Family Break to Mexico Puerto Morelos Riviera Maya

Tracy Hendricks on 01 April 2017
Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula has so much to offer, whether you are wanting adventure or relaxation there is so much to do. We travelled during the dry season (December to April) although we did experience some monsoon style rains that quickly dried up & the sun returned. The perfect place to let your hair down and enjoy the varied cultural tastes & experiences for all ages.

We travelled to Cancun on the Gulf Coast of Mexico on a Dreamliner and we were a little weary after the 10 hour flight from the UK. The crew made our sons first-time long-haul flight experience memorable & Tommy ended up visiting the pilot & co pilot who gave him a copy of our flight map. They were absolutely fabulous & even remembered him on the return journey. He definitely felt like a VIP.

Although only half an hour from the airport by taxi to the hotel the bus transfers can take up to 1½ so I would recommend a private transfer to Puerto Morelos. Greeted on arrival with typical Mexican friendliness, cocktails and cool refreshing flannels. We decided to split the holiday & have one active week & a lazy week by the pool / beach. Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its amazing Cenotes, natural pools formed in limestone caves creating caves into the Yucatan’s large underground river system. The entire Riviera Maya is covered with thousands of cenotes, many of them you can swim or snorkel in ( and for the adventurous scuba dive) most charge an entrance fee. Some of the best cenotes are near the city of Puerto Morelos approximately 30 minutes from Cancun. The water is definitely quite refreshing! The Cenote at Verda Lucero has it’s own zipline!

Chitchen Itza – UNESCO World Heritage Site – Named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World although it has existed for over 1000 years. Our trip included entry to Chitchen Itza and was around 230 pesos to enter when we were there. This was a must for us, we knew it would be a long day, our hotel pick up was at 5am ready for a 3-hour journey. We left early to avoid some of the heat & the crowds. As you arrive, we were greeted by the temperature gauge, it was already 101F by 9am. Our guide, like most guides had plenty of unique stories to tell which added to the experience so if you have the opportunity, use a guide before exploring on your own.

Dating back to the fifth century there is much to see the 98-foot-tall pyramid Temple of Kukulan or El Castillo dominates as you enter the site. The ruins are spread over 5kms but lots remain as yet to be discovered (make sure you wear some good walking shoes & an umbrella or hat for some shade). The Tomb of the High Priest or Osario Temple is a step-pyramid temple with staircases on each side. The temple stands atop a natural limestone cave in which skeletons and offerings were found, giving the temple its name.

The Sacred Cenote is a sinkhole that is connected to Chichen Itza by a raised pathway. Our guide told us of how the cenote had been drained and that the murky water has yielded many artefacts including gold, jade, copper, turquoise, obsidian, copal or incense, pottery, rubber, shells and the bones of around 200 people who were thrown in as a sacrifice.

The main ball court (1 of 8) is impressive, the gruesome tales of losing teams heads being used as ball keep everyone listening intently. El Caracol is thought to be one of the first observatories and dates back to around 906AD.

Chac Mool sits at the summit of The Temple of the Warriors and is one of the iconic images you will see from Chitchen Itza. As you enter & leave the site you can feel like you’re being a bit hassled by the vendors, but if you’re not interested a firm ‘no thank you’ should do it. If you are interested, just be sure to never accept the first price you’re given, the vendors are expecting to barter, US dollars are accepted as well as pesos. Definitely a long day, but very memorable with lots of tales & picture opportunities. The trip home was broken up with a Cenote visit & stop at the Portuguese influenced town of San Filipe Nuevo

The ferry to Cozumel

We took the Winjet ferry from Playa Del Carmen to Cozumel it takes around 30 minutes and costs around 800peso. Fast & reasonably comfortable on non-choppy sailings. The island is largely undeveloped and is a lot less commercialised than Playa del Carmen. There is plenty to do on the island, we opted to visit Playa Mia & Coral Reef Snorkelling and before returning to the ferry we visited the downtown shopping area with lots of bars, restaurants and designer shops.


We had to visit Cancun, busy, bustling fun, plenty of shopping and a huge variety of bars & restaurants. If you wanted to stock up on designer clothes at less than UK prices you can do it here, sometimes window shopping is more fun. It cost us approx. $50 dollars each way. There is also a good pharmacy it seems that ear infections in children are common from all the swimming & you can speak to a qualified pharmacist for the correct treatment.

Dolphin / Whale Watching

There are so many options if you are looking to meet these beautiful creatures up close. Tommy had only just learnt to swim so was nervous in the open waters & we opted for a Dolphin visit at the aquarium in Cancun. We were given a time slot and everything was very controlled. We were reminded that these were intelligent creatures, giving them the respect that they deserved. We enjoyed the trip and it suited us but if we were to do again we would visit in more natural surroundings.

Visit the Cancun Sign on the highway in Playa Delfines

On the main highway the iconic colourful Cancun sign is accessible from the beach there always seems to be a queue waiting in line to take a picture.

Anyone for a Taco or quesadilla? With lots of fresh ingredients the food is refreshing and tasty whether it is fast food or fine dining. Saying that Tommy developed a love for Sushi in Mexico which he still loves, it is always his snack of choice.

After our busy week it was time to relax take in the warm sea breezes relax with a drink or two and take in some sun. When Tommy grew bored of impersonating a fish and our adult company, he visited the kids activity centre at the hotel and always came back full of beans & excitement they certainly knew how to keep the youngsters entertained. It was an amazing trip, but we really only scratched the surface of what to do. There are so many places left to explore but that’s for next time. Nos vemos más tarde.