Things to do in Puerto Morelos, Mexico + Restaurants & AirBnbs

Things to do in Puerto Morelos, Mexico + Restaurants & AirBnbs

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There might not be as many things to do in Puerto Morelos as there are in some of the surrounding resort towns. That was ok with us, though. We were looking for some relaxing downtime, and that’s exactly what we got on our recent six-week visit to this Caribbean fishing village.

If you’ve not been to Puerto Morelos before, and you’re researching places to stay, you should know that the town is split into two areas:

  • Puerto Morelos Puerto – This is the port side of town, and it sits right on the Caribbean ocean.
  • Puerto Morelos Pueblo – This part of Puerto Morelos is about a 10-minute drive from the beach and is where the locals and expats, mostly, live.

Each part of Puerto Morelos is completely safe to stay in, and each has its own charm. During our six weeks in Puerto Morelos, we stayed in a couple of places both the puerto and pueblo side. The main difference between the two is that the puerto side is more touristy and expensive, and the pueblo side is less expensive and more “authentic”. 

So, regardless if you’re a budget traveler, or ready to throw down some money on a Caribbean vacation, Puerto Morelos should have something for everyone. Let’s take a quick look at things to do in Puerto Morelos, some of the restaurants we really enjoyed, and some of the places to stay on your visit.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Even though it’s a bit of a sleepy beach town, there are still plenty of fun things to do in Puerto Morelos. During our six weeks there we did everything from just chilling with a book on the beach to snorkeling in underground caves. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites. 

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – Cenotes

Puerto Morelos marks the beginning of what’s called the Ruta de los Cenotes. If you’re unfamiliar with cenotes, basically they’re underground caves filled with fresh water. They can range in size from a small swimming pool that’s shallow enough to wade in to complex cave systems dozens of miles across, some accessible only with scuba gear.

While cenotes are scattered all across the Yucatan Peninsula, the vast majority of them are found near Puerto Morelos on the Ruta de los Cenotes. These can either be accessed from the tour stands you’ll find all over town, or any taxi driver can take you to one.

Our favorite cenote on this trip was the Cenote Siete Bocas (cenote with seven mouths). A taxi there from puerto or pueblo will cost around $300 pesos ($15 USD). The cost of admission is $500 pesos ($25 USD) per person, and that gets you a full day of exploring the seven different entrances to the cenote.

If you only have time to visit one cenote this is a great option. Cenote Siete Bocas offers an underground cave system as well as above-ground cenotes for the whole family. You can reach all of the “mouths” through an interconnected rope lead. It’s a thrilling adventure worth checking out if you’re in the Puerto Morelos area.

For those that are feeling extra brave, Cenote Siete Bocas provides an amazing adrenaline rush with a 40-foot drop into Boca 3. The water is plenty deep to jump into without risk of injury (pending you don’t belly flop). Or, you can take the stairs and hang out in the shallow end while you watch your friends/family take the dive!

Siete Bocas is a great way to cool down, too. Escape the heat of Puerto Morelos with cool, clear underground caves. Or enjoy reading a book under one of the many well-maintained palapas. Who wouldn’t want to go swimming in one of the interconnected caves seen below?

things to do in puerto morelos cenotes

There are bathrooms, changing rooms, life vests, picnic tables, and even a restaurant on site. Whether you show up with just your swimsuit in tow or an entire day’s worth of games, books, and activities (sorry, no alcohol allowed), you’re sure to have an amazing time.

When visiting cenotes, it’s always a good idea to minimize your eco-footprint. This includes not wearing sunblock into the cenote itself (most cenotes offer showers) and avoiding touching the stalagmites. And as always, place trash in designated containers.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

If you’re looking for souvenirs from your trip to Mexico you won’t have trouble finding them in Puerto Morelos. To be honest, you won’t find the cheapest stuff here but if you have something specific in mind, we’re sure you can find it in the Mayan Market located two blocks from the beach.

