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This Small Town South Of Cancun Just Had Its Biggest Year Ever, Here’s Why Travelers Are Obsessed 

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When most people think of Mexican Caribbean vacation destinations the ones that come to mind are Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but there are a number of other places well worth visiting.  One of those places is a small town just a little south of Cancun called Puerto Morelos and it just had its biggest year in tourism ever.  There is a lot to love about Puerto Morelos, including beautiful white sand beaches, and we’ll tell you why travelers are so obsessed with this little port town in the Riviera Maya. 

Small People Walking Along a Puerto Morelos Dock and Boats in the Water

Millions of tourists visited the Mexican Caribbean this year and more than a few vacationed in or visited Puerto Morelos.  The town, which used to be a small fishing village and hasn’t lost that small Mexican village charm, is only about 20 minutes from Cancun International Airport.  Cancun Airport is the main airport to service the entire Riviera Maya region so getting transportation to and from the airport to Puerto Morelos is not a problem for tourists who want to see what this more laid-back town has to offer, some of which we’ll list below.   

Tourists on a Puerto Morelos Beach

Smaller Hotels And Resorts 

If you’re not a big fan of the huge high-rise resorts or you’re simply looking for something with a little more charm, Puerto Morelos is the place to go.  In addition to a number of large all-inclusive properties, you’ll also find small boutique-style hotels as well.  One unique boutique hotel option that you can only find in Puerto Morelos is the Oom Bubble Boutique that is set in the jungle and is near multiple cenotes to swim in within walking distance. 

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Small Boutique Hotel in Puerto Morelos

Adventure Tourism 

The opportunities for adventure activities are wide-ranging and endless in Puerto Morelos.  Not only is the town situated along the area of the Ruta de los Cenotes, where there are approximately 60 cenotes to explore and swim in, but Puerto Morelos is also a great place to snorkel, with the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef only steps away.  There are also a number of adventure parks nearby where all kinds of activities can be enjoyed, including the Extreme Adventure ecological park, where visitors can ATV and zipline through the jungle. 

Stairs Leading Into a Cenote Near Puerto Morelos

Unique Shopping Opportunities 

Cheap souvenirs can be found anywhere in places like Cancun, and there’s no shortage of them in Puerto Morelos either, but you’ll also find more unique items for sale.  There are multiple art and craft shops selling everything from authentic Mexican clothing and purses to jewelry and pottery.  There is also a great flea market where similar items and more can be found and it’s a fantastic place to immerse oneself in Mexican culture. 

Village Street With Shops in Puerto Morelos

Savor Seafood And Mouth Watering Mexican 

Having the history of being the fishing village that it was, and still maintaining some of that vibe, it only makes sense that Puerto Morelos is a place to savor seafood.  This has resulted in a number of seafood restaurants popping up.  Also, being the more authentic destination that it is, many great Mexican restaurants can be found throughout the town as well. 

Puerto Morelos Beachfront Restaurant with People Sitting at the Bar

The Future Of Puerto Morelos Tourism 

If 2022 is any indication of what the future of tourism looks like in Puerto Morelos then the future is bright.  At the end of the year hotel occupancy was around 97 percent and restaurants, beaches, and bars were packed through the holidays.  The cenotes that are part of the Ruta de Los Cenotes, which are one of the most loved sites to see in Puerto Morelos, were also filled with tourists at the end of the year. 

Puerto Morelos Aerial View of beaches and buildings.

There are many Mexican Caribbean vacation destinations to choose from but Puerto Morelos has the best of everything and more.  Great hotels and resorts, adventure activities, amazing food, and beautiful Caribbean beaches but with a more laid-back vibe that makes for the perfect mix of fun and relaxation.  

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Thea T

Wednesday 11th of January 2023

Many errors in this article, from the photo of the dock, which was taken out in the last hurricane (not all just the end bit). To the reference to all inclusives which are not a part of this town and are located on the furthest edges. And not an error, but you might want to mention this is a very small quiet town, only three steets on the beach side and no late night action (thank goodness). Unfortunately, the authentic vibe is being taken out by the amount of condos going up on those three streets and the aggressive vendors moving in from Cancun.


Tuesday 10th of January 2023

What a shame! Beautiful Puerto Morelos will soon be just another string of large hotels with a strip of overcrowded beaches. The small town, true Mexican flavor will give way to tourist trash and the increased drug traffic/violence that goes along with it. Very sad indeed!