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A quaint seaside town on the Riviera Maya that has yet to be overdeveloped

The coastline of the Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula has been gobbled up by a land grab of beach resorts, the only saving grace being they have been limited in the height of the buildings. I am not sure that this was by regulation or design. Fortunately, there are little oases in the form of towns that break up the monotony of the resorts. One such place is the small village of Puerto Morelos, which is located about halfway between Cancún and the larger town of Playa del Carmen. Originally a small fishing village, Puerto Morelos has not escaped the march of tourism but it has maintained some of the quaint features of its past.

The atmosphere is relaxed and somewhat sleepy. It doesn’t have the party scene of Cancún or Playa and the tourists here are a bit more mature or are families with younger children. There are plenty of places to eat and drink. In keeping with the low energy of the town, these bars and restaurants are mellow and chilled.

As with most Mexican towns, there is a central plaza that is the heart of the town and many of the bars and restaurants are located around its perimeter, but it is still functional and a place where the locals gather to pass the day and children can expend their seemingly endless energy on the play structures.

Close to the plaza is the beach. It is nice to find a seafront that has yet to be over-commercialized and is accessible to all.  You can find fishing boats hauled up on the beach, although I am not sure whether they still earn their trade on the waters of the Caribbean or are there for decoration.

There is a well-stocked supermarket right in the centre of town. It is modern and feels upscale and is somewhat incongruous in this tiny seaside town.

We have never stayed in Puerto Morelos but it certainly looked like a place we’d like to some time in the future.

The waters lapping up on the beach in Puerto Morelos
Not sure Frida Kahlo would approve of this portrait

Vegan Cafe – Las Robles

Av Javier Rojo Gomez (4,089.04 km)
77580 Puerto Morelos

Having already had lunch we were not very hungry but we were off to see a show at one of the local hotels (Rock of Ages – it was not very good) so we thought we should top our tummies off with some tasty vegan delights just in case we felt a bit peckish later in the evening.

Again we relied on the Happy Cow app to find us somewhere to eat in Puerto Morelos and it was a surprise to find that in a town of this size there were a few different options. Strolling around we found Los Robles a bijou, brightly decorated cafe located on one of the main streets that run through the town. It looked so welcoming and luckily for us the one outside sitting area had just become available as we walked up.

The menu had so many tasty options, but we wanted something very light to eat and were tempted by the vegan ceviche and the mini empanadas, which came in a plate of three – so we ordered a mix. To wash our food down we decided to try the Mexican coffee, thinking this might help us stay away during the show.

It took a little while for the food to be served, which was surprising since we were about the only people in the cafe, but we were in Mexico so things always take a bit longer. It was worth the wait! The  food was very well presented, especially the ceviche which had been compressed into a colourful cone. The flavours were spectacular. This was also true for the tiny empanadas. And as for the coffee, it was everything the server had promised – the flavour was definitely “full” and it wasn’t too long before we felt the caffeine coursing through our systems.

A gap was filled in our tummies and we left feeling extremely content!

If our travels bring us through this area we’ll definitely come back and try out Las Robles again.

In summary …

  • If you are not a party animal and want to avoid crowds then this is a great little town to base yourself
  • Easy to get around on foot
  • Only 30-minutes from Cancun airport
  • Great eating options for vegans!

Planning your visit

The best way to get around Puerto Morelos is on foot or bicycle, as most of the best things to do are located right off the beach. There’s no bus service around town, but if necessary, you can hail a taxi to escape the main resort area. 

To get to Puerto Morelos, most travellers fly into Cancún International Airport (CUN), which is about 30 minutes north. To reach Playa, you can rent a car, take a bus or hop in a taxi. Your hotel or resort may offer airport transportation within its all-inclusive package – check to see what’s available before reserving airport transportation. If your hotel does not provide a shuttle service, consider hiring a driver.

Best time to visit the Riviera Maya

Travel to the Riviera Maya requires careful planning. The rainy season begins in May and continues into November; on average, the region receives almost five feet of rainfall each year. Fortunately, the really severe tropical storms and hurricanes tend to hit the other side of the Yucatán Peninsula. The dry season begins in late November and ends in February, making this season the best time to visit the Riviera Maya. Avoid Riviera Maya travel from March through May, however – the heat and humidity are oppressive.

Where to stay?

1. LAYLA GUESTHOUSE

The Layla Guesthouse is hidden away in a quiet part of Puerto Morelos but is close to the town square. There are 4 apartments with beautiful colourful decor, large comfortable king-sized beds, and a shower room where you are surrounded by plants and open sky. Lots of windows and great ceiling fans.

The pool provides amazing views and the upstairs deck and bar provide a wonderful place to view the sunset and night sky. Layla’s Cafe is right at your front door with wonderful breakfasts and lunches. Be sure to take their Cenote Tour.

2. AMAR INN

Amar Inn is a small family-owned B&B located just a few steps from the beach in the idyllic fishing village of Puerto Morelos. You will also have a 5-minute walk to Plaza Central. The breakfasts are traditional Mexican style and are included in the room rates.

Hotel Amar Inn has some rooms with a sea view and there is a delightful pool set in a relaxing garden setting. 

Cancún International Airport is 13 mi away, while Playa del Carmen is a 30-minute drive

 

3. HOTEL CASA DEL PUERTO

Our Hotel Casa del Puerto by Mij Beachfront Hotel is located in Puerto Morelos on the beachfront. At the  Hotel Casa del Puerto you will live a unique experience by the sea, enjoying a luxurious and isolated hotel that will fill your stay in Mexico with well-being, relaxation and romance.

The hotel has a restaurant, an outdoor pool and a bar/lounge. Enjoy a free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi in public areas and free parking. You’ll also find a poolside bar and a rooftop terrace. You can enjoy an idyllic landscape from one of the Bali beds by the pool, while you let yourself be pampered and focus only on relaxing.

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