Jardin del Eden cenote, or it may be called Ponderosa or just cenote Eden as well, is a very picturesque open cenote of the Riviera Maya.
It is located 13 miles from Playa del Carmen, and such a location is also close to other places of interest. For example, Cenote Azul, Cenote Cristalino, Cenote Kantun Chi and Playa Xpuha beach.
This place is a paradise for adventurous travelers and its location allows you to organize a full-day trip to visit different attractions in one day.
In what follows we tell you how to get there, working hours, prices, practical tips, what you need to know before getting there, and things you can do there. Keep reading.
- 1 What is Eden cenote?
- 2 The role of the cenote in the Mayan
- 3 Different names of the cenote Eden
- 4 Why should you visit cenote Eden?
- 5 How to get to cenote Eden?
- 6 What to do in cenote Jardin del Eden?
- 7 Entrance fees
- 8 Opening hours
- 9 Facilities available at cenote Eden
- 10 Tips on visiting Eden cenote
- 11 Rules of the cenote Eden
- 12 Best cenotes of Playa del Carmen
- 13 Where to stay if you want to explore Playa del Carmen?
- 14 FAQ
- 15 To conclude
What is Eden cenote?
To start with, what is a cenote? A cenote is a freshwater swimming hole. Cenotes are very common in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.
They can be formed when limestone soil breaks down to form a natural sinkhole that can be open, closed, cavernous, or underground.
The water in cenotes never gets above 73 °F. Ancient Mayans used cenotes as a tool of communication with gods, which is why they are considered sacral.
There are a lot of cenotes that provide access to such activities as swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Also, there is a well-maintained platform for jumping.
But you can just sit on one of the massive rock formations to enjoy the picturesque views and little fish playing around you.
Cenote Jardin del Eden is one of the most popular cenotes near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Its name means “garden of Eden” and this place is actually divine for travelers.
Cenote Jardin del Eden is known among visitors as one of the largest open cenotes near Playa del Carmen.
The role of the cenote in the Mayan
The word cenote is originally the Mayan word “D’zonot” or “Ts’onot”. The meaning of the word is “well”.
As we said, Mayans used cenotes as tools of communication with gods. In the cenotes, they performed several sacred rituals.
Today, cenotes are no longer sacral. They have become popular places of interest in the Riviera Maya.
Different names of the cenote Eden
This may appear a bit confusing that cenote Eden has several names, so we will leave all of them here. You may see such names as Garden of Eden cenote, cenote Eden, cenote Ponderosa, and Jardin del Eden cenote.
Why should you visit cenote Eden?
Choosing cenote Eden as your traveling destination, you will get an amazing experience.
The first reason is that the Riviera Maya region where the cenote is located is very spectacular. So, even if you are not fond of doing sports activities such as scuba diving, cenote diving, cliff jumping, snorkeling, and so on, you will enjoy the view of untouched beauty.
Many people come to visit cenote Eden because they want to escape from the heat since cenotes provide a good shadow. Jardin del Eden cenote takes a large territory, so you will not feel crowded.
What is good about the “Garden of Eden” is that it is kept in its natural and unique state.
When you come to visit it you see a natural freshwater pool with crystal water, all those plants growing on rock formations, which are covered with green moss. The natural beauty of this place is very impressive.
How to get to cenote Eden?
There are different ways to get to cenote Eden. Cenote Jardin del Eden is only 13 miles south of Playa del Carmen and 24 miles from Tulum.
Renting a car gives you great opportunities. You can safely travel and visit various attractions in one day at your rhythm.
If you are coming from Playa del Carmen, you need to drive south on Carretera federal in the direction of Tulum. You need to pass Puerto Aventuras, then you will see Barcelo resorts on the left side. Going this way you should see a colorful sign of the Cenote Eden on the right side.
If you are coming from Tulum, this sign will be on the left side. Taking this direction, you need to get to the next U-shaped turn to get to the cenote.
When you achieve the ticket office, you will be asked to pay an entrance fee. Then keep driving on a dirt road (it won’t take a long time) and you’ll see the cenote entrance.
To get to the cenote garden of Eden from Playa del Carmen, take the minivan that goes to Tulum. Ask the driver to drop you off by the entrance of the cenote. It will cost you about 2 USD.
If you go from Tulum, take the bus, which goes to Playa del Carmen, and also ask them to drop you off at the cenote entrance.
The ticket office is very close to the road. After paying an entrance fee, you go by a dirt road to get to the cenote.
Before approving the ride, you should tell the taxi driver the time to pick you up and negotiate the price of the ride. Prices can be different, but usually, they are around 300 MXN one way.
To sum up, all the methods, to get to the Eden cenote from Playa del Carmen will take you around 25 minutes, from Tulum – 30-40 minutes, and if you are going from Cancun, it will take you 1 hour 30 minutes.
What to do in cenote Jardin del Eden?
If you’ve decided to visit cenote Eden, you are likely to spend a great time, since it provides access to various activities.
As we said, one of the cenote Eden pros is that it has crystal clear water, so you can just enjoy swimming and relax on the rocks scattered around the cenote. Since there are deep spots here, it’s recommended to wear a life jacket, especially if you are not a good swimmer.
You can rent a piece of snorkeling equipment and look at the amazing nature underwater. If you want to rent snorkeling gear and a life jacket, you will need to pay only about $2.50 US for each.
Eden cenote is a great place for divers. Many people come here to see caves that extend deep under the water.
Cenotes are formed when limestone caves collapse, creating a pool that is filled with water going through underground rivers and rainwater. That is why many cenotes are chosen for cave diving.
