reasons to go to Puerto Morelos beautiful beach town
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17 Reasons to Go to Puerto Morelos

Who is dreaming of a vacation to a beach? (insert raised hand emoji here) Yep, this is my dream EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I live in the Midwest so beaches are hard to come by around here. I hadn’t even heard of Puerto Morelos until I started looking at new places to visit south of the border, that are affordable and easy to get to.

There’s plenty of things to do in Puerto Morelos, and friends, it’s just so beautiful. Read on to discover my 17 reasons to go to Puerto Morelos.

Ok so you might be asking ‘where is Puerto Morelos?’ It’s nestled about half way between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen  on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The Huffington Post called Puerto Morales “Cancun’s quiet little neighbor” and for good reason!

My family’s visit to this sleepy little fishing village was a refreshing break from the typical spring-breaker experience that comes to mind when you think of a Mexican beach vacation.

Puerto Morelos is definitely dream-worthy. It’s quaint, with only about 9,000 people living there. Plus there’s no stop lights, no big chain restaurants or night clubs full of 20-something tourists.

things to do in Puerto Morelos
Downtown Puerto Morelos – just steps away from the beach

It’s what I envisioned a small town in Mexico would be and honestly a great spot for a getaway.

Based on my week-long trip to this lovely little village, I’ve compiled my top 17 reasons to go to Puerto Morelos.

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1. Plenty of things to do in Puerto Morelos

You’ll have lots to choose from in Puerto Morelos depending on what you like to do, with just the right mix of local and tourist activities. Experience a fresh fish market, local grocery store or farmer’s market, ice cream shops, restaurants and kids play area.

Right off the town square you can go swimming, play in the sand and enjoy other water activities. 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.  (see #3 below)

2. Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos (one of my favorite reasons to go to Puerto Morelos!)

A great spot for a stingray or sea turtle sighting, snorkeling the coral reef is the best-of-the-best for snorkeling experiences. Snorkeling-Report.com rates this reef #7 in the world! It truly is a must-see!

Local tip: keep in mind that coral reefs are a vital part of the ecosystem, so it’s strongly recommend not to touch them.

This includes stepping on them in shallow areas. There are also new studies out that certain sunscreen ingredients are damaging our oceans, so it’s recommended to use reef-safe sunscreen. This sunscreen is my favorite from Amazon and smells amazing!

Puerto Morelos street art
Street art in Puerto Morelos

You might also be interested in these tropical destinations:
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3. Puerto Morelos is near Tulum

Close to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Xel-ha and Chichen Itza, Puerto Morelos is near quite a few destinations that are great to experience culture and history. A tip if you go to the ancient ruins: get there early, before the majority of the tourists do so you can get the full experience without the crowds.

Book your tour for Tulum activities, here.

4. The warmth of the Caribbean at Puerto Morelos

The Caribbean waters are my favorite (so far) for swimming and enjoying being in the water. It’s a place to really get out into the ocean and soak it in for all its wonders. Although there was quite a bit of seaweed at the beaches in Puerto Morales, the water was very warm and relatively calm because of the reef.

Puerto Morelos Beach

Puerto Morelos beach
Beach at Puerto Morelos – an area where the seaweed is pretty thick on the shore

Just a quick note about the beach in Puerto Morelos. It’s beautiful, however because of the reef, it can be full of seaweed. If you’re staying at a resort, they will likely clean the beach every day to minimize the amount on the shore.

However if you’re staying in town, know that the Puerto Morelos beach can get pretty full of seaweed, depending on the season. The sand is still beautiful and soft, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the sunshine and ocean breeze.

But if you’re looking for crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, Puerto Morelos isn’t the destination for you.

Pro tip: make sure to pack your water shoes to protect your feet from the seaweed and any other under water rocks. These are my absolute favorite water shoes from Amazon – they’ve traveled with me all over the globe.

5. The Coral Reef & Marine Park

Just off the town square in Puerto Morelos, is the coral reef that comes within about 400 yards of the shore. This reef, also known as the Mesoamerican Reef, is the 3rd largest in the world. It’s one of the top things to do in Puerto Morelos!

At this point it’s the closest coral reef to a beach in the world, and actually works to protect the town from hurricanes. It functions as a shield for big waves during tropical storms, thus reducing flooding.

Our little kids were able to enjoy the waves from the ocean without large white caps knocking them over. One of the best reasons to go to Puerto Morelos if you have little ones!

 

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6. Shopping in Puerto Morelos, including hand-crafted goodies

At the many shopping markets, you’re getting authentic Mexican goods for a fraction of the price in the larger, more well-recognized places. From clothing and jewelry to housewares and toys, you’re sure to bring some authentic goods back home.

I bought a hammock swing for a steal! It was half the price as I could have gotten it in the U.S., not to mention the materials are great quality. I’m looking forward to using it (and remembering Puerto Morelos every time I sit in it) for years to come.

