Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Mexico Cenotes

a man swimming in the water

Freediving Cenotes in Mexico

Looking to Freedive Mexico’s Cenotes? This blog serves as a helpful guide for first time visitors!

Freediving a cenote in Mexico

How to Get to Mexico’s Cenotes

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is one of the top freediving destinations in the world and one of the easiest for Americans to travel to! Cancun is one of the largest international airports with many flights daily to and from U.S. and international airports. Our direct flight from Fort Lauderdale was an easy 1.5 hours! From the airport you can easily get a taxi or rental car to your destination. We went the rental car route (watch out for the speed bumps!)

Where to Stay

Most freedivers traveling to the Cenotes stay in Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, or the lesser known Puerto Morelos. We visited each of these Cities, staying for a few nights in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. Of the places we visited, Playa Del Carmen was our clear favorite. We found “Playa” to be the best mix of nightlife, eating, close proximity to the Cenotes (without the priciness and touristy feeling of Cancun and Tulum.)

Freediving with Mexican National Champion Pepe Salcedo

How to Freedive the Cenotes

Most Cenotes are privately owned and you must attend them with a local school. There are many wonderful Freediving schools in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. We chose to dive with Blackfin Freediving and Mexican Freediving champion Pepe Salcedo. Reach out the them prior to scheduling your trip to make a plan that fits your needs. Each Cenote has different characteristics, but generally offer more depth than the inland dive sites we have in Florida and U.S. Whereas our Florida Springs are mostly limited to 20ish meters depth, many Cenotes offer 60-70+ meters depth, making them much more conducive for deeper freedive training.

The beach at Playa Del Carmen

How to Freedive the Ocean

Mexico’s Yucatan also has phenomenal offshore diving in the Caribbean Sea. Explore the beautiful barrier islands of Cozumel or Isla Mujeres or simply shore dive the shallow reefs right off Playa Del Carmen.  This area is famous for epic Whale Shark, Bull Shark and Sailfish migration and is also home to some pretty amazing reefs and shipwrecks! If interested, most Freediving schools in Mexico will offer ocean expeditions as well (or at least help point you in the right direction.)

Best Time to Travel

We traveled to Yucatan in late September (the heart of Hurricane season) and actually had our trip delayed several days due to Hurricane Ian. It rained almost daily during our trip, but luckily the Cenote conditions remain fairly consistent despite the rainfall. Rainy season in Mexico typically ranges from May-October. Being late Summer/early Fall it was quite muggy during our trip (nothing South Floridians can’t handle, though we would like to arrange for a trip during the winter and experience slightly cooler temps.) For beach lovers, keep in mind this area can experience periods of heavy sargassum (seaweed) depositing. This usually occurs during summer months where sargassum can pile high up on the beach, reducing water clarity and creating an unpleasant stench!

Other Helpful Info

The Yucatan Peninsula and Mayan Riviera are a beautiful region filled with happy people and amazing food & culture! But like most touristy areas, there are things to watch out for.  We did not experience any nefarious activity, though many warned us of local vendors overcharging and taking advantage of tourists (so pay attention to your receipts!). In the touristy areas (like 5th Avenue in Playa) street vendors can apply aggressive sales techniques, but will usually subsist if you say no respectfully. Some purchases, like gasoline, are better made in cash.

Another key point to keep in mind when visiting Mexico’s cenotes is that most do not allow any un-natural products in the Cenotes ( e.g. sunscreens, wetsuit lubricants, etc.) so pack accordingly! The cenotes we visited we’re mostly consistent around 77 degrees Fahrenheit, so not quite as cold as our Florida Springs!

Lastly, be sure to care for your ears! Many of the Cenotes feature warm surface water with very little outflow. This can lead to bacteria growth so be mindful to clean and dry your ears after diving to avoid infection!

Other Things to Do

Outside of diving, there is plenty to do in Mexico’s Yucatan!

-Visit a Mayan Ruin

-Check out the Nightlife on 5th Avenue (Playa Del Carmen

-Visit the Pepe Soho Museum

-Eat traditional Mexican food

-See a local massage therapist

-Swim in a rooftop pool

-Take influencer pictures in Tulum (lol)

Want to join Live Free Diving for a trip to the cenotes? We plan an annual Freediving/Yoga/Wildlife Expedition every summer! Sign up for our newsletter to receive special updates on these trips!

Whale - Freediving

From $950

Escape to the crystal-clear waters of Roatan, Honduras for an unforgettable freediving retreat with Live Free Diving from January 15th to 21st, 2025. Plunge into the depths with 4 epic boat dives and explore vibrant coral reefs on shore dives. Rejuvenate your mind and body with daily yoga and breathwork sessions, and capture your underwater adventures with professional photos and videos. Don’t miss this chance to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and discover the magic of freediving in paradise!