Visiting Cenote Carwash Tulum in 2024 (AKA Cenote Aktun Ha)

guests swimming in cenote carwash tulum


Smart choice! Since moving to Mexico in 2018, I’ve been to A LOT of cenotes in Tulum, and Cenote Carwash (AKA Cenote Aktun Ha) is a visitor favorite for many reasons. It’s also famous because this cenote is home to Jorgito the Crocodile (more on him later).

Once a humble spot where locals washed their cars, it is now a beautiful and peaceful natural pool that offers a unique escape just a short drive from Tulum Town. It’s also one of the best things to do in Tulum!

You’ll be captivated by the 🪷 underwater garden of mangroves visible from the side of the cenote, a testament to its rich ecosystem. Also, let’s not forget about the 🐊 resident freshwater crocodile — a rare and thrilling sight for visitors.

From tips on the best times to visit to avoid crowds, to practical details like entrance fees and facilities, and snorkeling and diving Cenote Car Wash, this guide will help you find everything you need to know about Cenote Carwash — so let’s get to it!

Cenote Carwash/Cenote Aktun-Ha Tulum: Your Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

people swimming in cenote carwash
If you’re looking for a Tulum cenote that rarely gets crowded, Cenote Carwash is a perfect spot for a relaxing swim.

Where is Cenote Carwash located?

Cenote Carwash is located at Calle Carretera Federal 109, Tulum, 77710, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Whether you’re staying in Tulum Tulum, or opted to stay in one of the scenic Tulum Beach hotels on, Casa Cenote Tulum is easily accessible and promises a quick retreat into nature’s embrace.

This peaceful, open-air cenote sits a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Tulum Tulum (AKA Downtown Tulum Pueblo). Easy to get to, it is approximately five and a half miles (9 km) northwest of downtown, and a bit further from Tulum Playa (the beach).

Perfectly positioned, it’s also a convenient stop for anyone exploring the Tulum area from Akumal, Cancun, or Playa del Carmen.

📍 Cenote carwash Map

⚠️ Note: I highly recommend anyone visiting to get a Mexico SIM Card. Your signal will likely go in and out in the more rural parts of the Yucatan Peninsula, where many Mexican cenotes near Tulum are located.

You can also download an offline map from Google Maps or Maps.Me before you drive to Casa Cenote. This offline map will come in handy for a Yucatan road trip, though it is pretty easy to find Casa Cenote by car.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

What are the Cenote Carwash hours?

Cenote Carwash is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, though they sometimes open at 9:00 AM during the Tulum slow season (April to October).

cenote aktun ha entrance sign

While this schedule allows visitors plenty of time to enjoy the natural beauty and activities offered by the cenote — remember that timing is everything.

Getting there early not only helps you beat the crowds, but also allows you to experience the cenote’s tranquil morning vibes. Also, the last entry is typically an hour before closing, so plan your visit accordingly.

And since Tulum is in the Eastern Time Zone (UTC -05:00), you can easily align your visit with other activities planned in the area. However, if you cross into the Yucatan state to visit these cenotes, that is the Central Standard Time Zone (CST -06:00).

Cenote Carwash Mexico

What’s the best time to visit Cenote Carwash?

The best time to visit is early in the morning, right after it opens. This timing is ideal because it allows visitors to enjoy the cenote’s serene beauty before it becomes more crowded later in the day.

Additionally, visiting early in the morning can offer a quieter experience, making it easier to appreciate the natural surroundings and wildlife, including the unique underwater garden, and maybe you’ll even be able to 🐊 spot the resident crocodile

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Who is Jorgito, the Cenote Carwash crocodile?

The rumors are true — there is a wild crocodile that lives in Casa Cenote named Jorgito.

A small crocodile, and you may see Jorgito when swimming and snorkeling through this beautiful underwater garden.

The last time I visited, I didn’t see him, as he usually keeps to himself. However, he does get in the fresh water to swim whenever he feels like it (this is his home after all), and he seems to be quite comfortable sharing his space with humans.

Has there ever been a Cenote Car wash crocodile attack?

No — Jorgito the little crocodile has been living in the cenote for decades, peacefully co-existing with visitors. Still, he’s a wild animal, so maintain your distance, don’t touch him, and remain calm if he swims by you.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

What’s the Cenote Carwash admission cost?

The admission cost is 300 MXN pesos (approximately $17 USD) for swimmers and divers.

cenote carwash cenote aktun ha prices
These are the fees for Maya Riviera Car Wash Cenote.

