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Cenote Choo Ha might just be my favorite cenote in Tulum, Mexico. That’s probably not a fair statement becauses Cenote Choo Ha isn’t actually in Tulum, but it’s close enough that I’ll stand by my statement. Without a doubt, a visit to Cenote Choo Ha, an underground cenote filled with stalactites and stalagmites, should be on your itinerary for any trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. Plus, it’s one of best Instagram photo spots in Tulum. Seriously, it is so cool!
What are Cenotes?
The first question you probably have is what the heck are cenotes? Cenotes (pronounced sei-now-tay) are sinkholes that were created by the ceiling of caves collapsing. This results in sinkholes that hold salt-free water, making them great areas of swimming, diving, and scoping out the wildlife. Seriously, these cenotes are some underground magic. The water in any of these cenotes tend to me quite cold, but often a refreshing break from Tulum’s heat. There are actually three different types of cenotes. There are covered cenotes, open air cenotes, and a mix of the two (the best of both worlds).
Cenotes are extremely popular in Tulum, and throughout the Riviera Maya. I think it would be impossible to visit the region with hearing about these water pools, and they are definitely something that should be on any Tulum itinerary.
What about the other Coba cenotes?
This guide will cover everything you need to know about visiting Gran Choo Ha, but there are actually three Coba cenotes in the Coba Mayan ruins area that you can visit. I only had the chance to visit Cenote Choo Ha, but if you have the time make sure to add Cenote Tamcach and Cenote Multum to your list.
Here are a few other cenotes to add to your Tulum itinerary:
- Gran Cenote
- Dos Ojos
- Casa Cenote
- Cenote Calavera
- Cenote Carwash
How to get to Cenote Choo Ha
Cenote Choo Ha, and the other nearby Coba cenotes, are located just a few kilometers down the road from Coba, and just under an hour from Tulum. I would recommend visiting Coba in the early morning, before it gets too hot, and then heading over to the cenotes to cool off.
When you arrive, you will come across a ticket booth just off of the main road.Once you purchase your tickets (remember to bring your cash), continue by car down a dirt path to reach the first two cenotes, including Cenote Choo Ha.
You will need a car to reach Cenote Choo Ha, as there is no public transport available that will take you to the cenote. You have the option of either hiring a rental car or getting a tax, or private driver.
I have not personally rented a car in Tulum, but have heard that it is easy and the roads are quite manageable. The cenote is relatively quiet and it is generally easy to find parking.
How much does it cost to enter Cenote Choo Ha?
Choo-Ha Cenote has an entrance fee of $100 mxn (apx $5 USD), so it’s a great activity if you’re visiting Tulum on a budget. Make sure to bring cash as credit cards are not accepted.
Things to know before visiting Cenote Choo Ha
- The cenote is completely underground, and you will need to climb down a long spiral staircase to reach the bottom. This means that there is no sunlight in the Cenote Choo Ha and the water is cold! The steps down to the cenote can be incredible slippery, so make sure you walk slowly. I found it was easiest to remove my shoes, but swim shoes would work well too!
- I would leave any valuables in the car as there isn’t a great place to leave personal items where they won’t get wet.
- Cenote Choo Ha is far less touristy than many of the cenotes closer to Tulum. In fact, when we visited we had the place to ourselves for over an hour! It is also super family-friendly, as the water is not very deep.
- As with any cenote, you are always required to shower off before entering. Doing so protects the cenote, both the water and ecosystem.
Dining at Cenote Choo Ha
Unfortunately there are no dining options available at Cenote Choo Ha, so you’ll want to bring along any drinks or snacks that you wish to enjoy. Otherwise, you’ll find quite a few restaurants as you drive towards Coba town. Right in the Coba car park you’ll find a restaurant called Restaurante Nicte Ha, which has some delicious, affordable options.
Most likely, you’re visit to Cenote Choo Ha will be combined with a visit to the Coba Mayan ruins. Here are a few things you should know:
- The ruins open at 8am to 5pm. I recommend arriving early as it can get quite hot.
- The Coba Mayan Ruins are located 44 kilometers and approximately 40 minute drive from Tulum city center by car. You can also take the ADO bus to reach the ruins. But it will make reaching Cenote Choo Ha afterwards a bit difficult, as you will need to hire a taxi from Coba.
- The cost to enter the ruins is 75 Mexican Pesos, or approximately $3.50 USD. Once in the park, you can choose to get around by walking, by bike, or driven around on the back of a bike.
Where to Stay in Tulum
If you’re visiting Cenote Choo Ha, you’re most likely staying in Tulum, which is located about 45 minutes away. Here are a few of my favorite properties in Tulum, Quintana Roo.
Budget: Amorcito Corazon Hotel y Hostel
The rooms are clean and the staff is super friendly and helpful. The property has both a downstairs common area and a rooftop with a small pool. Dorm beds start at $16 USD/night, while private rooms start at $50 USD/night, making it a great option for anyone traveling to Tulum solo or on a budget. Breakfast is included in the price of the room.
Budget: Mama’s Home Hostel
Mama’s Home hostel is a great option if you’re traveling solo and looking for a more social atmosphere. Dorm beds start at $16 per night and private rooms start around $65/night.
Mid-Range: Una Vida
Una Vida is a great, moderately priced accommodation option in Tulum. Located in Tulum center, Una Vida has a large, Instagrammable pool, minimilist decor, and a great location for exploring the city. Prices start around $90 USD/night.
Luxury: Be Tulum
Be Tulum is one of the top hotels in Tulum, but with it comes a steep price tag. A night at Be Tulum averages close to $1,000 USD/night, for what will definitely be an unforgettable experience.
Everything about Nomade is perfect, from the decor to their various restaurants. Not to mention, your room will be only steps from the beach! Rooms typically range from between $300 USD – $700 USD per night.
Azulik is a luxury, eco-friendly haven. With no wifi or electricity, this hotel boasts some of the most interesting looking rooms. Whether you stay here as a guest, or stop by for a meal, Azulik should definitely be added to your Tulum itinerary.
Cenote Choo Ha Packing Essentials
Exploring Tulum? Here are some other articles to check out:
- Tulum on a Budget
- Gran Cenote: What You Need to Know
- Tulum Solo Travel Guide
- Best Tulum Instagram Spots
- 7 Best Restaurants in Tulum, Mexico
- The Ultimate Tulum Itinerary