From clothing to jewelry to artwork and trinkets of every kind, just take a walk thru the hundreds of stalls on the beach side of town. You can also enjoy free samples of various tequilas if you’re 18+. For the younger crowd, you can find freshly made artisanal ice cream.

Another great place to do some shopping is the well-stocked Alma Libre Bookstore. It’s conveniently located right next to the park on the beach side of town. And don’t let the name fool you. They have a large selection of English books both new and used.

Best yet! If you’ve recently finished a book, you can opt to trade it in for a discount on a new beach read. Aside from books, Alma Libre also has an impressive collection of local artwork and souvenirs of your trip to Mexico.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – ATV, Ride Horseback, or Zipline

Feeling adventurous? Great! Because there are so many cenotes, Puerto Morelos often does combination tours. That means you can take the entire family to a cenote, and let half of them enjoy these activities while the rest cool off in a refreshing pool of crystal clear water.

For almost all of these fun adventures, you’ll be heading down the “ruta de los cenotes”. There are literally hundreds of cenotes both big and small on this route. You can opt to drive it yourself, take a taxi, or rent an ATV at one of the many tour shops in town. Full-day tours can also be arranged with these companies for all-inclusive pricing.

If you’re looking for an adventure-packed day, Cenote Kin Ha is your best bet. They offer ATV rentals, horseback riding through the lush jungle, and 6 zip lines to enjoy. There are two large cenotes on the property to cool down and relax after a hot day in the sun. Kin Ha Cenote offers package rates as well as individually priced activities.

Kin Ha Cenote is located at kilometer 19.5 on the ruta de los cenotes. While it is slightly further out you’ll get a jungle experience like no other in just a short 25-minute drive. However, if you opt to taxi it there, you’ll want to make arrangements for pick-up at that time. Taxis are not guaranteed at the exit and cell service is limited.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – Fishing Tours

The Riviera Maya offers some of the best fishing you can find. Depending on what you want, you have a lot of options. Trips can be customized according to the kind of fishing you want to do (light fishing, fly fishing, or trolling). Deep-sea fishing in Puerto Morelos is popular among families and sports fishermen alike.

There are more than 35 large-species fish in the Riviera Maya. However, there are a ton of smaller fish local to the area too. Best yet? After your excursion, you can sit back, and relax with a cold beer and your toes in the sand while a local restaurant expertly prepares your catch.

NOTE: There is no shore fishing permitted in Puerto Morelos since it is a protected national park.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – Snorkel Tours

You have a ton of options when it comes to snorkeling. Depending on your level of expertise, you can choose to rent snorkel gear and go into the shallow water from the shore, or you can opt for a snorkel tour. For safety reasons, swimmers are not permitted to swim directly to the reef itself and need to stay closer to shore.

Puerto Morelos offers you the opportunity to experience the world’s second-largest barrier reef with a relaxed atmosphere. There is no shortage of guides (found on the beach itself) willing to take you on private or group snorkel boat tours.

Because the reef is so close to the shore, you don’t need to go far out. You can enjoy an hour-long tour and see some pretty amazing things. This is a great option if you’re looking for a quick activity that won’t take the entire day – or break the bank. You can negotiate tours directly with the boat captain but can expect to pay around $500-600 pesos ($25-30 USD) pesos per adult.

If you’re more adventurous, boats can take you much further out for deep-sea snorkeling. These longer tours typically cost more but usually offer quite a few amenities including;

  • Snorkel geer/ life vests
  • Multiple snorkel sites
  • Complimentary drinks
  • Snacks and/or lunch
  • Transportation to/from your hotel
  • Snorkel lessons (Optional)

Of course, all-inclusive tours from Puerto Morelos cost quite a bit more but you’ll get to see things like sea turtles, octopus, stingrays, nurse and bull sharks, and more (depending on the season). Tours are customized based on what you want to see, how long you want to be out, and your level of experience. Expect to pay anywhere from $1,200-$3,000 pesos ($60-$150 USD) per person.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – The Sunday Bazaar

One of our favorite things to do in any Mexican city is to check out the bazaars. The bazaar in Puerto Morelos is on Sundays – rain or shine. It spans several blocks and starts about two blocks west of the park on the Pueblo side. If you’re staying on the beach side of town you can grab a taxi there for only $35 pesos ($1.75 USD).

