There are so many things to do near Casa Om, in the Mayan Riviera region of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, that a visitor could spend months exploring. Besides the great yoga, there are fantastic beaches, world-class ruins, rustic villages, and more. But for me, there’s no question that the top attractions in the area are the cenotes. Cenotes are sinkholes, often in caves, which have filled with crystal-clear water fed by underground rivers. The Mayan people considered the cenotes to be sacred sites, gateways into the netherworld.
There are thousands of cenotes around Casa Om, and many are open for swimming. Some are quite small and secluded and others are contained in large “eco-parks”, ecological reserves that are somewhat like amusement parks.
Here is a list of our favorite cenotes. Please be sure to inquire into current pricing and special tour offers. Also, remember not to wear sunscreen in the water and respect all local rules.
Las Mojarras. This large cenote is located only 12.5 kilometers from Casa Om in Puerto Morales. One of the bigger cenotes in the region, it measures 65 meters across and 14 meters deep. There is a double zip line and a tower that you can jump into the water from. It’s located in a beautiful park with a jungle canopy where you can take a short hike and have a picnic.
Kin Ha. Kin Ha is a beautiful cenote set back off the main highway on a rough, unpaved road. It can be reached by ATV (all-terrain vehicle), though be mindful that these vehicles can damage the fragile ecosytem if taken off the road. Kin Ha is completely underground and lit by gas lanterns (make sure to ask the attendant to turn the lights on if they aren’t lit!). The fish will nibble on your feet as you float through the cave. There is a second, open-air cenote nearby if you want to get out into the sunlight. There are a series of jumps where you land in the water. These are lots of fun!
Cenote de 7 Bocas. “Seven Mouths Cenote,” is part of a marvelous rock formation that was created millions of years ago. This cenote actually consists of three caves that are linked together, and you can swim from one to the next without having to go underwater. The seven mouths refer to openings into the subterranean system, but you can only descend through three of them–though you can still look down through the others. This is one of the more rustic cenotes in the region. It is located just 15 kilomters from Puerto Morelos and easily accessible from Casa Om.
Cenote Boca del Puma. Located in an ecological reserve in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Boca del Puma (“Puma’s Mouth” ) offers snorkeling, zip lining, horseback riding, rock climbing and biking, as well as a dip in the two crystalline cenotes. The pools themselves are rather small, but if you are looking for a day-long adventure, it is a fun place to check out.
Cenote Verde Lucero. Verde Lucero is easily reached by car from the Central Vallarta Road near Casa Om. It is an uncovered cenote–an open-air sinkhole rather than a cave. You walk down a set of stone steps to a lower tier and from there you will find a set of wooden steps that leads down about 20 feet/6 meters down to the water. You can swim a complete circle around the cenote walls.
Dos Ojos. Cenote Dos Ojos (“Two Eyes”) is located close to Tulum, about an hour drive from Casa Om. However, this popular cenote is worth the trip. The large limestone cave system is great for snorkeling and diving, with plenty of fish below (and bats above!). The crystal clear waters make it a great place to stop off after a visit to the Tulum ruins.
Casa Cenote. Also located on the route to Tulum, Casa Cenote is called a “secret cenote”. It is situated in the middle of mangrove, very close to the ocean. There is plenty of wildlife, and you can navigate through passages and fissures in the limestone. This cenote includes an underground cavern that flows into the sea, with a small beach that is also excellent for swimming and snorkeling. It is part of the largest underground cave in the world, Nohoch Na Chich. This one is off the beaten path and definitely worth the trip!
These are just a few of our suggestions at Casa Om. We’d love to hear from you about what your favorites are!