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Why This Small Town Near Cancun Is The Perfect Hidden Gem For Travelers Seeking Authenticity

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Have you heard of Puerto Morelos? Don’t tell everyone, because it’s a real hidden gem – but guess what?

Puerto Morelos leaning lighthouse

Not only is this small town the ultimate chilled vacation spot, but it’s also only a 20-minute drive south of Cancun International Airport.

Its location is an impressive selling point on its own, but this fishing village is also known for its outstanding beaches, charming craft markets, friendly locals, and laid-back vibe.

@billieblonde_ The secret of South Mexico ☀️🌴😎 #southmexico #puertomorelos #placesinmexico #placestovisit #bestholidaylocations #holidayguide #mexicoguide ♬ Chillest in the Room – L.Dre

Puerto Morelos has a wealth of offerings for its visitors and is such a beautiful and ideal location for a relaxing vacation. You can stay for weeks or days or even visit for your last day in the Riviera Maya by stopping over, seeing the sights, and then taking a super easy transfer back to the airport the next morning.

What Makes It So Special?

Its unique charm is that it’s a small town and hasn’t become huge yet due to tourism. Despite tourism increasing in recent years, it still isn’t overcrowded like various other popular towns and cities in the region.

When you visit, you feel like you’re experiencing a really authentic Mexican town with genuinely kind locals and there’s just a generally great buzz about the place!

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What Can I Experience Here?

You can find yourself exploring the town, browsing the local artisan markets, and perhaps purchasing some handmade souvenirs to take home with you.

Puerto Morelos beach view with shops and boats

Take a ride around the area on a bike, followed by a yoga class on the beach or even an afternoon of horseback riding.

A noteworthy photo opportunity would be its leaning lighthouse in the town center, on the beachfront.

In the evening, take a sunset stroll down the white sandy beach and onwards to your ocean-view restaurant, the seafood in Puerto Morelos is to die for, with many different restaurants with casual dining, dishing up some of their must-try options like ceviche, octopus, and squid to name but a few.


Follow this by enjoying an evening of live music and jamming at one of their many bars. If you are going on a party vacation, then this place probably isn’t the one for you.. They still know how to have a good time at their bars, but bedtime is around midnight.

You have a ton of options for accommodation, whatever your budget is, from high-end luxury 5-star resorts to more affordable hotels, to cozy bed and breakfasts, where you want to stay right on the beach or in the town center.

The accommodation also seems to be a lot cheaper than the nearby Cancun, even in peak season, so it seems that your money will go a lot further.

View of the Caribbean Sea in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Their beaches are superb, really clean, well-maintained, and well, you can’t really beat the Riviera Maya coastline. Naturally, there is white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters.

Generally, the water is calm, so if you’re into snorkeling, swimming, or diving, then this place is perfect for you. You can also check out Puerto Morelos Reef National Park for its stunning coral reefs. It’s basically a snorkeling and diving paradise!

If you fancy something on the more adventurous side, then you could go zip-lining through the Mexican jungle, or take a tour of Ruta de los Cenotes – which is basically a 35-kilometer route, lined up with different-sized cenotes.


When Should I Visit?

The best time to visit is between December and April, but in the same breath, if you don’t want to rub shoulders with any crowds, then it’s best to visit in May-June or November, though you may end up with some rain. However, you can’t always guarantee any type of weather.

In a nutshell, this place is a unique and really authentic getaway experience; with its breathtaking beaches, easily accessible location, charming Mexican vibe, and variety of activities, plus all at such an affordable price, what more could you ask for really?

So go ahead and put Puerto Morelos on that long list of places to visit in Mexico – you won’t regret it!

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Thursday 25th of May 2023

We were enjoying Puerto Morelos for several years, staying at beautiful 5 star resorts. Due to the kidnapping and murders of tourists the U.S. doesn't report on much we will be vacationing stateside until this gets under control, if ever. Very sad.


Thursday 25th of May 2023

Not like that now, sargassum is an issue on beach and in water unfortunately.