Ahhhh May in Puerto Morelos!
The high season is over, the snowbirds are making their way back North and things start to really slow down as we head into the warmer months. Yes folks, low season is officially here!
There are a lot of perks to low-season life in Puerto Morelos — its’ much easier to find parking (!), less wait time in restaurants, a wide open beach, less wind makes snorkeling and diving easier, and, for us, it’s a bit less crazy work wise.
It’s the perfect time to start planning a few weekend get-aways. And lucky for us, we live in paradise, so we are just a few hours drive (or less!) from some of the most magical places on earth!
Check out some of our top destinations for low-season 2022!
Ok, ok, I know, we’ve ALL been to Isla Mujeres and to be honest, this is one place we stay AWAY from in the high season (unless we’re on a yacht!), because it gets SO busy! Like shoulder-to-shoulder-walking down-the-sidewalk busy.
But it’s so busy because it is a great destination! And come low-season, things slow down making Isla Mujeres a more desirable location for us locals.
So why Isla? Hear me out…
#1- It’s close! Grab a taxi, and a ferry and BOOM you are there in just over an hour.
#2- Playa Norte- One of the most beautiful beaches in the world! (and that’s a fact… Google it!) No matter how many times I’ve been to Isla Mujeres, I CANNOT BELIEVE this beach. Like jaw dropping beauty. If you can, rent a place with Playa Norte views! It’s worth the extra peso or two…
#3- It’s an Island! And not a very wide one at that… There always seems to be a nice breeze coming off of the ocean, especially the open sea side, which is MUCH appreciated come hot summer months. If you are looking to fall asleep to the sound of the waves and the sea breeze, this is the side of the island to book a place on!
#4- Last but not least, it’s easy! Sometimes you just want an all-inclusive stay to really unwind and not worry about cooking or where to eat dinner… And Isla does offer that! Check out the views at the MIA Reef Hotel Isla Mujeres.
Unlike Isla Mujeres, there aren’t any name brand hotels in our next destination…
But it is the hidden gem of Yucatan– EL CUYO! This little fishing village in the extreme North Eastern part of the state has become our favorite little get away.
Honestly, I even questioned putting this one in the blog… We want to keep El Cuyo all to ourselves! But, there is already a major buzz about this place and understandably so… It’s truly amazing!
El Cuyo is the epitome of a weekend getaway! Affordable beach houses, dodgy wi-fi, cold drinks, and good seafood.
If you are looking for a fast paced scene and lively nightlife, look elsewhere… El Cuyo is calm, low-key, and relatively quiet. The streets are not paved, there’s no major grocery stores, I don’t even think I saw an Oxxo… Oh and here’s an important tip: TAKE CASH – very few businesses take credit cards and there’s no bank or ATM.
But this place has so much charm!
The shore is lined with humble beach bungalows that have probably been in the local’s families forever. It is an easy place to fall in love with!
And lucky for us, it’s just a two and a half hour drive from Puerto Morelos! Grab the toll road for smooth sailing, or take your time and pass through all the little Yucatecan towns…
Looking to do something other than just relax all weekend? The area is popular amongst kite surfers and there are a few kite schools in the town! It’s also relatively close to Rio Lagartos, Las Coloradas, Yum Balam Nature Reserve.
Looking for a great place to stay? Check out Casa Cielo! There are also a lot of great BEACH FRONT Airbnb listings in El Cuyo.
Holbox Island is another destination that has gained popularity over the years!
10 years ago, it was similar to what El Cuyo is today… Very little international tourism, no big hotels, overall good vibes, CHEAP (you could take a 2 hour horse ride on the beach for $15 usd!).
Today, yes, it has grown, but it has NOT lost its charm and we wouldn’t dare make a weekend getaway list without featuring this gorgeous location.
Holbox is a great place to getaway even more so in the summer months during the whale shark migration! They migrate close to the island every year from May to September and tours run daily that allow you to snorkel next to them.
Another must see natural phenomenon on the island is the bioluminescence of Holbox– which is one of the most famous spots to see it occur in the world!
If you are looking to see either of these natural wonders, be sure to do some research on the best time of the summer to go!
From Puerto Morelos, you can hitch a ride (taxi, bus, transport) or drive to Chiquila port (about a two and a half hour drive). From there you grab the ferry over to Isla Holbox. They leave every 30 minutes and you’ll be on the island in 15 minutes!
