So close to tourist powerhouse Cancun, Puerto Morelos has -- somewhat miraculously-- survived as a laid-back small town; whereas Playa del Carmen, just a notch down the highway, has been utterly transformed by tourism.
Puerto Morelos' residents are savvy about the ecology of the nearby coral reef (-second largest barrier reef in the world) and potential environmental damages of development. So far, little large-scale resort development.
If you're driving down Highway 307, stop in at Puerto Morelos and shop for souvenirs around the town square, or book a snorkeling trip to the reef with one of Puerto Morelos' knowledgable guides.
All Inclusive Resorts in the Puerto Morelos Area
Resorts in this area have two big advantages: they're just 20-minutes from the Cancun airport, and they're right by the wonderful coral barrier reef. Guests should be sure to take a snorkeling trip.
Just south of town is the all-suites Marina El Cid Riviera Maya Resort. Families like the big freeform pool with waterslide and cliff jump. the resort has a kids club for ages 4 to 12, and a marina with sailing and snorkeling outings (- extra charge). Platinum-level service adds perks such as ocean-view, special check-in, butler service.
Also in the area are two AZUL Hotels by Karisma "gourmet inclusive" resorts: the boutique AZUL Beach Hotel, and larger AZUL Sensatori. Both have special programs for under-fives, designed with toy company Fisher-Price*; complimentary gear for babies; kids clubs; and features such as beach butlers and 24-hour room service.
continue to Iberostar Paraiso resort complex, km 25
*Always check resort web sites for updates!