Today's Side Street adventure was at Gran Cenote, and just how Grand is Gran Cenote in Tulum. Located just outside of Tulum main city area on the highway heading to Coba. It's a decent value for your buck, with the entrance priced at only $150 pesos per person (or about $10 CDN). The areas grounds are nice and well kept. At ground level, there are change rooms, bathrooms, icy cold cenote showers, a snack bar and some nice lounge spaces.
My visit was midweek so it was fairly quiet without too many people around. My adventure started with that previously mentioned icy cold shower before we walked over to the stairs going down 40ft to one of the Cenote openings.
NOTE: As a really clumsy person, I must warn you the steps are slippery!
Down the stairs is where the true beauty starts, the bottom is surrounded by gorgeous clear waters, you will find turtles and small fish swimming around with you. Plus there are bats, although I never saw any I was told they are abundant in the caves.
The stalagmite underwater rock formations and vegetation was truly breathtaking. There are two openings and a small land bridge connecting the Cenote's together. I really enjoyed the warm waters and serene beauty while I was swimming around. There were a few groups of divers that disappeared beneath the earth to explore the vast cave system. I met people from many different regions of the world while exploring and having a good time.
Gran Cenote is a great place for families with small children as it's easy to keep track of where your rugrats are at any given point. As well there are many shallow sections and large boulders in the deeper areas to give your kids a rest while swimming.
For convenience, you will find lockers, snorkel gear and life vests available for rent at a reasonable cost. Honestly I found the Gran Cenote in Tulum to be small despite its grand name as we arrived halfway through the day, and that was more than enough time to explore this attraction in its entirety.
All in all, this is a great attraction for a quick outing or a great reward your youngsters good behavior after a long day of exploring Tulum, especially for the price. However, if you expect to spend the whole day here bring a book or activities for the kids. Unfortunately the snack bar leaves something to be desired so definitely make sure you bring a picnic or eat in Tulum before you arrive.
Overall, Gran Cenote in Tulum is not as grand for its size, but for its Grand beauty. Either way it was a great way to cool off for a few hours when you are near Tulum.
Check out their website here