Ok, this might be one that you have never heard of… And guys, this place is small and relatively remote. So if that’s what you look for in an adventure, check out Sisal!
This little fishing village is the perfect mix of beachtown and colonial city. And life here is slow and quiet. The must see/do activities include (and are almost limited to) walking the beach and watching the sunset.
What to do the rest of the day? Enjoy the views. Because Sisal’s beaches are gorgeous.
We must also mention that Sisal is just a stone’s throw from Merida! So if you get tired of relaxing (is that possible?!) head into Merida to spend the afternoon strolling the square and eating a yummy dinner!
Sisal is one of the most recently deemed “Pueblo Magico” in Yucatan. And to be frank, the locals aren’t entirely sold on the title yet… They want to keep this town quiet and to themselves, so keep that in mind when visiting not only Sisal, but all of these small towns that don’t see a lot of international visitors! They are inviting you into THEIR home, so treat it with the utmost respect.
How to get to Sisal from Puerto Morelos? This one is a bit of a distance… It’s just under a 5 hour drive! Located on the Gulf of Mexico side of the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s almost a straight shot to the west through Merida.
But the majority of the trip is down the main toll road to Merida, making it easy! Get some snacks, crank the tunes, and you’ll be there in no time!
Ok, our last but definitely NOT least getaway is the magical town of Bacalar! A “Pueblo Magico” located in the southern part of Quintana Roo (close to the capital city of Chetumal!)
This one isn’t quite as far as Sisal, just under a 4 hour drive south, but it is worth the trip! Bacalar is so unique and inviting.
So what’s so great about this little town? It sits on “La Laguna de Los Siete Colores” and the views alone are worth the trip! And it offers some pretty incredible lodging!
Bacalar is also a great place to get in some water sports. The Lagoon is definitely a main attraction. Take a boat tour and check out the local flora and fauna!
Want to get some physical activity instead? Explore the water on a kayak or a stand up paddle board!
The lagoon is also home to several cenotes, the most refreshing option on a hot summer day! Be sure to check one out after a long day on the water.
Last but not least, check out the downtown area! Yes, the water is gorgeous, but the city itself was deemed a “Pueblo Magic” for a reason. It hosts many yummy restaurants and cute boutiques not to be missed.
As a friendly reminder, don’t forget these tips while away from home!
Like we mentioned with Sisal, these places are home to locals that have been connected to this land way before we even knew they existed! So enter into these towns as if you were entering into someone’s home… Because you are!
#1. Respect infrastructure!
NO T.P. IN THE TOILETS! I repeat… NO T.P IN THE TOILETS! This can seriously backup and destroy sewer lines… Making it an expensive fix for the business and rental property owners.
Limit your water usage.
Properly dispose of waste.
Save energy by not running A/C’s and lights 24/7. These towns were not built to withstand a huge influx of people, which can leave locals without light and water for multiple days due to over-usage.
#2. Refrain from complaining!
Ok, this can be a hard one for some, but REMEMBER most of these towns are NOT Americanized, and that’s what gives them charm and excitement! Yes, the local bar may not have your brand of Rum, but you will survive! Sheets aren’t Egyptian cotton? You will survive! Your Airbnb doesn’t have A/C? Ok, you’re screwed, but yes, you will survive!
With that being said, if life’s comforts are non-negotiable for you, we totally get that!
But then we highly recommend choosing an All-Inclusive hotel in the Riviera Maya, not a beach bungalow in a small fishing village of the Yucatan Peninsula.
So… What are you waiting for?
It’s time to get packing!
You may have noticed that all of our destinations were coastal cities… And yes, that was intentional! We love the colonial cities of the Yucatan as well, BUT this time of year they are all even HOTTER than Puerto Morelos.
You can’t really beat the heat without hopping on a plane, so if it’s a weekend getaway in the Summer, we make sure we’re on the water!
You may have ALSO noticed we aren’t planning any trips south (other than the Lagoon of Bacalar)… That too was intentional!
The sargassum has already arrived to the coasts of the Riviera Maya, while this doesn’t ruin a vacation, we do try to avoid it during these months! We want the turquoise views, especially since we miss them so much during the high season (thanks to work!).
Want even more idea of fun things to do this summer? Check out our “10 Summer Bucket List Ideas – Puerto Morelos Edition” blog.
Kim and Gabriel