a rash guard to avoid a sunburn. There is pretty much no shade once you’re out in the water!
- Bring snacks and drinks: Not much food and beverage is not sold at the lagoon, so if you plan to spend most of the day there, I would recommend bringing some snacks, drinks, and a cooler to enjoy on the pier. Keep in mind alcohol is not allowed.
FAQs About Kaan Luum Lagoon
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Kaan Luum Lagoon:
Kaan Luum Lagoon is about 80 m (262 feet) at its deepest point.
No, you do not need to book in advance to visit Kaan Luum Lagoon. You can simply show up and pay the entrance fee to be granted access to the lagoon.
Yes, you can swim in Kaan Luum Lagoon in the shallow waters around the pier but swimming in the deep waters of the cenote is prohibited.
The easiest way to get from Tulum to Kaan Luum Lagoon is by driving, renting a car, or taking a taxi.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Kaan Luum Lagoon
Are you ready to visit Kaan Luum Lagoon?! I hope this guide was helping in planning your visit.
With few activities and amenities, the Tulum Kaan Luum Lagoon experience is definitely not commercialized but offers a simple and peaceful retreat to admire the natural beauty of the region.
It’s been one of my most memorable excursions in Riviera Maya and shouldn’t be missed if you want to see a beautiful hidden gem!
And if you want an upgraded Kaan Luum experience, consider booking a one-of-a-kind standup paddleboarding tour to explore the lagoon away from the crowds.
If you’re looking for other adventures near Tulum, check out my posts on visiting the Tulum Ruins, Casa Cenote, and Sian Ka’an.
Like this Kaan Luum Laguna post? Pin it for later!
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.