Puerto Morelos shopping
Puerto Morelos marketplace near the town square

7. The Puerto Morelos town square

One of my favorite reasons to go to Puerto Morelos! I love a good town square, and let me tell you the square in Puerto Morelos is beautiful!

It reminds me of the town near where I grew up and it’s where the action happens. And when I say ‘action’ in Puerto Morelos, I mean a farmer’s market, restaurants and tourist shops. It’s such a great place to hang out and enjoy the beauty of Puerto Morelos.

260x174 Beach Chair

8. The people

Everyone we came in contact with was so genuinely kind and helpful. The merchants in the market and stores weren’t pushy (an experience you’ll often encounter in international markets like these).

It felt like they really just wanted us to have a good time. At the same time I felt respected and appreciated throughout the trip.

things to do in Puerto Morelos -  the beach
Beachy spot in Puerto Morelos

9. The locals care about the environment

While we were visiting Puerto Morelos, we asked a local why there was so much seaweed washing up on the shore. He said scientists don’t have a definitive answer, but have three reasons why it could be so thick.

  1. The pollution and waste in the ocean. Sea weed is a natural cleanser and by over-producing, it could be a reaction to unclean water.
  2. Global warming. Sea weed is a plant that blooms and produces more based on water temperature.
  3. The imbalance in species. Meaning there aren’t enough natural wildlife to eat the seaweed and tame it down, so it’s overly abundant right now.

10. Farmer’s market in Puerto Morelos

We stumbled upon a local farmer’s market where you could buy jams and jellies, soaps, fruits and veggies, and it was absolutely delightful. As a matter of fact, I can honestly say I wasn’t sure what some of the fruits and veggies were!

And fellow dreamers, that’s exactly why I love to travel (well, one of the reasons). I got to see and experience the local food and climate, a much different scene from the cornfields of Nebraska.

Puerto Morelos farmers market
Local farmers selling fresh fruit near the town square

11. Yoga on the beach

Relaxation, rejuvenation and healing are synonymous with both yoga and the beach. Combining the two is perfection! So grab your yoga pants, or even just your swimming suit and head down to the beach for a peaceful yoga session.

12. It’s not packed with tourists

Hallelujah! I looove to travel, but am not a fan of places so busy you can’t even enjoy what you’re there to experience because it’s packed with people. In Puerto Morelos, you’ll see the occasional bike tour from a local resort, but they’re in groups of less than 20 people and pretty low-key.

In Puerto Morelos, you’ll generally avoid the crowds that Cancun, Cozumel or Playa Del Carmen attract. So when I talk about reasons to go to Puerto Morelos, this, in my opinion, is a huge one!

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13. All-inclusive resorts in Puerto Morelos

Whether you’re looking to book a family vacation with the kids, a romantic getaway for two or an adult vacation with friends, there’s plenty of all-inclusive resorts to choose from in Puerto Morelos.

From the ocean views to the food, to the pools and entertainment, you’re sure to find someplace that’s just right for your travels.

Search for the best-priced resorts in Puerto Morelos on Booking.com

14. To understand the meaning of working hard

The merchants work hard to sell their hand-crafted items to tourists, $3, $8 or $15 items at a time. They’re friendly and I didn’t experience them to be too pushy, either. If anything, they’ve got a sense of humor.

Equally important, the children in my family gained a new perspective, beyond what they’ve known as working hard. And to today’s youth, this can be powerful. This was an unexpected favorite on my list of reasons to go to Puerto Morelos.

Easily book these activities for your Puerto Morelos trip:

 

15. Colorful inspiration!

I mean, can these colors get any more vibrant and inspirational? Bright, vivid colors covered the walls of restaurants, shops and houses. Not to mention the town appeared to be happy and relaxing in every way.

Puerto Morelos quaint little fishing village
Look at this little shop? I can’t even get over how adorable it is.

16. It’s a 20 -minute drive from the Cancun airport

Friends, I love when I can fly into a city and be only a 20 minute drive from the airport. Who wants to spend hours driving after you’ve already spent hours flying? Enough said.

Related reads: 
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17. The safety in Puerto Morelos was calming

In a world where the news is constantly showing crime, violence and destruction literally everywhere, this was a factor of traveling internationally for us. I never once felt concerned for our family’s safety or our belongings.

We literally went right by a police station, and there were no less than a dozen policemen standing right out front. It really made our group feel very safe. And this, my friend, is one of the best reasons to go to Puerto Morelos!

Puerto Morelos – snorkeling, shopping, beaches & more!

So whether you’re looking for adventurous trip with plenty of things to do in in the Caribbean, or a chill vacation lounging by the ocean, Puerto Morelos might just be the destination for you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 17 reasons to go to Puerto Morelos. It’s a fun spot to explore in Quintana Roo, Mexico!