Remember that you must be a certified diver for that. If you’ve decided to perform cave diving, but you don’t have much experience, Eden cenote is the first cenote to visit since it is not as rough and dangerous as other cenotes can be.
Can you scuba dive at the cenote Eden?
Definitely, yes. If you come to visit Jardin del Eden cenote, you will see a lot of scuba divers. If you want to do scuba diving, you need to book your trip in advance in a Dive shop.
There are several well-maintained platforms for those who like water jumping.
Or if you are looking for something more exciting, you can try to do cliff jumping. There is a 12-foot launch point for this.
Fish spa and massage
If you don’t want to perform all these adventurous activities, you can simply relax in one spa cabaña where you can take a good 30 minutes massage for 400 MXN.
As we mentioned before, there is a lot of fish swimming in the water. If you stay still, they will give you a free fish spa by tickling your toes. For this, you need to swim to the far side of cenote Eden. There will be shoaled rocks where you can sit.
Discover a secret cenote
It is not recommended if you are not a good swimmer, but for those who have experience, it can be rather exciting.
You need to reach the back side of the main cenote on the right side. There you’ll see hidden rock formations. You will need to take a deep breath and swim through a narrow tunnel.
If you want to visit a Garden of Eden cenote, you will have to pay 200 pesos (~ USD 10) for a standard entrance fee for adults and 100 pesos (~ USD 5) for children.
Entrance fees for divers are a bit higher. As a diver, you will have to pay 300 pesos (~ USD 15).
Take cash with you, cause credit cards are not accepted there.
What concerns parking, it is free.
Cenote Eden works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it doesn’t work on Saturdays.
This place is getting filled with people very quickly, and you may face long queues and big crowds, which, of course, is not very enjoyable.
Facilities available at cenote Eden
Cenote Eden provides you with the following facilities:
- Showers and bathrooms
- Sun decks
- Spa cabañas
- Life jackets
- Equipment for snorkeling
Tips on visiting Eden cenote
- Don’t forget to take water shoes, cause Cenote Eden is a place with rocky ground, so it will be uncomfortable walking with bare feet
- You can’t use sunscreen at the cenote Eden (even biodegradable sunscreen), so it is strongly recommended to take a rash guard to prevent your skin from getting sunburnt
- For inexperienced swimmers, it is recommended to take pool floats since Eden cenote has plenty of deep spots
- For those who are going to stay at Eden cenote for the whole day, it is advisable to pack some snacks and water. There are actually some soft drinks and drinks being sold here, but the range of choices is not extended and usually, there are long queues you would rather not spend your time and nerves on.
Rules of the cenote Eden
Before going to the cenote Eden, you need to know several rules. Sunscreen, speakers for music, and pets are forbidden. You can’t drink alcohol or smoke at cenote Eden. You are not allowed to trash.
Respect other visitors.
Best cenotes of Playa del Carmen
As we have already mentioned, Eden cenote is the favorite cenote of many tourists, but it is not the only cenote to visit at Playa del Carmen.
There are different cenotes there to attract your attention.
Jardin del Eden cenote is one of the biggest cenotes which is situated between such cenotes as the cenote Cristalino, Azul cenote, and Kantunchi cenote.
Those beautiful cenotes are also worth your attention. They are not as large as cenote Eden, but they provide the same activities, and they are also considered to be the favorite cenotes to visit in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Where to stay if you want to explore Playa del Carmen?
Riviera Maya is well-known for its all-included resorts. You can stay at any Barcelo resort. They all provide good service, and it will take only a 5-minute walk to get to cenote Eden from any of them.
What time does cenote Eden close?
Cenote Ponderosa opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Also, it doesn’t work on Saturdays.
How do I get to Jardin del Eden cenote?
There are several ways to reach the cenote Eden. You can go by local bus, rent a car or take a taxi. If you go by car it will take you 25 minutes from Playa del Carmen, 30–40 minutes from Tulum, and 1 hour 30 minutes from Cancun.
If you want to go to Jardin del Eden cenote by taxi, don’t forget to tell the taxi driver the time to pick you up and negotiate the price before approving the ride.
If you go by bus, ask the driver to drop you off at the cenote Jardin del Eden entrance.
How much does it cost to go to cenote Azul?
Entrance fees here are lower than at cenote Ponderosa. It will cost 140 MXN for an adult and 80 MXN for children from 4 to 8.
How much does it cost to enter the cenote?
If you want to enter cenote Eden you need to pay 200 pesos (~ USD 10) for a standard ticket for adults, for children it will be 100 pesos (~ USD 5).
Cenote Jardin del Eden sets higher prices for divers. They need to pay $300 pesos (~$15 USD).
Cenote Jardin del Eden is a beautiful cenote located 13 miles from Playa del Carmen and 24 miles from Tulum. This is a great place for those who look for an adventurous trip, cause there are a lot of activities to do there.
However, cenote Eden will also suit those who like the calm rhythm of traveling.
While providing such activities as scuba diving or cave diving, cenote Jardin del Eden gives you a great opportunity to peacefully swim in the clear water and enjoy picturesque views of nature.
To get to the cenote Eden you can take advantage of a local bus, car, or taxi. The time will depend on whether you go from Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
Don’t forget to take water shoes and a rash guard (since you are not allowed to use sunscreen at the cenote Jardin del Eden) with you. And also pack some food and something to drink if you want to spend there the whole day.
If you would like to come to cenote Eden you may stay at one of the Riviera Maya resorts, for example, at any Barcelo resort. They provide good service and are located close to the cenote Eden, so it will take you only 5 minutes walk to get there.