In a recent presentation given to travel agencies, government and tourist officials of Puerto Morelos unveiled a new website that promotes itself as an authentic destination compared to Cancun. Located less than 20 minutes away from the very popular and busy tourist destination, it has a very different personality and atmosphere. While both places are well worth visiting, in the smaller town of Puerto Morelos, visitors will find the rest and relaxation they need and the authenticity that so many who visit the Riviera Maya come looking for.
Puerto Morelos, which was once called Punta Corcho, was one of the very few towns that were along a truck route in the area. The route was used for the transportation of goods through the jungle, and the original town was noted as becoming one of the first towns in the State of Quintana Roo. It sits between the towns of Leona Vicario and Central Vallarta, which were also on the route, and in fact, Central Vallarta was created specifically to be a stopping point between Puerto Morelos and Leona Vicario.
In pre-Hispanic times the Mayan people passed through the same area in search of cork that they would use to make nets for fishing. This is where the name Punta Corcho came from, as the translation of the name is “Cork Tip.” It wasn’t until 1898 that the town of Punta Corcho became Puerto Morelos and from then on the town began to develop its own personality.
Today Puerto Morelos is a destination growing popular for its opportunities for adventure activities, its more authentic personality, and its culinary scene. It is because the small town has so much to offer that tourism officials created the website, holapuertomorelos.com, to attract more visitors. It is also why they invited travel professionals to familiarize themselves with those offerings, and we’ll provide a quick rundown of some of what it has to offer in each of those three main categories.
Not only are there beautiful Caribbean beaches in Puerto Morelos that are just as welcoming as those in Cancun, but visitors will also have close access to a unique underwater landscape that includes Arrecife National Park, part of the Great West Atlantic Reef Belt. This makes adventurous activities like diving and snorkeling extra special in Puerto Morelos. You’ll also find many options for exploring the surrounding jungle and the area’s cenotes, including the Route of Cenotes, as well as many fishing and boating opportunities.
The small port town of Puerto Morelos used to be a fishing village at one time, and it still maintains some of that character. You’ll find smaller seaside hotels, charming streets with shops selling authentic Mexican crafts and handiwork, and friendly, laid-back locals. In the area of the main plaza, there is also a flea market and, on certain days, a farmer’s market where you can find local produce and Mexican food items.
Finally, the culinary scene itself is a reason to visit Puerto Morelos, especially for those that have an affinity for all things seafood. Having once been a mecca for fishing, many local restaurants stay true to the town’s heritage, serving all kinds of locally caught seafood, but you’ll also find international options as well. For the seafood lover, though, there is everything from ceviche to fish tacos made with some of the freshest catches you’ll ever have.
Cancun may be the tourist destination everyone is talking about, but Puerto Morelos has every reason to grow in popularity in the future. As soon as tourists begin discovering all that it has to offer and how different it is in so many ways from Cancun, it’s destined to become one of the next Mexican Caribbean hotspots. Until then, it’s there, only 20 minutes from Cancun, waiting to be explored.
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