If you haven’t experienced a bazaar in Mexico, you’re in for a major treat. It’s a complete sensory overload. With food stalls, random musicians, and tons of individual stalls set up in rows. You can find just about anything you need (and lots of things you don’t) from clothes to vintage items to authentic Mexican artwork and more.

The bazaar in Puerto Morelos is no different. It offers some incredible food like super savory birria, tostadas, carnitas tacos, and traditional Mexican snacks. Bring your appetite if you plan to visit!

It’s also a great place to get good-quality clothing and shoes in American sizes and styles. Think of it as the world’s cheapest thrift store. Most of Natasha’s outfits have come from Mexican bazaars. In fact, the one in Puerto Morelos was probably our favorite when it came to both quality and price because it is primarily for locals.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – The Beach

All beaches are free and public in Puerto Morelos. You’re welcome to walk directly onto the beach, lay out a towel, and camp for the day. And that’s exactly what a lot of locals do.

The beaches in Puerto Morelos are Blue Flag. That means you can enjoy clean, clear water that’s perfect for the entire family. You have about 20 meters of very shallow water with a gradual grade. Further out you can enjoy some amazing snorkeling.

Another great option is to rent one of the many palapas available in front of restaurants. You have several ways to do this. In most cases, you pay a flat fee (around $200 pesos) for two chairs, a table, and a nice shady palapa. We like this route for several reasons;

  • You can bring your own food/drinks (including alcohol).
  • You pay one fee for the entire day.
  • You get access to restaurant amenities (bathroom, wifi, music).
  • You can choose to order food/drinks from the menu.
  • You can enjoy a freshly-cleaned beach.

Yet another option is having food/drinks with your toes in the sand. Just buy something and spend the day hanging with friends and family while enjoying full service from the restaurant staff.

Things to do in Puerto Morelos – Restaurants

Let’s face it; authentic Mexican food is one of the reasons we travel to Mexico. And Puerto Morelos doesn’t disappoint. Whether you want to enjoy freshly made tacos at a corner stall, or a full lobster dinner with an ocean view, Puerto Morelos has got you covered.

As can be expected, there’s a huge contrast between restaurants on the puerto side and the pueblo side. Puerto restaurants are more touristy and expensive, while restaurants on the pueblo side are cheaper and more authentic. 

Both sides have great places to eat, and we think mixing it up between puerto and pueblo is the best way to experience the food in Puerto Morelos. Let’s take a look at some of the restaurants we found ourselves returning to over and over again.

Puerto Morelos Restaurants – Puerto Side

Because Puerto Morelos is in fact a port, you can expect a lot of really great seafood. However, there are a ton of options for everyone. On the puerto side, you can find everything from high-end steak restaurants to vegan and vegetarian options.

Amor y Pez

This was one of our favorite lunch spots. There’s no view of the ocean from here, but the food is way better, not to mention less expensive, than any of the beach-front restaurants. We ate here 1-2 times a week, and every single meal we had was delicious.

puerto morelos restaurants Amor Y Pez

As the name implies, seafood is on the menu at Amor y Pez. And all of it is awesome. The fish and chips were as good as any I’ve ever had, the shrimp diablo was to die for, and the seafood tacos and tostadas were amazing. They also run daily specials and have a pretty decent vegetarian menu. 

It’s not just us that loves the place. As of this writing, Amor y Pez has nearly 150 reviews on Google, and every single one is 5-stars.

El Nicho

This is the go-to breakfast/lunch spot on the puerto side of Morelos. Here you’ll find a great mix of locals and tourists, enjoying some great coffee and delicious food. Get here early, though, as they close at 2pm.

things to do in Puerto Morelos restaurants

There is both indoor seating, as well as seating on the front and back patios. I suggest the front patio with a view of the park. This is where we spent a lot of our mornings, just hanging out.

