After spending a yr dwelling in Edinburgh, Scotland throughout the pandemic, it was fairly a change to dwell in Puerto Morelos, Mexico for a month. The distinction in temperature, meals, and normal high quality of dwelling was huge.
Why Puerto Morelos
The lockdown of 2020 was a blow to many journey plans. Personally, I ended up in Edinburgh, which is my favourite metropolis on the earth, however not someplace I notably wished to spend a full yr. As 2021 started with Scotland’s second lockdown, we began searching for different international locations we may transfer to. I wanted to care for some possessions in Los Angeles, and my girlfriend Vanesa wished to go to her mother and father in Argentina, but it surely appeared we wouldn’t be capable to accompany one another to our respective international locations if we had been touring from the UK. We would have liked to discover a impartial nation.
The primary nation we deliberate to maneuver to was Ukraine, one in every of my favourite international locations in Europe. Ukraine is affordable, stunning, and on the time was open to passengers from the UK. Then I made a remark about Albania, and after images and movies of the nation, Vanesa was deadset on going there. Sadly, we rapidly discovered their borders had been closed flights from the UK.
Lastly, we thought of Mexico. Nearly instantly, we questioned why we hadn’t thought of Mexico earlier than. I had quite a lot of fellow bloggers dwelling in Tulum, Mexico, or different components of the Yucatan Peninsula, and it solely took a pair YouTube movies for us to make up our minds. Plus, it had been over 5 years since I had been within the Americas and practically 10 years since my final go to to Mexico.
I requested a number of of my buddies about Tulum. Sadly, a lot of them had simply moved away. However all of them stated one factor in frequent: don’t go to Tulum. Through the pandemic, it had grow to be method overpriced. We had been informed to decide on Cancun or Playa del Carmen as a substitute. Ultimately, we settled for the small village between the 2 – Puerto Morelos.
Some Info About Puerto Morelos
Till very lately, Puerto Morelos was a tiny fishing village. Just some years in the past, the city had lower than 1000 individuals. It was additionally the place you may catch the ferry to the island of Cozumel.
Puerto Morelos is cut up into two components – the beachside and the “Colonia” aspect, referred to as Joaquin Zetina Gasca. In the event you return in Google Earth’s timeline of the area, Colonia was barely a dot within the jungle. Now it’s a correct city, or somewhat a metropolis. Up to now couple years, the inhabitants handed 15,000, which warranted reclassification. Additionally, Puerto Morelos is within the state of Quintana Roo, which is the latest state in Mexico – fashioned in 1974.
Our Airbnb in Alborada
After flying to Mexico from Scotland, we stayed in Cancun for 4 days, after which made our method by colectivo (minivan) 20 miles south to Puerto Morelos. We had a spot booked by way of Airbnb for a month, as you may get some fairly big reductions when reserving for a full month.
Our 2-bedroom Airbnb turned out to be within the newish residential advanced of Alborada, solely about half a mile away from the “middle” of Joaquin Zetina Gasca. It was additionally solely slightly over two miles from the seashore, however we by no means ended up strolling that, particularly when the minivans went from the doorway of Alborada straight to the seashore for under 10 pesos ($0.50).
Though Alborada was solely a pair years previous, it was already exhibiting indicators of wear and tear. Within the excessive warmth and seasonal storms of Quintana Roo, the paint was half washed away from the buildings. The development group additionally appeared to have minimize a number of corners, and one of many partitions within the kitchen was an iron grill, letting out all our valuable chilly air from the AC.
Dated exteriors apart, the house was fairly good. We had a cushty queen-size mattress, a big lounge with a giant TV, a kitchen, and a big swimming pool nestled within the jungle timber. The pool was a should for Vanesa, who spent two hours there practically each single day getting again to her right shade of Argentinian tan. The one actual draw back to the house was the kitchen – there was no oven, little kitchenware, and barely a countertop for us to organize meals on. A minimum of the fridge was giant. However we did find yourself consuming practically each meal throughout our month in Puerto Morelos.
Great Locations to Eat
A few of my fondest reminiscences of Mexico 10 years in the past are of the meals. Effectively, I had some unhealthy moments too – a mouthful of habanero peppers and an egg that nearly made me retch, however I’ve all the time stated the Mexican delicacies is one in every of my favourite on the earth, and I used to be so excited to get again to it. You may’t get actual Mexican road tacos wherever else on the earth that examine, and horchata is one in every of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks.
Inside an hour of touching down in Cancun, we had our first place of tacos, and Vanesa’s first-ever horchata (she cherished it!). The following morning, we had a plate of huevos motuleños – a dish from this area. The truth is, we’ve had a lot Mexican meals previously month that Vanesa doesn’t need any extra tacos!
Though Puerto Morelos is a really small city, there are many eating places, road meals carts and even residence kitchens you’ll be able to order supply from. Many opened throughout the pandemic as a method for the locals to earn some more money. Legal guidelines about not cooking meals for public sale and consumption undoubtedly don’t apply in Puerto Morelos.
Simply across the nook from us was probably the greatest taco eating places in Puerto Morelos – Mariachi Tacos. Though Google Maps put it within the incorrect place, it wasn’t onerous to search out. After they’re open at evening, they’ve an extended line of vehicles ready to select up their orders. Additionally they have a number of tables inside, the place their partitions are superbly painted with murals.
Their menu is straightforward. You will get tacos, tortas or gringas, every with six various kinds of meat – in the event that they’re accessible that evening. A torta is principally a sandwich, and a gringa is a bigger taco made with a flour tortilla. Additionally they have a pair issues on the aspect, like a recent bowl of guacamole or cheese in your tacos and tortas.
I’d often order 4 or 5 tacos with al pastor (pork marinated with dried chilies, spices, and pineapple and cooked on a rod, much like European donor) or campechanos (blended meats) with a liter of home made horchata on the aspect. With tacos at solely 15 to twenty pesos ($0.75 – $1) every, relying on the meat, and the horchata solely 25 pesos ($1.25), a full meal there was lower than $5.
Amor Y Pes and Blue Morelos
As an previous fishing village, Puerto Morelos is understood for its superb seafood. Whereas we didn’t truly check out any of the seafood eating places in Colonia, there have been two locations on the beachside that had been so good, I can’t write about solely one in every of them and neglect the opposite.
The primary one we tried was Blue Morelos. Labeled as a bar and grill, most likely due to their full vary of cocktails, they’d a a lot bigger menu. The primary dish we obtained was ceviche, because it’s one in every of my girlfriend’s favourite meals. Ceviche is a seafood dish constituted of uncooked fish or shrimp, cucumber, avocado, purple onion and lemon juice. Completely scrumptious! After a big bowl of it, I ordered a shrimp ceviche tostada (flat, crispy taco). If you’re a drinker, you may also get two cocktails for the value of 1.
The opposite restaurant we cherished was the newly-opened Amor y Pes, or “Love and Fish” in English. Their menu was rather a lot smaller, however the few gadgets they’d, together with their ceviche tostadas and fish and chips, had been incredible. Their costs had been about half of Blue, however the portion sizes had been additionally about half, so the worth was the identical.
I don’t actually assume I may say which of the 2 had been higher. We ended up going to each a number of occasions in our month dwelling in Puerto Morelos.
Lastly, I’ve to say a spot that wasn’t strictly Mexican meals. Rastafari Burgers and Sizzling Canine was truly a road meals cart only a couple minutes from Alborada in entrance of the Oxxo at evening.
The menu, as with most road meals vehicles, is straightforward. Hamburgers or hotdogs, plus a wide range of toppings. All his patties are home made, and you may get your burger or hotdog topped with bacon, American cheese, Mexican Oaxaca cheese, ham, chorizo and pineapple.
I misplaced observe of what number of occasions I picked up a late-night burger there. Contemplating a fully-loaded burger and a aspect of fries or potato wedges solely set me again $4, it was typically onerous to decide on a greater place for dinner.
High quality of Dwelling in Puerto Morelos
As such a brand new city, Puerto Morelos continues to be missing a little bit of infrastructure. Web pace isn’t the best, there should not quite a lot of massive retailers with a wide range of merchandise, and different vacationers lately reported quite a lot of energy outages, though we didn’t expertise any of these ourselves.
After we arrived at our Airbnb, we didn’t have scorching water for quite a lot of seconds. However’s that primarily as a result of, as we’ve been informed, Mexicans hardly ever use scorching water once they bathe, so the issue by no means got here up for them, I used to be personally wonderful with having a shower with chilly water. The identical downside truly occurred in our subsequent Airbnb in Playa del Carmen, though that one truly had the boiler shut off utterly.
Total. life in Puerto Morelos, and Mexico usually, could be very easy and enjoyable, at the least from an exterior viewpoint. Not a day glided by that Vanesa wasn’t enjoyable on the pool or the seashore, or each. I spent most of my time working on-line, however did make the time for a number of journeys to the seashore, and a single swim in our pool.
Private Companies in Puerto Morelos
One factor I cherished about Puerto Morelos was that providers had been open. After a yr in Scotland the place most companies and providers had been closed on and off, it was nice to get again to the health club, see the dentist and get a haircut (though that was in Cancun the day I arrived). Sadly, there have been no cinemas in Puerto Morelos – you need to go to Cancun or Playa del Carmen to observe a film within the theater.
