Playa del Carmen, Mexico's virtual guidebook written by locals

trip planning

anna and james' sea to cenote snorkel tour

We can also customize a private tour with this or a similar itinerary. Read more on the Private Tours page.

tour agenda

• We leave Playa del Carmen at around 7.30 am.

• We head a bit south of Playa and stop before coming to Tulum.

• We head into the jungle to a dry cenote that is the entrance to an underground cave system. Here you have the chance to experience an optional zipline descent into the cenote. We explore the system and exit via another dry cenote.

• We head further into the jungle to another cenote called Caracol, an entrance to a spectacular underground river where we snorkel among stalactites and stalagmites. All equipment provided.

• When we are done with our jungle exploration we will have a delicious Yucatecan BBQ lunch prepared for us by local Mayans.

• Satisfied with food and the morning's events, we’ll head to Casa Cenote where we snorkel the nearby Cenote Manatee and adjacent Caribbean bay and have ample chill out time!

• We will be back in Playa del Carmen at around 5 pm.

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Designed for people who 'don't do tours'

YucaTreks' Sea to Cenote Tour is quite unique in many ways. We don't know of anyone else that offers a tour with this kind of itinerary and mindset. This day is focused on water and its route from cenote to sea. Because of the nature of this day, we only take a maximum of 13 people, so book now!

The Cenotes
The Yucatan peninsula is riddled with caves and underwater rivers. In fact, there are no above-ground rivers on the peninsula at all. In some places, the roof of the cave has collapsed and forms an entrance into a cave system. This is called a cenote. They can be very different in apperance; some are just a hole in the ground, some are like round lagoons in the jungle and some are elaborate caves, partially filled with water. On this tour, we visit five awesome cenotes, each different and unique in its own way, and we'll snorkel in the ocean too.

The morning
Our first visit is to a truly amazing location deep in the jungle. Here we will take a short walk to a huge dry cenote, where you can take the stairs down for your descent, or even make an optional zipline descent! From the bottom of the cenote, we will enter a huge underground cave, partially filled with about a meter or 3 feet of crystal clear fresh water. Inside, we will follow a wooden boardwalk as it meanders through the awesome columns, stalagmites and stalactites for almost 100 meters or 300 feet, till we arrive at the other end then exit out of another dry cenote!

We'll then follow another short path to nearby Cenote Caracol, an entrance to an underground river in the depths of the jungle. The staircase arrives at a wooden platform where we'll don our life vests and snorkel gear. The cenote is lit up by various underwater lights. Once in the water, you may just want to swim or snorkel, but for those really interested in an adventure, your guide will take you through a lit passage, totally accessible with mask and snorkel, that heads out of the cenote on one side, meanders around for 50 meters or 150 feet, then returns back to the same cenote through another opening into the cave--we feel pretty confident in saying that this will be one of the most spectacular snorkel experiences of your life! Our guide, who is also a trained scuba dive instructor, is equipped with a strong cave light, which will enhance your experience, as you'll get a better look at stalactites, stalagmites and other mindblowing geological formations.

By this point, you will have worked up a hunger. After our experience in Cenote Caracol, we will have a meal fit for jungle explorers! The Mayan staff of the jungle retreat will prepare hand-made tortilla bread with grilled, BBQ meats like chicken, beef and sausage, served with fruit and salad. Remember drinks and beers are also included.

The afternoon
Our next stop is the unique Cenote Manatee and the beach of Tankah Bay, where one of the many underground river systems of the area flows from a "ojo de agua" or a " water eye" into the sea. Here we will chill out on the beach and get to snorkel in the ocean bay, with some good examples of Caribbean reef and marine life, as well as in Cenote Manatee. This cenote is very different from the jungle cave we visited in the morning. Cenote Manatee is surrounded by mangrove, which is a popular habitat for all kinds of birds - egrets, herons, pelicans, humming birds and various sea birds. The cenote itself is connected to the ocean by a large tunnel, which means that you often see species there that normally don't live in a cenote, like turtles and crabs.

We can also customize a private tour with this or a similar itinerary. Read more on the Private Tours page.

Book this tour now!

The Details

What's included
all entrances; snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel, fins and vest for those who need it); expert guiding; air-conditioned transportation with driver; snacks throughout the day (chips, cookies, nuts, granola bars); lunch; water and soft drinks throughout the day; beer starting at lunch.

What to bring/wear
comfortable shoes/sandals, hat, sunglasses, swim wear, towel, maybe an extra t-shirt, camera, personal belongings and some cash so you can tip your guide and driver and for souvenirs.

Maximum group size
13 people

Tour schedule

Is this tour for me?
This tour is a fantastic experience for anyone into snorkeling and amazing natural wonders. To enjoy this tour you have to be able to swim and be generally fit, since we spend a lot of time in the water. The zipline descent into the dry cenote is optional, and all cenotes have easy access or a staircase for entry.

The tour starts and finishes in Playa del Carmen. If you stay north of town, we'll meet you at a central pick-up location. We pick up at most hotels in and south of Playa del Carmen and Playacar.

Adults and children 10 years or older: 112 usd
This tour is not suitable for children under age 10

Book this tour now!


Book this tour now!