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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!

girl at Cenote Choo Ha in Tulum, Mexico
Cenote Choo Ha is one of the best cenotes near Tulum
Cenote Choo Ha in Tulum, Mexico
Cenote Choo Ha is much less popular than many other cenotes in Quintana Roo

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 

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Best Cenotes near Tulum, Mexico

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.

The water isn’t super deep – but it is chilly!
You can rent a lifevest, or just play around with this lifesaver like I did

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.

Cenote Choo-Ha is open from 8am to 6pm daily.

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.

Visiting Coba

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.
coba mayan ruins with girl
Coba Mayan Ruins
Exploring the ruins nearby to Choo-Ha Cenote
Exploring the ruins nearby to Choo-Ha Cenote

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.

Photo credit: Hostelworld

Mama’s Home Hostel

Mama’s Home hostel is a great option if you’re traveling to Tulum on a budget and are looking for a more social atmosphere. The night that I stayed here I was welcomed with an evening of free pina coladas! While this hostel is more social than other places I’ve stayed in Tulum, it still enforces an 11pm quiet policy to ensure that those who need it can get a good night’s sleep! Rooms are basic but sufficient.

Check rates and availability

Photo credit: Booking.com

Una Vida

Una Vida is a more luxury accommodation option in Tulum town that still offers great rates. Located in the town center, Una Vida has a large, very Instagrammable pool, minimalist decor, and a great location for exploring the city.

Prices start around $200 USD/night, but can get much pricier during the busier season. I recommend booking in advance!

Check rates and availability

Turquoise Tulum Hotel

I spent 5 nights at Turquoise Tulum Hotel in 2021 and loved it. I was working remote, so I wanted to make sure that I had a spot that was comfortable, quiet, and cute. It is located in La Valeta, so you’ll be close to tons of restaurants and bars.The hotel has since expanded but reviews are still good!

Check rates and availability

Photo credit: Booking.com

Era Hotel & Spa Tulum

Luxury on a budget, with rooms often below $100 USD. Located in the heart of La Valeta neighborhood. A 4-star hotel with a restaurant on site.

Check rates and availability

girl walking into the water at cenote choo ha mexico
Hopping in for a swim!
girl Enjoying the lack of crowds at Cenote Choo Ha
Enjoying the lack of crowds at Cenote Choo Ha

Cenote Choo Ha Packing Essentials

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