Cenote Aldea Zama is the only free cenote in Tulum, and it’s within walking distance from Tulum Centro. Located in the Aldea Zama neighborhood, this small but picturesque cenote is frequented by locals. It has a relaxed family vibe and isn’t the type of place you’ll see influencers taking photos.
Most Tulum activities are either expensive or difficult to access. Since Cenote Aldea Zama free and can be accessed on foot, it is one of the best things to do in Tulum, Mexico.
Note: This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through these links, at no cost to you. But don’t worry, I only share products I’d truly recommend to a friend.
About Cenote Aldea Zama Tulum
Cenote Aldea Zama is a small cenote, but there is plenty of room to swim and even cliff jump. Since it is free and easy to get to, I recommend visiting while you’re in Tulum.
There are no opening hours, so you can visit anytime you’d like, but I prefer going on a weekday. It can get busy on the weekends, and since it’s so small, you’ll want to be there when there are fewer people. If you want to go on the weekend, head over early in the morning or late afternoon.
Since it is not a commercialized cenote and it’s so close to town, this cenote is a hangout spot for local families. I encourage visitors to be respectful and friendly to the locals and clean up after themselves.
What to bring to Cenote Aldea Zama
There aren’t any changing rooms, so wear your swimsuit under your clothes. I recommend bringing goggles or snorkeling gear and bug spray. Sandals are helpful too, and water shoes might make it easier to walk on the rocks. It’s always a good idea to bring water to stay hydrated. You should bring snacks if you plan to spend a few hours taking in the cenote’s beauty while sitting on the rocks.
Pathway to Cenote Aldea Zama from Kokoro
How to find to Cenote Aldea Zama
Cenote Aldea Zama is about a fifteen-minute walk from El Centro and is even closer if you’re staying in the Aldea Zama neighborhood. For folks coming from the beach, the cenote is a slight detour on the way to Tulum town.
There are no signs for Cenote Aldea Zama, so it can be challenging to find if you don’t follow these directions:
- Follow directions on Google Maps to the cenote.
- When you “arrive,” you’ll be near Kokoro Tulum, a restaurant, and Baktun Aldea Zama, a new apartment complex. There are a few paths to enter the jungle area between the restaurant and the apartment complex. Follow one of the paths, and you should see rock formations with a small cenote.
An unmissable Tulum day trip: Ultimate Guide: Muyil River Float and Mayan Ruins
Swimming and snorkeling at Cenote Aldea Zama
Cenote Aldea Zama is small, but it is still a great spot to swim. I always bring my goggles to snorkel in the crystal clear water.
If you’re up for a little thrill, there is a boulder you can swim under. It’s about five feet from one side to the other, so you won’t get stuck or run out of breath, but it is thrilling nonetheless!
Cliff jumping at Cenote Aldea Zama
If you want to try some approachable, safe cliff jumping, you can jump off the smaller boulders surrounding Cenote Aldea Zama. They are only about five feet high, and the water underneath is deep enough that it is completely safe to jump.
Essential Mexico Travel Resources
Have a Mexico trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.
Frequently asked questions
What is a cenote?
A cenote is a natural sinkhole filled with water. They are formed as limestone bedrock collapses over time, which exposes groundwater. There are over six thousand cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula, and many of the most popular ones are near Tulum.
There are three types of cenotes:
- Open centotes: These cenotes look like small lakes or ponds because there are no rock formations covering them.
- Semi-open cenotes: These look similar to open cenotes but have hidden underground caves, making them perfect for scuba divers.
- Underground cenotes: These cenotes are underground caves that cannot be seen from land.
Is it safe to swim in cenotes in Mexico?
Most cenotes are perfectly safe for swimmers.
However, it is important to research a cenote before you visit. Unfortunately, some cenotes are contaminated with harmful bacteria like Escherichia Coli (E. Coli). Contaminated cenotes near Tulum include Cristal Cenote, Calavera Cenote, and Casa Cenote.
Stunning blue waters of cenote Aldea Zama in Tulum
Are cenotes in Tulum free?
Cenote Aldea Zama is the only free cenote in Tulum. Most cenotes have entrance fees ranging from around $150 pesos to $500 pesos.
What are the best Tulum cenotes?
There are so many incredible cenotes in Tulum and nearby, but here are some of the most notable:
- Gran Cenote: Gran Cenote is easily the most popular cenote in Tulum, and for a good reason. Inside the partly-covered cave cenote, you can swim with turtles and observe bats and tropical birds. Gran Cenote is less than ten minutes from Tulum town and can easily be accessed by taxi, car rental, or colectivo.
- Cenotes Dos Ojos: Head fifteen minutes outside of Tulum to Cenotes Dos Ojos, where you can explore up to five jaw-dropping cenotes. These cenotes are some of the best in the area for snorkeling and diving. You can visit two cenotes on your own and explore the other three with a guide.
- Cenote Carwash: Cenote Carwash is a beautiful cenote where you can escape the crowds. It’s a semi-open cenote that got its name because passing drivers used to stop there to wash their cars. Today you won’t see any cars, but you will see water lilies, fish, turtles, and even a small crocodile.