We slowed down from our usual fast paced adventures and traveled South of Cancun along the Yucatán Peninsula to the quaint fishing village of Puerto Morelos.
What to do
- Visit the harbor. Puerto Morelos is the only harbor in Quintana Roo accessible by large ships. In the 1920’s, the port was popular for shipping chicle, a resin produced by Sapodilla trees in the Puerto Morelos forests used to make chewing gum. Unfortunately, the demand of the port was short-lived when a more affordable, synthetic base replaced the resin in the mid 1900’s returning the town to a sleepy fishing village.
- Faro Inclinado, also known as the Puerto Morelos Leaning Lighthouse, is still active. During Hurricane Beulah in 1967 part of the foundation was destroyed causing the light house to lean. There is a small, steep set of stairs to climb onto the lighthouse for a photo opprotunity.
- It only takes about 20 minutes to walk around downtown through the array of colorful shops, markets, bars, and restaurants. Visiting on a Friday or Saturday night, there may be dancing in the town square.
- The world’s second largest barrier reef is only 300 yards offshore in some areas providing ideal snorkeling and scuba diving with magnificent views of sunken ships, tropical fish, sting rays, sea turtles, lobster, and other ocean life. The ocean waves break at the reef creating calm waters along the shore, perfect for a walk along the beach. Low tide is the perfect time to see crustaceans in the small pools among the rocks.
- Another chance to see marine life is a day trip to the 200 acre Xcaret Eco-archaeological Park, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, or a world class deep sea fishing excursion.
- Other nearby day trips include Playa del Carmen (35 minutes), Tulum (1 hour and 20 minutes), and Cancun (45 minutes).
- Swim with dolphins and learn about conservation, their environment, and welfare at Delphinus Puerto Morelos (just a short walk from Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, Now Jade Riviera, and Ventus at Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort Cancun Riviera Maya).
Where to Eat
- Al Chimichurri is one of our favorite restaurants in Puerto Morelos. In addition to grilled steak and chicken, this Argentinian Steakhouse offers woodfired pizza, salads, and our favorite, empanadas. Our trip isn’t complete without indulging in a variety of crispy pastry filled pillows of capresse, campignon, espinaca, pollo, and elote.
- El Merkadito Seafood and Beach Club has something for everyone with tostadas, tacos, ceviche, seafood, pasta, salads, and more. The fun atmosphere and beach side patio guarantee a good time.
- Blue Morelos may be small, but their tostadas and tacos have big flavor (pictured left). We recommend ordering Paprika Chicken Tacos!
- It might be difficult to find an online menu for El Pirata (pictured right), but this restaurant promises the freshest dishes using produce grown in their restaurant garden, the catch of the day, and other locally sourced ingredients.
- We were a little skeptical of the name T@cos.com, but this place was outstanding! With a menu of vegetarian, seafood, beef, chicken, and pork tacos there is something for everyone, but don’t overlook the other menu items. The freshly prepared guacamole was some of the best we’ve ever tasted with a perfect harmony of lime and cilantro.
Our Hotel Recommendation: Grand Residences
- Since opening in 2014, Grand Residences Riviera Cancun has been rated the top resort in Puerto Morelos. Enjoy complimentary popsicles, fresh fruit, and bottled water from your beach chair. With 3 onsite restaurants, a gourmet food market, lobby bar and café, and pool bar you don’t need to leave, but we recommend you do to explore the sights, smells, and sounds of downtown! If staying in luxury is your ideal vacation, all inclusive packages are available.
- Experience ultimate relaxation with a visit to the Grand Residences Spa followed by afternoon tea, sandwiches, scones, fresh fruit, and pastries. Cooking and mixology classes, yoga, pottery painting, water polo, movie nights, and beach volleyball are also offered.
- The beautiful white sand beaches were a popular wedding destination during our visits in April. Honeymoon, vow renewal, and romantic dinner on the beach packages are available.
Until next time, adiós Puerto Morelos!