Many people are familiar with the major resort area of Cancun but, roughly 25 minutes south of Cancun's airport, is the small, quiet town of Puerto Morelos. This little town may be only 11 miles from Cancun, but it's a world away. Puerto Morelos is still the quintessential "sleepy little fishing village" in many ways and that is what makes this destination incredibly appealing to many travelers. Despite it's proximity to Cancun and nearby Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is still one of the area's hidden gems. There are small hotels and rental homes & condos in town and larger resorts are just outside of town. Some provide transportation to/from the Puerto Morelos town square while others are on the city bus route, making it easy for tourists to get into town. Each year in May two fishing tournaments take place in Puerto Morelos. These annual events bring hundreds of participants to town as well as many other spectators that enjoy the cultural events and concerts onshore during the 2-day tournaments.
See & Do
The number one attraction in Puerto Morelos is the wide white sand beach and the gorgeous aqua blue Caribbean Sea. Spend the day at a chill beach club eating ceviche and sipping on cerveza and margaritas. Ready for some action? Hire a guide at the dock right downtown and snorkel the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which is just off shore.
For a small town, Puerto Morelos has many expat residents and offers a surprising array of cuisine from around the world. Indulge in Italian, Asian, Vegetarian, seafood and of course Mexican cuisine. Many restaurants are family-owned and operated, so expect fresh ingredients and personal attention. You'll also find bakeries and coffee shops.
While Cancun offers glamorous nightlife that lasts until the sun comes up, Puerto Morelos is pretty much the exact opposite. This small town has a more laid-back vibe. Expect to mix with the locals in a relaxed atmosphere. Leave the stilletos and slick dress clothes at the resort and slip into shorts or a sundress, a funky hat and flip-flops.
In charming downtown Puerto Morelos you'll find small economical boutique hotels or rental condos and apartments, some located on the beach and others just a few blocks away. Luxury all-inclusive resorts like Now Jade, El Dorado Real, and Dreams Puerto Morelos are available as well, but are a short taxi ride from downtown.
Shop for souvenirs or gifts in Puerto Morelos without the harassment you may encounter in other spots. Take the time to browse the shops, which carry hammocks, jewelry, art and clothing. On Wednesday morning buy mangos or papaya from the fresh produce market. You can see local artists at workat the Mayan Handicraft Center just a block south of the town square aka zocalo. Puerto Morelos is also home to an excellent bookstore, Alma Libre.