And it’s simply across the nook from Cancún.
Strolling the seaside in Puerto Morelos, a two-mile Caribbean coastal city in Yucatán, you’ll be able to look north and see the towering accommodations of Cancún. However that’s about the one signal you’re wherever close to a significant vacationer vacation spot—and as quickly as you tuck right into a sandy beachside bar and chill in a swing with a drink, you’ll fully overlook they exist.
Seafood joints and cafes line the principle boulevards. You’ll hear English, Spanish, and a smattering of different European languages streaming out of spots just like the vegan-friendly Cafe Layla and Spyder Café—conversations between expats who spend total seasons within the village. All of them are right here to get pleasure from Puerto Morelos’ heat breezes, low costs, and minimal crowds—the idyllic low-key hideaway, hidden in Cancún’s shadow.
“I got here only for work and haven’t left,” says my server at Dona Triny’s, proper off the city’s most important sq.. He’d come from Mexico Metropolis for seasonal work and fell in love with the gradual, coastal lifestyle. (The truth that his restaurant has a few of the greatest meals on the Yucatán didn’t damage.) “It’s not Cancún. I really feel like I can breathe right here.”
Though the seashores are as breathtaking as wherever else alongside the Riviera Maya, Puerto Morelos isn’t identified for flashy vacationer sights. There’s the Faro Inclinado, a lighthouse knocked 15-20 levels off-kilter by a hurricane, and Puerto Morelos Reef Park, a part of the identical Mesoamerican reef you’ll discover in Cozumel and Roatán with a fraction of the crowds.
However in case you’re right here to see some unimaginable cenotes—specifically, these at La Ruta de Los Cenotes, the Yucatán Peninsula’s 20-mile pure wonderland of underground caves and big swimming holes—leaping off from this still-unspoiled fishing village is the best way to go. Right here’s methods to put together to make the leap.
The place to remain in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Although the city of Puerto Morelos often is the stuff of your Andy-Dufresne-post-prison fantasies, its accommodations can lean a bit towards the country aspect. Should you don’t thoughts hostels, you’ll haven’t any drawback staying on the town; primary accommodations just like the Hotel Amar Inn and Hotel El Moro are comparatively clear and comfy, providing quick access to the seaside and charges that received’t high $75 an evening.
In order for you the attraction of Puerto Morelos however nonetheless favor seaside rental luxurious at bedtime, the Grand Residences Riviera Cancún sits a few mile south of city. At this large-scale resort, you’ll get issues like huge rooms, balcony jacuzzis overlooking the ocean, an epic infinity pool, and a beachfront cafe and gourmand restaurant—all of the comforts of a Cancún vacationer resort with a extra refined crowd. Rooms begin at about $200 an evening within the off season.
Easy methods to go to the Ruta de Cenotes
Puerto Morelos isn’t simply good for chilling on the seaside. It’s additionally the leaping off level for the Ruta de Cenotes. The 100-plus cenotes scattered all through the realm are all totally different. Some are sprawling, limestone, outside swimming pools. Some are majestic blue underground caves with stalagmites that attain down into the water. Some supply each—plus meals and beer. And lots of are full-fledged journey parks, full with ziplines, cliff leaping, and ATV rides.
Hitting three to 5 cenotes might be the candy spot—sufficient to see the range, not sufficient to get cenoted out. However contemplating the amount, choosing the most effective could be difficult, and even the excursions provided from Puerto Morelos can go away the size of your go to on the mercy of the tour operator.
The perfect transfer is to rent a taxi driver for the day. This sometimes received’t price you greater than about $80, offers you full management over your schedule, and provides you time to get buddy-buddy with the driving force, who may go alongside some native suggestions. However in case they don’t, listed here are 5 adventures that’ll offer you a good suggestion of what the Ruta de Cenotes is all about.
Value: Costs begin at $15 for one cenote
Should you solely have time to go to one cenote park alongside the Ruta de Cenotes, head to Kin Ha. It’s bought a whopping 12 cenotes to select from—so many, they provide a shuttle service. The primary attraction is the large closed cenote simply previous the principle entrance, the place you’ll be able to leap 15 toes down via tropical foliage into an underground river. After swimming beneath a ceiling of stalactites, you’ll be able to chill out on the cantina chairs topside with a chilly beer and tacos.
When you’ve gotten your subterranean repair, take the ten-minute van trip out to Kin Ha’s open cenote, which has a number of platforms from which you’ll leap into the welcoming emerald pool. Simply ensure you wish to keep for some time: there’s a 40-minute minimal for anybody who heads on the market. And in case you’re making a day of it, think about an ATV tour or horseback trip.
Entry payment: About $16, relying on the trade price
Don’t be alarmed in case you hear a thud in your taxi’s hood if you pull as much as Siete Bocas: that’s simply the park’s resident monkey saying good day. He’s the official greeter of the small, 600-person village that sits simply exterior of this cenote, the place your dip within the water will include a pleasant dose of native tradition, tacos, and tortas. The cenote is known as for its seven distinct entry factors, which let you descend a ladder into the abyss—or leap proper in. Inside, swim via crystal clear water, glide previous rock formations, and bask within the mild that pours in from above.
Entry payment: $16
Boca del Puma has each a closed and open cenote—a venerable twofer of chilly water enjoyable for a $16 admission. The open cenote, which sits comparatively near the doorway, is a swimming gap surrounded by limestone partitions. It’s bought a zipline excessive if you wish to careen into the water and is fairly in style with native households. The closed cenote, a few ten minute stroll via the jungle, is pretty small and the water is particularly chilly—however the swim via to lookup a effectively is well worth the shivers. You can even take ATV excursions via the grounds, zipline via the timber, or ascend the location’s watchtower for a unbelievable view of the Yucatán.
Value: Begins at $40
This ecopark has bought not one, not two, however 4 totally different cenotes so that you can try: two outside, two underground, all greater than 10,000 years previous. Though admittedly this is among the pricier choices on the listing, it pays to be adventurous (and, effectively, you’ve bought to pay to be adventurous): Together with taking a dip the quaint manner, they’ve additionally bought leaping platforms, ATV rides, a motorbike circuit, snorkeling, and zip strains that’ll take you careening over the water and thru the jungle. Plus, a restaurant with free Wi-Fi!
For a number of hours of splashing into an open cenote—and a aspect of heckling from locals, uh, keen to observe vacationers conquer their worry of heights—you’re not beating Verde Lucero. This massive pool with a zipline operating throughout is surrounded by limestone cliffs with leaping off factors starting from 6 to 20 toes. It’s a wonderful manner so as to add a bit adrenaline to your day on the Ruta—simply don’t take something the photographer says too severely. And if you leap, keep in mind to shut your legs.
The final cenote on the route, nothing fairly tops Popul Vuh. Like something distant and uncrowded, it’s not simple to get to: even when you’ve arrived on the finish of the highway, you’ll must stroll one other mile or so via thick jungle to get to the cenote’s mouth. You received’t discover electrical energy, WiFi, or a lot cell service within the space, and it’s uncommon to search out greater than a handful of individuals sharing the massive, open waters—making this a real escape.