Cenotes Casa Tortuga

One of the cool things about the Yucatan are the cenotes, which are underground rivers where the ceiling has collapsed to create a great place to swim.

After looking at some different places – there are quite a few – we decided to try Cenotes Casa Tortuga, which has several cenotes to swim in.  There are other places in the area with a similar name, so make sure you are at the right place.  Tulum is almost 2 hours south of Cancun.

Cenotes Casa Tortuga is at Carretera cancun-tulum km239 in Tulum, and I would say it was about a 20 minute drive from downtown Tulum.  We used our rental car that we picked up from Cancun at Avant Car Rental, but I believe there are some tour companies that will take you there as well.

Casa Tortuga Cenotes Tulum

The one road sign was a little tough to see, but Google Maps did a pretty good job of getting us there.

Casa Tortuga Cenotes

* 2022 update: there are now a larger signs out on the highway.

Once we pulled in, there is a guard at the gate, and we were able to tell him that we wanted to get to the cenotes.  You drive up a dirt road a bit until you get to the check-in area for the cenotes.  We paid for our tour and were provided with life jackets, and if you wanted, snorkeling equipment.

Casa Tortuga Cenote Tulum

Note that you have to shower off before going in the cenotes, to remove things like sunscreen, bug spray, or other things that could contaminate the water.  There wasn’t a lot of sun exposure during our time here, so it was ok to go without sunscreen.  We encountered this on much of our trip to Mexico, so plan on using reef-safe sunscreen and/or washing off.

The first cenote is Cenote Caracol, which is a very short walk (about a minute) from where you check in.  (Ignore the sign along the path – we were heading to Caracol first!)

Casa Tortuga Cenotes

You can either jump in or walk in on rocks.  The guide headed in first to lead the group through the cenote.

Casa Tortuga Cenote Caracol

Everyone heading into the cave!  The ceilings were very low, but there was still enough room to have your head above water at all times.

Casa Tortuga Cenote Caracol

The water was beautiful!

Casa Tortuga Cenote Caracol Tulum

The second Cenote is Cenote Wisho, which was about a minute walk from Cenote Caracol.

Casa Tortgua Cenote Wisho

For Cenote Wisho, you have to walk down a set of stairs to get to the cenote.

Casa Tortuga Cenote Wisho

After a short swim through the cave, the swimmers reached the exit.  The guide (in the black wetsuit on the right side of the photo below) was really great in leading everyone through the caves.

Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum Mexico

My kids are 8 and 10 and had no problem swimming through the cenotes.

Casa Tortuga Cenote Wisho

The third cenote at Cenotes Casa Tortuga is a large, open cenote, where we were told we could swim as long as we liked.  This cenote requires a short hike – maybe 5 minutes.  This is a larger one that is all open, and you can swim in more of a loop.

Casa Tortuga Cenote

The kids swam in the river part of the cenote for about 2 minutes…

Casa Tortuga Cenote

That was, until they heard there was a spot you could jump off a cliff.  No exaggeration – I think they jumped off that cliff for at least 1.5 hours until we told them we had to go because we were late for our next excursion!

Casa Tortuga Cenote Tulum Mexico

They had so much fun jumping off the ledge, and everyone else left after about 15 minutes, so we had the place to ourselves.

The water is just beautiful!

Casa Tortuga Cenote

There were some neat fish in the water too.

Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum Mexico

At Cenotes Casa Tortuga, there are bathrooms, changing rooms, and a restaurant on site.

Casa Tortuga Restaurant

We had a fantastic time at Cenotes Casa Tortuga.  Now, one of the main reasons we chose this tour is because we saw a video of people ziplining over Cenote Tortuga online, which of course wasn’t part of the three cenotes we visited.  We asked at the end of the tour and were told that the water wasn’t as clear but that we were welcome to check it out.  It also looked like there was a platform over the third cenote that may have been used for a zipline in the past.  The kids were very disappointed, but the cliff jumping made up for it.

There is a photographer there to take your pictures, but the photos are expensive.  It is an option if you want some pictures from the trip and you don’t have a camera with you.

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What to bring:

~ Swimsuit
~ Water shoes or at least some kind of shoe for hiking between cenotes
~ Reef-safe sunscreen
~ Waterproof camera

~ Money for entrance fee, also if you want to get drinks or food
~ Swim gear if you want your own (we brought our own snorkels and goggles – used the snorkels on the guided tour and the kids used their goggles for free swimming time)

Our Mexico Road Trip Itinerary (with Kids)!

Mexico Packing List

Tips for Traveling to Mexico with Kids

Tips for Swimming & Traveling with Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Check out our other Mexico blog posts.


About the Author: Marysa

Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!