Puerto Morelos in Mexico is a small, quiet place. Of course, there are not as many attractions as in the big tourist resorts. But still – some things here are quite unique, and you should not miss the opportunity. We help you discover something special about Puerto Morelos. Here are our suggestions.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
1. Visit the leaning lighthouse of Puerto Morelos
You have probably already noticed in our photos what the landmark of Puerto Morelos is. It’s the old lighthouse, and it’s completely crooked. Of course, it is no longer in operation, since the 1980s there has been a new lighthouse. But it is the old one that underlines the special character of this small town.
The leaning lighthouse was built in 1946 – of course upright. In the past, there were two old Mayan buildings in its place, and their stones were used for the lighthouse. With its height of 33 ft / 10 m, it has shown the way to the ships at sea.
In 1967, Hurricane Beulah hit the coast of Puerto Morelos. And almost overturned the lighthouse. The foundation has been washed out so much that the tower has almost gone down. But it resisted. It has bravely withstood other major storms ever since and has become the city’s landmark. You will find it right on the beach, at the end of the main road that leads to the village.
2. Discover the unique diversity of underwater life
If you haven’t just come to Puerto Morelos to take a downtime in one of the last quiet places on the Riviera Maya, then you’re probably here for snorkeling or scuba diving. Just off the coast lies the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Reef.
It is the second largest coral reef in the world, and the largest one in the Western Hemisphere. And nowhere it runs as close to the coast as in Puerto Morelos.
The reef stretches from the northern tip of Yucatan near Island Contoy down to Honduras. It is home to 65 species of stone corals, 350 species of mollusks, over 500 species of tropical fish, rays, turtles, dolphins and countless other rare and protected animals. The reef is a national park and strictly protected.
You can visit the reef for snorkeling and scuba diving. The boats for these excursions start at the pier near the main square of the city. You can also book a guided tour followed by food and drinks at a beach club.
3. Learn Mexican cooking
Mexican food is so delicious that it is recognized as UNESCO Cultural Heritage. In our opinion, for a good reason. Probably that’s one reason why you decided to go to Mexico.
But wouldn’t it be great to learn Mexican cooking yourself? In Puerto Morelos you have the opportunity to do that. During a great cooking class at “Mexico Lindo Cooking” you will learn everything about the ingredients for cooking and the preparation of delicious dishes.
You will prepare a 6-course menu with a fun group, which is enjoyed at the end as part of a real “fiesta”. The cooking school is beautifully located in the jungle and the cooking class is really a great experience.
4. Explore the lovely shops in the center of Puerto Morelos
Do you also love to stroll through nice shops? For a small town, Puerto Morelos has some very interesting shops. You should take the time for a walk around the main square and the surrounding streets.
Of course, there are a lot of shops with Mexican craftsmanship. Here, however, they are not as “industrial” as in the larger places. Often when you visit a shop you can still watch the owner crafting a new piece in front of you. Real good Mexican craftsmanship.
Downtown there is also a small market where you can browse for souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones at home. And if you need a refreshment after an extensive stroll, delicious restaurants and charming cafés invite you to linger.
In Puerto Morelos there is also a unique bookstore, the Alma Libre Bookstore. The shop is first-class sorted and offers the best selection of books in English across the Yucatan Peninsula. Furthermore you can discover selected treasures of regional craftsmanship and culinary findings. The owners are also there for have for a nice talk and can offer good tips on activities in the region.
Right next to the bookshop, there is the well-known restaurant El Nicho. They are said to prepare the most delicious omelets in the world. And this is also the reason why Alma Libre Bookstore is considered the most deliciously smelling bookstore in the world.
5. Embark on adventures in the jungle
Have you ever flown through the air with a zip line? If you have good nerves, you should definitely try it. It’s an unforgettable experience when you glide down while the wind drives through your hair.
