April 21-27th, 2017
My daughter had been talking about getting away “somewhere warm” for several months and I’m always up for a trip so when I found a bargain on plane tickets to Cancun, we started planning. The Mesoamerican Reef runs along the entire coastline of the Yucatan peninsula. Since 6 days was her limit, we settled on two places to visit. Both of which boasted good snorkeling, a priority for Stephanie.
Quick security at Cancun airport after a delayed flight was a bonus and we managed to make it in time to catch the southbound bus which is 208 pesos for the two of us (approx $15 CAN) as opposed to $70 US for a taxi. In Puerto Morelos it was easy to find a taxi to take us to the airbnb we’d reserved. I’ve stayed in many different kinds of accommodations but this was my first experience with airbnb. It didn’t start off well, as the room hadn’t been cleaned. (YUCK!) Finally we found some clean sheets and a decent bed and enjoyed a good night’s sleep.
A redeeming factor for the airbnb was it’s close proximity to the beach so we were exploring it before 8 am. After scoping it out in both directions we made arrangement for Marcel (near the lighthouse) to take us snorkeling at the reef. Then we searched for breakfast. El Nicho’s turned out to be a great find and we enjoyed the best eggs benedict I’ve had in a long time. We enjoyed the trip with Marcel so much, we agreed to go out with him the next morning as the earlier you go, the better your chance to see turtles. The reef is a 5 minute boat ride from the beach but it’s a national park and you have to go with a guide.
Puerto Morelos is a nice little town with a beautiful beach, nice harbour, lots of choice in restaurants and a cute down town area where you can find souvenirs and delicious gelato. There’s not a lot of traffic. People are friendly and merchants aren’t pushy.
After enjoying eggs benedict one more time, we packed up and waited on the road for a collectivo. A taxi came first and wasn’t that much more expensive so we took it to the bus stop where we bought tickets for Xpu Ha. For future reference, let the bus driver know exactly where you’re going. He dropped us off in the middle of nowhere on the highway. Hmm. No problem. We caught a collectivo that dropped us off at the road leading to Glamping Xpu Ha.
Our accommodation was a permanent tent with a huge, very comfortable bed right on the beach. The beach is beautiful and you can swim to the reef so, needless to say, we spent a LOT of time in the water snorkelling. I slept like a baby with the sound of ocean waves to lull me to sleep.
One day we decided to see something besides the Carribbean and walked to the highway where we took a collectivo to the Cenote Jardin del Eden as it and the Cenote Azul are closest. We arrived just as it opened in the morning to beat the crowds as it’s a popular attraction. Sometimes “touristy” places are touristy for a reason and this was one well worth visiting.
The Yucatan peninsula boasts over 2,000 cenotes. All of them are different. Someday we’ll go back and visit more of them but for this day, we just headed to the next one we could walk to; Agua Azul