Like many cenotes in Tulum, Mexican citizens with ID and locals from Quintana Roo state pay less for admission to Cenote Carwash.

This admission cost does not include the use of a life jacket during your visit, but you can choose to rent one for $30 pesos (about $1.50 USD).

They aren’t mandatory, but they’re nice to have so you can just float around while you snorkel Cenote Carwash.

Speaking of snorkeling, they have snorkeling gear available for rent for $50 pesos (about $3 USD).

However, I bring my own for sanitary reasons, and because the rentals aren’t usually good quality — so unless you don’t mind a leaky mask, here is the mask and snorkel combo I recommend.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Are drones allowed in Cenote Carwash?

Yes — You can bring your drone to Cenote Carwash, but you will have to pay 150 MXN pesos (approximately $9 USD)

Just like a drone, there is a professional camera fee of $150 pesos. However, using a cell phone camera or a small action camera is allowed without incurring this additional charge.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

How much time do I need at Cenote Carwash?

A typical visit lasts about 2 to 3 hours. This allows enough time to swim, snorkel, and enjoy the surroundings.

If you’re interested in photography or diving, or if you simply want to relax, you should stay a bit longer. Realistically, you could spend a whole day here, as there are also on-site eateries so you don’t even have to leave to eat.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

⚠️ Note: Cenote Carwash is Cash-Only

Cenote Carwash operates on a cash-only basis. Visitors should be prepared to pay the entrance fee and any other expenses, such as locker rentals, in cash. 

There are no facilities for card payments at Carwash Cenote Tulum. It’s advisable to carry sufficient cash in Mexican pesos to cover your visit’s costs, including any additional activities or purchases you might want to make while there. 

Cenote Carwash Layout and Structure

Is there parking at Cenote Carwash?

Yes — There is FREE parking available at Cenote Carwash for visitors.

parking area in cenote carwash
The parking facilities are part of the cenote’s infrastructure, providing convenience for visitors traveling by car.

They even have separate parking for divers, which allows you to pull your car right up the cenote so you’re not lugging heavy gear around. If you’re just enjoying the cenote, the regular parking lot is only another minute from the entrance.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Are there facilities at Cenote Carwash?

Yes — There are some facilities at Cenote Carwash. However, they are quite basic and limited mainly to restrooms, snack bars, outdoor showers, and lockers.

cenote carwash stairs
Carwash Cenote Tulum is equipped with basic facilities that are available for visitors.

If you’re looking for additional amenities such as food vendors or more extensive facilities, you might want to consider visiting Cenote Zacil-Ha nearby, which offers a wider range of amenities.

In fact, this is one of the best cenotes to visit in the area, especially if you’re visiting Tulum with kids. Zacil-Ha Cenote has a zipline, regular pools with slides, cabanas to spend the night, restaurants, and much more.


At Cenote Carwash, the facilities are basic and primarily consist of restrooms. These bathrooms provide essential services for visitors, ensuring a comfortable experience during their stay at the cenote. 

cenote carwash bathroom
This cenote has decent bathrooms for changing and showering.

As with nearly all Tulum cenotes, you must shower before entering to preserve and protect ecosystems. If you were planning to wear sunscreen, insect repellent, or lotion to Cenote Car Wash, don’t bother because you’ll have to rinse it off before swimming.

🔐 cenote Carwash Lockers

cenote carwash life jacket and locker
Some Cenote Carwash prices to look out for include locker and life jacket rentals, which are located next to each other.

Lockers are available for rent, and the cost is 20 MXN pesos (about $1.50 USD).

As the facilities are quite basic, renting a locker can be a convenient option for securing your belongings while you explore the cenote. However, many people just opt to leave their belongings on the nearby picnic tables and chairs.


If you are not a strong swimmer, don’t worry because life vests are available to rent for an additional 20 MXN pesos (about $1.50 USD).


man standing in cenote carwash platform
This wooden platform is a popular Tulum Instagram spot — and provides easy access to the water.

The cenote has a large wooden platform (it’s actually one of the best Tulum cenote jump platforms) that makes entering the water easy and convenient. This dive platform allows visitors to comfortably access the cenote for swimming or snorkeling.

There is also a rope if you want to swing yourself into the beautiful turquoise waters, and if you just want to hop in from the side, you can do that too. For the divers, there are convenient entry areas with wooden platforms to rest your gear on.


cenote carwash aktun ha ticket counter
Ticket counter where you pay the Cenote Carwash Tulum ticket.

