Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Multum-Ha: Exploring Three Cenotes near Coba Ruins Independently
Only an hour by bus from Tulum lie awe-inspiring Coba Ruins. The best way how to enjoy the best day trip is to combine the ruins with three nearby cenotes, Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Multum-Ha. Read our guide on how to visit those three cenotes independently, without a tour.
Visiting Coba Ruins was one of the highlights of our travels on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and one of the best things we've done when in Tulum.
Weather in Quintana Roo state is hot and humid, and after several hours walking around pyramids and other old Mayan structures, we couldn't be happier to visit nearby cenotes where we could take a dip in freshwater sinkholes and cool down.
Here's our guide on how to get to Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Multum-Ha from Tulum independently, without a tour on a one day trip.
HOW TO GET TO COBA
First things first, in order to visit cenotes, you need to get from Tulum to a small village Coba.
When in Tulum, take a second-class bus Mayab from ADO bus terminal leaving at 7:20 AM. The ticket cost Mx 50.
You can also travel with the later one at 10:11 AM, but in case you want to see both ruins and cenotes in one day, we think it is much better to take the first bus going to Coba, not mentioning that this bus is also cheaper as the later bus costs Mx 98. The ride to Coba village takes about an hour.
Return bus to Tulum leaves Coba at 3 PM (first-class bus ADO for Mx 98), or you can wait for the second-class bus Mayab which leaves at 5 PM (but we think it is too late).
Our Tip: You don't need to hurry back to Tulum, but you can stay in Coba overnight. It gives you a chance to beat crowds and visit the ruins and cenotes either early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
HOW TO GET FROM COBA TO CENOTES
Unless you travel around Mexico by rental car, the only way how to get to Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Multum-Ha cenote is by bike. There are a couple of rental shops close to the entrance to Coba Ruins you don't need to book anything in advance.
The regular rental fee is Mx 70, but we were able to bargain a bit as demand was low that day, and had a bike for Mx 50.
From Coba follow the signs and the road will lead you to cenotes.
The road is safe, flat and there is not heavy traffic at all, so you don't need to worry.
Two cenotes, Choo-Ha and Tamcach-Ha, are close to each other on the left side of the road, approximately 7 kilometers from Coba (it takes a maximum of 30 minutes to get there), while the third cenote Multum-Ha is on the opposite side of the road and a bit further, 8 kilometers from Coba (if you decide to visit all three cenotes, Tamcach-Ha and Multum-Ha are 3 kilometers apart).
ENTRANCE FEE TO CENOTES
Lately, entrance fees to cenotes have gone up, and a ticket to each cenote costs Mx 100.
The ticket booth stands on a driveway to Choo-Ha and Tamcach-Ha, so we recommend you to buy either one or two tickets (depending on time and mood you have), and in case you still have the energy to visit the third cenote Multum-Ha you can buy an additional ticket when cycling around as you need to get the same way to the main road.
All cenotes are open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM.
RULES TO VISIT CENOTES
In front of the entrance to every cenote are toilets, changing rooms and showers.
Before entering cenote, you should take a shower to get rid of sunscreen and bug spray as you are entering a fragile ecosystem.
When necessary, you can rent a lifejacket here as well.
We always took all our belongings with us inside the cenote as there is always a dry rock where we could keep it safe.
The first cenote on the way is Choo-Ha.
It has crystal clear water inviting to jump in straight away.
This cenote is not that deep and what makes it special are many stalagmites hanging from the walls and ceiling. At some places the water is so shallow, you can even stand on ground - that's why this cenote is popular with families with kids.
When entering, you need to walk down the narrow spiral wooden staircase which can be slippery, so be careful.
This cenote was our personal favorite.
Only three minutes bike ride from Choo-Ha, you can find an underground cenote with two jumping platforms, one at 5 meters and the other one at 10 meters. Again, the water is crystal clear and the feeling when swimming there, was almost surreal.
This cenote is perfectly round shaped, and suitable for swimming and snorkeling, so do not hesitate to explore all corners of this underground hole.
The deepest cenote of all three is also the best for snorkeling, but to get there, you need to return to the main road and carry on another three kilometers to reach this cenote.
When you turn off the main road, in order to get to this cenote, you will have to cycle on the road with many potholes.
In translation, this means one thing: fewer crowds and more intimate experience.
This cavern has a small hole in the ceiling, and it is very beautiful when the sun shines through it as the water gets even bluer color.
WHAT TO PACK FOR CENOTES
We've handpicked only a few essentials you need to bring when visiting cenotes.
Water Bottle | Staying hydrated is important under the scorching sun. To protect planet Earth, take your own bottle water - we did not have to buy a plastic bottle in Mexico at all, as the water was always provided in hotels or hostels where we stayed.
Water-resistant Backpack | Always when near water, we pack our valuables and electronics to a water-resistant backpack.
VISITING CENOTES INDEPENDENTLY OR WITH A TOUR
What we found the best on visiting cenotes near Coba Ruins independently was that in spite of traveling in Mexico in high season, we were there almost alone.
We got to cenotes around 12 PM, and during this time most of the tours were having lunch (we were hungry, but could have enjoyed the tranquility of the place better).
We hope that this guide on how to visit three cenotes close to Coba shows it is easy to make a DIY trip, but in case you still prefer joining a tour, you can make your reservation here.
WHERE TO STAY IN TULUM
Tulum is a favorite resort town on the shore of the ocean with many luxury all-inclusive hotels, but you can find here even small independent hotels and guest houses.
Prices are a bit higher than in other parts of Mexico, and it pays off to reserve accommodation well in advance, especially in the high season.
Budget | Nativos Tulum Hotel Boutique - Perfectly-located hotel close to many bars and restaurants features an outdoor swimming pool, garden, shared lounge, stable wifi, and continental breakfast.
Mid-range | Azura Boutique Hotel - Beautifully appointed rooms with a kitchen and modern furniture, stunning rooftop, and helpful staff are the chief reasons why to stay in this moderately priced hotel.
Luxury | Dune Boutique Hotel - An exceptional boutique hotel offers the best, you can get for the price in Tulum. The hotel is situated right on the beach, the rooms are comfortable and spacious, there is a large selection of food at breakfast, and an outdoor swimming pool is lovely.
Alternatively, search for your accommodation via Hostelworld.
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