What does Puerto Morelos mean to us? The best beach we have found in Mexico. The soft white coral sand stretches for nearly 2 km along the coast, protected from heavy surf by the reef just 400 M offshore. The beach is lined with low rise apartments and beach restaurants, with nary a large resort within the town limits. We stay in a small one bedroom apartment a short block from the beach where we sit in the shade of palm trees and swim from the shore, spying on the multitude of colourful fish through our snorkels and masks. After our swim we go for a long walk, sometimes making it to both ends and back. By then it is time to return to our apartment and cook our lunch or dinner with the vegetables and fish we buy in town.
Of course, there are days we chose to dine at one of the increasing number of good restaurants in town. We celebrated Christmas at John Gray’s Kitchen and our Anniversary on December 30 at Tanino’s, owned by our landlady’s daughter. I had mentioned, when I made the reservation at Tanino’s, that we were celebrating our anniversary. To our surprise we were treated to a complimentary bottle of good sparkling wine when we arrived. Both restaurants rate my vote for the best restaurants in town.
Brunch, increasingly popular in Canada and Mexico, is no exception in Puerto Morelos. Whether you enjoy a Mexican breakfast of Chilaquiles or Huevos Rancheros or prefer traditional eggs Benedict, or pancakes, there are restaurants to suit your taste. Our favourites were El Nicho, Cafe Layla and the ever popular Cafe D’Amancia, but there are many more, if Trip Advisor ratings can be believed. If you have a soft spot for croissants, as I do, the best place in Puerto Morelos is small, La Guaya, where their croissants rival the ones I dote on in Paris. As for tacos and ceviche, you cannot be in Puerto Morelos without going to email@example.com and La Petita en la Playita, on the beach.
Puerto Morelos is actually two towns; the beach section and Colonia, 2 km away from the beach on the other side of the major highway that transects the Yucatan Peninsula. Colonia is where the majority of local Mexicans live, although many of them work in the service industries in the beach side town. There are many Bed and Breakfasts in Colonia and a collection of new, smart rental houses, at less expensive rents than those available close to the beach. To get to Colonia, you have a choice of walking, taking an inexpensive local bus or taking a taxi. We regularly took the local bus to Chaudraui, the largest supermarket in the area, and brought our purchases home in a taxi. The walk is fine, provided the temperature is below 30 C. Judith George and Bill Landles, friends from Ottawa found Colonia much to their liking, especially as it is more authentically Mexican than the beach side of town. They enjoyed trying out several of the small restaurants near their B & B and look forward to staying in Colonia Puerto Morelos, or Lower PoMo, as Judith christened the area, again when they return to Puerto Morelos next year.
We were charmed by the Sunday market, on the jungle on the outskirts of Colonia. We took the local bus as far as it went in Colonia, and walked several blocks to find the promised market in the jungle. Encouraged by an American woman several years ago to revive traditional crafts and activities, the market has become a community project for the Mexicans in the area. There were several booths selling handicrafts and traditional food we enjoyed for lunch. At 11 AM, traditional dances were performed by children and adults, with the audience invited to join a Mexican version of a Maypole dance. The finale was a chance for all the children to try their luck breaking a piņata filled with candies. A good time was had by all.
What else did we do? I found a yoga studio in town, run by Patty, an American living fulltime in Puerto Morelos with her husband and two daughters. I enjoyed the thrice weekly lessons in an open palapa on her property and fully intend to sign up again next year.
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