There are several restaurants on this corner, but El Nicho was definitely our top pick. You can also enjoy relaxing music from a local violinist while you enjoy your meal (just be sure to tip!).

La Sirena

Our friend from Playa del Carmen works there now which is how we found this cool spot. La Sirena offers up some great Mediterranean food, killer views, rooftop dining, and live music every night.

things to do in Puerto Morelos restaurants
La Sirena

Be aware that this place isn’t the cheapest Puerto Morelos restaurant you’ll find. But, it’s definitely worth every penny. We ate there quite a few times and were never disappointed with the food, drinks, or service.

Restaurante Cayuse

Restaurante Cayuse offers up a great local vibe right on the beach. We highly recommend this place if you’re looking for a casual place to enjoy an ice-cold beer with your toes in the sand.

Beachfront Restuarante Puerto Morelos Cayuse

The food is great too! Opt for a whole fish, and they’ll bring you several freshly caught options to your table so you can choose your favorite. Then add your toppings – we like the ajillo (a mix of mild dried chilies and freshly sauteed garlic in butter).

We spent many a day here just relaxing. They often have live music, and when they do, it’s a sight to see. You will regularly see large groups of people dancing the day away – especially on the weekends.

Restaurant Cayuse also has snorkel gear available for rent and you can up your relaxation with a massage right there on the beach!

El Refugio Bar

We really liked this place. It’s a little off the beaten path but if you’re looking for a cool vibe, this is the place to go. From the second you walk into El Refuio Bar, you’re transported to a moto paradise.

puerto morelos restuarants El Refugio

This place isn’t just cold craft beers and cocktails either. You can enjoy some really good espresso, smoke a hookah, and even get a tattoo! That’s right. There is a tattoo studio in the bar itself.

Their menu consists of typical American fare. Burgers, fries, and wings. If you want something aside from Mexican food, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Puerto Morelos Restaurants – Pueblo Side

For the best authentic Mexican food in Puerto Morelos, head to the pueblo side of town. Even when we were living on the puerto side, there were days we just needed some good Yucatan food, which the pueblo side is full of. 

Birria Food Cart

Amazing birria tacos and tortas. Only available on Sundays during the Sunday bazaar. There were many times that we’d be sitting around the house deciding what to do with our day only to realize it was Sunday – and there’s only one thing to do on Sundays in Puerto Morelos…

Head to the bazaar. As we mentioned before, the bazaar offers a wide range of tasty treats but it’s hard to pass up these birria tortas located on the corner of Ave. Timon & Cocodrillo.

Each order comes with a complimentary cup of consomme for your dipping or drinking pleasure. Add some onions and cilantro and your day is made!

Cochinita Pibil & Lechon Food Cart

You won’t be hard-pressed to find street food in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. But not all taco stalls are created equal. A great way to find the best tacos is to follow the locals.

If there’s a line, it’s probably worth waiting for. That is true for this particular food cart. Every single time we passed this cochinita pibil and lechon cart, there were at least half a dozen people waiting for their turn to get some.

He sits outside of Oxxo, across from the main park (morning and early afternoon). Just look for lots of happy Mexicans standing around chowing down on delicious cochinita and lechon. Be sure to add some of their various salsas, limes, and pickled goodies to customize your order to perfection!

Cocktelaria Sazon Jarocho

If you’re looking for great seafood at great prices, Cocktelaria Sazon Jarocho is the place to be. It’s located on Ave. Timon and offers up a different kind of seafood than almost anywhere else in the town – Veracruz style.

Puerto Morelos restuarants cocktelaria sazon Jarocho

Even if it weren’t incredibly close to our AirBNB in Alborada, we would still have made the trip to this place. A must-try is the whole fish (or filet) Veracruz – a deep-fried fish that’s covered in a spicy tomato sauce with olives and capers.

