Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
A small town sandwiched between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Puerto Morelos is a great little town with a lot less of the craziness found in the larger cities. Things happen at a slower pace here. The pace is slow, but the town is definitely growing. Puerto Morelos is a real, functioning town with its own mayor and town hall. They even issue drivers licenses here, and you can get one without taking the test if you know a guy…
The beach is big and public. There are many beachfront restaurants for seafood and cheap, cold beers. There are even a few good coffee shops in town with wifi. Puerto Morelos is small enough to be able to walk it end to end in less than 30 minutes. There are some mansions and cool oceanfront properties in town. Puerto Morelos work well as a day trip, a weekend away, or maybe even as a permanent home.
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NOMAD & EXPAT COMMUNITY IN PUERTO MORELOS
On a percentage basis, Puerto Morelos has a huge quantity of tourists and expats. The town is only about 20,000 people, so even 2,000 tourists feels like a big number. You will hear lots of English in the street here. Digital nomads will probably find that the town doesn’t provide enough stimulation. Digital nomads definitely could base up here for a week or a month. The wifi is decent and there are a handful of coffeeshops and restaurants to work from. More common than the digital nomad is the expat or retiree. You can buy a house here for much less than a similar house would cost in Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Retirees looking for a relaxed lifestyle will do well here. You can walk to the beach in less than 5 minutes from any point in town. You can eat well and the beer is cold.
WHERE TO STAY IN PUERTO MORELOS
Puerto Moreloas is small enough that there’s no ‘best’ location. Just don’t stay on the other side of the highway!
WHEN TO VISIT PUERTO MORELOS
The best time of year to visit is between late October and early April. During this time you will experience drier, cooler weather that is much more tolerable. You will also be avoiding hurricane season. December to March is high season in Cancun. The busiest weeks of the year are Christmas to NYE and Spring Break.
DAY TRIPS & THINGS TO DO IN PUERTO MORELOS
Take a photo in front of the Faro Inclinado (inclined lighthouse). This lighthouse is the semi-official symbol of the city.
Visit a cenote! There are some great cenotes very nearby, including Cenote Verde Lucero, Cenote Zapote Prehistóric Park, Cenote Las Mojarras, Cenote La Noria, Cenote Sol y Luna, Cenote Popol Vuh.
Visit Selvatica, a popular adventure theme park with ziplines.
BEST CAFES & COWORKING IN PUERTO MORELOS
Cancun has less good coffee shops than you might expect. They’re also spread out so if you find one with good wifi and a good vibe, you should just keep going there. Cancun is more tailored to the tourist crowd than the digital nomad crowd, which is probably one of the reasons there aren’t too many good cafes for remote work.
Eneida Cafe: Great cafe with outdoor space and 30 mbps+ wifi.
Lola y Moya: One of the better coffee shops near the beach.
The Network Cafe: Old school 90s style internet cafe.
Las Robles: Cool, informal cafe with wifi.
Local Coffee + Shop: Highly rated cafe with good breakfast.
Café de Amancia: Wifi and full breakfast menu.
BEST BARS & NIGHTLIFE IN PUERTO MORELOS
If you’re posting up in Puerto Morelos, you know your not getting a 10/10 nightlife experience. It’s going to be chill. Still, it’s a bit tourist town and everybody wants to go for a drink and listen to music.
Bars in Puerto Morelos that My Latin Life recommends:
Don Mexkal: Good bar for margaritas and tequila shots.
La Sirena: Greek-style restaurant in the middle of town with a full bar. You can start you night here with dinner and drinks.
Micheladas del Semaforo: Busy, well known bar aright near the highway.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN PUERTO MORELOS
Puerto Morelos has a huge number of restaurants for a town of its size. Food is going to be much cheaper the further from the beach you go,
RoMarley Beach House: Great beachfront location and beautiful decor.
Mangata: Great spot for soup and sandwiches.
Namaste: Popular Indian restaurant, decent prices.
Quesadillas de la Colonia: Cheap Mexican food spot away from the beach.
Veggie Veggie Street Food: Awesome vegan food option serving up vegan versions of popular Mexican meals like vegan tacos.
Cafe Layla: Veggie restaurant near the beach.
Taqueria Los Mezquites: Very good local Mexican spot.
COST OF LIVING IN PUERTO MORELOS
Puerto Morelos is should cheaper than Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun. The thing is that there isn’t too many Airbnb and hotel options. There’s less selection than Playa del Carmen or Cancun in terms, so prices can swing a little bit. Food and accommodation are going to be way cheaper ‘in town’ and away from the beach.
IS PUERTO MORELOS SAFE FOR NOMADS AND EXPATS?
Puerto Morelos is one of the safest towns in Quintana Roo. You will see a strong police presence in town. It is 100% to walk around during the day. At night I would exercise a bit more caution but you should still have no issues.
HOW TO GET TO PUERTO MORELOS
Puerto Morelos is a very short drive to Cancun and the Cancun Airport. Puerto Morelos is less than a 30 minute drive from Playa del Carmen and Cancun. The town is well served by the Ado bus and other smaller bus companies. Valladolid is a 2 hour drive away. You can get to Cozumel by way of Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
IS PUERTO MORELOS OVERRATED?
Puerto Morelos is definitely growing. The city will continue to grow in awareness and popularity. There are tons of day trips and things to do. It is sort like what Playa del Carmen was like 10-20 years ago. It’s fair to say that Puerto Morelos is underrated.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PUERTO MORELOS
Puerto Morelos is an ideal location for expats and retiree to spend their winters. It’s a quiet city and hopefully it stays that way. There’s nothing about Puerto Morelos that’s “must see”, so it is kind of skippable. Maybe that’s a good thing and keeps a lot of the casual tourists out. Puerto Morelos actually works well as a base. You could easily live here if you want a slow-ish life by the beach. The town has all the amenities you need. Puerto Morelos is definitely going to grow in the coming years.