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Puerto Morelos, gateway to the Riviera Maya

Why you should visit this coral and jungle wonderland

A 20-minute drive south of Cancun, Puerto Morelos is a peaceful fishing village that has its own stretch of beautiful coastline, coral reefs and jungle adventures. A wide swathe of white sand and gentle waves makes it a family favorite and intimate beachfront resorts on secluded bays are a romantic setting for Caribbean weddings.

There are larger resorts to the north of Puerto Morelos in Petempich Bay and to the south towards Punta Brava where there is also a marina for fishing and diving trips.

Spend the morning on the beach, enjoy a seafood lunch on the waterfront and shop for folk art, souvenirs and silver. Walk along the malecón or boardwalk and into the plaza to take in Puerto Morelos life, unhurried and authentic, it is a taste of the traditional Mexican Caribbean. The iconic tilting lighthouse is a good spot to stop and enjoy the views.

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Your guide to Puerto Morelos

Coral Reefs & Sea Adventures

Just offshore and part of the Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second longest coral reef system, Puerto Morelos Reef is famous for its spectacular coral formations and is a haven for marine life. Local dive masters know all the best places in this National Park for snorkeling and scuba adventures and in a few minutes, you’ll be in the water surrounded by curious fish in shimmering colors. You’ll see butterfly and porkfish, blue tangs, French grunts, angel fish and parrot fish. Rays and sea turtles swim by; peer into a crevice in the reef and you may even see an octopus, lobster or moray eel.

Fishermen will also love Puerto Morelos and the chance to go in search of marlin, dorado, tuna, barracuda and other fish in the Cozumel Channel during the year.

Set sail at sunset on a catamaran for an unforgettable voyage along the Puerto Morelos shoreline, the perfect start to a Mexican Caribbean evening.

Coral Reefs & Sea Adventures

Just offshore and part of the Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second longest coral reef system, Puerto Morelos Reef is famous for its spectacular coral formations and is a haven for marine life. Local dive masters know all the best places in this National Park for snorkeling and scuba adventures and in a few minutes, you’ll be in the water surrounded by curious fish in shimmering colors. You’ll see butterfly and porkfish, blue tangs, French grunts, angel fish and parrot fish. Rays and sea turtles swim by; peer into a crevice in the reef and you may even see an octopus, lobster or moray eel.

Fishermen will also love Puerto Morelos and the chance to go in search of marlin, dorado, tuna, barracuda and other fish in the Cozumel Channel during the year.

Set sail at sunset on a catamaran for an unforgettable voyage along the Puerto Morelos shoreline, the perfect start to a Mexican Caribbean evening.

puerto-morelos-coral-reefs

Yaaxche-Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Garden

Located beside Highway 307 and just to the south of Puerto Morelos is the second largest botanical garden in Mexico. Showcasing the trees and plants native to the Yucatán Peninsula and other tropical regions of the world, it is also a nature reserve protecting 65 hectares of jungle and marshland rich in wildlife.

The Botanical Garden is home to families of spider monkeys that forage for fruit in the treetops, coatimundis, agoutis, foxes, deer and a variety of birds.

Yaaxche-Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Garden

Located beside Highway 307 and just to the south of Puerto Morelos is the second largest botanical garden in Mexico. Showcasing the trees and plants native to the Yucatán Peninsula and other tropical regions of the world, it is also a nature reserve protecting 65 hectares of jungle and marshland rich in wildlife.

The Botanical Garden is home to families of spider monkeys that forage for fruit in the treetops, coatimundis, agoutis, foxes, deer and a variety of birds.

puerto-morelos-botanical-garden

Ruta de los Cenotes

Drive inland from Puerto Morelos along the Cenote Route, a road through the jungle that leads to the old chiclero camp of Central Vallarta and the small town of Leona Vicario. Along the route, a series of wooden signs mark the turn off for cenotes deep in the forest. These natural limestone wells or sinkholes have crystalline waters that look turquoise or emerald, depending on the light. They include Kin Ha, Cenote Las Mojarras, La Noria, Siete Bocas, Boca de Puma and Verde Lucero and several of them have zip lines and nature trails in the vicinity of the cenote.

Nature lovers will enjoy walking jungle trails along the Cenote Route, as they’ll catch a glimpse of iridescent blue morph butterflies, shy forest animals and a variety of birds, including the turquoise-browed motmot, the Yucatan’s bird of paradise.