Another great choice is ceviche mixto complete with fish, shrimp, octopus, and conch (an unusual find). The seafood was super fresh and oh-so-delicious. This place is often packed around lunch time so you may have a short wait for a table.

Pecao Fonda de Mar

Pecoa Fonda de Mar is yet another great seafood place that offers authentic Mexican fare at affordable prices. It’s a super cute place with both indoor and outdoor seating.

If you’re strolling around in pueblo, and are near the park, this is a great option for lunch or an early dinner. We didn’t make it here nearly as often as we would have liked.

A lot of expats come here for fish and chips which is amazing. But they also have a full menu of just about any kind of seafood you could imagine. They even have a few meat and veggie options for non-seafood lovers.

La Bodega Verde

This is a great spot for a not-so-quick breakfast or brunch. While the food at La Bodega Verde may take some time, it’s well worth the wait. Everything is made to order with love by the in-house chef.

La Bodega Verde has a wide selection of breakfast goodies. They offer up authentic Mexican breakfast dishes like enchiladas, enfriloladas, and chilaquiles. Or, if you’re in the mood for an American-style breakfast you can opt for an omelet or eggs benny.

The coffee is great here too. Just be aware that they’re closed on Mondays. We were quite disappointed one day when we walked down from our Airbnb and they weren’t open.

Best yet, there is an incredible ice cream shop right next store! There you can get some really unique flavors of ice cream, baked goods, and coffee.

Where to Stay in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

There are Puerto Morelos hotels and Airbnbs in most everyone’s price range. Accommodations range from inexpensive hostels on the pueblo side to very expensive all-inclusive resorts on the puerto side.

During our six weeks in Puerto Morelos we stayed in a few different places, and also rented rooms for family members that visited. Below we’ll list a couple of the places we liked to give you an idea of what your options are.

AirBnBs in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

We stayed on both the puerto and pueblo sides of Puerto Morelos, in a total of 4 different AirBnBs during our six weeks. A couple of them weren’t really nice enough to recommend. They weren’t terrible enough to give bad reviews to, but I wouldn’t stay in them again.

The couple of AirBnbs in Puerto Morelos we would return to are below.

AirBnbs in Puerto Morelos – Puerto Side

Near the end of the trip, we decided to splurge a little and spend a couple of weeks near the beach. We ended up renting an Airbnb in the Stella Marina Suites, and it was just what we were looking for.

While not directly on the beach, we were still just a 3-minute walk away, which was fine. I’m not sure about all of the rooms, but as you can see in the pic, our room had an ocean view and sea breezes. The patio also came equipped with a hammock, which was perfect for hanging out with a book or napping.

This Airbnb in Puerto Morelos was very well located with a couple of restaurants right on the same block, and about a 3-minute walk to a very large grocery store. We would definitely stay here again on our next trip.

A room in Stella Marina Suites will set you back about $40. Like a lot of AirBnBs, they do offer weekly and monthly discounts, so the longer you stay, the cheaper it is by the night.

AirBnbs in Puerto Morelos – Pueblo Side

If you have done any research at all on AirBnBs in Puerto Morelos you’ve probably run across rentals in Residencial Alborada. This is a mixed-use property with condos, apartments, and AirBnBs. If you’re looking for lodging that’s not quite budget, but not very expensive, this is where we would recommend.

Residencial Alborada sits just a little outside of the center of pueblo side of Puerto Morelos. It’s walking distance to numerous restaurants, a large grocery, and many smaller convenience stores. You can pretty much walk to everything you need on the pueblo side from here. Both taxis and the colectivo to the Puerto side run right past the front gate, so getting to the beach is cheap and easy.

The AirBnBs in Residencial Alborada are perfect for families. Each rental has two full bedrooms, a fully-stocked kitchen for cooking, fast wifi, and lots of space for everyone to do their own thing. The property also has a small soccer field, a very large shared pool, and security at the gated entrance.