The ticket counter for Cenote Carwash is located right at the entrance of the Cenote. When you arrive at Cenote Carwash, you’ll see the visitor’s desk along with signs for “Cenote Aktun Ha,” where you will need to pay the entrance fee.


cenote carwash snack bar area
Snacks and fruits being sold in this little snack area.

Cenote Carwash has a coffee bar and a small snack bar on-site with things like cookies, chips, sodas and candy, though they sometimes have fresh fruit too. ⚠️ Note: Visitors are not allowed to bring their own snacks and drinks in.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Are there restaurants at Cenote Carwash?

Kind of — While there is no sit-down restaurant at Cenote Carwash with servers, there is a small snack bar on-site called Box-Ha Coffee & Lunch that serves up a few things.

cafe restaurant cenote carwash tulum
When you visit Car Wash Cenote, make sure to stop by the snack bar for refreshments.

It’s more of a grab and go coffee shop that has sandwiches, juices and coffee, but it definitely gets the job done if you’re hungry. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in Cenote Carwash Aktun Ha, so they don’t have those for sale.

Behind this coffee shop, you’ll find tables and chairs where you can enjoy your food. There are also some tables and chairs located all around the cenote where you can eat too.

You can not bring your own food and beverages to Aktun-Ha Cenote (Car Wash Cenote), and there are plenty of staff patrolling who would see you if you tried to.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

How to Get to Cenote Carwash On Your Own

people swimming in carwash cenote tulum
This cenote is often called a “pond cenote” because it has clear water like most cenotes, but there’s also lily pads atop the water in some areas.

Prefer exploring the Cenote Carwash on your own? No problem! Cenote Carwash is located minutes from Tulum Town (AKA Downtown Tulum), so you have several options for getting to Carwash Cenote.

The easiest way is to rent a car and head there on your own time. 🚘 Want to rent a car in Tulum Mexico? I book all my Mexico rental cars with Discover Cars because they have free cancellation and great rates.

You can also catch a ride with a taxi or rent a bike and pedal your way there. While it will be a long ride, you’ll enjoy the scenery as you make your way through the Yucatan jungle. ⚠️ Note: There’s not Uber in Tulum.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Can you visit Cenote Carwash on your own from Tulum?

Yes — Those coming from Tulum, Mexico have the most travel options for how to get to Cenote Carwash (all listed below).

people swimming in cenote carwash tulum mexico
Cenote hopping is possible as some cenotes are close to each other and you have multiple options to get around Tulum.

Keep reading for the 5 best ways to get to Cenote Carwash from Tulum on your own.

The one thing you won’t want to do is walk, as it’s very hot for most of the year and the roads going to the cenote aren’t very walkable because there aren’t sidewalks.

1. Drive your Tulum rental car

car rental tulum mexico locations
You’ll be swimming in the cenote in no time if you’re driving yourself there.

The best way to get to Cenote Carwash is via rental car, allowing you to travel the whole Yucatan Peninsula! For more info on Mexico car rentals, head to Renting a Car in Tulum: Everything You Need to Know.

As someone who lives in Mexico and travels often, I personally use and recommend Discover Cars for all my rentals.

This company’s search feature will check prices at both local Mexico companies and large international companies so you get the best rates.

2. Cenote Carwash Bus or Colectivo

colectivo tulum mexico
You can catch the colectivo to Cenote Carwash Tulum Mexico on the main road in downtown.

Colectivos (shared vans) are popular, affordable Tulum transportation options — great for getting to the top attractions in Tulum.

While it’s not usually described as comfortable, the colectivo is inexpensive, so if you’re traveling to Tulum on a budget, this is the way to go.

⚠️ Note: In full disclosure, the colectivo isn’t very user-friendly for visitors (especially visitors who don’t speak Spanish). My best recommendation is to ask a local who’s waiting at the bus stop for help to make sure you’re doing it right.

To use the colectivo, head to the main road in Downtown Tulum, and make sure you’re on the south side of the street. You’ll want to catch the colectivo from Tulum towards Coba (and FYI, this is the same road to Coba Ruins).

As you get on, you must tell the driver you’re going to Cenote Carwash so they can let you off there. This part is VERY important because if you don’t ask the driver to drop you off at Cenote Carwash or next to Cenote Carwash, there’s a good chance they’ll drive right by it.

Keep in mind that Cenote Carwash is also called Cenote Aktun Ha, so you might want to say “Cenote Carwash o Aktun Ha” in case that driver only knows the name Aktun Ha.

The price of the colectivo should be $20 MXN pesos (about $1.50 USD), though sometimes prices vary. You will pay it when you get on, and keep in mind, they rarely make change.