So tell me, what’s the one thing that you would find the most interesting or exciting during a trip to Puerto Morelos? I’d love to know in the comment section below!

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34 Responses

  1. Great article! We’ve been to Cancun many times but never thought of stoping at Puerto Morelos, will have to try it next time! Thanks

    1. It’s a great little spot, Vanessa. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

      1. We are doing a catamaran excursion there in May. How much time should we allow for shopping afterwards before we are picked up by our transfers?

        1. Oh fun Wendy! I’d say you could walk around to lots of shops at the town square in about an hour. If you looove to shop, you could do 2 hours. I hope you have a great time!

  2. You’ve sold me on the fact that it’s not a crowded area and the merchants aren’t pushy. Those are two annoying traits of a destination that can make or break it.

    1. I totally agree, Laura! I was happily surprised and it really was a great experience!

  3. We snorkel a lot while on our cruises. So this place sounds like the perfect spot when searching for a land vacation. Thank you

    1. Puerto Morelos is a great snorkeling destination! Hope you get to enjoy it sometime soon. 🙂

  4. Thank you for all the great info. I’m a novice at this taking care of me thing! Any recommendations on all inclusive hotels. Turning 45 on 23 Dec , would love to take a trip.

    1. Hey Kay! While I don’t know all of them well enough to suggest the best one, these were all located in the area with a short drive or bike ride into downtown Puerto Morelos:
      Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, Now Jade Riviera Cancun and Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa.
      Those would be a great place to start looking into. I hope you get to enjoy a nice vacation for your birthday!

    1. Puerto Morelos is a very beautiful part of Mexico! Hope you make it there someday. 🙂

  5. YOOO this is perfect! I’m going to be in the area for a wedding later this year, and I was going to stay for a week after exploring the entire peninsula! I’ll definitely have to check out this town!

    1. Awesome Kay! It’s a fun area to explore. The wedding should be beautiful. Enjoy!

  6. Haha, I love Puerto Morelos’ nickname (Cancun’s quiet little neighbor) — how cute!

    Also, the marketplace in the photo looks like it would have a ton of cool gifts. That hammock sounds like a great find! 🙂

  7. Whoa I love that this place isn’t packed with tourists! I need to check this place out gorgeous ?

  8. I can’t wait to plan a trip to Mexico whenever I’m back in the states! Looks like an amazing place ?

    1. It really is, Jen. I love that you plan to just pop down here when in the USA. Hopefully it’s soon!

  9. Seems like Puerto Morelos has a little bit of everything!! I’ll have to add it to the list of places to visit! 🙂

    1. Bridget it totall does! And the vacationing in the Cancun area is always a good time! Thanks for stopping by the blog today.

  10. I’ve not been the beach vacay type of traveler (more mountains and cities) but since snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, I’ve been looking for destinations! Now this is a suggestion!

    1. Very cool! Well it will be a lovely adventure. I’d be interested in how it compares to the Great Barrier Reef!

  11. I’ve been to Cancun and I’ve been to Playa del Carmen, so I’m sure I have at least driven through Puerto Morelos. hehe
    This small town sounds dreamy and no crowds which is a bonus for me!

  12. Puerto Morelos definitely seems like an awesome place to visit! (I’m not a fan of large crowds or super populated places, so this sounds right up my alley! :] ) I’ve seen gorgeous photos of Tulum and would love to go there too!

  13. Very nice, do you have to have a car rental there ?

    1. You could rent a car or use public transport. Taxi’s were easily available for a pretty low cost. Most everything in the town is within walking distance, depending on where you’re staying. If you’re wanting to freely travel into Cancun or Tulum or another nearby spot you could rent a car. But if you’re sticking to town or plan to do a tour or 2, a car isn’t necessary.

  14. H Nikki, We will be staying at the Now Jade for my 50th birthday in early January 2021 with several of other ladies. I have been to Cancun several times, and never heard of Puerto Morelos, and thought it to be a peaceful small town. Plus I enjoy snorkeling, so I would like to visit PM, since it is the 2nd largest barrier reef, it should be an experience. What tour company do you suggest to book with for this 2 hour excursion. Have you been to it, and have you heard good things?

    1. Yay Belinda, how exciting! You’re going to LOVE Puerto Morelos! I haven’t personally used a snorkeling company from Puerto Morelos…another couple we went with did the snorkeling and they said it was PHENOMENAL! Unfortunately I can’t recommend a specific tour company. I’d just recommend to check out Trip Advisor and read the reviews to find the right one that fits your needs. Have a great time, and happy early 50th to you!

  15. We booked a catamaran that took us out on the nearby reef for a snorkeling excursion. We booked it through Marina El Cid at the Ventus resort. Price was reasonable, they offered drinks and snacks and the crew was amazing. They helped us with our gear and were a lot of fun.

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