Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya: A Day at Puerto Morelos Beach

Beach #11 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Puerto Morelos Beach

The Riviera Maya is a stretch of 80 miles of pristine beaches located just a few miles south of the hustle and bustle of Cancun. This area attracts around 10 million visitors each year and offers luxurious hotels and resorts, as well as a number of theme parks, clubs, shopping malls, and other attractions.

Puerto Morelos is located about 10 miles south of Cancun and about 20 miles north of the beautiful Playa del Carmen and it is one of the best kept secrets and one of the top 25 beaches in the Riviera Maya. Walking on its square and around the town will let you feel the vibe of this small fishing village.

Puerto Morelos: General Information

If you want to stay away from the Cancun crowds, do not forget to visit Puerto Morelos! You can not only enjoy the quiet atmosphere, but also visit the Mesoamerican Reef; which is located only a few meters from the beach.

The main roads have a wide offering on small restaurants, cafes and boutiques; no huge chains or massive hotels. The locals and hotels in the area want to keep it that way, by having strict building restrictions and working together to preserve the little town feeling.

 photo Puerto Morelos 1_zpsxqkw23va.jpg

Puerto Morelos: Getting There

By Car:
From Cancun: Get the 307 Federal highway southbound (towards Tulum) and stay on this road for about 10 miles. Once you get to Puerto Morelos you need to take the exit and turn left under the overpass.

By Bus:
You can take the bus straight from the Cancun International Airport; the cost is around $6 USD for a one way ticket. This bus does not go to the town center, but it does go to the highway turnoff into town just 2 kilometers away from the square. From there you can grab a 20 peso taxi or a collectivo to the downtown beach area.

Puerto Morelos: Things To Do

Enjoy the beautiful Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef in the world. There is plenty of local providers offering tours just off the main plaza, for only $25 USD your get the boat ride and all the needed equipment.

Enjoy all sorts of diving adventures: there is the reef, caverns and cenotes in the area; ideal for every level and age. Dive Shops are available directly in Puerto Morelos.

Sport Fishing:
The waters off the Puerto Morelos coast have a wide variety of marine species: Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Barracuda, Grouper, Snapper, Snook, Pompano, and more…

 photo Puerto Morelos 2_zpsdyenbqgk.jpg

Ruta de los Cenotes:
This is a wonderful way to visit many cenotes in a day for a reasonable price. Local run cenotes are open for visitors; enjoy the cool transparent water and the amazing caves, a life changing experience!

Alma Libre Bookstore:
Alma Libre is the Riviera Maya’s best English language new and used bookstore. In this book store you can find regional guide books and maps, as well as books about the indigenous culture, flora and fauna of the region.

This is ideal for families, a guided tour to learn more about crocodiles and other native species. Seeing the spider monkeys in the wild is amazing, the kids will love it!

We hope you enjoy your visit to Puerto Morelos and the beautiful beach. Keep up to date with the best beaches in paradise by following our Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya countdown every Friday! If you are in search for the perfect beach to spend the day at, make sure you check out our options. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local American-Owned company that specializes in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico. If you are looking for a second home or to retire in paradise, please feel free to contact any of our Top Buyers’ Representatives! Browse our beautiful properties; we are sure you will find your dream home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We make it happen!

Explore the Village of Xcalak!

Xcalak is one of the most pristine and remote corners of the Mexican Caribbean, as it is nearly four hours from Cancun, almost on the border with Belize. Besides the beauty of the beach and the colors of the ocean, which will take your breath away, Xcalak is an ideal place for diving, as it is close to both the Mesoamerican reef and the Biosphere Reserve of Banco Chinchorro (an hour and a half by boat from Xcalak).

The village of Xcalak is a great lodging choice if you want to spend some time to snorkel or dive the reefs of Banco Chinchorro; a 43 miles long atoll consisting of three keys. This is one of the best preserved Biosphere Reserve and submarine complex in Mexico, offering an abundance of reef life and more than a dozen shipwrecks.

 photo Xcalak Shipwreck_zpsi7zrh0kp.jpg

The population of Xcalak is below the 400 mark, so it is a small town in every sense of the word. However, the area is developing, and in recent years there have been an increased number of restaurants and tourism services available.