Ruta de los Cenotes

Drive inland from Puerto Morelos along the Cenote Route, a road through the jungle that leads to the old chiclero camp of Central Vallarta and the small town of Leona Vicario. Along the route, a series of wooden signs mark the turn off for cenotes deep in the forest. These natural limestone wells or sinkholes have crystalline waters that look turquoise or emerald, depending on the light. They include Kin Ha, Cenote Las Mojarras, La Noria, Siete Bocas, Boca de Puma and Verde Lucero and several of them have zip lines and nature trails in the vicinity of the cenote.

Nature lovers will enjoy walking jungle trails along the Cenote Route, as they’ll catch a glimpse of iridescent blue morph butterflies, shy forest animals and a variety of birds, including the turquoise-browed motmot, the Yucatan’s bird of paradise.

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Adventure Parks

Enjoy a day of jungle adventures on the Cenote Route at one of the area parks. Fly through the jungle canopy on a series of thrilling zip line circuits, then swim in a cenote. ATV jungle tours are also available. Another park gives visitors the chance to explore four very different cenotes in one day and includes swimming, snorkeling, zip lining and time for kayaking.

North of Puerto Morelos on the way to Cancun, is another adventure park offering zip lines, white water rafting, kayaks, jet boats and monster truck rides.

Or how about a Mexican evening full of traditional cuisine, music and dance? Board a colorful trajinera or Mexican gondola for a fun-filled fiesta on the water.

Adventure Parks

Enjoy a day of jungle adventures on the Cenote Route at one of the area parks. Fly through the jungle canopy on a series of thrilling zip line circuits, then swim in a cenote. ATV jungle tours are also available. Another park gives visitors the chance to explore four very different cenotes in one day and includes swimming, snorkeling, zip lining and time for kayaking.

North of Puerto Morelos on the way to Cancun, is another adventure park offering zip lines, white water rafting, kayaks, jet boats and monster truck rides.

Or how about a Mexican evening full of traditional cuisine, music and dance? Board a colorful trajinera or Mexican gondola for a fun-filled fiesta on the water.

puerto-morelos-adventure-park

Shopping & Dining

Puerto Morelos is a short drive from all the malls in Cancun and Playa del Carmen’s famous Quinta Avenida if you are looking for designer fashion, silver and gold jewelry, duty free perfumes and Mexican folk art.

Puerto Morelos offers a variety of seafood, Mexican, Italian and Argentinian restaurants and a world of dining choices and nightlife awaits in Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Shopping & Dining

Puerto Morelos is a short drive from all the malls in Cancun and Playa del Carmen’s famous Quinta Avenida if you are looking for designer fashion, silver and gold jewelry, duty free perfumes and Mexican folk art.

Puerto Morelos offers a variety of seafood, Mexican, Italian and Argentinian restaurants and a world of dining choices and nightlife awaits in Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

puerto-morelos-shopping

Exploring Yucatan

Puerto Morelos, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya are all perfect bases for exploring the neighboring state of Yucatan. Start with a trip to the ancient cities of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, both on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and to the smaller site of Ek Balam.

For history, traditions, delicious dining, folk art and more, visit the state capital Merida, a cultural center with concerts and dance performances every night. Yucatan’s trio of Pueblos Magicos: Valladolid, Izamal and Mani offer a glimpse of provincial life and customs.

On a trip to Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, you’ll witness one of the Yucatan’s wonders: thousands of flamingos feeding in the lagoons and salt flats. For more eco adventures, discover Yucatan’s cenotes, starting in the Valladolid area.

Exploring Yucatan

Puerto Morelos, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya are all perfect bases for exploring the neighboring state of Yucatan. Start with a trip to the ancient cities of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, both on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and to the smaller site of Ek Balam.

For history, traditions, delicious dining, folk art and more, visit the state capital Merida, a cultural center with concerts and dance performances every night. Yucatan’s trio of Pueblos Magicos: Valladolid, Izamal and Mani offer a glimpse of provincial life and customs.

On a trip to Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, you’ll witness one of the Yucatan’s wonders: thousands of flamingos feeding in the lagoons and salt flats. For more eco adventures, discover Yucatan’s cenotes, starting in the Valladolid area.

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