An apartment in Residencial Alborada will cost you right around $30\night, with discounts for stays longer than a week.

Where is Puerto Morelos, Mexico?

Puerto Morelos is on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, and it sits about halfway between Playa del Carmen and Cancun. 

How to get to Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Puerto Morelos is on the same highway as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, so it’s a fairly easy town to get to.

From Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos

If you’re coming from the airport, you have a couple of options. 

Taxis

There are numerous private taxis outside of the airport that will take you to Puerto Morelos. The problem here is you’ll get 10 different prices from 10 different taxis. And most of them will be over-inflated.

The price you’re looking for should be around $500-$600 pesos ($25-$30 usd) for a private taxi (not per person). We’ve had drivers tell us it would be 2-3 times that price before. Just haggle a little if you can. If not, just walk away and another taxi driver will be 3-4 steps away.

ADO Bus

If you’re on a budget, getting to Puerto Morelos from the Airport is both inexpensive and easy. You can either stop at the ADO booth just before you exit the airport, or stop at the ADO kiosk outside. There you can buy a bus ticket for around $225 pesos ($11 usd) per person.

There are no ADO buses that end their route in Puerto Morelos, so you’ll have to buy the ticket from the airport to Playa del Carmen. Then just tell the driver you’re going to Puerto Morelos, and he’ll drop you at that terminal on his way to Playa del Carmen.

Once at the ADO terminal in Puerto Morelos, any one of the taxis lined up there will take you to your destination, whether it’s in puerto or pueblo, for around $50 pesos ($2.50 usd).

From Playa del Carmen or Cancun to Puerto Morelos

If you’re already on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, getting to Puerto Morelos is very easy. From Playa del Carmen or Cancun, simply hail a taxi or hop on an ADO bus.

A private taxi from either Playa del Carmen or Cancun should run you $500 pesos ($25 usd) to your destination in Puerto Morelos.

ADO buses run between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, roughly every 20 minutes, or so. The cost ranges from $75-$225 pesos ($3.50-$11 USD) depending on the time of day. Just tell the driver to drop you off in Puerto Morelos, then grab one of the taxis outside of the Puerto Morelos ADO station to your final destination.

Getting Between Puerto Morelos Puerto and Pueblo

There are colectivos that go from pueblo to puerto and back for $10 pesos ($0.50 USD). A private taxi is $35 pesos ($1.50usd). It’s also walkable, but a very hot and sunny walk that takes ~30 minutes.

Puerto Morelos Weather

Weather in Puerto Morelos is pretty much evenly split between the hot and humid “rainy season” (June-November), and the “cooler” and less humid “dry season” (December-May). Even though the dry season is cooler, it’s still going to be at least 90° F (32° C) during the day, so you’re not exactly going to be chilly getting in the ocean.

Like elsewhere in the tropics, “rainy season” doesn’t mean it’s going to rain all day, every day. Most days in the rainy season start out sunny and beautiful. There is plenty of time to get in all of your daily activities before the rain starts at around 4-5pm. Even then, it will only rain for a couple of hours (we took the pic of that lighthouse during the rainy season).

One thing you may want to take into consideration is hurricane season, which runs from June 1 – November 30, and usually peaks in August and September. Should this affect your plans? That really depends on your comfort level. 

We have spent 6 hurricane seasons on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Sometimes we get hit, sometimes we don’t. I wouldn’t let it ruin my vacation, though.

Wrapping up our “Things to do in Puerto Morelos, Mexico” Post

Peurto Morelos definitely doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. While it’s not a big party city, it does have a good deal of charm. You can grab a coffee in the morning, do a bit of shopping, and either hit the beach or one of the many nearby cenotes to escape the afternoon heat. Then catch some live music with a cocktail or two at night!

You can easily get to it from both Playa del Carmen and Cancun and it offers a more relaxed vibe than the more popular Tulum. With so many things to do in Puerto Morelos, Mexico for the whole family, we’d seriously suggest spending at least a few days.


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