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12 Things to KNOW Before Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

12 Things to KNOW Before Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

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Tucked away between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is a super cute seaside-village-turned-port-town that’s just bursting with local charm. While it’s often overshadowed by its lively neighbors, this town is growing in popularity recently, and part of the reason for this is the snorkeling opportunities here!

A world-class barrier reef sits just 400 meters (1,312 ft) from shore! The convenient location mixed with the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea makes for an ideal snorkeling spot! Plus, you’re just a half hour’s drive from some of the best snorkeling spots in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, what’s not to like?

Dan and I love to visit Puerto Morelos whenever we can so that we can jump in with the fish. We actually have friends who live in town, so Puerto Morelos is a place we visit frequently.

If you’re looking for the ultimate guide on where to start with snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, this is it! We’ve stuffed this blog with tons of useful info, from the best snorkeling spots to kid-friendly tours and much more.

Don’t have time to read the full article? The snorkeling in Puerto Morelos is some of the best in Mexico! However, you are no longer allowed to just swim out to the reef (400 meters from shore), so you need to book a guided tour such as this one that includes boat transport to snorkel here.

1. About snorkeling in Puerto Morelos

Bailey snorkeling in Puerto Morelos
Looking for fish!
A sting ray at The Beach while on a snorkeling tour in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
A stingray!

Serving up more than 300 days of sunshine every year, the weather in Puerto Morelos is ideal for snorkeling, with water temperatures staying between 75 – 84°F (24 – 29°C) year-round! I was also blown away by just how clear it is underwater, with visibility averaging between 80 and 115 feet (24 and 35 meters) – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Of course, having water this clear means that you’ll see incredible marine life around every coral-covered corner. From graceful sea turtles to angelfish, parrotfish, barracuda, and more, this really is the spot to bring your waterproof camera if you have one. And if you don’t, maybe it’s time to grab one!

I love that the local authorities here take reef protection seriously, as without the proper regulations coral reefs can get seriously damaged by overtourism and overfishing. The Puerto Morelos Reef National Park protects around 9,000 hectares of coastal waters, which has led to a flourishing ecosystem that is an absolute joy to explore!

Related Read: Thinking of spending some time in Mexico’s vibrant capital? With tons of things to do in Mexico City, we’ve put together this ultimate 3-day itinerary that covers the best places in town.

2. Why I love snorkeling in Puerto Morelos

Group of white fish swim in Puerto Morelos, Mexico on a snorkeling tour
A group of white fish swims in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, on a snorkeling tour

By far, the best thing about snorkeling in Puerto Morelos is just how close you are to countless first-class snorkeling spots!

Of course, you’ve got the Puerto Morelos Reef right on your doorstep, which is absolutely brimming with marine life and a personal favorite of mine. Then, there are other hidden treasure spots like the Ojo de Agua cenote, which is a picturesque hidden gem that I’ll mention again a little later in this blog.

For the ultimate snorkeling experience, I highly recommend renting a car. Free to explore, you can easily visit the underwater sculptures at the MUSA underwater museum near Cancun or go snorkeling alongside the playful turtles at Akumal Beach! The convenience of having so many spectacular snorkeling experiences so close is one of the main reasons why I can’t get enough of Puerto Morelos.

3. When is the best time to go snorkeling in Puerto Morelos?

MUSA reef in Cancun on a snorkeling tour
MUSA reef in Cancun on a snorkeling tour

Let’s break down the best time to visit for snorkeling… Hint: You can’t really go wrong!

Here in this part of Mexico, there are two distinct seasons, the wet and the dry seasons. The dry season takes place between November and April and tends to be the busiest season when it comes to tourism. At this time, there’s amazing underwater visibility very little chance of rain and, so no wonder it draws in the crowds!

On the other hand, the wet season lasts from May through to October, with rain being a little more frequent. That said, most of the time, it rains in the afternoon, so if you’re planning to travel during this time, I’d suggest putting on those flippers in the morning. Plus, as this time of year is generally quieter, that means fewer people in the water and maybe even some accommodation discounts too!

During the wet season, there’s also the annual migration of the gorgeous whale sharks, which are actually the largest fish in the sea, growing up to an incredible 65 feet (20 meters) long. It’s so magical to swim alongside these gentle giants on a snorekling tour, so if this sounds like your kind of thing, I say go for it!

