Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote!

If you’re staying in popular Playa del Carmen, you may be wondering where the closest cenote is??  If you don’t know what a cenote is, it’s basically a secret, underground watering hole where you can swim (& snorkel),& there are literally thousands of them hidden all around Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  It’s like swimming in a freshwater cave!  The closest cenote to Playa del Carmen is called Chaak Tun, & though it’s more expensive than some cenotes, I still say “GO!” because it’s soo photogenic!  Welcome to your “Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote!” 

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote by Playa del Carmen, Girl Who Travels the World

The beautiful turquoise waters of Chaak Tun cenote in Mexico, just 15-minutes from Playa del Carmen…

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote by Playa del Carmen, Girl Who Travels the World

Don’t worry about bring ANything to Chaak Tun ~ they’ve got all the gear you need included in your entrance price, including wet suits & life vests in ALL sizes.

 Map of Chaak Tun Cenote 

If you’re staying in Playa del Carmen, Cenote Chaak Tun is only a 15-minute taxi ride from town (to the west, away from the ocean).  It was a little difficult for us to hail a cab back to town ~ but an easy alternative would be to call an Uber, or arrange for your cab driver to come back in 2-3 hours. 

Cenote Chaak Tun

Playa del Carmen

Cenote Chaak Tun Quick Facts

  • Cenote Chaak Tun Hours: 9AM-3PM Monday-Saturday, 9AM-1PM on Sunday
  • Entrance Fee: 500 Pesos per person (approx. $26 U.S. dollars) 
  • What Your Entrance Fee Includes: Snorkel, wet suit, water shoes, flotation vest, & locker rental ~ plus a guided tour of two different caverns.  The water is cold, so be prepared! 
  • Tour Length: Two hours. A new tour leaves approximately every 40 minutes. 
  • Can You Visit Chaak Tun on Your Own (Without a Guide)? No, you must take a guided tour.
  • Pros: Beautiful caverns; guides speak great English & are highly informative; everything is included for the price. 
  • Cons: More expensive than most other cenotes; some parts of the tour are very tight quarters & may not be good if you’re claustrophobic; independent travelers may not enjoy the “group tour” vibe. 
  • Tips for Enjoying Chaak Tun: Bring your own water and/or snacks; park your rental car in their free parking lot; bring a high-quality waterproof camera; & arrange in advance for your ride back to Playa!  They also offer a tequila tasting post-tour, for those interested.
  • Where to Stay: Playa del Carmen.  If you want to splurge, check out the Royal Plaza del Carmen.  On a budget: try Hotel Itzaes or Angelo’s.  

 Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote

When visiting Chaak Tun, you’ll spend about two hours underground, exploring different parts of the caves.  But since tours leave every 40 minutes, budget about 3-4 hours total for the experience ~ including transport to & from Playa del Carmen.  I think Chaak Tun is one of the most photogenic cenotes in the Yucatan…so don’t forget your waterproof camera!  It should be the only thing you bring down into the caves, because pretty much everything you have will get wet (store all other items in your locker).  

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote by Playa del Carmen, Girl Who Travels the World

My friend Brian, about to descend into the dark waters of Cenote Chaak Tun…

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote by Playa del Carmen, Girl Who Travels the World

Entering the first of two caves at Chaak Tun, with our guide.

Cenote Chaak Tun is a little creepier & more mysterious than other cenotes I visited.  If you explore a little past the main areas, you’ll find some of the coolest cave formations, lit by eerie purple, green, & red lighting.  I got some of my best photos back here…

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote by Playa del Carmen, Girl Who Travels the World

Walk a little past the main areas & you’ll find eerie spots like this one…

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote by Playa del Carmen, Girl Who Travels the World

Killer stalactites everywhere…

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote by Playa del Carmen, Girl Who Travels the World

Guide to Exploring Chaak Tun Cenote

Something to look forward to after swimming in a cenote = the BEST SLEEP ever!!!  Maybe it’s the minerals, the fresh water, or the sacred Mayan energy ~ who the heck knows!?  But after you’ve swam in Chaak Tun, get ready to have some of the best sleep of your life.  And if you’re looking for great hotels in Playa del Carmen, check out my city guide below!

xoxxo Noelia

Read Next: Ultimate Guide to Playa del Carmen in Mexico