back to John Chew's Past
My parents spend their winters in Puerto Morelos, a half hour's drive south
of Cancún in the Yucatan. It's a beautiful part of the world, and
I wish I could spend more than a week a year there myself.
I've been getting a steady stream of inquiries about Puerto Morelos,
I imagine thanks to the relatively small number of web resources about
this town. Here's a little FAQ - you can e-mail me if you
have further questions, and I'll put the answers up here.
I'll be happy too to put up any P.M. links that are brought to my
- Where's a good place to eat?
- Puerto Morelos and the Yucatan change a lot from year to year,
but my perennial favorites in town are:
There are several other places in town, and if you're heading up to
Cancun, be sure to visit Los Almendros for a taste of some more
traditional Mayan dishes.
- Los Pelicanos, for its ceviche de caracol (conch ceviche),
filete de pescado al ajillo (garlic-fried grouper), and its
view of the Caribbean.
- Palapa Pizza, for New York expat Johnny Mastromarino's innovative
combination of Italian food and Yucatecan ingredients
- How about a good place to stay?
- There are more small hotels opening each year; the AAA-rated Villas Shanti offer accommodation
when they're not fully booked with Yoga tours; my friends Beatriz and
Laureano Gonzalez operate the Hotel Arrecife, and can be reached by e-mail.
Hotel La Hacienda has
a web page, but I'm not familiar enough with it to give it a positive
or negative recommendation. I did eat at their restaurant once last
year, and was favourably impressed.
- What's there to do?
- I'm generally happy to spend my time snorkelling, eating and taking
siestas in my hammock, but that's probably because I've been to see enough
Mayan ruins for a few years. There is good snorkelling all along the
beach, and better snorkelling and scuba diving out on the reef itself.
You can hire a boat to take you out to the reef in about five minutes,
or swim out there (watch out for the windsurfers) in 20-30 minutes.
In the main square is a grocery store, currency exchange stands, a
travel agency, souvenir shops, local artisans' craft shops and even an
English-language bookshop. If you get bored, Puerto Morelos is an excellent
base of operations for exploring the coast. There's the touristy shops
and nightlife of Cancun a half hour to the north, countless spectacular
beaches within an hour or two's drive to the south, the seaside Mayan
ruins of Tulum (2 hours), the pyramids at Coba (2.5 hours), and further
afield the world's best diving on the island of Cozumel (1-3 hours
depending on which ferry you take from where), and Chichen Itza (a
pleasant day trip by bus).
- How do I get there?
- Fly to Cancun and in order of decreasing price:
- Rent a car - worth doing if you want to explore the coast.
- Take a cab - if you're happy to stay in Puerto Morelos most of the time
- Take the bus - not really recommended unless you're very cash-strapped.
- When should I go?
- I find the weather most pleasant from December to February. March
can be okay, but it gets much too hot in April, and there's only so
much time you can spend cooling off in the ocean each day.
- What's this about Yoga in the Yucatan?
- Take a look at the Villas Shanti
web site if you're interested in combining a trip to the Caribbean with
Yoga study. Disclaimer: Jean Loew is not just an excellent Yoga teacher,
she's also my aunt!
- What about some pictures?
- Here are a couple. I have more from 1998 that I haven't had time
to upload yet; watch this space.
Click on the pictures to see uncropped or higher resolution versions.
||Farewell lunch at my favorite restaurant, Los Pelicanos, 1997-03-11.
Front: my friend Lisa Kessler, my mom.
Back: Beatriz Gonzalez, my dad, Laureano Gonzalez.
||Pelicans waiting patiently in line for fisherman's scraps.
- How can I find out more about Puerto Morelos?
Here are some web resources: