Located on the Riviera Maya, wedged between the hectic, tourist-laden cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, lies Puerto Morelos, shining as a harmonious mecca of tranquility, peace and solitude. It may possibly be one of the few remaining authentic, small fishing villages on the entire Caribbean coastline of Mexico. Living up to its nickname, “La Joya del Caribe” (Jewel of the Caribbean), Puerto Morelos has miraculously maintained its bohemian vibe despite its geographical location and close proximity to a slew of rapidly expanding tourist cities close by, essentially safeguarding the Riviera Maya’s most interesting and valuable facts.
1. Mayan History
Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that Puerto Morelos belonged to the old province of Ekab (meaning Black Bee), one of the 19 districts of the newly established Mayan Territories. In fact, the town’s coastal zone housed two Mayan structures, whose stones were used to build the leaning lighthouse, next to the Fishermen’s Pier.
Today, the town’s popularity – often attributed to the Puerto Morelos’ weather – is especially strong with travelers who eschew all-inclusives and built up “touristy” attractions. For the most part, the town is a residential community with a mix of Mexicans, Canadians, Americans, and Europeans who live there full or part time.
As most travelers to this part of the world already know, the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world runs the length of the Yucatan Peninsula (for divers to enjoy, but often unobservable from land). In Puerto Morelos, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef comes right to the surface around 300 yards off-shore. Between all the zip-lining and ATV tours, you can watch the ocean waves break apart and tumble over the coral reef, creating fantastic sights and sounds to enjoy on a Cancun fishing trip, while indulging in the excellent Puerto Morelos snorkeling experiences on offer.
Anyone who happens into this awesome little Caribbean jewel quickly falls in love. The town is growing, but in ways that enhance it instead of causing it to lose its charm and appeal.