Sure, resting on the beach might seem like the perfect plan for your holidays, sipping on some ice cold drinks and indulging in a bowl of freshly made guacamole or ceviche. But if your mindset changes to a more active mode, there are plenty of things to do in Xcalak: taking a bird watching tour, visit San Pedro in Belize, or go fishing; and of course, visit Banco Chinchorro.

 photo Xcalak Beach_zpsl37fchya.jpg

How to Get There:

From Chetumal:

Take the federal highway 307 to Mahahual and take the Xcalak deviation (a little before reaching a town called Limones). The road is paved and marked up with a sign that reads Xcalak; the road is in good condition with a few potholes. It is located approximately 125 miles from Chetumal.

From Cancun:

From the Cancun International Airport, head south on Highway 307. Depending on your speed and how many stops you make, it will take you roughly 4-1/2 to 5 hours. Once you pass the town of Limones, take a left at the “Cafetal” intersection. There are several signs indicating the turn for both Mahahual and Xcalak. After driving about 50 kilometers on the newly paved road, take a right towards Xcalak.

 photo Xcalak Map_zps7o4topwa.gif

We hope you enjoy the tranquility and beauty of Xcalak. If you enjoyed the area and would like to purchase a property, feel free to contact one of our Top Buyer’s Representatives. They have helped many clients through the process of becoming homeowners in Mexico.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE…

We make it happen!

The Hunt for Lionfish

Lionfish hunting has increasingly become a very popular activity in the Riviera Maya since awareness about its danger to the ecosystem has risen. Since their mysterious introduction into Caribbean waters (hurricanes, shipwrecks and bored aquarium owners are suspected), these beautiful animals have reproduced at astonishing rates and have invaded the reefs. With no natural predators in the Riviera Maya, only humans are able to eliminate them and end the damage that these fish are doing to the ecosystem.
Nothing embodies the beauty and danger of the ocean as well as the lionfish. They are hypnotizing to look at, mesmerizing divers with their calm and beauty. But beware; they are as venomous as they are beautiful. While fatalities are rare, being stung by a lionfish can cause strong burning pains, swollen body areas and ugly-crying adults. However, in case of a sting, immediate medical treatment is required because, as mentioned before, they can be fatal.

 photo Lionfish_zpse8d08c9a.jpg

The lionfish is originally from the Pacific and Indian Ocean and is known to corner their pray with their astonishingly beautiful pectoral fins and swallow them whole. They consume almost 500,000 fish per acre, per year, in the Caribbean.
Reproduction can occur every four days, year-round, with females releasing approximately 2 million eggs per year. Although efforts are being made to control the increasing population, thousands of them are still swimming out there breaking the balance of the reef harmony.
Lionfish hunting has become a sport in smaller areas of the Riviera Maya, such as Akumal and Tulum, where hunting groups go out daily to hunt the invasive species. A rebound of the native fish populations has been noted in areas where hunters have maintained the lionfish kingdom at a low.

 photo Lionfishfishing_zps2f901ad6.jpg

Eating Lionfish

Considered a delicacy, and very rare to find, lionfish can be eaten when cooked and prepared properly. Remember, these are venomous animals and can still sting if not handled with care. The important part is to fillet them after detoxifying the fish, as Gynna Sainz, who owns Gynn’AK, a lionfish specialty restaurant in Akumal, says.
Lionfish can be cooked in any way, because, as Gynna puts it, “fish is fish!” A favorite dish is lionfish ceviche, lionfish tacos and lionfish sushi.

 photo GynnAK_zpsf76c5c95.jpg

Hunting Lionfish

Are you interested in helping conserve the balance of the ecosystem? While not everyone is eligible for lionfish hunting – knowledge of spear hunting is a big plus – you can join in on a hunting dive just to watch. Just ask at any local dive shop and they will give you the options! There are usually only one or two hunting dives weekly, but whatever you catch is yours to eat. Caught lionfish will be handed to a chef at a restaurant to cook for you.
So there you go! You can add this to your bucket list of one-of-a-kind activities to do at the Riviera Maya, while helping conservation efforts reboot the ecosystem!
You can eat lionfish here!

