Mexico is famous for its unique cenotes. In this post you will find all the info you need about cenote Santa Cruz Tulum. The Saint Cross cenote in Tulum is still one of those less-known cenotes in the area which makes it worth visiting.
Cenotes are caves or sinkholes with permanent water. They can be open (mature), semi-open or closed (young). The word cenote is pronounced in Spanish as “seh-no-tay”. The best places to visit cenotes are the Mexican states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, both located in the Yucatan peninsula.
The stunning cenote Santa Cruz Tulum has:
- crystal clear green water. It looks like in a fairytale, trust me!
- loads of fish and even small turtles swimming around cenote. You can bring your snorkeling gear to observe them. Watch out for turtles on the stones as they enjoy sunbathing there during the day.
- not much algae.
- stairs and platforms to make entering the water easier.
- a jumping platform for those adventurous ones.
- birds and butterflies dwell around the cenote.
Not to confuse with the cenote Santa Cruz Akumal in the end of Akumal village. That’s a completely different cenote where you need to book a tour. This article is about a round-shaped open cenote Santa Cruz close to Tulum, not Akumal.
Everything you need to know about cenote Santa Cruz Tulum
Santa Cruz cenote is located approximately 8.5 km from Tulum city center towards Coba town, in Quintana Roo state in Mexico. It’s just 8 km along the main road and then to the left another 500 metres on the jungle road. Once you turn from the main road it kind of looks abandoned, but keep going until the parking lot.
How to get to cenote Santa Cruz Tulum
1. you can rent an e-scooter from Zynch. This would be the most eco-friendly way to get from Tulum to cenote Santa Cruz Tulum and back. Don’t forget to recharge both e-scooter batteries to 100% before leaving town. This is what I did with a friend of mine who was riding the scooter.
2. you can take a colectivo bus from the Avenida Coba street somewhere close to Super Aki supermarket in the direction towards Coba town. There’s no time schedule so you just need to wait on the road until the next colectivo bus, wave to get on and then pay in Mexican pesos to the driver before you get off. Tell the colectivo driver to stop approx. 500 metres after the PEMEX gas station. There you’d need to turn left and walk 500 metres to the cenote entrance.
3. taking a taxi would be the most expensive option. Remember to bargain the price before you hop on. Make sure that the taxi driver picks you up at certain time to get you back to Tulum or get his phone number to arrange it later.
4. hitchhiking would be the cheapest option, of course. It would be easier to hitchhike when going back from the cenote to Tulum. But if you get lucky, you might even get to the cenote as well. You’d need to wait somewhere on the Avenida Coba after Super Aki. But PLEASE, use your common sense before hitchhiking. It could be dangerous in Mexico, especially for single female travelers. It’s one of the options you have but I am not telling you to do so.
When I visited the Santa Cruz cenote in the end of February 2022, the entrance fee was 200 Mexican pesos per adult person (foreigner). There’s no ATM, nor exchange office at the site. You need to bring cash with you.
Later on I read on internet, that some visitors had to pay 250 pesos, or even 300 pesos. Not sure why but just in case keep that in mind.
- cenote Santa Cruz Tulum is open every day from 10am to 5pm.
- you don’t need to book it ahead of time to enter.
- bring a towel and swimsuit.
- you can swim in some parts of cenote, and walk around other parts.
- lifejackets are required for swimming in cenote Santa Cruz.
- lifejackets and sunbeds are included in entrance fee. No need to bring your own lifejacket.
- as it’s an open cenote above ground, the water is quite warm.
- there’s sunbeds, palapas, tables, showers and toilets to use around the cenote.
- similarly to other Mexican cenotes, chemical repellent and sunscreen lotions are NOT allowed to use.
- if you need to use something, then use only 100% natural mosquito repellent or essential oils repelling bugs. Something that will NOT harm the nature at all.
- if necessary, use only 100% natural sunscreen lotion/oil. Personally, I quit using commercial skin lotions back in 2013, and have been using only 100% organic cold-pressed raspberry oil or carrot oil to protect my skin ever since. But I repeat, ideally, do not use ANY cosmetics around and in the cenotes.
- be careful when swimming/walking in the cenote as the ground is not even.
- it’s a commercialized cenote with amenities of a swimming pool but it’s still a cenote located in the jungle. The jungle location makes it worth it.
- good for families with kids, too.
- if you want to enjoy complete silence there, visit in the morning and bring earphones for later. Most probably it will get busier and louder there in the afternoon.
- there’s a small restaurant with Mexican dishes next to the cenote but I didn’t eat there.
Cenote Santa Cruz Tulum is just one of many interesting cenotes to visit around Tulum town in Mexico. I could spend an entire day there just chilling, swimming and observing fish and turtles.
Recommendation: If you are in Tulum area, you can book a tour to 4 different cenotes here. Each cenote is an experience on its own. The more cenotes you explore, the better!
TIP 1: There’s many other cenotes around Tulum that are worth visiting. Check my another post about Zemway cenote which I loved, too. Zemway will give you a completely different feeling than Santa Cruz cenote. They are both special in their own way.
TIP 2: Mexico is a must visit! But before your trip, first read 5 things you didn’t know about Mexico.
TIP 3: If you are in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo where Tulum is situated, you should not miss snorkeling with whale sharks. You can go on a trip from Cancun town between May and September when whale sharks are there. I am sure that you’ll never forget seeing whale sharks in the Ocean. Book your whale shark experience here.
Have you been to any cenote in Mexico already? If so, in which ones? If not yet, would you like to visit? Tell me in the comments below.