Puerto Morelos Health club
As quickly as my brother arrived in Puerto Morelos, we went to get our health club membership for the month. The Puerto Morelos health club was simply across the nook from our Airbnb, and for under $17.50 a month, we obtained a cross for limitless visits. The health club was open six days s every week, from round 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
It wasn’t a giant health club, however they’d loads of totally different machines, free weights, treadmills, a punching bag, and so on. Sadly, it wasn’t air-conditioned, however at the least nobody was sporting masks. I do know that’s a degree of rivalry, however attempting to breathe by way of material whereas understanding is simply masochistic.
I made it to the health club a number of occasions throughout my month in Puerto Morelos and noticed a noticeable change after my time in Scotland. Positive, I had a job there the place I obtained some actually good train, but it surely’s totally different when you’ll be able to deal with totally different muscle teams.
Way more essential than the health club was my journey to the dentist. Horribly sufficient, it had been nicely over a decade since my final tooth cleansing. I noticed a dentist in 2017 in Bucharest who confirmed that I nonetheless didn’t have any cavities (ever), however I had fairly a layer of plaque to eliminate.
The Odomed dentist workplace in Puerto Morelos is tremendous clear, environment friendly and, better of all, low-cost. I keep in mind after I lived in Los Angeles, a lot of my buddies would go to Mexico to get their dental work finished. Now I do know why. The cleansing was solely $35. That’s the identical I’d have paid in Bucharest, however rather a lot cheaper than most different international locations on the earth.
Our Month-to-month Funds for Puerto Morelos
For me, the most effective a part of dwelling in Puerto Morelos was the price range. Though Cancun is one of the three most expensive parts of Mexico, dwelling in Mexico is definitely rather a lot cheaper than Scotland. Simply final evening, Vanesa and I had hamburgers and a aspect of loaded fries. In Edinburgh, the loaded fries on their very own would have been greater than our whole meal from the road meals cart.
Our Airbnb was about $650 for the month, which was cut up between my brother and me. He arrived a number of days after we did, and later his pal joined him from California, so it was a full home. The aforementioned minivans are at the moment 10 pesos ($0.50) for a journey, and the colectivo from Cancun to Puerto Morelos was solely 30 pesos.
Taxis in Puerto are equally low-cost (cheaper than getting a colectivo for 4 individuals), which definitely isn’t the case in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum. I’ve heard the taxi rides from the city middle to the seashore in Tulum might be as a lot as $40 within the evenings.
The Puerto Morelos Seaside
Talking of seashores, the seashore in Puerto Morelos is by far the most effective facet of the city. Though the water is just not fairly a vivid as it’s in Cancun, it’s the identical great turquoise. What’s higher about PM’s seashore is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef solely 300 toes out to sea. The waves break on the reef, and so that you solely get small waves on the seashore.
Whenever you go to Puerto Morelos, whether or not you’re going to go to for a day or dwell there for a month, you completely should take a snorkeling journey. For about $20, they are going to take you in a ship out to the reef and supply the snorkeling masks and fins. You’ll additionally get a wristband, because it’s a nationwide park and the park rangers are all the time patrolling. The journey is 2 hours – ten minutes to the reef and again, and an hour and forty minutes snorkeling with the coral, big faculties of fish, big lobsters, eels, stingrays, barracudas, and the occasional turtle.
One other tour you’ll should take is to the cenotes. Only a couple miles south of Puerto Morelos is what’s referred to as the cenote route, with greater than a dozen cenote parks (every with a number of cenotes). All of us spent a day exploring three of the cenotes, which got here out to about $30 per individual, together with the automobile rental, fuel, and admission to the cenotes. Then once more, when you’ve got an even bigger price range, you may simply spend lots of using the quads, ziplining, horseback using, or simply going to extra cenotes. Keep tuned for my upcoming put up and video on the cenotes.
After dwelling in Puerto Morelos for a month, we moved to Playa del Carmen, the following metropolis to the south. Whereas it’s good to have higher infrastructure in Playa (film theaters, purchasing malls, and so on), Puerto Morelos actually stole my coronary heart. I like the small-town really feel, though I don’t know what number of extra years that can final. The town (because it’s categorized now) is increasing blindingly quick, and I heard they’re planning housing for 200,000 extra residents within the space. Sometime within the not too distant future, it may simply be one lengthy metropolis with Cancun on the prime and Puerto Morelos on the backside.
As a lot as I wish to see extra cities and international locations world wide, Puerto Morelos is the sort of place I’d love to return to and spend a number of extra months enjoyable and dealing on-line. Granted, the web pace at the moment sucks and that slowed down my work, however I’m positive even that can enhance within the close to future.
In the event you’re planning to dwell in Puerto Morelos for a month, I’d undoubtedly say “go for it!” Possibly I’ll even see you there after I return.
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