Afterwards you can explore the mud slopes in the jungle extensively during an off-road tour in a quad bike. Between the individual activities you can refresh yourself with snacks and drinks. And of course, you can wash off the mud of the jungle with a refreshing bath. You can book this event online.
6. Pamper yourself with fresh seafood
By the way… Puerto Morelos is still a fishing village. And there are a lot of really good restaurants in town. The treasures of the sea come freshly caught to the kitchen. And you certainly shouldn’t miss that.
El Merkadito del Mar is a very well-known restaurant, located right at the beach. The menu has me drooling every time I look at it. But this is not the only insider tip.
Puerto Morelos has an amazing number of nice restaurants for such a small place. Therefore, if you like to eat seafood, then you should just try the culinary delights of town whenever you can. Enjoy!
7. Set sail on the Caribbean Sea
Are you travelling with a funny group? Or are you looking for a great surprise for a very special person? Then you should consider simply setting sails. In a catamaran on the Caribbean Sea.
On this trip you will sail by catamaran to the coral reef to snorkel there. With a little luck you can even see wild dolphins. On board there is also delicious food, open bar and music. You can get the opportunity to fish if you want.
The catamaran can be booked by groups of up to 15 people who can share the cost. Or as a personal gift for a special day at sea. Here is the link to the online reservation.
8. Discover „Ruta de los Cenotes“
At Puerto Morelos, a single road branches off Carretera 307, and it actually leads to Leona Vicario in the back country. The entrance is marked with an archway. This street is also called “Ruta de los cenotes”, the route of Cenotes. Because close to this road, many of these unique water basins are actually located.
The Yucatan Peninsula is submerged by a vast network of underground rivers and watercourses. Sometimes it’s fresh water, sometimes seawater mixes. A secret world underground. In some places the surface has collapsed giving access to the underground water as small ponds and lakes. These are the so-called cenotes.
They all are different and unique in their own way. And if you have a rental car, you can go on an exploration tour. Finally, the Ruta de los Cenotes starts right at the back door of Puerto Morelos.
If you’re traveling without a guide, never swim into the underground tunnels. Often the water level rises unexpectedly with the tides of the sea, and you can drown very easily. Besides, it is also very easy to get lost.
9. Experience the nature of Yucatan in the “Jardin Botanico”
In our times, it is not easy for Nature to actually remain untouched. This has become kind of an impossible mission. What a pity. But the mission of the Jardin Botanico Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marian is to preserve the jungle in the south of Yucatan and a mangrove forest in natural condition as a living museum of 65 hectares size.
The botanic garden is owned by the Ecosur Scientific Research Institute and is named after a missing researcher. It is home to not only many rare plants, but also the associated animals in their natural environment. There are also the remains of a ritual Mayan altar, a wooden scenic tower, a traditional Mayan hut and a Chiclero camp in the park.
The botanic garden is located next to the beginning of the road to the Cenotes in Puerto Morelos and is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm. If you love nature, it’s always worth a visit.
10. Treat yourself with a good book on the beach
In times of smartphones, social media and never-ending haste, one thing has gone quite out of fashion – reading. Actually, this is a big loss for people. Personally, I am addicted to literature. Reading a good book in peace is not to think away from my life.
If you haven’t had the time and rest to enjoy this pleasure for a long time, your time out in Puerto Morelos may be just the right moment to do so. Find a cozy place on the beach, listen to the sound of the waves, and immerse yourself in an exciting book. You won’t regret it.
If you don’t have a suitable reading in your luggage, the bookstore in the center of Puerto Morelos can definitely help you out. Just enjoy this pleasure.
Although Puerto Morelos is a quiet place compared to its lively neighbors Cancun and Playa del Carmen, there are a lot of exciting things to discover. And when you’re through it, just take some time for yourself. Because that’s what holidays are for, isn’t it?
Of course, there are many more exciting tours and activities available for your trip. Check out GetYourGuide for a great variety of offers, excellent service and good prices. They also offer very fair conditions in case of cancellation or rescheduling.
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