3. Hire a private driver or take a taxi

tulum taxi SUV
You can easily catch a taxi to Cenote Carwash.

If you’re not renting a car in Mexico, taking a taxi or hiring a private taxi driver is the next best option. Expect to pay roughly $200-300 MXN pesos (about $12-17 USD) each way from downtown Tulum to Cenote Carwash.

If you’re hiring a private driver in Tulum, they’ll wait for you at the cenote and drive you back to your hotel when you’re done. I’ve found that some cab drivers will also negotiate day rates — and thus become your private driver for the day.

For those taking a taxi you hail on the street, see if you can work out a deal where they wait for you at the cenote. Another option is to try and schedule a pickup ahead of time so they will come back for you when you want to leave.

4. Tulum Bike Rentals

woman on a bike in tulum mexico
Wondering, What’s the best way to get around in Tulum? Biking is among the most popular options.

If you’re up for an adventure, renting a bike in Tulum is an affordable and active way to reach Cenote Carwash, and to get around Tulum itself. Being only 5.5 miles from Downtown Tulum (9 km), it’s close enough to reach rather quickly by bike.

The bike ride from Tulum to Cenote Carwash should take about 30-40 minutes, and you can celebrate at the end by jumping into the cenote’s refreshing waters. When you get there, you’ll find FREE bike parking.

⚠️ Cenote Carwash Tip: This cenote in Tulum is located on a major road; it’s not quite a highway, but is a busy street where cars often go much faster than they should. For safety, plan your return trip home to avoid waiting for a taxi on this busy roadway.

5. Tulum Scooter Rentals & ATV Rentals

tulum bike rental and tulum scooter rental company

Enjoy the wind in your hair as you breeze to Carwash Cenote Tulum with a scooter rental or ATV rental. Rates vary, but plan for about $25-35 per day for a scooter, and $85-100 per day for an ATV.

Not only do these provide a fun way to get around in Tulum, they’re also a bit safer than walking or biking on the highway.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

How to get from Cancun to Cenote Carwash

woman at chichen itza ruins on one of the best TOURS
Chichen Itza Pyramid is one of the Mexico historical sites you can visit in Cancun. If you’re looking to explore a cenote near Cancun, I recommend Cenote Sac Há.

Cenote Carwash is approximately 85 miles (137 kilometers) from Cancun. Driving there is straightforward, typically taking about 2-2.5 hours, depending on traffic and route.

For a more relaxed journey, taxis and private shuttles can take you from Cancun to Cenote Carwash, but the cost may be higher due to the distance.

Public transportation is a budget-friendly option, and there are ADO buses that regularly travel from Cancun to Tulum.

Once in Tulum at the bus station, you can take a taxi or a colectivo (shared van) to Cenote Carwash. This option is cheaper but takes longer and requires a transfer.

  • Cancun to Cenote Carwash Distance: Approximately 85 miles (137 kilometers)
  • Travel Time: Roughly 2-2.5 hours by car; longer with public transportation
  • View the route on Google Maps
Cenote Carwash Mexico

How to get from Playa del Carmen to Cenote Carwash

giant sculpture on playa del carmen beach
Playa del Carmen is a coastal town situated along the Caribbean Sea in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico.

Cenote Carwash is approximately 44 miles (71 kilometers) from Playa del Carmen, and the drive typically takes just over 1 hour.

For those preferring a hassle-free journey, taxis and private shuttles offer services from Playa del Carmen but note that prices may be higher due to the distance.

Public transportation is an economical choice. For this, you can take an ADO bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. The ADO Playa del Carmen is located on Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue).

From Tulum, a taxi or colectivo will get you to Cenote Carwash for only a few dollars. This option is less expensive, but involves a change in Tulum and takes longer than a direct taxi.

  • Playa del Carmen to Cenote Carwash Distance: Approximately 44 miles (71 kilometers)
  • Travel Time: About 1-1.5 hours by car; longer with public transportation
  • View the route on Google Maps
Cenote Carwash Mexico

How to get from Valladolid to Cenote Carwash

colonial church in valladolid mexico
Valladolid has several significant landmarks, including the Valladolid Cathedral, Plaza Mayor, and the National Sculpture Museum.

The distance from Valladolid to Cenote Carwash is approximately 58 miles (about 93 kilometers). The drive typically takes 1.5 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

For those not driving, unfortunately, there isn’t a direct public transportation option to Cenote Carwash from Valladolid. You will have to take the ADO bus to Tulum, and then switch to a taxi or colectivo to reach the cenote.

