Another great destination along the Riviera Maya, Puerto Morelos is a protected National Park, just metres away from the second largest reef in the world and featuring some of the most amazing diving in the area.
It is located 30 minutes south of Cancun city, 15 minutes from the airport or 20 minutes north of Playa del Carmen. You can catch a bus or colectivo along Highway 307 to the southern bus stop and it’s a short taxi ride from there to the town.
Great for a day trip or to chill for a week, you can expect a relaxed atmosphere, good food, friendly people and amazing beaches. You can find accommodation from small hotels at a reasonable price to large, all inclusive spa resorts. Along the beach restaurants offer fresh seafood daily, but there’s no real night life here, so don’t expect a party town, but you can find monthly dances and fiestas for the major holidays.
There are many mangroves surrounding the area so it is a great spot to see the beautiful wildlife the area has to offer. Visit the Botanical Gardens to learn more about the region’s plants and flowers or Crococun Zoo to get up close to some of the local animals. You can also do a jungle and Cenotes tour, snorkelling or diving, whatever your interests may be. On the weekends there’s a great open air market called Tianguis where you can buy great local arts and crafts directly from the makers.
Puerto Morelos is neighbouring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest reef in the world. The part of the reef located in front of the town is a National Park providing some of the most amazing dive sites along the Rivera Maya.
This underwater garden is bustling with sea life. On a typical dive you can expect to see all kinds of fish along with, turtles, eels, rays, barracudas and occasionally some nurse shark. Water temperatures are around 25 - 30C (77 - 85 F) with visibility between 60 - 120 feet (20-40 meters) all year round.
Puerto Morelos offers a few great dive sites. The Gardens is a wonderful site appropriately named for its lovely coral gardens and it is part of the national marine park. Also in the marine park is Puentes, a site with natural bridges and swim throughs where you can see eagle rays and all sorts of reef fish. The best dive in the area is the Mineshipwreck Juan Escutia, a large navy minesweeper purposely sunk in 2000 and a site teaming with aquatic life. This is a must see for any wreck lover.
Relax and take it easy in this gorgeous town.
(By Kelly Luckman)