Just when it seemed like the Riviera Maya Riviera had become nothing but a sea of all-inclusive beach resorts, you stumble upon the quaint little Mexican village of Puerto Morelos.
There are almost no huge developments, no shopping outlets, and no chain restaurants. The place is absolutely magical and is like traveling back in time.
There is a small town square or plaza lined with palm trees, small cafes, and local boutiques. You can always find a good margarita to sip on at the super hip little bars scattered around the small town.
If you find yourself on the Yucatan peninsula don't miss this opportunity to travel back in time 50 yrs and experience the "old" Mexico.
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Slow Way Down in Puerto Morelos
Slower and more laid-back than the beaches in Cancun's Hotel Zone, Puerto Morelos is the place you might envision when you read about "sleepy little fishing villages" in guidebooks. The area's reefs (reported to be the second largest in the world) and mangroves are protected by the government, and overall, the natural attractions here are well-cared for. In addition to just lazing on the beach here, photography aficionados can enjoy the picturesque views of fishermen's pangas—fishing boats—lined up on the shore, drying out under the brilliant blue sky.
I often hear the story of the lone traveler who came for a few weeks and stayed for a few years. I am not sure if it's the warm sand or the warm smiles.
Maybe its the trendy night life combo with the little fishing village ambience or the jazz on the street corner or the kids in starched white school uniforms walking home through the surf.
Of course, it could be the 50 or so restaurants in a town that only has a central square and two main streets. Go figure.
All I can say is that my heart has been stolen. Perhaps the Maya people have put a spell on me. Or maybe the local ruins hold some secret magic. I am not sure.
Of course, you may just want to stick your feet in the sand and order a margarita and ceviche on the beach.
The north side of town has several beach bars--and massage tables with white curtains blowing in the wind, and para-sailing boats, and guided snorkel trips on the protected reef, and scuba trips.
Whatever you decide to do, you will find yourself connecting with the local people in this overlooked Mexican fishing village.
Just butcher a little Spanish and they will smile warm heartedly at you and ask your name. And they will remember it...for years to come--whether you fly away and come back over and over again like a returning wave--or if you, like others before you, get sucked into the vortex and decide to stay.