There are plenty of great tours that will take you to see whale sharks in Playa del Carmen. We went on this full-day whale shark snorkeling experience and got to see them for ourselves – boy were we in for a treat! With an experienced crew helping you along every step, you’ve got the best chance of seeing these beautiful creatures, making this definitely a memory to savor!

4. What can you see when snorkeling in Puerto Morelos?

A fish swims under a turtle at Akumal Beach in Mexico while on a snorkeling tour from Tulum
A fish swims under a turtle at Akumal Beach in Mexico while on a snorkeling tour from Puerto Morelos

If you thought Finding Nemo was full of colorful coral, just wait until you visit the reefs in this stretch of Mexico!

Puerto Morelos Reef is full of all kinds of incredible marine life, including angelfish, parrotfish, blue tang, moray eels, sea turtles… You name it! It really is a thriving ecosystem, and don’t be surprised if you see some giant manta rays gliding beneath you.

While many people come to enjoy snorkeling at the reefs (don’t get me wrong, I love it too!), I think that many people often miss out on the beautiful cenotes that are in this part of the Yucatán. While the cenotes of Tulum are some of the most famous in Mexico, there are still lots of fantastic ones to explore near Puerto Morelos!

Each of these natural sinkholes is unique, with many being perfect for snorkeling or even scuba diving. They’re also perfect for families with younger kids who enjoy snorkeling but might not feel confident enough to tackle the reefs just yet.

Related Read: If heading to Tulum is part of your plans, why not amp up the adventure with some of the best ATV tours in Tulum?

5. What are the best snorkeling spots in/near Puerto Morelos?

School of tropical fish while scuba diving in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Puerto Morelos Reef

Puerto Morelos Reef

Part of the world’s second-largest barrier reef, this spot offers a rich and vibrant underwater world that’s just waiting to be explored! You’ll be diving into a world filled with Brain, Staghorn, and Elkhorn corals, with a spectacular show of fish like Parrotfish and Blue Tangs. Even closer to the shore, you can expect to see Barracudas, French grunts, and maybe even a porcupinefish or two!

With safety in mind, swimming directly out to the reef isn’t allowed anymore (and it’s a pretty long swim!), which is why it’s necessary to explore as part of a tour like this 2-hour swimming and snorkeling experience. With a stop at two different spots to snorkel on the Puerto Morelos Reef this is a great choice! My favorite part is that it’s a small-group tour, limited to just 10 people! Oh, and it’s only $45 USD!

Ojo de Agua Cenote

Venturing off the beaten path, Ojo de Agua cenote is tucked away around a 30-minute drive from Puerto Morelos on the famous Ruta de los Cenotes. This seriously underrated spot is the perfect place to get away from the crowds (especially in the dry season!), With an entrance fee of approximately $15 USD, this is pretty cheap compared to some of the cenotes that are in the Yucatan!

You’ll find two different caverns here that are both worth exploring, one has pretty shallow water at around 4 ft (1.2 meters) deep, while the other is quite a lot deeper and definitely worth snorkeling in. If you keep an eye out, you’ll also see a rope swing which we may have given a try once or twice!

I wouldn’t say this is a huge cenote, but it’s a great place to grab some photos and hang out away from the crowds.

Akumal Beach

Swimming with a turtle at Akumal Beach in Mexico
Swimming with a turtle at Akumal Beach in Mexico

Whenever somebody asks me where the best place to swim with turtles is in the Yucatán, my answer is always the same – it’s got to be Akumal Beach! It’s just over an hour’s drive away from Puerto Morelos, and while you can see turtles pretty much year-round here, my personal favorite time to visit is between June and November, as this is turtle nesting season.

If you don’t have a rental car, then another affordable way to reach Akumal is by taking this bus! You can grab the bus from Puerto Morelos station to Playa del Carmen, which departs every 15 minutes, and then change to take the bus to Akumal from there.

This 1-hour snorkeling with photos experience is super affordable, especially when you take the bus directly from Puerto Morelos as I mentioned above! You’ll also get to learn all about the turtles from your friendly guide, from what they eat to their life cycle and so much more.

Note: A guide is now required to snorkel with turtles at Akumal Beach. You can either book this guided tour online in advance here, or book one when you arrive (there are plenty of companies offering this service, you might just need to do some negotiating to make sure you get a decent price.)

Cenote Zapote

Situated along the famed Ruta de los Cenotes, Cenote Zapote is also known locally as “Hell’s Bells”, thanks to the huge bell-shaped stalactites, some reaching up to 13 feet (4 m) in diameter! You’ll find the cenote around 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Puerto Morelos, and it’s pretty easy to reach if you’re renting a car.

