When most people think of a vacation in Mexico, the first place that comes to mind is Cancun, one of the tourist hubs in Mexico. However, Cancun can be very expensive. In this blog, I will be sharing with you my experiences in a town called Puerto Morelos in the state of Quintana Roo and my stay at the affordable We Hotel.
If you are looking to escape the stress, and business of city life, then this destination is for you. Puerto Morelos is a beautiful and very affordable town to vacation in. It is located between southern Cancun and the northern city of Playa Del Carmen. Moreover, it is only about 40 minutes drive to Cancun Mexico.
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Puerto Morelos Easygoing Atmosphere
The town gives a very relaxed feel and is perfect for those who want a peaceful and quiet beach vacation away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun or other all-exclusive resort lifestyles. In addition, he community residents are made up of local Mexicans, US citizens, and people from other countries that live there permanently.
There was a heavy presence of police officers on soldiers across the town. This gave a sense of security and safety for the tourists and residents.
Most of the hotels in Puerto Morelos, from my observations, are low-rise boutique-condominium style. The We Hotel is one of such hotels. Let me provide you with a few highlights of my stay.
The We Hotel Puerto Morelos is centrally located in the town. It lends you easy access to shops, restaurants, tourist attractions and the beach within a 10-minute walk radius. The community is a mixture of residential, commercial, and a lot of fun things to do and see.
The We hotel seems to be a fairly new hotel. It is small but has a very intimate and inviting feel.
The front desk staff was very friendly and helpful. For someone like myself who does not speak Spanish , it was a relief that most staff spoke fluent English. Moreover, most service workers have the ability to communicate in English.
The We Hotel Rooftop Pool
There are 4 levels with elevator access to each floor including their rooftop infinity pool overlooking the 180-degree spectacular views of the ocean on the 5th floor. The rooftop pool is what sold this hotel. It adds a very luxurious feel and you can’t help falling in love with the relaxing and breathtaking views this rooftop has to offer.
The rooftop pool is definitely an instagrammable spot. You will capture some great photos for your social media. The rooftop has a bar area. However, at the time of the visit, was not utilized. You will be mesmerized by the 360-degree views of Puerto Morelos from the 5th floor.
Dining In The Lounge Area
In addition to the lounge area, there is an eating area with tables and chairs for your dining needs. After you take a long swim, it is a perfect hangout spot with friends and family. In addition, the Italian pizzeria next to the We Hotel allowed us to order from their website and request for them to deliver meals to the rooftop for your convenience. You will learn more about my dining experience at the said restaurant later in the blog.
There are also rooftop restrooms, indoor and outdoor showers. The lounge beds are accessible for every guest to use for basking and relaxing in the sun.
The We Hotel Room
I paid for the “superior room” with a balcony and sea view. There is nothing more relaxing than waking out of bed and getting immersed in greenery and captivated by the views of the sea from a balcony. The sunrise and sunset each day is an experience like no other.
Furthermore, the room comes with a free continental breakfast for two. However, I did not use it. The room I stayed in on the 3rd floor was very comfortable and clean. There is a King size bed, a computer desk and chair, and 42 inches TV with access to major cable channels.
Here are a few hotel photos I captured that you may enjoy.
The Rooftop Photos
The Hotel Room
Views From We Hotel Balcony
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Here are a few Amazon finds that you will find useful on your travel explorations.
I have been using the waterproof phone cases for several years and they are perfect for protecting your cellphone while you capture moments in water or under water.
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If you are going to have fun in the sun, then protect yourself by getting yourself a sun glasses and vegan sunscreen. Click on the links for more information on the Amazon site.
Puerto Morelos Food Culture
The Food Explora in me can not help exploring the food culture of anywhere I vacation. I am not a fan of Mexican food. however, I was willing to try out a few restaurants to see what they had to offer.
Mexican Peso Exchange Rate
Meals from Restaurants in Mexico are fairly cheap compared to most restaurants in the US. Moreover, the portion sizes are huge. The exchange rate at the time of travel was $1 US = 20 pesos. In addition, most restaurants offer an exchange rate of $18 pesos to $1 US. All the restaurants and shops I have visited accept both a Visa credit card and cash. Servers always look forward to a tip.
Here Are A Few Of My Dining Experiences.
Directly next door to the We Hotel is this Italian restaurant and Pizzeria. The ambiance is relaxing and the meal I had was very delicious.
Here I enjoyed their Pasta Scampi made with shrimp, tomatoes, garlic, capers, and pasta cooked in a wine butter sauce.
La Choza Del Puerto is almost directly across from the We Hotel; about 2-minutes walk. The restaurant/bar is mostly outdoor dining. Seems like most restaurants in Puerto Morelos have bamboo and thatched roofs that give very tropical vibes.
This was my first meal in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. I tried their Spicy Mango and Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings with fries. I ordered their Lemon Cake to go. However, it was tasty but very sour and tangy.
“Taco dog” also comes with the dining experience. A resident shared that she is the community dog of Puerto Morelos. She never stopped staring at me until I was guilt-tripped into sharing my chicken wings with her.
Pelicanos Restaurant is an example of what dining experience in Puerto Morelos has to offer.
There is no other relaxing dining feeling than to have breakfast by the beach hearing the ocean crash onto the white sandy beach. It is peaceful and puts you in tune with nature.
I was very surprised at the amount of food I received for the price. I ordered their Cheese Omelette, but unknowingly also came with a fruit salad, freshly squeezed orange juice, beans, seared mashed potatoes, and 2 baskets with toast and soft shell tacos.
Sweet Treats Of Puerto Morelos
The Food Explora in me will never give up enjoying desserts. These Puerto Morelos bakery and ice-cream shops are a go-to for all your sweet treat needs.
Aldo’s is popularly known for its different flavors of gelato ice-cream. However, the night was chilly, so I opted for their carrot cake.
Belleville Panaderia Bakery, on the other hand, offers all your banking needs: pastries, bread, croissants, and desserts. This bakery sits directly across from the We Hotel for your convenience.
Pangea Restaurante and Bar is another beachfront restaurant in Puerto Morelos where you can enjoy the beauty of the blue seas while you enjoy your meal.
The Foodie in me wanted to try something different. I ordered their breakfast egg and corn tortilla on red sauce.
My Honest Review
I honestly did not enjoy it. The corn chips were swimming in the red sauce and became soggy; wasn’t my cup of tea. However, the ambiance and the music were dope. The restaurant/bar is perfect for a good hangout spot by the beach.
Enjoy the rooftop dining experience that La Sirena Restaurant has to offer. The restaurant overlooks part of Puerto Morelos Square’s nightlife.
I was told that they serve the best fish tacos. Of course, the Food Explora in me had to pay them a visit. Their fish tacos were off the chain. These three fish tacos were pretty huge and very delicious.
I love that I was able to get tacos in Puerto Morelos made from scratch in the restaurants I visited. There is another rooftop restaurant in Puerto Morelos Square called TACOS.COM .
Because my trip was short, I did not get a chance to dine there. However, they have great reviews. If you want to try different types of tacos, you may want to pay them a visit.
Holistik seems to be a new business place; I could not find them online. It’s a stone throw away from the We Hotel. The bear face is very captivating.
Moreover, they seem to offer a number of services: Ecotours, Bike rental, and food-related services. Just thought it was cool looking and wanted to share.
A Puerto Morelos Mexico Experience
Puerto Morelos Square
The Town Square is the heart of Puerto Morelos. The square is adorned with different arrays of restaurants, craft markets, a children’s park with slides, a grocery store, jewelry stores, and other Tourist Attractions. Furthermore, the square is bordered by Puerto Morelos Beach and is a easy walk to access some breezy fun in the sun.
Street foods are sometimes the best tasting foods. You will often spot a few food street vendors selling homemade meat empanadas and sweet treats made on spot.
Puerto Morelos Beach
Beachlife for me is the core of a perfect vacation; it speaks to all your senses. There is nothing like hearing the waves crash onto the shore, feeling the water against your skin, sun baking your skin, and the feel of the cool sea breeze as it whispers in your ears, is a one-stop-shop for a relaxing experience that Puerto Morelos Beach offers.
Puerto Morelos Sea Life
Puerto Morelos Mexico is known as a fishing village and destination for water activities. You will observe local fishermen in their boats waiting for you to explore the marine life offshore.
According to MExplor, Puerto Morelos houses the second largest barrier reef in the world known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. In addition, the reef is also called the Great Maya Reef.
This makes Puerto Morelos a hot spot for snorkeling and scuba diving activities.
If you are a nature lover or lover of flowers, then Puerto Morelos will not disappoint.
There are a number of varieties of flowers and trees that you can feast your eyes on. Here is a slideshow of a few flowers I have captured for all the nature lovers.
This photo brought back a lot of childhood memories. Every backyard in Jamaica had at least 1 of these clotheslines for drying clothes.
Laundry The Old Fashion Way
Early Saturday mornings were a “laundry day” affair. My mom would wash our clothes by hand and with a brush. This would take hours. The clothes were then rinsed in a wash pan and hung on the line using a “clothespin” to hold the clothes.
A long wooded stick or bamboo pole was often used to hoist the line from the floor to prevent them from becoming dirty.
The most frustrating curse worthy thing that can happen with this style of drying clothes is having the line burst from the weight of the heavy wet clothes and having to wash them all over again.
Impact Of The New Omicron COVID Variant On Travel
The New Omicron COVID Variant has not only negatively impacted the health care system, but also travel. Airlines were canceling flights all day, every day. The lines to get a COVID test was at least a 2-hour wait outside in the cold at CityMD.
The government set up these small testing sites across NYC to take the burden off the ER and urgent care centers.
No COVID Test Needed For Mexico
Luckily, at the time of travel, no COVID testing or vaccination was needed for travel to Mexico. This helped relieve some of the burdens from travel during the pandemic. However, I wanted to do the responsible thing and get tested before I fly. But always check with your airline or health department of the country for COVID requirements before travel.
My most dreaded fear was my flight getting canceled. Sure enough, after checking in, going through TSA, and waiting for 1.5 hrs to board, was the announcement I did not want to hear: flight to Cancun is canceled.
Jetblue’s Cancellation Policy
Between waiting online to get re-booked and collect my luggage, added another 2 hours to my ordeal.
I was re-booked for the next day and luckily I boarded this time. The unfortunate thing is that I lost 1 day from my already short vacation stay.
With all the stress from the cancelation and paying for Uber trips three times, JetBlue airlines only gave a travel credit of $50.
Returning back to the US, a negative COVID test, no greater than 24 hrs before travel date was mandated and required in order to travel.
I found this laboratory 3 minutes walk from the We Hotel. They charged $25 US for the rapid test. You get the results within 15 minutes. You get a printed copy. But you can also ask the representative to email you the result.
When You arrive at the Cancun International Airport after going through customs (easy process), you will be bombarded by taxi companies trying to sell you their taxi service. One of the taxi companies inside the airport charged me $40. I agreed to it because it was my first time and it felt a bit safe.
My suggestion to you, if you are travelling to Mexico for the first time is to arrange with the hotel to get a taxi for you at the airport. Outside the airport are herds of taxi drivers trying to get your business. They will be way cheaper.
My hotel called a taxi for me to the airport and they charged me $28 US (25 minutes drive).
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