We wanted to go see the Caribbean side to Mexico and my family friend had built a house in Puerto Morelos so we decided to go there. At the time, we didn’t realize from Chelem to Puerto Morelos we would have to go back to Merida and catch the ADIOS bus down which would be a 4 HOUR BUS RIDE. We actually debated just staying in Merida because 1. It seemed scary as hell to be driving across Mexico (again, I have expensive gear and a wedding on my cards) and we felt safe in Merida 2. We felt we would loose too much time. We were catching out flight out of Cancun so, we decided WHY NOT.
Even though the bus thing seemed scary it was actually one of the best experiences I have had on a bus. The seats were SO comfortable and we got to watch movies the entire time.
When we got to Puerto Morelos it was definitely a different vibe than Merida. Merida didn’t have as much tourist so when we came into town we could tell a total difference. The place that we came to for the gorgeous beach was not so pretty. We had a hotel right on the beach! They told us that they had just had a huge storm and all the seaweed had washed up. Although we couldn’t really enjoy the ocean as much as we’d liked, we did get to lay on the hammocks outside and enjoy the drinks, sand, and some relaxation. Instead of doing any beach activities, we walked a block into Puerto Morelos downtown to try and get some of the local scene!
I would say one of the biggest difference is because Puerto Morelos is more touristy, there was more shopping (they had FABULOUS merchandise) and the shop owners were more pushy. They were INSANE. The art they have with bringing you into their shop was brilliant. I would be touching one thing and next thing I know I am in the back looking at how things are being made. Below, this man makes hammocks!!!
NOTE: They are pushy, and they haggle, so the first price they give out-know that you can probably buy for half the cost. They know that you are American that the prices seem low to you, making them jack up their price. While the constant pressure from the street vendors can be overwhelming (even for me), it’s important to remember they are just trying to make a living. If you really do want something just move on to the next shop and they will more than likely have it. Once we ended up going back a few times, we messed with them enough for them to laugh and become friends with us!
EXAMPLE: My boyfriend,Josh, totally fell for this scam in the begging. First day we were there they had an almond tequila. He knew I wanted to try it. We didn’t know any prices at this point and the kid told him $60. Josh, being his nice self, immediately started to cough up the money. The next day we walk by the same store and we hear the kid making fun of us and was proud at the fact that he got such a high price out of the tequila. DON’T BE LIKE JOSH.
The biggest thing that we are disappointed about in Puerto Morelos was that we didn’t have enough time to do the activities we would have normally done such as scuba diving, world class fishing or even snorkeling. Puerto Morelos is a fishing town. Josh saw a sign at one of the local restaurants that read “Puerto Morelos: a drinking town with a fishing problem” and it was pretty clear that this once small fishing town had not lost touch with its roots! We damn near changed our flights because they were having a huge huge sailfish and marlin fishing tournament the day after we left where people from all over fly in and you can see what they caught for the day. Josh, being a fly fishing guide, was salivating at the mere thought. I, was thinking about the awesome photo opportunity I could have had!
When it was time to leave, our hotel was amazing and called a taxi for us to get back to Cancun. It was a seamless 30 minutes to get there. We were sad to go, but we will definitely be going back!