Open daily from 8 am to 8 pm, I was also super surprised to find out that there’s a whole separate adventure park right next to the cenote, known as the Cenote Zapote Prehistoric Park! From zip-lining through the jungle to exploring the prehistoric museum, there’s lots to do here and I can definitely see kids loving their time here. Entrance to the Prehistoric Park is around $22 USD per adult.

If you’re not keen on renting a car, or you’re just looking for a super simple way to see (and snorkel!) some epic cenotes, then this 4 cenote and zipline tour might be just what you’re looking for. Lasting around 6 to 7 hours, this is a small-group tour with a maximum of 12 people, so it also feels super personalized. Plus all transport is included as well as all snorkel equipment too!

MUSA Underwater Museum (Cancun)

MUSA reef statue as seen while snorkeling in Cancun, Mexico
MUSA reef statue as seen while snorkeling in Cancun, Mexico

If you’re planning a Cancun day trip, then why not combine it with a snorkel trip to see the MUSA underwater museum? Originally designed as an artificial reef that would help to reduce pressure on the natural reefs, it’s full of all kinds of weird and wonderful sculptures, from a full-size VW Beetle to lots of humanlike sculptures!

This half-day snorkleing tour not only will take you to the MUSA underwater museum, but it also visits a few other cool snorkleing spots including a shipwreck and cenote! It is a kid-friendly tour, too! You’ll also visit a spot with a huge chance of seeing turtles- how cool!

6. Is snorkeling in Puerto Morelos safe?

Fish swim under a rock that we saw while snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Be sure to dive down and check out the fish up close!

Yep, snorkeling in Puerto Morelos is pretty safe, especially if you stick to a few easy rules.

The main rule is that you are not allowed to swim out to the reef from the shore anymore. This is a fairly new rule that has been implemented both for the safety of snorkelers and to protect the reef. So if you want to snorkel tour you’ll need to book a tour, like this one, to get out there with a boat and a guide.

You should also be a strong swimmer and wear a life jacket, just to be on the safe side. Snorkeling alone is never a good idea, stay with your group and guide. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, too, as bad weather could mean choppy waves in the ocean.

Related Read: Don’t forget to check out our top tips on staying safe in Mexico!

7. Can beginners snorkel in Puerto Morelos?

A snorkel tour group surrounded by fish at Puerto Morelos, Mexico
The water is crystal clear!

Yes, beginners can absolutely snorkel in Puerto Morelos! This area is known for its calm currents, especially in the dry season, providing the perfect environment for those trying out snorkeling for the first time. There are also generally no big predators here, although I did spot some curious, but not harmful, reef sharks whisking through the coral the last time I was in town! This snorkeling tour is ideal for beginners.

If snorkeling out at sea sounds a little bit too much right now, or you’re looking for a change of scenery, then I’d suggest trying our snorkeling at a nearby cenote instead! These natural sinkholes are the perfect alternative for beginners, where you can get used to using a snorkel and mask with minimal current to worry about. Some cenotes are quite shallow, too.

Related Read: While you’re in the Yucatán, don’t forget to check out Chichen Itza! You can easily make a day trip of it, and it’s sure to be one great story to tell the folks back home.

8. What are the best snorkeling tours in Puerto Morelos?

Small-Group Snorkeling Experience

Fish and corals while snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Fish and corals while snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

This small-group snorkeling experience is a fantastic way to explore the reefs around Puerto Morelos without breaking the bank. Lasting just over 2 hours, it’s easy to fit into any packed holiday schedule, and there are four different starting times, so you can pick the one that fits your plans the best.

Make sure to keep an eye out for all kinds of tropical fish, eels, sea turtles, and even stingrays, which all call the area home. My favorite part? Being part of a cozy small group (max 10 people), we got heaps of attention from our knowledgeable guide! Tickets for this tour cost $45 USD per person and can be booked online here.

Catamaran Sail and Snorkel with Open Bar

A boat drops a group of snorkelers off in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Snorkeling around the catamaran!

If you’ve got a little more time to spend, why not step aboard a spacious catamaran to enjoy some relaxing fun in the sun (and the sea, of course!). The guides on this catamaran snorkeling tour do a great job of introducing you to all the wonderful creatures that call the reef home, giving you plenty of interesting tidbits along the way.