  • Valladolid to Cenote Carwash Distance: Approximately 58 miles (93 kilometers)
  • Travel Time: Roughly 1.5 hours by car; longer with public transportation
  • View the route on Google Maps
Cenote Carwash Mexico

How to get from Merida to Cenote Carwash

pink building in merida mexico yucatan
Merida is a culturally rich city, also known as the Cultural Capital of the Yucatan Peninsula.

To get from Merida to Cenote Carwash, renting a car is the most straightforward option. The journey is about 155 miles (250 kilometers) and takes around 3.5 hours under normal traffic conditions. 

Alternatively, you can take an ADO bus from Merida to Tulum, and then catch a taxi or bike to Cenote Carwash. This method is less direct and will take longer, but it’s a viable option if you prefer not to drive. 

Taxis direct from Merida to Tulum may not be readily available because this is a 7 hours round-trip drive, so the bus is a more reliable choice for public transportation.

  • Merida to Cenote Carwash Distance: 155 miles (250 kilometers)
  • Travel Time: Around 3.5 hours, or more
  • View the route on Google Maps
Cenote Carwash Mexico

What to Bring to Cenote Carwash

cenote carwash souvenir store
Water slippers and waterproof phone cases are also sold in this area just in case you didn’t bring any.

Wondering, What do I bring to Cenote Carwash, and What to pack for Tulum cenotes in general? You’re not alone!

Since this will likely be your first cenote experience and/or your first visit to any of the best Mexico cenotes, you might be unsure what to take and what to leave home. Don’t worry — I’m here to help you plan for your visit to Carwash Cenote.

Below, you’ll find a list of seven things you need to consider when making your Tulum cenotes packing list.

This list will come in handy for other places, too, beyond just Cenote Carwash. If you’re visiting any cenotes in Tulum (or cenotes near Tulum), like Cenote Calavera, Laguna Kaan Luum & Cenote, Cenote Sac Actun, don’t forget the things below.

1. Go Pro Waterproof Camera

If you’ve been considering getting a GoPro Hero, the photogenic Yucatan cenotes make for the perfect place to put the camera to good use.

📸 Looking for an inexpensive GoPro alternative? I recommend this Akaso EK7000, an Amazon Best Seller.

2. Long Sleeve Bathing Suit (AKA Rash guard or Swim shirt)

🚨 In case you didn’t know: Sunscreen is prohibited in ALL cenotes!

That’s right: You’re not allowed to wear sunscreen of any kind in this cenote or any cenote. Yes, this also includes eco-friendly sunscreens and reef safe sunscreens because they can harm the natural environment.

However, you will want sun protection, so you’ll want to wear these long sleeve bathing suits and even these waterproof sun hats so you don’t end up with a bad sunburn on your Tulum vacation.

3. Mask and Snorkel

If you do plan to snorkel in Cenote Carwash to see all the little fish, mangroves and rocks underneath, you’ll need your own equipment (if you don’t want to rent them).

For those who want to conserve luggage space, these small goggles and this roll up snorkel are a great option, but this combo mask and snorkel is the best option for snorkeling in Cenote Carwash.

4. Water Shoes

Here’s one of the best Cenote Carwash travel tips: Don’t forget to buy and bring your water shoes! As cenotes are natural pools, most have slippery rocks, muddy ground, etc.

Water shoes also help you not slip in general, especially when walking down any staircase entryways.

5. Waterproof Phone Holder

If you’re planning to take Instagrammable cenote photos, this inexpensive waterproof phone holder that goes around your neck really comes in handy.

With a waterproof phone case, you can take your phone in water and capture the Tulum cenotes from all angles — including those cool underwater shots.

6. Waterproof Fanny Pack

This waterproof fanny pack is another great option. Not only are they cute, but they will also hold all your valuables, not just your phone.

Even if there are lockers in Cenote Carwash, one of the best options is to keep all your important belongings on you with a waterproof waist bag.

7. Quick Dry Towel

This quick dry towel is one of the best things to throw in your suitcase when packing for Mexico, and will definitely come in handy when you visit the cenotes and Yucatan beaches.

8. Bring Cash (Pesos; Not USD)

If there’s one thing to know before you go, it’s this 🤑 The cost to enter Tulum Cenote Carwash is 300 pesos, and it’s cash only.

In Tulum, many places are cash only, particularly things like taxis, street taco shops, and cenotes. For the most part, Tulum cenotes are cash-only — including Cenote Carwash Tulum.

While some cenotes take credit cards for your admission price, they won’t take cards for things like life vest rentals, locker rentals, food and drinks at the snack bar and/or convenience store shops on the premises. These have an extra cost.

