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Old 03-03-2016   #1 (permalink)
aņejo
 
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Family and Friends in Puerto Morelos Feb 2016

We just returned from another wonderful trip to Puerto Morelos, though I almost don't want to write this because the place is hard enough to book already....which will be revealed in the one downside of this vacation.

Some background: This is our second trip to Puerto Morelos. We had an awesome time last year staying at the Playasol complex right on the beach. GREAT, fairly inexpensive accommodations for our group of 4 adults and 1 toddler. We has a series of misfortunes happen, including severe travel delays (like everyone who tried to fly in and out of New England last winter), lost luggage on the way down (returned after 6 WEEKS), and a burst pipe in our house while we were gone. Other than that, it was the perfect vacation, so we decided to do it again

Our group grew this year and it was hard to organize everyone into locking down housing until August. For those of you who travel to PM in the high season, you know rentals book out a year in advance, so we were stuck making do with what we could get. We ended up booking the "Villas Ojo de Agua" on Airbnb for a decent price. We knew the units were spartan and we were fine with that. We don't require much by way of lodging, so long as it's safe and clean. Our unit was clean. Our friends' unit was not so clean, due to no fault of our wonderful maid. There's not much you can do about unknown liquid leaking out of the bathroom ceiling. So gross. Safety was iffy. Long story short- we don't recommend the place. More on that later. Location was perfect, though!

So about us- we were 7 adults and one 3 year old. My husband, daughter and I shared a 1 bedroom condo, and 2 couples shared the 2 bedroom condo next door. A single friend decided to join us at the last minute and she split her stay between the hotel Ojo de Agua next door and Arrifieces II a bit farther north. She really liked Arrifieces. No comment on OdA- the TA reviews speak for themselves. The non-child having adults generally ventured out an about during the day, while the family folk stuck to the beach. We all got together for meals and after dinner drinks on the patio as often as possible. It made for a great mix of family vacation, and time to visit with good friends. I'll leave you with a photo before I move on
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Old 03-03-2016   #2 (permalink)
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I'll try to keep this to mostly pictures. Our condo came with and without some standard amenities:

Omitted was a toilet seat, which I was able to purchase at Chedraui for 49 pesos, then realize that a 49 peso toilet seat is useless- our new seat:



Added amenities included a free "sexy" undergarment stuffed inside our closet door- I made J scrub his hands after this photo:




But, you really can't beat the view, and if it weren't for the all night beach club party 10 feet from where we were sleeping, I might have a different opinion of the place. This was the view from our patio:

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Old 03-03-2016   #3 (permalink)
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You may notice there is a beach club in front of our condos. That would be Cielo Beach. Looks inviting, right? Between the gauzy strips that don't actually provide any shade, the rock-hard wooden chairs with no cushion, the questionable beach service, and the speakers pumping out songs that have to be a joke for the number of times they repeat the n-word- it's a lovely place to spend the day. Not that we would know. We did not give them our support after the first day.

I posted a review of the place on the general forum (and TA), but basically, they will rent out the place to anyone with enough money for all night DJ parties, they have very little managerial oversight, leading to a very drunk waiter trying to charge our friends 400 pesos for 3 beers, and they can't seem to make change for drinks. We were offered a free lunch as compensation for our "inconvenience" on the first night. We did not take them up on that offer. In fact, we never saw anyone eating there all week, save one couple getting photographed by the club:



So we didn't go there. Instead, we lunched at many other wonderful establishments along PM's gorgeous beaches. More on that to follow later.
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Old 03-03-2016   #4 (permalink)
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Ugh, I'm glad you prefaced this with having a good vaca otherwise I'd be so sad for you...

Looking forward to reading more, you've hooked me with the dangling bait!!! Before I get too involved, thank you for doing a TR!!
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Old 03-03-2016   #5 (permalink)
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Ugh, I'm glad you prefaced this with having a good vaca otherwise I'd be so sad for you...