You can totally tell just how passionate they are about making sure you have an enjoyable (and safe!) time. Of course, no luxury trip would be complete without an open bar, which serves unlimited soft drinks, beer, and wine. Once you’re all finished up with swimming, you’ll get to enjoy a light lunch before heading back to shore – I’m totally not jealous right now!

With tickets costing $98 USD per person, it’s important to know that many tours also don’t include any national park or docking fees within their pricing. Make sure to bring an extra $15 USD per person in cash so you don’t get caught out! You can check availability and book your spot on this awesome cruise here.

Xcaret Day Trip + Night Show (Playa del Carmen)

Swinging across to Playa del Carmen now, if you love a little bit of adventure, then you need to check out Xcaret, a huge eco water park that’s just outside of town. Whether you’ve got little ones who are bursting with energy, or fancy tackling the water park yourself and learning all about Mayan culture and wildlife, this priority access Xcaret day trip will be right up your street.

From swimming and snorkeling in the crystal-clear Caribbean water, to getting friendly with the local monkeys, butterflies, and birdlife, I’m really just scratching the surface when it comes to all the fun things there are to do here. And once the sun sets, you’ll be in for a treat with a mesmerizing night show, bursting with dance, lights, you name it!

There are two different booking options, the first being the basic plan for $154 USD per person, which includes round-trip transport as well as priority access and entrance to the night show. If you’d like to upgrade, you can also get a buffet lunch and drinks included for $198 USD per person, plus access to a more exclusive changing area!

While you can book tickets directly through the Xcaret website, I’d suggest considering booking it through a website like Viator, as you get to enjoy a 24-hour free cancellation window in case your plans change, plus you get a few extra bonus goodies like round-trip transportation and guides to give you pointers on what to try out!

You can check availability and book online here!

Full-Day Whale Shark Tour (departs from Cancun)

Whale shark swims past me with my camera off the coast of Cancun, Mexico
Yes!

If you’re traveling during the wet season (May to October), then you really can’t miss out on the chance to see the migrating whale sharks up close. I still remember the first time Dan and I got to swim with them and the memories still give me a fuzzy feeling!

This full-day whale shark watching tour takes place off the coastline of Cancun, where you have the best chance of spotting these incredible creatures.

One of my favorite parts about this tour is that you get a continental breakfast and lunch included, which isn’t something you see that often with these kinds of tours. On top of that, you’ll get plenty of snacks and bottled water throughout the day as you hunt for whale sharks. Trust me, the early start is more than worth it!

Tickets for this whale shark watching tour cost $209 USD per person, however it’s worth noting that there is an extra $15 USD payable in cash for national park fees, so don’t get caught out! You can check available dates and book your spot on the tour online here.

Magical Cenote and Paradise Lagoon Tour

Snorkeling in Dos Ojos Cenote, Tulum
Snorkeling in a cenote!

Last, but definitely not least, this half-day cenote and lagoon tour is an awesome choice for those who don’t fancy spending a whole day on a tour, but still want to snorkel in some truly magical places. Starting off with a visit to one of the world’s oldest underground river systems, it really feels as though you might find pirate treasure around every corner!

You’ll also get to visit Yal Ku lagoon, which is a really interesting spot where both freshwater and seawater mix, resulting in a colorful explosion of marine life. Both of these spots are ideal for beginners to snorkeling as there’s little to no current while still having tons of incredible things to see!

Tickets for this tour cost $99 USD per person, which also includes round-trip transport from most hotels in Puerto Morelos! I’d recommend booking your spot in advance though, as this is a pretty popular tour that often sells out.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, read our complete Viator review to learn more about what we think about Viator.

9. Is a trip to Cancun worth it for the snorkeling?

A sting ray while snorkeling in Cancun, Mexico
How cool!?

Did somebody say Cancun day trip?! That’s a big “Yes” from us!

Just a short 40-minute drive from Puerto Morelos, Cancun isn’t just about the vibrant nightlife and scrumptious dining (although these are definitely big wins!) – it’s also got some incredible spots to snorkel at too!

A snorkel trip to the MUSA underwater museum is a can’t-miss experience, featuring over 500 submerged sculptures that create a surreal and beautiful underwater scene. This 4-hour snorkel tour is very affordable and visits MUSA as well as a few of the most popular snorkel spots in Cancun! You can even see turtles (98% chance!) With all snorkel equipment included, just make sure to bring an extra $15 per person for dock fees.

Afterwards, I’d recommend sitting back and relaxing for a while enjoying some of Cancun’s best beaches with a cool drink in hand. Sounds like a great afternoon to me!

