Take a breath and discover one of the most exquisite and funniest experiences in Mexico.
There may come a time when you feel like stealing away from the buzz of Playa del Carmen for the evening, without having to go wholly rustic.
Allow us to paint you a picture……
A tiny village right on the seashore, fishing boats bobbing about after a hard day’s work, the gentle splish-splash of soft waves against them; a quaint village square illuminated by the soft yellow light of aging lamp posts, the occasional, non-intrusive striking of a melodic church bell, and a peppering of low-key gems of restaurants.
Do we have your attention?
It is hard to imagine that mid-way between Cancun and Playa del Carmen you can step into a completely different ambiance, a location which as yet, has not really been exploited or built up on a large scale. We love the welcome break that Puerto Morelos provides and the feeling that you kind of go back in time there, to a moment before tourism began to impulse the development of the region. It still retains that lush fishing village vibe, despite the number of foreigners sipping coffee at road-side cafés.
We particularly enjoy Puerto Morelos just as it´s getting dark, when locals and visitors all seem to come out of the woodwork. This is the oppostie to during the daytime, where the village itself tends to be deserted, as everyone takes refuge in the refreshing turquoise sea.
Regardless how many times we have visited, we never become tired of the pier which is literally a stone´s throw away from the main square; if you keep to the left-hand side you cannot miss it. Strolling the whole length of it is the perfect way to people-watch, most of the people here generally being locals, many dangling their legs off the wooden pier, sharing the local gossip, or perhaps waiting patiently for a fish to bite. Peering out into the vast darkness, interrumpted by the occasional far-off twinkling light, one can only imagine how many marine creatures come to life at night.
Right next to the pier is the old iconic Faro Inclinado (leaning lighthouse) which appears on a number of photos of the village, and makes for a gorgeous picture by day or by night. It is one of those sights that makes you smile in wonder and curiosity; answering the doubt in your mind, a hurricane damaged the foundations in 1967, and it was subsequently left there in commemoration of the storm.
It is not uncommon for the pretty village square to house a number of events, such as concerts and festivals; and to even become transformed into the transition zone for the annual Puerto Morelos triathlon in June. On this occasion we were pleased to encounter a tiny handicraft market to browse around, chatting to the local vendors and trying our hardest not to buy everything in sight!
The little church just opposite the square is also rather special in Puerto Morelos, but the details can only be spotted up close. Just outside the main entrance, there are images adorning the wall, which at first glance may seem fairly typical of a catholic church. Nevertheless, on closer inspection we realised that the work consisted entirely of seashells, something we had never witnessed elsewhere, and we felt was a fitting touch for a church situated in this adorable seaside village.
If our evening hadn’t been perfect enough, it was topped off with our lovely supper at Chimichurri, a laid-back and extremely popular Uruguayan-style restaurant, just around the corner from the square. On arrival the first thing we did was to stop by and make a reservation , before pottering around town; we strongly recommend doing the same, as you could be waiting for sometime otherwise, especially if you prefer a table outside. The empanadas are a winner here, which are basically pastry pouches with a choice of delicious fillings, and we love to combine them with a scrumptious salad. For meat-lovers this restaurant is also bliss, staying true to the traditional juicy steaks found in Uruguay, and best of all, it won’t break the bank. We found the prices really accessible and great value for money….
The only question that we had when we were leaving Puerto Morelos was, “Why don’t we come more often…………………?”