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Puerto Morelos

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 attention.

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.
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:
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.

[photo] 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.
[photo] Pelicans waiting patiently in line for fisherman's scraps.

How can I find out more about Puerto Morelos?
Here are some web resources: