Puerto Morelos questions
February 14, 2022 5:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Puerto Morelos (Riviera Maya, Mexico) next week and would love some advice on what to do and how to get around (without a car). Plus: are Isla Mujeres or Cozumel worth the day trip if I can't rent a golf cart or scooter?

Thanks in part to all the recommendations over the years from here, I am going to be in Puerto Morelos next week for 6 nights, solo. I'm staying at a small B&B-type place next to the beach, a few blocks from the square. My original plan was to divide my time between hanging out on the beach and excursions to Valladolid (possibly an overnight), Tulum, Isla Mujeres, and some as-yet-to-be-determined cenotes.

However, I just realized I'm not going to be able to rent a car (my license expires in the middle of my trip and I'm not going to be able to get a new one before it does) and it seems like a lot of the trips I would want to take would require several bus transfers, which I'd prefer not to do more than, say, once on this trip (I have a chronic pain condition so I want to keep things simple.)

So I'm thinking I will focus this trip more around just hanging out in PM, plus maybe a few excursions that are minimally taxing/maximally rewarding. So I'd love some advice on what there is to DO in Puerto Morelos, or within a reasonable taxi ride. Cool cooking courses, cenotes suitable for my creaky joints, interesting cultural attractions, things like that. I'm definitely also interested in snorkeling and plan to do that in PM.

I'd been interested in going to Isla Mujeres or Cozumel as a day trip but I wonder if they're worth it if you can't rent your own transport? I'd been planning to do a little snorkeling but mostly just take in the beautiful scenery.

Would also love any general advice from anyone who's been to the area recently, in terms of COVID especially. I'm boosted and obviously will wear a mask everywhere.
posted by lunasol to Travel & Transportation around Puerto Morelos, Mexico (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Isla Mujeres is wonderful
posted by supermedusa at 6:32 PM on February 14, 2022

I used to go to PM regularly, originally from a recommendation here on this website by a fellow mefite. I haven't been in several years, and prior to that it was a few years, and what I saw my last trip it looked like PM was finally discovered by the masses.
I used to go there without a car all the time because it's just a fifteen minute taxi ride from Cancun airport, and I mainly wanted to relax and jog on the beach early mornings.
There's a booth in the main square where you can book a variety of excursions transportation included, and the last time I was there, kiteboarding from the beach was a big thing, if you're into that sort of thing.
I'm sure its blown up much more since I was there last, so there's likely even more going on now and more opportunities to book trips (just quickly googling "excusions from Puerto Morelos" brought up a ton of links, including a tripadvisor page with lots of links on its own).
Enjoy your trip- I'm a little jealous!
posted by newpotato at 2:14 AM on February 15, 2022

Proof that it's been discovered by the masses is the fact that I'll be there the week after you! I'm also going because Metafilter said it was cool, sorry.

From the research we've done, it sounds like there's a number of good restaurants in town, as well as a brewery now, so that might be fun. There were lots of places advertising things like horseback rides nearby as well, but I'm not sure how fun that sounds to you.

We're normally outdoorsy types, but outside of the local cenotes and a snorkel trip, I think the plan is to just read on the beach and swim. Hopefully the seaweed isn't crazy.

I'll be following this with interest!
posted by jellywerker at 3:22 AM on February 15, 2022

We were there in January. We found them more compliant with masking and other COVID precautions than our midwestern state. We ate all meals outside or in open air spaces. It was easy to get a COVID test to leave the country and this article has information on what to do if you get COVID in the Cancun area and this FB thread has information on how to get food and groceries delivered in PM if you need to quarantine.

The snorkeling is amazing - we hired a boat from the pier (seemed cheaper than going through a third party) and paid $18/each to go with two other couples and $25/each to have the boat to ourselves.

We hired a guide to take us to Coba and Cenoke Tankach-Ha (a totally closed cenote). We used this company but the actual guide got COVID right before our trip, so he sent one of his friends in his place. It was great.

We used this company for airport transfers - I would think they would do other shuttles if you were interested. This Facebook Group of expats has a wealth of information on how to take the bus and get around like a local.

Our favorite restaurants on the Port side were:

Breakfast at Café de Amancia. Great pastries, a solid fruit plate, wide selection of breakfast foods. Right on the central square.

Breakfast at Belleville PanaderĂ­a was also great - much smaller place and menu, but food was great with a fully bakery attached.

The rooftop at La Sirena was wonderful - it's a second story restaurant but they have a hidden roof on the third floor you can't see from the street. Open air and very spacious with good Greek food and lots of other things.

The Empanadas at Al Chimichurri were so good we went back for more. They were happy to do takeout, which made an easy late lunch. Also had good pizza and grilled meats
posted by mcgsa at 8:21 AM on February 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Puerto Morelos has two areas : the portside (beach) and colonia (town on the highway). Colectivos run routes around and between both areas. I think the fare is 10 pesos (50 US cents). More info about everything in Puerto Morelos, including taxi fares, at the InPuertoMorelos blog .

There's a Sunday Jungle Market in the colonia in high season that looks interesting. I didn't go because I was there off-season and it was closed. There's also an affliated Jungle Spa that does massage year round.

There's a Ruta de las Cenotes that goes from just south of the colonia to Leonia Vicario inland. The Ruta has around a dozen entrance roads to cenotes. Some cenotes are close to the highway, others are a long ways away. Some cenotes have food, others not. Some cenotes have rental lockers for your belongings, others not. If you take a colectivo from the colonia you'll get dropped off along the highway. I took a colectivo to Leona Vicario from the main square in the colonia and got dropped off at the entrance to Cenote Lucero Verde. Beautiful cenote, 300 yard walk in, no lockers, minimal food, might be more food in high season. DIY cenote trip is cheaper and more adventure, taxi or tour would be a lot easier.

Sometimes there is entertainment in the main square portside.
posted by jointhedance at 11:00 AM on February 15, 2022

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! I had a truly great time and am now completely in love with this little beach town. Amazingly, it is still pretty quiet - there were plenty of tourists, but mostly Mexican families and American snowbirds. I didn't end up doing any day trips, and that was fine. I did go to some cenotes and did a snorkel trip to the reef, but otherwise just hung out at various beach clubs, wandered around the town, and ate good food.
posted by lunasol at 9:51 AM on March 1, 2022

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