Puerto Morelos; A Great Alternative to an All-InclusiveI just got back from a ten day vacation in the lovely town of Puerto Morelos in Mexico, halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. We (hubby and I) have been to Cuba and the Dominican many times, but this was our first time in Mexico, AND our first time not at an "all-inclusive" in the Caribbean. Friends of ours rented a house in Puerto Morelos for the month of January and we, and another friend, joined them for ten days.
|My husband, Ross at the front door of "Casa Bohemia". The Bougainvillea were stunning!|
Mi Casa Es Su Casa!It's not really our house, but the phrase fit the photo. This is the entry to the house that our friends rented. Beyond the doors, where my hubby is, there is a partially covered area before a glass door to the main part of the house. The entry flows into a larger sitting space (to the left) and there are large double doors that can be opened to the street. Beach chairs, bikes, a paddle board etc. are also stored there.
The photo above shows the sitting area that is open to the street (to the left of the main door), as well as the next door neighbor "the chicken lady". This woman and her daughter ran a small restaurant and takeout, serving chicken barbequed in a 45 gal. oil drum over homemade wood charcoal. The alternative on the menu was deep fried fish. The order of fish or chicken came with rice, refried beans, coleslaw and a couple of hot sauces. We could order our chicken and an hour or so later take our plates from the house over, have them filled, and march them back to our dinner table in the hacienda !
Speaking of "hacienda", (should have taken more pics of the interior) it consisted of a large living room and open concept style kitchen, complete with all the dishes, utensils, gadgets and appliances that you would have at home, and then some. There were three bedrooms and three bathrooms, a back courtyard with a brick barbeque / oven and small 5' deep pool.
There was also more space for sitting (or drying clothes) on the roof top. Ross enjoyed time there watching the construction of a neighboring building, the rest of us enjoyed sunning ourselves, reading or drying our "dainties".
About a ten minute walk from our house was the town square, a dock on the beach and this leaning light house. The foundations of the lighthouse were washed away in 1967 by Hurricane Beulah and it has been left as a testament to the storm and a local landmark.
|Clockwise from top left: the church in the town square / a local school on the beach! / health food- coffee shop on our street / two doors down from us - a taco shop / these guys - wood art work outside a store near the square|
Clockwise: Day of the Dead mural / local street / local street / night life (lots of "oldies American music") / restaurants near the square / our local fruit and vegie market where you get fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice!
One of the main attractions, of course, is the beach and we were two blocks from it. I have stayed at "all- inclusives" where we have walked farther! On the way is a great little Tostada Bar where we got awesome margaritas to take to the beach - two for 99 pesos (about $6.50). The food was excellent too!
|A beautiful sandy beach with a coral reef just off shore that offers snorkeling excursions. However, there is lots to see just snorkeling from the beach..... cool fish, stingrays & barracudas !|
|The menu from our favorite Margarita bar. The food is excellent and well priced (you can even bring your own wine!)|
Out and About
In Puerto Morelos we could get almost anything we wanted within walking distance. However, there were lots of places to explore and excursions to take. Transportation in Mexico is great! There are "colectivos" that are mini-vans that transport people locally for a very small fare. A larger, very comfortable bus complete with AC and a movie, took us to Playa del Carmen (about 30 min away) for about $4.00 return!
Out and about in Playa del Carmen and the outer area of Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos is a charming place. From what I can tell it is a small community of locals with a "flood" of expats, most of whom stay for a large chunk of time during the winter months. Some have become directly involved in the community and have even started businesses. If you stay for a while, you can take classes in yoga, Spanish, martial arts or Mexican cooking, to name a few! Not to mention the snorkeling! Seems like a great way to spend the winter!
All in all ..... you gotta love a cocktail with a view!