Las Casitas sits in the heart of Puerto Morelos, a charming small fishing village nestled between Cancun to the North, and the resorts and Playa del Carmen to the South. The laid back atmosphere and friendly people make it a great place to relax and unwind.
Yet, there’s so much to do in and near Puerto Morelos, you can find as much entertainment, exploration and excitement as you want! We’re thrilled you’re considering sharing our little slice of paradise here at Las Casitas. Here’s a bit of information about the town and getting around to help you get acclimated.
If you haven’t been to Mexico in the recent past, upon arrival, you will receive two small forms to fill out. They usually have both on the plane, but occasionally the crew will only have the immigration form, and you will pick up the customs form in the airport.
Immigration Form: Make sure you fill out and sign the form (one per person). You will need to repeat some of the information from the top of the form, again on the bottom perforated portion of the form. IMPORTANT: When you go through immigration, they will stamp and return the bottom portion of the form. Keep this with your passport and don’t lose it! You must turn this portion of the form into the airline upon departure. If you lose your form, you need to see the small immigration booth in the main departure area of the airport to obtain a replacement and pay a fairly steep fine!
Customs: Once you clear immigration, you will pick up your checked luggage and proceed toward the exit through Customs. This is where you will present your other Customs form (one per family) if asked. The Red Light/Green Light is no longer in use at our airport. Just follow the signs to exit. If you are flagged by an immigration official, they will either xray your luggage or perform a hand search of your luggage. It’s a pretty routine thing, looking for items you might plan to sell or should pay some tax on (new items, cigarettes, liquor, etc).
Airport Directions: Once you clear customs, you will enter a main hall and proceed toward the building exit. NOTE: If you need pesos, the ATMs in the airport are relatively safe choices (ALWAYS keep an eye on your account after using ATMS in the area as a number of them are compromised).
Follow the signs for the mode of transportation you’ll be using (e.g. Taxi’s/Busses; Friends and Family, etc)
Taxis and Taxi Vans operate under a monopoly for the airport, so prices are pretty high compared to using taxis in and around Puerto Morelos. If using a taxi, you will prepay it at the Taxi Booth (not including any tip you want to give the driver). Las Casitas can also provide you with other transportation options you can pre-book to take the hassle out of arrivals.
It is a short 20 to 25 minute ride to Las Casitas from the airport. We look forward to greeting you upon your arrival at Las Casitas!
While in Puerto Morelos, any time you need a taxi, you can call the main taxi stand number at +52-998-871-0090 (you don’t need the 1 in the preface because it’s a landline not a cell phone you’re calling). NOTE: Due to construction and other issues, the above taxi number may not be operational. If this is the case, you can dial +52-998-980-0683. Always confirm the rate before entering the taxi.
AROUND PUERTO MORELOS:
The Las Casitas location is fantastic for just about anything you’d like to do.
We provide some links to great resources throughout our site, but one that you should check out is www.inpuertomorelos.com
There are wonderful things to experience in Puerto Morelos, both near Las Casitas, and a bit further away. Let’s give you a brief “walking tour narrative” of what is nearby Las Casitas here; and we will cover the farther attractions below under “Tours”. The places we mention are some of our personal favs. We aren’t paid to list any store, bar or restaurant. And there are many that may not be mentioned, but are also great to explore. A full restaurant interactive map is available in www.inpuertomorelos.com.
Current covid-19 restrictions require restaurants (and bars) to serve food with drinks. So don’t be surprised or alarmed if they ask you to order something along with your drinks. They’re just following the current laws. In most places, you can order something upon arrival (so it’s on the check if the restaurant is visited by authorities) but ask for it not to be prepared until you’re ready later.
You’re standing on the grounds of Las Casitas, staring mesmerized at the Caribbean waters. Step through the gate and onto the sand.
The first set of palapas to your left (as you look at the ocean) is UNICO Beach club. Friendly, good food, good drinks. There is a small charge for umbrellas and chairs. UNICO has a couple of “happy hours” but they are for very specific drinks and brands which you can see on their menu board behind the bar, so be careful! Right next to Unico is another beach club called Dive Lodge. It can be an entertaining choice for music, drinks, and an eclectic clientele.
The first set of palapas to your right from Las Casitas (as you look at the ocean) is PARADISE Beach Club. Very friendly, good drinks and food. Chairs and umbrellas are usually free with a minimum consumption. They sound the conch shell horn at 3:00pm signaling 2×1 Happy Hour until 4:00pm (literally, one happy hour! It also may be for specific things – domestic, etc – so ask!). Note: Due to covid-19 restrictions, happy hours may not be operational.
If you continue past MyParadise, you will be heading the direction of the Town Square. It’s maybe a 10 minute walk to the square. Along the way, you will see a number of beach restaurants. A favorite, if you like seafood, is La Playita. They serve fresh fish and seafood, caught by local fisherman and delivered that morning. A little further on is Don Ernestos, which is another good beach club, with many more in and around these locations! At the Square there are many shops, a convenience store for essentials, more restaurants and bars. Right on the corner closest to the lighthouse, upstairs, is La Sirena’s. It is a favorite hangout, with sports TV and live music on many evenings. A great starting point. A little further down (away from the sea) and upstairs in the Lobster House. It’s a locally owned restaurant with reasonably priced food and drink.