Best Things to Do at Cenote Carwash

Can you go swimming at Cenote Carwash?

Yes — You can go swimming at Cenote Carwash.

people swimming in cenote aktun ha tulum mexico
There’s a whole underwater world here — which makes Cenote Carwash popular for divers and snorkeling in Tulum Mexico.

This open-air cenote offers a spacious and inviting environment for swimming, thanks to its clear waters and natural surroundings. 

It’s a great spot to enjoy a refreshing dip and is less crowded compared to some other popular cenotes in the area, providing a more relaxed experience​​.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Can you go snorkeling at Cenote Carwash?

Yes — Snorkeling is also a popular activity at Cenote Carwash. The cenote features an underwater garden and is home to various fish, making it an excellent place for snorkeling enthusiasts. 

cenote carwash tulum mexico
Cenote Carwash is one of the most popular cenotes because of its refreshing waters.

Snorkeling gear is available for rent at the cenote, and the rental cost is 50 MXN pesos (about $3 USD). Life jackets are also available for rent for the same amount

Personally, I like to bring my own snorkel gear for sanitary reasons. Also, the rentals aren’t usually good quality — so unless you want to risk having a leaky mask, here is the mask and snorkel combo I recommend.

Regardless of your snorkel equipment choice, don’t miss the snorkeling here! The clear water at Car Wash Cenote Mexico offers great visibility, enhancing the snorkeling experience.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Can you go scuba diving at Cenote Carwash?

Yes — You can go diving at Cenote Carwash. This cenote is a popular cave diving destination near Tulum, offering a unique underwater experience. It is an ideal spot for both beginner and experienced divers.

people diving in cenote carwash tulum mexico
The cenote’s underwater garden makes scuba diving in Cenote Carwash a popular activity.

The cenote is characterized by its vibrant algae formations, a variety of marine wildlife, including fish and turtles, and an occasional freshwater crocodile.

The diving experience at Cenote Carwash includes exploring a shallow pond area, which is perfect for beginners and snorkeling enthusiasts, and moving on to the deep cave sections and cavern openings. 

These deeper areas show you a fascinating world of pristine speleothems, a large open water section of the cenote, and incredibly clear visibility, allowing divers to explore the unique geological formations and vibrant underwater life.

🤿 Note: Before you pack your gear, diving at Cenote Carwash in Mexico requires certification and must be done with a professional guide. Luckily, dive shops all around Tulum will help you plan your dive.

Cenote Carwash Tulum Mexico: FAQ & Travel Guide

Why is it called Cenote Carwash?

Also known as Cenote Aktun Ha, this jungle car wash cenote got popular because Tulum taxi drivers would just pull over for a quick car wash. While cabbies would wash their cars here in the past, won’t find them doing that today.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

How deep is Cenote Carwash?

Cenote Carwash has a depth of approximately 50 feet (16.7 meters) in total. However, the main swimming area, where most visitors enjoy the water, has an official depth of about 23 feet (7 meters).

cenote carwash dive platform
Cenote Carwash is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving because of its depth.

This depth makes it suitable for both casual swimming and more adventurous activities like snorkeling and diving from the jumping platform. It has a height of 12-feet (3 meters), and is a really fun jump.

Cenote Car Wash Tulum also connects to an extensive cave system, which goes much deeper, offering an intriguing exploration opportunity for certified divers.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

What’s the closest city to Cenote Carwash?

The closest city to Cenote Carwash is Tulum, and the cenote is located just 5.5 miles (9 km) north of Tulum on the Coba Highway.

woman walking into ven a la luz Tulum sculpture of a wooden man
The Ven a la Luz (Come Into the Light) sculpture at the Ahau Tulum Resort and Raw Love Cafe.

🚗 Tulum to Cenote Carwash

  • Tulum to Cenote Carwash Distance: 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) 
  • Tulum to Cenote Carwash Travel Time: About 15 minutes in normal traffic
  • View route on Google Maps

This makes it easily accessible for those staying in Tulum, and an easy day trip for visitors in the surrounding area.

While Tulum is a popular tourist destination and culturally rich hub with street vendors, trendy co-working hostels, beautiful beaches, the Tulum ancient ruins and Instagrammable locations — don’t forget to add Aktun Ha Cenote (Carwash Cenote) to your Tulum itinerary.

Even with so many things to do in Tulum, Cenote Carwash Tulum Mexico is still well worth a visit. In fact, it would make for a great Tulum day trip, because you can easily spend the whole day there.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Is Cenote Carwash free?

