In the south of Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula, there is a small town called Puerto Morelos, a paradise between two major tourist destinations: Cancun and Playa del Carmen. With its authenticity, calm, and treasure hidden under its turquoise waters, this charming little fishing village is the perfect getaway for those looking for quiet but highly recommended beach.
Besides being a typical and perfect place to get away, Puerto Morelos has an incredible submerged coral reef that runs along the coastline protecting it from the waves. Without a doubt, this reef is the most beautiful and best-preserved in the Riviera Maya, but above all, it is the second-largest in the world after the Australian barrier reef.
Puerto Morelos: the second largest coral reef in the world and the first in Mexico
Puerto Morelos reef has been awarded with the title of Natural Protected Area, because its inhabitants has launched a petition in 1998 to protect the natural resources. By natural resources they mean the coral and adjacent seagrass beds and the species they harbor because they are extremely valuable and fragile.
Puerto Morelos’ barrier is divided into two zones. First, there is the coral reef, located about 400 meters from the shore, visitors can see this amazing natural resources from the beach, the waves break over it and form a white line on the horizon.
Secondly, there is an area between the beach and the reef, composed of more or less deep seagrass beds. The seaweed beds are the best place to observe turtles and various species of rays. The densest and most colorful corals that sway with the currents covered by the seabed are right there, closer to the reef. This area is the richest in fish, small species that meandered among the underwater massifs.
The reef is a refuge for thousands of species of fish and tropical animals. Its corals, called “builders,” essential for the life of the Caribbean reefs, are fragile and need to be protected. That’s why you don’t dive in Puerto Morelos without a specialized guide.
The little town of Puerto Morelos, the authentic pearl of Yucatan and Mexico
But Puerto Morelos isn’t only attractive to dive in its beautiful waters. This little town goes almost unnoticed even if it has been built before Cancun. In fact, Puerto Morelos has a very characteristic colonial style that can be appreciated in the central square, an artery surrounded by neighborhood stores, restaurants, and an old style church.
Besides, this little town is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, at an equal distance (about 35 minutes driving) from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. So it is an ideal location to explore all the nearby attractions of the area outside of the agitation of the more well-known big cities.
Therefore, Puerto Morelos is close to the Riviera Maya’s cenotes route, the spectacular Tulum, and some mangroves that survive the proliferation of constructions and human neglect, among other places.
Puerto Morelos offers a breathtaking landscape of crystal clear waters surrounded by white sand, a peaceful nature, and a unique opportunity to observe the rich biodiversity of marine life in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
For more Mexico travel blogs, also read: