Headed to Cenote Dos Ojos? This incredible cenote sits between Playa del Carmen and Tulum in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Here’s what you need to know for a great visit.
There’s no question that swimming in a cenote is one of the quintessential experiences to have in the Riviera Maya.
Cenotes are natural sinkholes that give way to underground river systems. Much of the terrain throughout the Yucatan peninsula is made up of porous limestone bedrock, which collapses to expose these underground water sources.
These stunning natural wonders are kind of like snowflakes: no two are alike. Some cenotes are entirely open to the sky, while others are partially underground. Some are too shallow to swim in, while others are deep enough that you can scuba dive!
There are hundreds of incredible cenotes to visit in the Riviera Maya, and Dos Ojos is one of the most compelling options. Dos Ojos, which means “two eyes” in Spanish, is actually two cenotes linked by an underground cave system. It’s located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, making it an easy day trip from either of these Riviera Maya hotspots.
In this guide, we’ll cover why the Dos Ojos cenote deserves a spot on your itinerary, what to expect when you arrive, and how to make the most of your visit. I’ll also be sharing what to pack, how much it costs, and everything else you need to know for a successful visit to Cenote Dos Ojos from Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
- 1 Cenote Dos Ojos Overview
- 2 How much is the entrance fee?
- 3 Amenities at Dos Ojos Cenote Park
- 4 Best Dos Ojos Cenote Tours
- 5 What to pack for Cenote Dos Ojos
- 6 How to get to Cenote Dos Ojos
Cenote Dos Ojos Overview
The Dos Ojos cenotes are located within a park called Parque Dos Ojos. There are a handful of other cenotes situated within this park in addition to Dos Ojos.
This is what makes Dos Ojos such a great cenote option: there are all kinds of different cenotes to visit, all within a quick drive. Each of the cenotes within the park is quite different, which is why you might be curious to see a few of them.
The Dos Ojos cenotes are partially covered, giving them a bit of a cave-like feel. This setting protects the swimming holes from sun exposure, which is beneficial because it reduces the likelihood that you’ll get severely sunburned while swimming. On the other hand, the fact that the cenotes are partially shaded also means the water is a little colder than if the sun could warm it.
Another reason the Dos Ojos cenotes are an appealing option because you can swim, snorkel, or dive within them. An underground cave connects the two cenotes, and you can explore it on a diving tour.
If you’re curious about cave diving, Dos Ojos is one of the best cenotes to visit. To dive in Dos Ojos, you will have to purchase a tour, as diving isn’t permitted without a guide. We’ll cover your tour options in more detail below.
There are all kinds of incredible underwater rock formations you can spot while snorkeling in Dos Ojos. Because the cenotes are both in partially shaded areas, you may find yourself feeling chilly when you get out of the water.
If you want more of a sun-soaked cenote experience, you might want to check out some of the other cenotes within the Dos Ojos park. Cenote Jaguar and Cenote Nicte-Ha are both more open and may be better options for those who want to lounge in the sun.
That said, I really do think Dos Ojos offers a lot to see below the surface, even for snorkelers. If you’re interested in the rock formations, Dos Ojos won’t disappoint.
The other cenotes you can visit within Parque Dos Ojos are:
- Cenote Nicte-Ha
- Cenote Jaguar
- Cenote El Pit
- Cenote Los Monos
When you arrive at the park, you’ll find an admission office just off the highway, at the entrance to the park. You’ll have to stop here to purchase admission before proceeding down a dirt road to reach the cenotes. The Dos Ojos cenotes are about 2km into the park.
How much is the entrance fee?
The entrance fee for Dos Ojos varies depending on which package you choose. There are two types of admission to choose from: basic admission or admission with a tour.
The prices for each vary depending on which cenotes you visit.
For basic admission to the Dos Ojos cenotes, the entrance fee is $350 MXN ($18 USD). This fee includes life jacket rental, parking, and permission to swim in “Zonas Claras,” which I believe simply means that you can swim in any areas that aren’t restricted (meaning the underwater caves). The chart also states that this admission comes with “tiempo libre,” which translates to “free time.” In this context, that means that your admission fee allows you to stay as long as you want; there is no time limit for your visit.
If you opt for a Dos Ojos tour package, the entrance fee is $700 MXN ($35). This price includes a cenote tour with a guide, life jacket rental, locker rental, a snorkel, parking, free time in the cenotes, and access to the Baticueva, also known as the Bat Cave Cenote.