No Cenote Carwash charges an entrance fee of 300 MXN pesos (about $17 USD) per person. This fee covers access to the cenote and facilities only.

swimming in cenote carwash
Cenote Carwash has plenty of turtles and fish, so make sure you snorkel when visiting the cenote.

Additionally, visitors can rent snorkeling equipment, lockers, and life jackets for 30-50 MXN pesos each (about $1.50-3 USD) to enhance their experience at the cenote. These fees contribute to the maintenance and preservation of this natural attraction.

⚠️ Note: Casa Carwash Tulum is cash only. Make sure to bring cash for the entrance fee and any additional rentals, foods, drinks and/or purchases you might want to make during your visit.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

How do you get the best Cenote Carwash photos?

To capture the best Cenote Carwash photos, it’s advisable to visit early in the morning when the lighting is ideal and crowds are minimal.

people on a wooden platform at cenote carwash (cenote aktun ha)

Ensure you have a waterproof camera or a camera with underwater housing to capture the stunning underwater landscapes and marine life.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

Is there a crocodile in Cenote Carwash?

Yes — There is a resident crocodile that calls Cenote Carwash home.

This freshwater crocodile, known as Jorgito or Jorge, resides in the cenote. However, it’s important to note that freshwater crocodiles are not considered dangerous or aggressive to humans. 

Visitors can occasionally spot the Cenote Carwash crocodile Jorgito in the cenote, adding to the unique and natural charm of this beautiful location. While I haven’t seen this baby crocodile, I have seen them in other cenotes, and they always just mind their own business.

Keep in mind that these are wild and natural places — and this is the animal’s home; not ours. In fact, cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula can be home to a variety of wildlife due to their unique ecosystems, which include both freshwater and cave environments.

What NOT to Do: 3 Cenote Carwash Tips

1. Sunscreen is not allowed at Cenote Carwash

cenote carwash madatory shower sign
Showering before going to the cenote is mandatory in Cenote Carwash.

The oils and chemicals in lotion and sunscreen (even eco-friendly sunscreens) will harm the cenote. Please do your part to practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by not applying lotion, insect spray and/or sunscreen on the day you plan to visit Cenote Carwash.

When you are out of the lagoon, then you’re free to apply sunscreen, and this Bullfrog Anti-Bug SPF 50 Sunscreen is great for both sun protection and mosquito protection.

2. Don’t visit Cenote Carwash on weekends (If you can help it)

There have been quite a few mentions throughout this article about this being one of the most Instagram-worthy cenotes in Mexico. On that note, remember the Instagram vs. Reality factor when you’re planning to visit.

If you want those people-less Instagram photos, try to visit Cenote Carwash on a Tuesday morning at 8am or 9am when they open, as there will likely be no one else there. If you visit during peak times, expect large crowds at this small cenote.

3. Don’t Bring Your Own Food to Cenote Carwash

cenote carwash restaurant
The onsite cafe serves yummy Mexican food and drinks, and a few other options.

Unlike some Tulum Mexico cenotes, you can not bring in outside food and/or drinks when you visit Cenote Carwash.

However, there are a few small food stands with vendors offering food and drinks for guests to enjoy. They also have hammocks, tables and chairs scattered around the jungle beside the cenote where you can eat.

Of course, you can bring in a water bottle, which will come in handy. ⚠️ Tulum Pro Tip: Remember to stay hydrated by packing your reusable water bottle and drinking plenty of water, especially on hot afternoons in any of the cenotes Tulum Mexico you visit. 

Cenote Carwash Mexico

What are cenotes?

A cenote is a deep sinkhole in the natural limestone floor, which exposes the freshwater underground. This sunken-in area forms a natural pool (or cenote), and these cenotes are found especially in Yucatan Mexico.

cenote azul
Wondering, What are some different cenotes in Tulum? Cenote Carwash Tulum is what’s called an open cenote, as there’s no rock that covers the top of it.

The word “sinkhole” describes the process of how the cenotes came to be. At one time, all cenotes were encased in the Yucatan Peninsula’s native limestone rock.

Over time, some rock has eroded, collapsed, and “sunk in” to reveal the water beneath — which is the cenote water we can now swim in.

🛑 TL;DR: Just want a short answer to, What is a cenote? Mexico’s cenotes are natural freshwater pools located primarily in the Yucatan Mayan jungle.

The cenotes aren’t individual pools, but rather the same water that comes from massive freshwater rivers flowing beneath the Yucatan Peninsula. In fact, some cenote water comes from one of the largest underground rivers on Earth, the Sistema Sac Actun.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

How many cenotes are there?