Fishing in the Riviera Maya

Fishing in the Riviera Maya is one of the most popular attractions for thousands of visitors every year. The Riviera Maya has access to the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef system in the world, offering a wide variety of sea life and sea fishing experiences.

Fishing in the Riviera Maya is a year-round opportunity and there are activities for every level, from professionals to children; everyone can enjoy fishing in the Riviera Maya!

The predominant fishing season for sailfish, blue marlin, white marlin and dorado (mahi-mahi) begins in March and runs through July. In other seasons the abundant fish are wahoo, tuna, kingfish, and barracuda as well as snapper, grouper, and triggerfish. The smaller kinds of fish you can opt to cook yourself or you can pick a restaurant and let them do all the work for you!

Fishing in the Riviera Maya: Calendar

 photo calendar_fishing_zpsefe5eec7.png


Note: Sailfish, Marlin and some other fish are catch and release only. Recent law bans shark fishing.

Fishing in the Riviera Maya: Locations

If you want to stay away from larger tourist destinations like Playa del Carmen or Cancun, we have three suggestions for fishing destinations:

Puerto Aventuras

Puerto Aventuras is a gated community located halfway between the popular tourist destinations Playa del Carmen and Tulum. This is a wonderful place for sport fishing, it also has its own marina and most of the fishing areas are very close; forget about long trips into the sea!

The best time to go fishing is from March to June, but there are always fish and fishing tours with year round success rates. If someone in your group is not into fishing, there is also the option of snorkeling in the nearby reef; an ideal activity for kids.

More Information:

Riviera Maya Fishing

US Phone: 513-410-1644

From Mexico: 984-112-1989

International: 011-52-984-112-1989


 photo FishingBoat_zps5fcb07c3.jpg

Puerto Morelos

Puerto Moreleos is a sleepy fishing town, there are only a few restaurants and hotels in the downtown area. Puerto Morelos is located 15 minutes south from the Cancun International Airport and halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

The reef at Puerto Morelos is so close, you won’t be wasting any time before you are ready to catch something!

More Information:

US Phone (303)325-3986

From Mexico: 01 (998)848-8819

International:  011-52-1-(998)201-9805

Cell local: 044-(998)201-9805/ Cell another city in Mexico 045-(998)201-9805

 photo FishingPier_zpsbb8f3801.jpg

Sian Ka’an Reserve

The Sian Ka’an Reserve is a beautiful place and you can either go fishing in deep waters or fly-fishing in the world famous salt water lagoons of Sian Ka’an.

Some of the fish that can be found in these waters are: bonefish, tarpon, permit, jack and barracuda.

Visiting the Sian Ka’an reserve is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the local

wildlife as well as the ancient Mayan civilization. Most of these tours are run by experienced guides that also live in the Sian Ka’an Reserve.

Although the primary fishing season is March through August, the year-round marine resources provide abundant schools of many species throughout the year.

More Information:



Community Tours Sian Ka’an:

+52 (984) 871 22 02

+52 (984) 114 07 50

Fishing in the Riviera Maya provides year round options, whether it’s deep sea fishing or fly fishing, fishing for sport or fishing for your dinner, you are sure to catch a good time.

Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen

Scuba diving in Playa del Carmen has become a very popular activity for tourists and professional divers from all over the world. Playa del Carmen offers novice and expert courses and tours of various levels of difficulty, making it ideal for everyone interested in diving.

Playa del Carmen is a popular Caribbean destination, with beautiful calm beaches, white sandy shores and a vibrant culture and nightlife. When it comes to destinations in the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen offers an interesting mix of real Mexico and a modern city.

