Discover the Coral Reef National Park of Puerto Morelos

Posted on May 30, 2023 by Eduardo

Puerto Morelos is a town and seaport in Quintana Roo located in the northeast of the state, about 36 km south of the resort city of Cancún, and about 30 km north of the city of Playa del Carmen.

Puerto Morelos is divided by a highway and a mangrove swamp into three sections. The section west of the highway is known as “Colonia Joaquin Zetina Gazca”. The section east of the highway is called “Colonia Pescadores”. The section on the coast east of the mangrove swamp is “Puerto” or “Antiguo (old) Puerto Morelos”. This original coastal fishing village is now a quiet, mixed-use neighborhood of private homes, hotels, condominiums, restaurants, and tourist shops.

One hundred meters off shore lies the Puerto Morelos portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, designated as a National Marine Park in 1998 due to local environmental activists.

This reef system, also popularly known as the Great Mayan Reef or Great Maya Reef, is a marine region that stretches over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from Isla Contoy at the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula down to Belize, Guatemala and the Bay Islands of Honduras. The reef system includes various protected areas and parks including the Puerto Morelos Coral Reef National Park, Belize Barrier Reef, Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, Hol Chan Marine Reserve (Belize), Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, and the Cayos Cochinos Marine Park.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef in the world, runs parallel the Yucatan Peninsula. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the only reef that is larger. In Puerto Morelos, the reef is closer to the shore than in other areas of the Riviera Maya. In 1998, this section of the reef became a protected area.

Snorkeling tours and scuba diving trips are available from several dive shops in the small, seaside town of Puerto Morelos. It is illegal to swim out to the reef from the shore. To protect the reef, all snorkelers and divers must go out to the reef with accredited guides.

The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk and more than 500 species of fish. There are numerous species that live in or around the reef system that are endangered or under some degree of protection, including the following: sea turtles (green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, leatherback turtle, and the hawksbill turtle), the queen conch, the West Indian manatee, the splendid toadfish, the American crocodile, the Morelet’s Crocodile, the Nassau grouper, elkhorn coral, and black coral.


Live this beautiful experience and explore the deep blue Caribbean ocean waters, see and do the real thing in Puerto Morelos, the home of the oldest port in the Mexican Caribbean. Get away from the noise and crowds, get back to nature and discover this quiet, unspoiled fishing village.

Go out snorkeling, take a boat with a guide who will provide with all the needed equipment including a life vest. You may not be allow touching the coral and must take great care not to damage it as it is only 6 feet below the surface. Great care has been taken to keep it from being damaged. There is a government guard assigned to protect this area.

Also, enjoy Scuba Diving at the beautiful reefs and caverns in the area. Dive Shops are available directly in Puerto Morelos or enjoy as much as six hours of fishing, full equipment, professional guide and crew, bait and refreshments. marlin, sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo, barracuda, grouper, snapper, snook, pampano, permit and more.

Book now your transportation with the best company, Transfer Cancun Airport, and travel safe and comfortable with all your family to the beautiful Coral Reef National Park of Puerto Morelos.

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