There are about 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula — the largest concentration of cenotes found anywhere on Earth. 

How do you pronounce cenote?

Cenote is one of the most mispronounced words, so let’s clear this up! Cenote pronunciation is sen-no-tay in singular. It’s sen-no-tays in plural, as in the word “cenotes.”

Cenote Carwash Mexico

How many cenotes are in Tulum?

Depending on who you ask, some sources say there are exactly 226 cenotes in Tulum, though others say differently.

cenote zacil ha entrance
When you visit any cenote, it’s essential to respect the rules and guidelines provided by the cenote management.

Of the approx. 200 cenotes in Tulum, not all of them are accessible to the public, which is why it’s not easy to get an accurate number.

Cenote Carwash Mexico

What are the 4 types of cenotes?

Of the (approx.) 6,000 cenotes in Yucatan, there are four distinct types of cenotes: open, semi-open, cave, and diving cenotes.

Each type is unique and beautiful in its own way, so make sure to visit as many types of Mexican cenotes as you can.

1. Open Cenotes (Swimming Pool cenotes)

people swimming in cenote zacil ha
Wondering, What exactly is a cenote? It’s a sinkhole, which is basically a jungle pool.

You may see these called “swimming pool cenotes,” as they are completely open and look like a natural swimming pool — like Cenote Azul and Cenote Zacil-Ha.

2. Semi-Open Cenotes

people swimming in cenote ik-kil mexico
When visiting a cenote, aim for early in the day to avoid the crowds.

These cenotes are semi-encased in their native limestone rock. Semi-open cenotes have large walls surrounding the pool itself, and a large hole in the top of it so some sunlight gets in — like Cenote Ik-Kil located near Chichen Itza Ruins.

3. Closed Cenotes in Caves

woman in cenote suytun circular platform
Cave cenotes are also some of the most unique looking.

Cave cenotes are exactly as the name says. These are located underground in a cave, and you’ll have to access them by going down some stairs — like Cenote Suytun and Cenote Taak-Bi-Ha, which is located near the Cenote Dos Ojos Park.

4. Dive Cenotes for Diving

diver diving in cenote el pit mexico
For divers, this Scuba Diving Cenote Tour with a visit to Cenote El Pit, is a must. (Photo: Airbnb, Guide to Visiting Cenote Carwash Mexico)

The final type is also located inside a cave, but the water in these cenotes is much deeper so they are sought out for diving — like Cenote El Pit and Cenote Calavera.

🤿 Note: You must be certified for cenote diving! For those who are, check out these tours in Tulum: Cenotes Scuba Diving Tulum Tour and Go Dive Cenotes in Tulum Tour — both of which have great Cenote Carwash reviews on Tripadvisor.

Final Thoughts: Visiting Cenote Carwash Tulum Mexico

cenote carwash divers
A standout gem that shouldn’t be missed, its open-air design and crystal clear waters create a perfect setting for a refreshing swim, going snorkeling, or an adventurous dive.

Cenote Carwash in Tulum, Mexico, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and unique experiences. From its crystal-clear waters and underwater wonders to the presence of Jorgito, the crocodile resident, it’s a cenote that truly stands out.

With its affordable entrance fee and potential for adventure, Cenote Avenida Car Wash promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Yucatan’s cenote paradise. Still, don’t restrict yourself to only this one cenote (if you can).

You can choose to make pit stops at a cenote near Tulum — including open air cenotes, like Casa Cenote or Cenote Cristal, and some hidden in caves surrounded by lush jungles, like Cenote Escondido or Cenote Nicte-Ha.

Additional Tulum Cenote Blogs

heart shaped seat at cenote corazon tulum
Tulum is home to more than 200 cenotes, so there’s more to explore — like the heart-shaped Cenote Corazon.

Looking for more info on Tulum cenotes? Smart choice, as the cenotes are some of the top sites you can’t miss when you visit Tulum. Check out these additional Tulum cenote guides:

The Best Cenotes Near Tulum Mexico

Tulum Travel Planning Guide

1. Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

2. Can you drink the water in Tulum?

No — You’ll want to buy this Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

3. Is it safe to rent a car in Tulum?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

4. Will my phone work in Tulum?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy this Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

5. What’s the best way to book my Tulum accommodations?

For Tulum hotels, is the best site, but for hostels, use Hostel World. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb.

6. What do I pack for Tulum?

Head to the Ultimate Tulum Packing List to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

7. What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?

For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

8. Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa or passport stamp upon arrival.