We spent the month of February with Lori’s parents, traveling around Belize and then on to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. After staying in the colonial “Yellow City” of Izamal, taking in the UNESCO Maya city of Chichen Itza, and sneaking our way on to Cancun’s finest beaches, we headed south to the Riviera Maya.
On our drive down to Playa del Carmen, we stopped at the small fishing town of Puerto Morelos.
Despite a resort development boom on the fringes of town, Puerto Morelos maintains the aire of a sleepy, tidy little fishing town on the Caribbean. It seemed to lack the beach-goer hoards that have invaded Akumal (a fishing village south of Playa del Carmen) in recent years. Yet, we found the water much clearer and beach more inviting than many other small and over-run communities in the area.
The tilting lighthouse in Puerto Morelos is an area icon caused by Hurricane Beulah in 1967. A newer lighthouse has been constructed nearby, so seafarers needn’t worry.
Puerto Morelos is also notable for its proximity to a portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system, which lies only a hundred meters off shore and has been designated as a National Marine Park. The reef and the protection it affords from the open sea make the town an ideal place for both sun-worshipers and snorkelers alike.
Besides that, there’s not much more to say about Puerto Morelos. We were only in the area for the morning, but got a good feel for the place.
If you’re looking for a quite place to hang your hat near a turquoise sea with cheap eats and free and easy parking, then I think there’s a good chance Puerto Morelos is your place. Yet, I can’t believe it will remain that way for much longer. The fact that it has maintained its sleepy, charming character in the middle of the beach tourism capital of Mexico for this long is a minor miracle.