As you leave Las Casitas from the front, you’ll go left then immediately right and the main street is called Av. Javier Rojo Gomez. Turn left on this divided street and you’ll be heading toward the square passing many bars and restaurants as you go. Lots of choices, too many to call out here, ranging from Italian and pizza, to authentic Mexican, to comfort food. While all are quite good, a few to note (in order of appearance on your walk – as close as I can remember): Blue Morelos, just to your right as you hit the large pedestrian crossing tope, is a great place for some very unique tacos and tostadas. The flavor combinations are absolutely amazing, and the service is excellent. Taninos is a little further up on your right with a great (and romantic) courtyard atmosphere, and a wide choice of menu items. A bar of note Don Mexkal, is a favorite of locals and visitors alike! They open a bit later, serve food during most open hours, and are usually one of the latest open bars in town (covid restrictions have adjusted closing hours on all of the restaurants and bars). Extremely friendly and welcoming. For good Mexican comfort food, El Pirata is on the left just past Mexkal. Right next to Pirata is Pizza Nostra (cash only). Great pizzas and fantastic pastas (My fav is their lasagna)! Continuing from there, you have a ton of newer selections to the Avenue (but many just moved locations and are as good or better than before)! These include Burger Underground, El Campanarios, and a host of others!
If you go one more block toward the mangroves and walk that street (parallel to Rojo Gomez), you’ll also find a selection of restaurants. One of my favorites there is Osteria Barocca, a great Italian place.
The Town Square:
The town square has all sorts of stores, restaurants, bars and activities. You’ll likely find this to be the center of your entertainment while in Puerto Morelos.
Northwest Corner – This area has an OXXO (Mexico version of 7-11) which is a good place to pick up ice and essential items. Also on this corner is a garishly lit “jewelry” and souvenir shop. We would recommend avoiding this place. It is a chain store in from Playa del Carmen with the same tactics and street barkers that are not in keeping with the Puerto Morelos atmosphere. You can get similar or better things, with low pressure and fair prices at the markets along the streets running south of the square or at The Godfather’s on Av. Javier Rojo Gomez back toward Las Casitas.
Moving clockwise (stores on your left, park/plaza on your right) – you have a few restaurants, another convenience store, and La Sirena’s above the store.
The Pier – great for views and hanging out. There are a lot of tour and boat captain vendors here. See “Tours” later for your better bet. By the way, at this point, there is a small, short road going back north that has a number of good restaurants on it.
Continuing Clockwise – Mostly open space on both sides. There is a small bar behind the office buildings just as the space on your left opens up – called Pangea. If they are open (usually only high season), you can get an eclectic mix of folks here – often more “bohemian” with some occasional live music.
Southeast Corner – There is a large restaurant called “Pelicano’s.” Across from it, upstairs, is Punto Corchol. Great food and exceptional service. In this block going south of the square are a few other restaurants and some souvenir shops.
Continuing Clockwise (moving west along the south side of the square) – you will see the Alma Libre Bookstore, and a couple of small, but very good restaurants for some authentic Mexican food. Right before the corner is El Nicho which has great breakfasts served til 2pm. At the corner is a coffee shop that also provides WiFi (closest thing to Starbucks we have). Turn left at the coffee shop, and the best (my opinion) steak place called Al Chimichurri is on your left. All of their meat is imported from Canada and grilled on open flame. Fantastic! Down this road are several other good restaurants and markets for souvenirs.
So much to share, and so much we’ve still left out. Best bet? Ask some of the friendly locals for what you would like, and they’ll get you to the right place!
There are many, many things to do other than eating and drinking. From snorkeling and diving, to fishing, chartering a boat just to cruise around, to swimming in the cenotes, or going to all day water type parks. There’s even a permanent Cirque du Soleil show a few minutes down the highway! You can pick up tours from the folks at the pier, or several different tour kiosks around…but we strongly recommend LIGHTHOUSE TOURS (on Facebook or at www.lighthousetours.com.mx). Owned and operated by our good friend Tomas Juarez-Rodriguez (From a U.S. phone, dial +51-1-998-841-4516), he can be reached by phone, or he has a tour stand on Av. Gomez as you’re walking from Las Casitas into town and another on the Square. Tomas can get you any recreational tour you’d like and you can be comfortable you’re paying appropriate and fair rates. First class service!!! Tell Tomas Javier and Tim sent you and that you’re staying in Las Casitas!
Language – You are in Mexico, and Spanish is the native language (well, and Mayan but we won’t go there). That said, Puerto Morelos has a large ex-pat community and English is widely spoken, including many servers and service providers. Still, you will find no more genuine folks who will patiently help and assist you if you try speaking in the native tongue. If you don’t already have it, download the Google Translate App to your phone. You’ll find it a big help!
Mosquitos – Be sure to bring repellant that contains DEET. It’s the only stuff that works, and, depending on the time of year, the mosquitos can be ferocious.
Credit Cards – Many places are now taking credit cards, but many don’t (watch for a sign saying solomente effectivo or ask), and those that do often have systems that are down. So have pesos available. Many locations will accept US dollars, but you’ll still be charged in pesos and then have the not-so-good conversion rate applied. All change will be returned to you in pesos as well.
Crime – You may have heard or seen some news stories regarding crime in the Cancun area. The Riviera Maya…and Puerto Morelos more specifically…is quite safe. You do have to watch your belongings on the beach and practice common sense guidelines that you would anywhere, but violent crime tends to be contained to the city areas (Cancun city and Play del Carmen city) generally away from tourist locations. Stay aware of your surroundings, but enjoy this beautiful area to it’s fullest feeling comfortable in doing so. More on security by clicking HERE.