And let’s be honest, who would say no to combining a day of underwater exploration with delicious eats at one of the best restaurants in Cancun and maybe a cocktail (or two) in the evening? It’s easy to make a day (or night) of it in Cancun and simply drive back to Puerto Morelos if you’ve got a rental car (skip the cocktails if you’re the one driving!).

10. Is snorkeling in Puerto Morelos suitable for children?

Long thin fish swims past while snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
A very interesting species!

If your little ones are comfortable swimmers, then they shouldn’t have any problems enjoying some open-sea snorkeling and getting to take in all the vibrant marine life! I’ve seen plenty of kids take part in snorkeling tours and have an absolute blast. Plus, children are also required to wear life jackets, which helps to provide an extra layer of security (and reassurance!).

However, if you’ve got youngsters who aren’t as confident in the open ocean (or are a bit too young), then I’d suggest heading across to a cenote like Ojo de Agua or Cenote Zapote, which have little to no current but are still tons of fun to explore. You may even spot some fish hanging out in these cenotes too!

11. Scuba diving vs snorkeling in Puerto Morelos

Daniel and Bailey swim past some corals while scuba diving in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
The scuba diving is so good in Mexico!

Let’s dive into it, shall we? Snorkeling and scuba diving in Puerto Morelos both have their own perks and drawbacks, and which one is best for you will ultimately depend on what sort of experience you’re looking for!

Scuba diving is for those who want a more up-close-and-personal type of experience where you can explore on the same level as the coral reef. This means you get to discover spots that snorkelers can’t usually reach, but it tends to be pricier and also requires a higher level of training. So, it’s a bit of a commitment in terms of time and money.

On the flip side, snorkeling is your quick, easy, and budget-friendly ticket to exploring the best of what Puerto Morelos has to offer. It’s simple, doesn’t require special training, and is super accessible for all ages. However, you’re limited to shallower areas, and you don’t get as close to some of the deeper reef life.

I’ve got a fond spot for both, but scuba would be my personal choice between the two. I think Puerto Morelos is the ultimate launchpad for scuba diving near Cancun and Playa del Carmen, so if you fancy strapping on some tanks and taking things a little deeper, this is the place to be!

In Puerto Morelos, you can do this scuba dive experience which is suitable for complete beginners! It’s your ultimate introduction to scuba diving with a professional instructor that’s by your side the entire time. You’ll get to learn some of the their and even practice in a pool before heading out to Puerto Morelos reef.

You’ll board a boat with your instructor and head out to the reef where you will take your first breaths underwater (it’s honestly so cool!) The experience lasts for about 4 hours and includes all of your equipment and transport. You can book it easily online here for $175 USD.

If you don’t mind traveling to Cancun, you can this 2-tank discovery scuba dive that is also ideal for beginners. The dive takes place at the MUSA underwater museum just a short boat ride from Cancun. Lasting around 6 hours in total, the friendly and knowledgeable staff take you through every step at a pace you feel comfortable with, and by the end of the experience you’ll be able to freely explore the gorgeous underwater museum at a deeper level than you would be able to snorkeling!

If you’re feeling a little more serious and want to go for your full certification, more power to you! This 3-day PADI open water course will take you from zero to hero as you train to get your internationally recognized diving certificate. With hotel drop-off and pickup included every day, by the end of the course you’ll be able to dive up to 18 meters (59 feet).

12. Is snorkeling in Puerto Morelos worth it? 

Bailey snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Yes!

Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos isn’t just a tick on your vacation checklist, it will leave you with lasting memories you’ll treasure forever! It’s absolutely worth a go while you’re here, so much so that it’s on our list of the top things to do in the Yucatán Peninsula.

There are tons of great snorkel sites both off shore in the reef and in the local cenotes, plus you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to visiting Cancun and Playa del Carmen. In short, you won’t regret giving it a go!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Puerto Morelos

Bailey poses for a photo in front of El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico
What a temple!
Bailey poses for a photo on 5th avenue in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen!

Puerto Morelos may still hold its charm as a sleepy fishing village, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of fun activities to try out! From trying out local craft beer to riding through the jungle on an ATV, there’s lots to keep you busy. Plus, you’ve also got Cancun and Playa del Carmen on your doorstep, so the possibilities really are endless.

Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Puerto Morelos:

  • Visit Mayan ruins – The Yucatan Peninsula is a goldmine for Mayan history, so even if you’re not a huge history fan, I’d still recommend visiting some ruins while you’re here! Of course, if seeing Chichen Itza is on your list, you can drive yourself or go with a tour. This private tour is one of the best Chichen Itza tours from Puerto Morelos and will help you avoid the long drive. Plus, you’ll get guidance while you’re there too!
  • Drink craft beer – If you’ve read a few of our blogs, you’ll know that Dan and I are huge craft beer fans. So you can imagine how happy we were when we learned that there was a brewery in Puerto Morelos! If you’re like us and can’t imagine anything better than a cool beer on a hot day, head over to Fábrica Casa Cervecera Pescadores and make sure to try their fantastic IPA and Habanero Ale.
  • Go adventuring – When we were last here in Puerto Morelos, we decided to try out this full-day adventure tour, which is absolutely jam-packed with all kinds of adrenaline-fueling activities! From ATV to horseback riding, ziplining to swimming (as well as a super lunch) this tour really has it all, and it’s also a really nice way to get to know the local area too. Starting from just $152 USD per person, it’s great value too.

Where to Stay in Puerto Morelos

The Fives Oceanfront Puerto Morelos
Photo credit: The Fives Oceanfront

From cozy hostels to luxury hotels, there’s a good range of accommodation options here in town. That said, Puerto Morelos isn’t stuffed with resorts, so it still holds a lot of its original charm! Below, I’ve included some of my personal favorite spots to spend the night here in town:

Cuca Macuca – $

Located just two blocks from the beach, Cuca Macuca is our favorite budget accommodation in Puerto Morelos for a good reason! If you like the hostel vibe, then you’ll fit right in here as the facilities are all typical for a hostel, including a communal kitchen and even a common area with a pool on the roof.

Whether you’re a solo traveler looking to meet new buddies on the road, or traveling as a group on a budget, the beds here are clean, and the staff are also super friendly – what more could you want? Plus, if sleeping in a dorm isn’t your thing, they also offer private studios too.

A bed here in a dorm starts at $24 USD per person, with a studio costing around $59 USD per night on average. Prices here may rise though, so I’d advise booking online in advance on Booking.com or Hostelworld to secure the best rate – especially if you’re planning on traveling in the high season!

Arrecifes Suites – $$

If you’re looking for a nice hotel in a medium-budget range, I’d definitely check out Arrecifes Suites. Situated on its own private beach, it also has a lovely outdoor swimming pool if you’re not tired of swimming after your scuba dive!

While the hotel itself is not as luxurious as some of the other hotels in the area, I’d say this is great value for money (a luxury hotel usually comes with a luxury price tag!), and really has all you need for a great stay.

Rooms here start at $72 USD per night, with every room having air conditioning. Some rooms also have a sea view, so make sure to book in advance to have the most selection!

The Fives Oceanfront – $$$

If budget really isn’t an issue, then staying at one of the best hotels in Puerto Morelos is a no-brainer! The Fives Oceanfront is our top pick for this category, with all of the facilities you can expect from a 5-star hotel. With a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped fitness center, as well as coffee machines in every room, it’ll be hard to leave the hotel to go scuba diving!

They also have an on-site restaurant called Al Mare (while offering room service too), which serves incredible Italian cuisine. Plus, the cocktails they serve are just amazing, try the Cosmopolitan – you won’t regret it.

Offering a range of suites all the way up to 3-bedroom apartments, one night here at The Fives Oceanfront starts at $236 USD per person. You can check dates and secure your spot online here.

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car. 

I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically. 

I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend. 

The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too. 

Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit. 

Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper! 

Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!

We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.

They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!

Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)

Thanks for Reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie in Puerto Morelos Mexico
Thanks for reading!

It’s time to strap on those fins and have a blast exploring the waves – I hope you have an epic time in Puerto Morelos! This area is home to some of my favorite beaches near Cancun, so don’t forget to enjoy some time soaking up the sun too.

We’d love to hear all about your plans down in the comments, so do let us know! I’ve also included a few extra blogs I think will be super useful below. We hope you have an awesome trip!

BEST Restaurants in Cancun, Mexico

Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Taco Tour in Cancun, Mexico

BEST Things to do in Mexico City

Esteban

Saturday 25th of November 2023

Excellent article guys I am local to Puerto Morelos I would also like to recommend salsa and bachata classes in puerto morelos, cacao ceremonies, scuab diving, and night snorkeling with www.mexplor.co

Destinationless Travel

Sunday 26th of November 2023

Hey Esteban,

Thanks for the suggestions! We will check them out next time we visit early next year!

Thanks Daniel