Looking forward to reading more, you've hooked me with the dangling bait!!! Before I get too involved, thank you for doing a TR!!
Oh, it was actually a great vacation. We were in paradise with some of our best friends and some new great friends- we had a blast. There were no divas in the bunch- we were all able to simultaneously bitch and laugh at our (lack of) accommodations. We're all campers/budget travelers, so things like no toilet seat and uncertain hot water weren't deal breakers. We knew what we were getting into in terms of basic lodging- we just weren't prepared for an all night party right outside our door. We never would have expected that in PM, and thankfully it was only the 1 night. We were a bit worried that it would happen again, but it didn't. More coming up!
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Old 03-03-2016   #6 (permalink)
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Let's do lunch! This was usually a family affair, as our friends tended to be out exploring the area. We ate on the beach and played with our daughter while we waited for our food/enjoyed our drinks.

Unico: Probably the best ceviche we had- Caribbean fish with mango. OMG, delicious. It looks small, but I was full after sharing it with my husband and greedy daughter- we ordered a sandwich, too, but it would have been enough on it's own.



There were also bar swings- great photo for the grandparents



And fun in the sand- my daughter found a friend, but I didn't take a picture- it seemed creepy w/o asking. She ended up playing with kids most places we went, and most didn't speak English. It didn't take them long to find a way to play with each other, which was awesome to watch




Chayito: Great, cheap fish- love their grill. We had the skewer shrimp and grilled chicken- both great. More sand fun- and fun with coconuts, too



Merkadito: A bit more expensive than other places, but they offer small plates of tacos/tostadas for sampling a few different things, and we loved their unusual Greek salad. I eat salad every day at home, and I go into serious withdrawal in Mexico. Good greens are hard to find. We also ran into a local family on the beach and had a nice time watching our children play together and talking.

The view:



We got dessert after lunch, which blew my daughter's mind



Finally: My Paradise- good atmosphere, terrible food. Really the only bad meal we had on the trip. I swear the ceviche was boiled, and tasteless, and the shrimp and fish tacos were the same cold fish and shrimp from the ceviche. Blech. Nice location, though. I have pictures, but they're not worth posting.

We also ate Queen's chicken in our condo one day- our group of 7 adults and one toddler decimated 2 chickens. We were so full after, but it was so, so good. LOVE their orange habanero salsa!
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Old 03-03-2016   #7 (permalink)
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Other food:

Last year we ate breakfast at El Niche a lot. It was always fantastic. Our friends ate there almost every day this year, but we opted to eat in the condo, as it just worked better for our girl. Needless to say, they loved Niche, since they ate there so much.

Some dinners:

Playita- we ate here twice. Once as a family on our first night, and once as a group. Both meals were great, though the caldo de camerones did have me pooping orange for over a day. TMI? (the pic is actually of the seafood soup our friend ordered).



Playita had live reggae the second time we were there. My daughter enjoyed the music



We ate at what we call the Tony the Tiger Cave- it's a yellow restaurant on Rojo Gomez near the cell tower. Ah-maze-ing fresh fish. So good. Limited menu, but delicious. We split a couple of whole fried fish and we had way too much to eat. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I didn't.

We also loved Tacos.com, though the service was a little slow, and eating in the street with a toddler isn't very relaxing.

Good food at Pesquero again this year, though our friends had such bad meals last year, they refused to go back with us. We waited until our last night to go- after they had left. It holds great appeal to us because it has a playground on premises- so nice for mom and dad

Finally, we got a pizza at My Little Italy after our trip to Coba (more on that later)- it was good, but J saw them carting around a bunch of premade/baked crust, so obviously it's not made fresh- and it tasted that way. Good after a long day, but not Playa quality pizza by any stretch of the imagination.

Sorry no dinner photos- it was hard keeping our little girl entertained at night, so the camera rarely came out. She was done by the end of the day

Up next- Coba and Chamicos- fabulous day!

