Your Travel Guide to Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Mexico is open to travelers. There is no need to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine on arrival, though most resorts will ask guests to fill out health questionnaires.The land border between USA and Mexico is closed for nonessential travel through at least August 21. However, air travel is allowed.As of July 23, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintained Mexico’s advisory rating at level 3 — “high” risk. Level 4 is “very high” risk. The CDC advises travelers to be fully vaccinated before traveling to Mexico.

Puerto Morelos is a perfect place for us and for those who want to spend a peaceful beach holiday without all the glamour of Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Having lived for many years in the “glitz and glamour world” of Las Vegas, we prefer to settle down for a quiet place for at least 6 months.

Located in the state of Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos is a small fishing village on the Riviera Maya, the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Only about 36 km south of Cancun. Puerto Morelos is also nicknamed “La Joya del Caribe”, the jewel of the Caribbean.

It is divided into two halves – the beachside called “Puerto Morelos” and Joaquin Zetina Gazca, known as “La Colonia”. The beachside has fancier restaurants and hotels. The restaurants on the beach side are more pricey but they have good live music. La Colonia, where we currently live is located a little over a mile away on the other side of the highway. Here, we experience more local fare and local shops. You will see various neighborhoods, some are well-maintained and some are run down. There is a mangrove swamp that separates the two layout of Puerto Morelos.


No Visa required. You will need a valid passport with more than 6 months of validity.


There is no major airport in Puerto Morelos. It is instead served by Cancun Airport which is around 24 mins, 30 km away.Once you arrive and to get to your accomodation, you can hail a taxi but I prefer reserving it online before your trip. The private airport transfer was no more than $40 USD.There is only one public bus service from the Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos. This is the ADO bus company. These are modern, air conditioned buses that have a schedule for pickups at the airport. The bus stop in Puerto Morelos is about 3km away from the town so you will need a taxi to get to your hotel or arrange a pick-up with the hotel or resort where you are staying. To check bus schedules and prices, see the link here to the ADO bus company.If you are scheduling trips to the surrounding area, a rental car will be useful. For us, we prefer not to drive. If you are just visiting for a week, I would recommend taking Tours, it is more convenient. When we visit Cancun or Playa del Carmen, we take a taxi and also take public bus sometimes, which is a minivan and local call it ‘colectivo.’ It is around 30 pesos one way.When you take the colectivo from Colonia to the Beach, it’s 10 pesos, .50 cents.The taxi is affordable too. It’s 60 pesos for approx 10 mins ride going from La Colonia to the Beach.


The dry season ( Dec to May) has the most comfortable weather, high of 88°F, low of 75°F with sunshine. These months are also the busy or high season in Mexico.The rainy season runs from June to November. In September, it rains the most and the hottest month with humidity is August.


The local currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN) and is around 20 MXN to 1 USD. You should bring pesos. You can get some for the best rate at a local foreign exchange where you are currently living. You can also use your debit card at the bank cash machines here in Puerto Morelos. There are inside a local groceries stores and in the banks in Puerto Morelos.Some restaurants, tours and groceries takes credit cards. The taxis and local transport and local shops takes only pesos.


Spanish is the main language. Some local speaks English esp. at the beach side. It is helpful to learn some key phrases before you visit.


It is safe but please be mindful of your personal belongings. Petty thefts can happen.


We do not drink tap water although I have known some that do. You can buy garrafón which is a big jug like what you see at an office water cooler. You can find in any grocery store and they will deliver to your homes as well esp. if you live in a neighborhood.


Mexican power voltage is 127 V 60 Hz; Power sockets A & B.


Summer dresses, shorts and skirts. Restaurants do not have dress codes.The protection basics: take Sunglasses, a hat and Sunblock Lotion ( Coral safe), Insect Repellent.Pack for humidity: for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics like linen, cotton or rayon.Swimming suits/outfitsPersonal safety products: Money Belt and Lock are always helpful to keep your valuables safe.


It is best to tip in Pesos. However, you can tip in US dollars, Canadian dollars and Euros.These are guidelines but you can tip more if get an exceptional service.Dining in restaurants – at least 10% of the total bill. Street food/Taco stands $10 pesos.Taxis – $10-$20 pesos would be appropriate for short ride.Tour Guide – For a tour of 2 hours with one or two activities, $100 to $200 pesos per couple/family/small group

For half or a full day with activities and information, you can tip from $200 to $300 pesos. If you receive an exceptional service, feel free to tip more.

WHERE TO STAYBeach Side/ Port Side

This side of town is the tourist side filled with restaurants, cafes and shops. I do recommend staying here as it is only 5 minutes away from the beach or unless you stay on beachfront hotels. You will pay a little more for your accommodation and everything else.

