Rappel into Cenote Maya

We visited Cenote Maya near Tulum as part two of an adventure trip with Altournative. A cenote is a “natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.” On this tour, we got to repel into the cenote, descending from the earth into the cavernous structure with tree roots diving down into the water, and crystal clear fresh water below. It seems otherworldly.

Altournative is a wonderful company because they are trying to better the Mayan community by increasing the economic, social, and cultural development of the area. They employ the locals, and teach them about sustainability so they can preserve the rainforest and historic ruins that surround them. It’s pretty incredible.

You can see Cenote Maya is a pretty large one!


The tour gives you inner tubes to float around in once inside. The water isn’t warm and tropical, but it’s not too cold. Pleasant enough to swim around in to explore the limestone stalactites.


General Info

Don’t wear any sunscreen or insect repellant into any of the cenotes. Altournative has showers where you can rinse. In order to preserve these fresh water wonders, we must take caution in polluting them with chemicals.

You can bring a GoPro in if you have a harness for it so it doesn’t fall into the hole and cause waste. Alternatively, they have some photographers from the tour taking candids the whole time. The downside, you have to pay for them. The upside, you’re helping employ some locals! And honestly, they did a great job at capturing great moments and most of the time we didn’t even know they were shooting.

Tour Options

If you prefer going on a tour, here are some options from Get Your Guide for different types of Cenote Tours. I hope you enjoy!

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