Last edited by Buggirl; 03-05-2016 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 03-03-2016   #8 (permalink)
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Buggie! Great report so far. Your little girl is sure growing up fast. Gotta love that head of hair. Glad you had a great time.
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Old 03-04-2016   #9 (permalink)
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Buggie! Great report so far. Your little girl is sure growing up fast. Gotta love that head of hair. Glad you had a great time.
OMG- that hair is a NIGHTMARE to manage without a decent shower. We had basically no water for the last days of our trip and I decided that rather than fight the curls, I would shave it all off when we got home Luckily for my poor daughter that wasn't necessary

Thanks for reading- how's the new grandbaby??
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Old 03-04-2016   #10 (permalink)
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Coba and Chamicos

We rented a van one day to take us to Coba and then a late lunch at Chamicos. This was a GREAT day. We explored the ruins at a toddler pace- our daughter loved climbing/hiking/exploring- she was our little explorador She would run through the jungle and say "I found another pyramid!!" So cute







(we didn't let her climb Nohoch Mul, though she really, really wanted to).

After a couple miles of wandering and exploring, our girl was pretty tired, so we hired a tricycle to ride out of the ruins. I never would have done that pre-kid- but it's a pretty fun way to go! 140 pesos plus tip.



On the way out, we stopped for Coco Frio- the grown ups liked it better than the kid...40 pesos.



It's hard work being an explorador....



Next up- lunch!

Chamicos is in an absolutely gorgeous location on Soliman Bay. Our driver was very unsure of what we were asking him to do- he had never been there before. It's a bit pricey, but the food is amazingly fresh and the margaritas and pina coladas are so, so, so good. So dangerously good I didn't handle the bill, but nobody was put off by it. We had ceviche, breaded shrimp, garlic fish, and shrimp cocktail. All awesome. We bought our driver lunch and had a nice chat with him. Turns out toilet seats aren't the norm in homes (according to him). Huh. I guess I'm not sure why we need them, if everyone keeps the toilet clean....anyway, here are some pics:

The restaurant:


I could stay here all day...



The beach- that's my daughter and I in the water. She found the one non-rocky spot to get in. The child it a fish....



Relaxation time (yeah, right)



Really a great day. We had a blast.

Last edited by Buggirl; 03-04-2016 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 03-04-2016   #11 (permalink)
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I realize all the pics are of my daughter. That seems to be the way it goes these days. I think it's gone to my daughter's head, because she's always asking for pictures and videos of Emmy...self-centered, much?
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Old 03-04-2016   #12 (permalink)
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The beaches look amazing , Your daughter probably slept great every night after those adventures...
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Old 03-04-2016   #13 (permalink)
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Omg!! She is growing up soon fast!! I just quickly looked at her pics..now I will go back and read! I love Puerto Morelos!!! And Tulum and Akumal.:-)! Thank for posting a trip report!
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Old 03-04-2016   #14 (permalink)
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These are great pictures! I love the pictures of your daughter exploring Coba!!!

As far as the toilet seat goes, before I moved here I thought it was so strange not to have a toilet seat. Then, after you live here a little while, you realize, itīs completely unnecessary. Other than closing the lid entirely to hide the bowl, Iīm not convinced a toilet seat serves a function.
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Old 03-05-2016   #15 (permalink)
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Omg!! She is growing up soon fast!! I just quickly looked at her pics..now I will go back and read! I love Puerto Morelos!!! And Tulum and Akumal.:-)! Thank for posting a trip report!
She is growing fast- I can't believe 3 years have gone by already

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These are great pictures! I love the pictures of your daughter exploring Coba!!!

As far as the toilet seat goes, before I moved here I thought it was so strange not to have a toilet seat. Then, after you live here a little while, you realize, itīs completely unnecessary. Other than closing the lid entirely to hide the bowl, Iīm not convinced a toilet seat serves a function.
I realized by the middle of the trip, that I really preferred not having a toilet seat- especially since I trained my husband to wipe it down when he was done using it I've never had a stable toilet seat in Mexico- there are so many 3 am pees that end in me slipping off the side of the toilet and swearing loudly- not a problem with no seat! As my friend put it- seats are fine if you're just sitting, but if you shift to wipe- watch out

My friend took a picture of us at Coba I didn't see before:


Next up: Crococun Zoo- mixed feelings about this place...
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