What to do in Puerto Morelos
Being small doesn’t mean being uninteresting. The Riviera Maya is full of bigger cities and towns to explore, like Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or Cozumel, but there are also other, smaller towns, like Puerto Morelos. But what can you do in Puerto Morelos? Forget about hot, trendy nightclubs and restaurants. This is a place for aquatic activities, like fishing and cenote-swimming, and connecting with nature.
Where is Puerto Morelos?
Luckily, it’s between Cancun and Playa del Carmen—35 minutes away from the first and 45 minutes from the second—, easily accessible via the Cancun-Tulum Highway and Jose Maria Morelos Street. That means you don’t have to stay in Puerto Morelos to enjoy it, as it’s quite an easy place to visit.
The beach at Puerto Morelos
The beach is one of the most famous things about Puerto Morelos, and one you’re pretty much guaranteed to experience. A public beach, it’s open to anyone who wishes to enjoy it. Bring your stuff to spend the day in the shadow of your umbrella or its famous leaning lighthouse—the result of a hurricane in the 60s— or find a deck chair or table in one of the many beachfront restaurants and beach clubs, like Don Ernestos (which also offers lodgings) or My Paradise Beach Club.
The fishing boats, permanently docked on the coast, only make the views more perfect. This is also where the many fishing and diving tours set off from.
Fishing town means fishing tips
Puerto Morelos is a fishing town and, as such, one of the main activities is to hop on a boat, sail to sea, and throw a couple of fishing lines overboard. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never fished before, plenty of boat captains are willing to show you the ropes—or fishing lines.
Fishing is not the only activity on a fishing tour, though. Besides the chance to catch your lunch, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the incredible waters of the Caribbean, with its many shades of blue and turquoise.
They’re so beautiful, in fact, that many of the fishing tours stop at several diving spots. Besides swimming, as we’re in the Riviera Maya, snorkeling is very much encouraged. Who knows? You might come across the fish that will be hanging from your fishing line a few minutes later.
Of course, there are dedicated full diving and snorkeling tours to the reef barrier in front of Puerto Morelos, too. For around USD 45 visitors are taken around a few of the most important diving spots to experience the rich marine life in one of the most ecologically significant places in the Riviera Maya and Mexico.
Eco tourism at Puerto Morelos
In Puerto Morelos, not all ecological sightseeing happens under the surface. The town is home to the largest botanical gardens in Mexico.
The Botanical Gardens Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin is the perfect place to see the plants that make up Puerto Morelos’ biosphere. Visitors will find all kinds of information on the plants as they cover part of the whopping 160 acres of the park.
For those looking for a bit more adrenaline in their eco-tourism, Puerto Morelos is also home to Selvatica Adventure Park. Spend the day surrounded by the lush Yucatan Jungle as you zip across the treetops on a zipline, drive around on a quad bike, and swim at a cenote.
Puerto Morelos’ cenote route
The Riviera Maya is well-known for its cenotes, and there are plenty of these paradisiac natural pools in Puerto Morelos.
Most of them are found along 20 miles of the highway that connects Puerto Morelos to the nearby town of Leona Vicario, and one of the most traditional tourist activities has become driving up and down it visiting as many cenotes as possible. This has become known as the Cenote Route.
They differ greatly from each other; some are open and semi-open and look like pools in the middle of the jungle; others are closed and in caves. Some have comfortable facilities, like bathrooms, dressing rooms, and eating areas; others, don’t.
Depending on their size, beauty and facilities, the cenotes vary greatly in price. Some are as low as USD 8 while others go up to USD 35, and maybe higher. Some of the most attractive are Mojarras, La Noria, Zapote and Verde Lucero, but there are many more.
Lodgings at Puerto Morelos
Despite being a small town, there are all kinds of lodgings in Puerto Morelos. Airbnb is always an option. The prices fluctuate depending on the season, but one can find a place for USD 40 a night up to well over USD 100.
But, if your idea of a vacation is staying at an enormous hotel, there’s no shortage of those, either. This is a popular vacation spot, after all, and home to some exclusive hotels and resorts, such as the Dreams hotel, at around USD 300, or the Marina el Cid at around USD 200, among others.