Playa del Carmen is located 45 minutes south of the Cancun International Airport, and sits along the Mesoamerican Reef; the second largest barrier reef in the world. The Mesoamerican Reef is 600 miles (965 km. long) and it is renowned for its abundance of fish life and variety of diving sites.

 photo ScubaDiver_zps8a6f8dca.jpg

The Mesoamerican Reef has a wide variety of animal life such as turtles, groupers, barracuda, and tarpon. Other animals that can be found in the reefs are:  seahorses, pipefish, fire worms, and all sorts of tiny shrimp and crabs.

Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen: Once in a lifetime experiences

If you visit Playa del Carmen, and you are interested in a diving tour; make sure to shop around for a certified provider. Check sites like Tripadvisor or PADI to make sure you are picking the right provider for you! There are however, diving experiences that are unique, and shouldn’t be missed by any diver visiting the area.

Whale Shark


The whale shark is the biggest fish in the world, it can grow up to 40 feet in length and can weigh up to 13.6 tons. Despite its enormous size, it does not pose any danger to humans since it feeds on phytoplankton, microalgae, plankton, krill and small nektonic life, such as small squid or vertebrates. Do not miss the opportunity to swim close to these gentle giants, a magical experience you will never forget!

 photo WhaleShark_zps1484d8fd.jpg

Sailfish Adventure


Swim with one of the fastest fish in the ocean, the sailfish can reach speeds of up to 68 mph. During winter, the sailfish arrive in the Mexican Caribbean, near the shores of Contoy Island; attracted by the abundance of sardines in this area. Contoy Island is a nature reserve and a beautiful tropical paradise, this tour is an excellent opportunity to see a variety of native animals in their natural environment.

Bull Shark Dive


Experience the dive of a lifetime with these amazing creatures! The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is a robust shark with a flat rounded snout, grey top and white bottom.  The larger females can grow up to 11 feet long, weighs upwards of 500 pounds and live over 15 years. A bull shark is a unique species that can tolerate freshwater, hence these species have been found up rivers and have been responsible for attacks on humans and other species. The attacks of Bull Sharks have inspired movies like jaws, where sharks attack their prey in the open sea, near the shore and even rivers!

 photo BullShark_zps7d742b83.jpg

Searching for the adventure of a lifetime, look no farther, scuba diving on the Mesoamerican Reef. Don’t miss one of these wonderful experiences! Visit Playa del Carmen.

Today, Playa del Carmen’s Deep Sea Fishing Tournament Starts! – Video

If you love fishing, then Playa del Carmen really would be your cup of tea!


This morning, Playa del Carmen’s annual fishing tournament was kicked off.  Take a look at this video from Mexico Travel News:



This is one of the winners from last year’s tournament, I believe:


Here’s a shot of “the big catch” on a boat. (This is not in the tournament, but gives you a taste of what fishing in Playa del Carmen is like:)


If you’re around, it’d be great to head out and see some of the prize catches. If not, well you know what you can plan for the next time you’re here in Playa!


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Insurance Kit

Wouldn’t You Like to Catch a Fish Like This in Playa del Carmen?

Fishing is a big thing in Playa del Carmen.  In fact, the reason the town was founded in the first place (just over 100 years ago) was as a fishing village, which is what it remained until the 1990s when tourism took off and it became a major expat community.


Fishing is still a part of daily life.  You find everything from the traditional fishermen throwing their nets in at the beaches in the very early mornings to luxury boat owners going out for a deep-sea catch.


Just the other day, I was walking along the beach and saw this young Argentinian guy who had just caught this fish, right from the beach:


Whatever you’re style of fishing, I’m sure you’ll find it in Playa del Carmen!  And, if you prefer just to enjoy the fresh catch of the day and let someone else do the work, that’s easy (and very low cost) too!


-by Thomas Lloyd


Awa Condos Playa del Carmen