You can view the full pricing chart on the Parque Dos Ojos website, but I’ve also included a screenshot below.
Amenities at Dos Ojos Cenote Park
The amenities available at Dos Ojos are another reason that this cenote is a great place to visit. Many cenotes are simply sinkholes in the middle of the jungle, with absolutely no amenities around.
At Dos Ojos, you will find the following:
- A snack bar selling food and drink
- A picnic area with tables and hammocks
- Snorkel and life jacket rentals
- Fresh water for rinsing gear
- Locker rentals
Best Dos Ojos Cenote Tours
If you wish to join a Dos Ojos Cenote tour, there are all kinds of options available.
Joining a tour is advisable for a few different scenarios:
- You want to dive in the cenotes: You can only dive in the cenotes if a guide accompanies you, so if you’re keen to dive, you’ll have to join a tour. We’ll dig into your options below
- You’re a solo traveler, and you want to meet people: Tours are a fantastic way to make friends as a solo traveler. Think about it– you’re having a shared experience with travelers who have similar interests!
- You don’t feel like figuring out transportation logistics on your own: I’ve outlined your transportation options in detail below, but if you don’t feel confident in your Spanish or you’re reluctant to rent a vehicle, an organized tour is a great alternative. With a guided tour, all you have to do is show up at the departure point on time, and the rest is taken care of! Some tours also include stops at other attractions, so it’s a great way to bundle a few different experiences into one outing.
Dos Ojos Cenote Diving tours
If you’re keen to dive in Dos Ojos you’ll need to find a guide to take you. You can hire a guide through a local dive shop or book through an online platform like Viator, Get Your Guide, or TripAdvisor. I’ve linked a couple of cenote diving tour options below. These tours also accommodate group members who wish to snorkel, so if there are members of your party who prefer to snorkel, you can all go on the same tour.
- Phantom Divers is a really great Playa del Carmen-based dive shop to book through. They offer a variety of different cenote dives in Dos Ojos and other cenotes as well. If you book a dive tour through Phantom Divers they’ll provide transportation as well, so all you need to do is show up at the departure point. Their tours also include any admission fees to the cenote along with beverages and a boxed lunch.
- Cenote Diving Tour of Dos Ojos and The Bat Cave: This cenote diving tour will have you diving in both Dos Ojos and the Bat Cave cenotes. It’s a full-day tour, and you will have to provide proof of basic certification in order to dive. The tour includes pickup and drop-off from hotels in Playa del Carmen. Snacks and bottled water are provided, and all fees are included in the price of your tour.
Cenote Dos Ojos Tours from Tulum and Playa del Carmen
The following tours depart from either Tulum or Playa del Carmen, meaning you don’t have to go through the trouble of coordinating transportation on your own. These are both snorkeling tours, so you’ll have to make different arrangements if you wish to dive.
- Private Tour of Dos Ojos Cenote with Mayan Lunch: This private early morning tour of Dos Ojos cenote offers a chance to beat the crowds to the cenotes. After a guided snorkeling tour of Dos Ojos, you’ll visit a local Mayan restaurant for lunch. The tour price includes transportation from Playa del Carmen or Tulum, cenote admission fees, food, and beverages.
- Tulum and Dos Ojos Cenote Tour: This full-day tour includes a visit to the Tulum ruins along with a tour of Cenote Dos Ojos. You can arrange for pickup from your hotel anywhere within Cancun or the Riviera Maya. Learn all about the Maya culture as you tour the Tulum ruins with a professional bilingual guide, and then enjoy some free time in Tulum before moving on to snorkel through the Dos Ojos cenotes. This tour doesn’t include food, but bottled water will be provided.
What to pack for Cenote Dos Ojos
Make room in your daypack for the following items before you head off to Cenote Dos Ojos.
- Quick-dry towel: A quick-dry towel is the perfect way to dry off after a refreshing cenote swim. They are lightweight, making them easy to pack, and they’ll dry in just a few minutes, meaning you don’t have to lug around a heavy, wet towel.
- Biodegradable sunscreen: Protect both your skin and the environment by using a biodegradable sunscreen. Here are some of my favorite reef-safe sunscreen brands.
