Last Friday we returned to the charming town of Puerto Morelos, just a 35-minute bus ride up the coast from Playa del Carmen. I'd read that the snorkeling was really good here as the barrier reef is so close to shore, and I'd requested a snorkeling trip for my birthday, so today was the day (a few days after my birthday but close enough!)
This was the week after Easter, a very popular holiday time for tourists, especially Mexican families who flock to the coast from inland towns, villages, and cities, so the beach was a lot busier than on our first visit. But it's a nice wide beach, and there was still plenty of room for everyone.
Unfortunately, I can't offer any photos of our actual snorkeling trip as our camera is not waterproof and had to stay safely behind when we headed out in the zebra-striped boat below. But it was a grand time!
The reef was, as we experienced in Belize, absolutely magical, with multiple types of coral, a variety of colorful fish, sea plants and anemones; and I even got to see a Caribbean lobster and an eel, hiding deep in the coral.
The water was perfectly warm and clear, and the Wet Set guides did a great job keeping everyone together and pointing out special sights. Since the reef is a protected national park, you must go with a guide and furthermore, you must wear a life vest. No exceptions. I didn't mind this as it helped me ensure I did not put a foot down in the often very shallow water and risk doing any damage to the beautiful reef (or cut myself). Barry is not a huge fan of snorkeling, but I just love it and find it incredibly mesmerizing being in the underwater world.
If you look closely in the photo below, you can see the white breaking waves behind the reef at the horizon.
After stopping and snorkeling at two different spots along the reef, we were happily exhausted, hungry, and ready to come to shore. It didn't take us long to settle into a table right on the beach at the restaurant, Ojo de Agua, and order a couple of tall cold ones and some food.
Barry had the same fish a la diabla he'd enjoyed on our first visit, and I tried this avocado stuffed with shrimp salad, which is my new favorite. Man, was it good, and so refreshing on a hot day!
The view from our table wasn't too shabby either.
After we'd finished, the grackles flew in to see if we'd left them any tidbits. I just love this view! You can really see the reef in this photo, so close to shore.
With full bellies, we trekked back to the town center, not too far down the beach.
We saw the famous leaning lighthouse again, and plenty of colorful fishing and snorkel boats.
The sand sculptures in front of the municipal park had a Christian theme this time; I guess in honor of Easter. Can you imagine the work that went into this Last Supper table?! Fortunately, it's dry season, so it's likely to stand for awhile.
And here's Moses. Both sculptures were completely different from what we saw on our first visit.
After a quick stop in the nice used bookstore, Alma Libre, for a couple of paperbacks, we made the trek back to the highway to catch the bus back to Playa.
What a special birthday treat for me this day was! Thanks to my wonderful husband for coming along and making sure that I had a great day!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
Favorite Travel Blogs