With its own appeal and vibe that makes it a perfect vacation destination, Puerto Morelos is truly unique. You may be asking yourself why…. Well, let us explain.
Anyone who happens into this awesome little Caribbean town quickly falls in love!
It is fun. It is friendly. People say hello to each other on the street.
Puerto Morelos is located on the Caribbean side of the Yucatan peninsula, on the northern edge of the Riviera Maya, conveniently located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen and just 20 minutes from the Cancun International Airport.
Being nearly halfway between the two bustling tourist cities of Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is totally different! It is a small town, with a friendly, laid-back feel. Although the town is growing, it retains its quiet, small-town feel and the charm of a small fishing village, where you can still see the fishermen come into the main pier in the afternoons with their daily catch. It’s quaint, with only about 9,000 people living here. Plus there’s no stop lights, no big chain restaurants or night clubs full of 20-something tourists. If you are looking to dodge the party atmosphere, and instead relax, enjoy the sun, water, and possibly a good book, this is the place to be.
Puerto Morelos is one of the oldest communities on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Today, the town is known for its National Marine Park, which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Divers and snorkelers appreciate the beauty of the sea and the friendliness of the community.
In the beach side of town – where we are located – there are two main streets that parallel the coast, Rafael Melgar and Javier Rojo Gomez, and a third that is largely flanked by Mangroves, Ninos Heroes. You could easily walk the entire town, without hurrying, in about an hour. The center of the town, is very picturesque, It’s such a great place to hang out and enjoy the beauty of Puerto Morelos. It’s bordered by a cathedral on one side and a magical spot which is the leaning lighthouse, emblem of the town, and pier on the other, which hosts snorkel and sport fishing boats, and has a local charm with fisherman coming and going from the piers all day.
The main square is also on the beach, so when you walk around the square you can enjoy a beautiful view. There are a variety of shops, galleries, a charming church, convenience stores, a few beach bars and excellent restaurants with Mexican and International flavors, seafood, healthy food and some great coffee places.
On Wednesdays, there is a fruit and vegetable market, along with an assortment of homemade deliciousness across from the church in the town square. In the evenings, you will likely stumble upon random performances taking place in the park and you will most definitely find many artisans selling their work. Every other weekend during the winter season, there is Beach Market behind My Paradise Beach Bar selling wonderful food, quality art, handmade jewelry, clothes, and much more.
Its laid-back feel does not mean it’s boring though– it surprisingly has a lot of activity and plenty to do. While it offers enough restaurants and bars to keep you entertained by night, it’s really the shallow Caribbean waters that draw visitors here.
Another very unique aspect that makes up the unique little town of Puerto is the second largest barrier reef in the world. The Great Mesoamerian Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Reef, runs parallel to the beach about 250 meters from shore. Here in Puerto Morelos the reef runs the closest to land of anywhere in all of Mexico. This creates very tranquil and calm water inside of the reef. The beach that runs the whole length of town is excellent; very wide and spacious. The sea water in Puerto Morelos has of course the turquoise characteristic color of the Caribbean but with a difference, the underwater vegetation gives it a beautiful and unique jade green color that distinguishes it from all the others. It’s a prime snorkeling and diving destination, but also paddle-boarding and kiteboarding are popular.
Brilliantly contrasted stripes of bright green and dark blue separate the shore from the barrier reef – a tantalizing sight for divers and snorkelers – while inland a series of excellent cenotes beckon the adventurous.
Puerto Morelos has a great ecosystem that is made up of the Reef, Mangrove and Cenotes (underground river systems). For something unique, check out some of the gorgeous Cenotes in the area, sinkholes and caverns with crystalline and fresh waters. Some of our favorite things to do in Puerto Morelos are snorkeling tours at the reef, fishing tours, scuba diving, and swimming in cenotes. There is also a Botanical Garden were you can learn about the Maya Culture that once inhabited this area, while you enjoy the flora and fauna of the region, also near the entrance to the town is Crococun, a small interactive zoo with crocodiles of all ages as main attraction.
The town’ location offers you the opportunity to appreciate the many different faces of México. Only 20 minutes from the Cancún airport and 5 minutes from the bus terminal, it’s a prime location for exploring the Yucatan Peninsula. Puerto Morelos is near quite a few destinations that are great to experience culture and history. Close to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Xel-ha and Chichen Itza. The islands of Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy and Cozumel are also nearby, as well as several activity parks.
The best part of Puerto Morelos, is that it has the best of both worlds, the traditional culture and a mix of national and international cultures. The community is a mix of Mexicans, Canadians, Americans, and Europeans who live here full or part time. In Puerto Morelos you will hear English, Dutch, French, German, Swiss, Italian, Mayan and of course Spanish spoken, sometimes intermingled.
There are many ecologically oriented locals, and the large expat community is very actively involved in the local life. Puerto Morelos is full of artists and musicians, artisans, divers, yogis, archeologists, marine biologists, Maya fishermen and many other great people. Here, health conscious people can experience Reiki and Energy Balancing Massages, Meditation and organized Yoga. Life here moves at a slow pace, it’s easy going and bohemian in the best sense of the word.
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or just escape from your everyday stresses, Puerto Morelos is perfect for you!
Everything you’ll need to make your vacation memorable can be found in Puerto Morelos. You can stay local in the serene beauty of nature or explore all the historical sites in the Yucatan. Experience a fresh fish market, local grocery store or farmer’s market, ice cream shops, restaurants and kids play area. You can do yoga, stay in and enjoy a beautiful dinner on the beach or in the Villa or go out dancing. You’ll also have an opportunity to rent bicycles, book a snorkeling or fishing tour or soak in some history at Tulum or Chichen Itza. Whatever you decide, welcome to Puerto Morelos!