- Snorkel: Snorkeling is the best way to see the incredible underwater rock formations found within the cenotes. There are snorkel rentals available onsite, but bringing your own ensures you wind up with a mask that fits properly. It’s much easier to see the sights when your mask isn’t fogged up! Bringing your own snorkel also saves you from any concerns regarding the sanitization of the equipment.
- Water bottle: While there is water available for purchase onsite, it’s most convenient to pack your own. I recommend a LifeStraw bottle as the integrated filtration system enables you to safely filter water straight from the tap. No need to purchase single-use plastic water bottles!
- Waterproof phone pouch: This waterproof phone pouch makes a convenient place to stash your phone and other valuables while you go for a swim. Nobody has to stay back and watch your stuff. Stash the essentials in this pouch and frolic to your heart’s content!
- Go Pro: If you want to capture some sweet underwater shots of the stalagmites and stalactites, you’ll need a waterproof camera. A GoPro is the perfect option.
How to get to Cenote Dos Ojos
If you opt to visit Dos Ojos without a tour, you need to know how to get there!
The Dos Ojos Cenote Park is located about 30 miles south of Playa del Carmen, off of Highway 307. The park is just 14 miles north of Tulum.
There is a prominent highway sign that reads “Parque Dos Ojos,” making it easy to spot the turn off.
While the admissions booth for Dos Ojos is located just off the highway, the cenote itself sits about 1.5 miles down a dusty dirt road. It’s important to keep this in mind when choosing your transportation method.
It’s really easy to get to Dos Ojos from both Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Let’s take a look at your options:
Colectivos are small passenger vans that travel between the different towns throughout the Riviera Maya. They are an efficient and inexpensive way to get between different attractions in the region.
Colectivos don’t operate on a schedule. Instead, they depart when they are full. You can board colectivos at the start of the route or flag them down along the highway.
In Playa del Carmen, colectivos depart from Avenida Juarez and the highway, under the bridge.
Note: Previously, colectivos left from Calle 2, so you may find conflicting information online. The Avenida Juarez departure point was a recent change.
Look for the vans that say Tulum in the window, as this indicates that they are heading south. When you board, the driver will ask where you are going: say Dos Ojos. The drivers are good about letting passengers know when it’s time to get off.
In Tulum, you can catch a colectivo from outside the ADO bus station on the main street or anywhere along the highway heading north out of Tulum.
The price of a colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Dos Ojos will probably be about 40 pesos, while from Tulum it will likely be less. You pay the driver when you get off.
A colectivo will drop you at the entrance to the cenote park, while other transportation options will get you all the way to the Dos Ojos cenotes themselves. If you do opt for a colectivo, you can rent bikes from the admissions booth to cycle to the cenote.
A rental car is by far the most comfortable way to visit cenotes in the Riviera Maya. You are self-contained, have complete control over your schedule, and it gives you the flexibility of adding on fun, spontaneous detours along the way.
It’s handy to be able to stash a change of clothes or other personal items in the trunk instead of carting everything around with you in a heavy backpack.
I recommend using Discover Cars to find competitive car rental rates. They search a plethora of car rental sites to find the best rates, and there are no hidden fees.
To reach Dos Ojos by car, simply follow Highway 307 from Playa del Carmen or Tulum and turn off at the sign for Dos Ojos Cenote Park. It is very clearly marked, so you can’t miss it!
Hiring a taxi to take you to Dos Ojos is another promising transportation option. There are a few different ways this could work.
You could opt to hire a taxi to drop you right at the entrance. This would be the most inexpensive option but would leave you needing to rent a bike or walk down the 1.5-mile road to the cenotes.
Alternatively, you could hire a taxi to be your driver for the day. Generally, this means you would pay a flat rate, and the driver will take you anywhere you want to go for the whole day. It is up to you to negotiate this with a taxi driver. Some may be more amenable than others.
I’ve had many taxi drivers offer this service to me in the past, and I’ve taken them up on the offer a couple of times. It can be a really good option if you don’t want to drive.
If you pursue either of these options, negotiate the price upfront. I’m not totally sure how much either of these services would cost, and the prices may fluctuate depending on the time of year.
As a ballpark, I’d estimate that hiring a taxi for the day would cost between 800 and 1000 pesos, or $40 to $50 USD. Taking a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Dos Ojos would probably cost about 600 pesos ($30 USD), and from Tulum to Dos Ojos, I suspect it would cost about 400 pesos ($20 USD). Again, these are just educated guesses based on my experience with taxis in the region.