La Colonia/ Town Side

You will find options for budget traveler, hostel -style accomodations or Airbnb. It is also walkable and close to restaurants and markets.


Snorkel or Dive at National Reef Park Of Puerto Morelos 

A Snorkel trip is an absolute must during your visit. Just off the coast lies the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Reef.

It is the second largest coral reef in the world and the largest one in the Western Hemisphere

Boats depart right off the main dock where you’ll find a number of tour companies offering the trip. They offer private, guide-led snorkel excursions starting at around $15.00 USDper person.

Photo stop at the Leaning Lighthouse

This is the landmark of Puerto Morelos. It’s an old lighthouse and no longer in operation. In the 1980s a new lighthouse was built. In the past, there were two old Mayan buildings in its place, and their stones were used for the lighthouse.

Swimming in a cenote

Cenotes are naturally formed swimming holes and is located all across Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. These cenotes are formed over hundreds of thousands of years by the gradual erosion, and eventual collapse, of limestone bedrock. I have been to several and no two are exactly alike. Some cenotes are enclosed like in a cave, some completely open and some a mix of both.

The Ruta de los Cenotes (route of the cenotes) near Puerto Morelos is the closest to get to and these cenotes are a must visit. The most popular are Cenote Kin-ha, Cenote Siete Bocas, Cenote Boca del puma, Cenote Verde Lucero, Cenote La Noria and Cenote Zapote.Depending which ones you choose, they have activities such as ATV, horse-back riding etc

Rent a bicycle or walk the TownIf it isn’t too hot, many vacation rentals offer bikes with your rental. Green Bikes rents by the hour, the day or week. Reservations in advance are recommended. They even have bamboo framed bikes you can rent for your adventure.

Swim or chill at the beach

The beach is normally not very busy and it’s perfect to relax. Many vendors will come by esp. during weekends. Food vendors selling fruits, nuts, fried crickets and all kinds of snacks. There are buskers and Aztec dance show performing on the beach. Also vendor selling crafts as well.

Croco Cun Zoo is a sanctuary for local rescued animals. There are big and small animals from snakes to  crocodile and animals such as hairless dogs (sacred to the Mayans), soft-shelled turtles and spider monkeys. It’s interactive. You can feed them and touch them.

Botanical Garden (Jardín Botánico Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin)

For 120 pesos, you can walk the trails. There is a chiclero camp, a small archaeological zone and a suspension bridge from where you can observe the mangroves.

Enjoy a day at Beach Clubs

My favorite are Unico, Don Ernestos and My Paradise. You can use their lounge chairs and umbrellas as long as you’re a paying customer.In Marbella, it is 500 pesos per person for their day beds.
Dia Y noche is  250 pesos for their lounge chairs and umbrellas.
Ojo de agua – 250 pesos for their lounge chair and you can put 200 pesos towards food. Their day beds cost 1500 pesos.These are subject to change.Other activities include Jungle Buggy, Sunset sail, Fishing, Tequila Factory, Cooking class.For Day trips, I would recommend Swim with Turtles in Akumal, Walk the beach & 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen and Tour Chichen itza.


On the Beach Side –Layla, La Sirena, Pelicano, El campanario, BoquineteOn Colonia Side, our regular eateries are Los De Oswaldo, Namaste India, Pollo Sinoloa, La Cabana, Las Koras, Pink Elephant, Eneida, Soto

Live Music ( These could change)

Lauro’s – live music at 8pm
Spyder Cafe ( Thurs to Sun) live music after 8pm
LaSirena (Mon- jazz, Thursday- rock & pop, Sun- piano
Layla ( Fri- piano 7pm)


Those that need to take a test before heading back home. You can get it at

Hotel Ojo de Agua $500 pesos
Clinic on Zetina Gasca $600 pesos

Things to know

There is no Booze allowed to be purchased after 5pm on Sunday.
Most restaurants in Colonia are closed on Mondays.
Most restaurants on the beach side is closed on Sundays.

Cancun is a big city 30 mins drive away. It is built for tourists; full of beautiful hotels, malls, nightlife and bars.

Playa del Carmen is small-scale, more budget-friendly and walkable. It has a diverse crowd and seems to be popular for families.

Tulum is eco-chic, popular for yogis, upscale nightlife, gourmet restaurants, vegan food, luxury accomodations.

In conclusion, Puerto Morelos has no malls, no movie theater, probably one restaurant with AC or cushioned seats. Puerto Morelos have something none of these have, it’s a quiet, laid – back vibe.


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