Beach Scenes: Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico

puerto morelos sun through clouds on pier posts

Puerto Morelos is a beach town and seaport in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula between the resort city of Cancún and the city of Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is smaller and quieter than its neighboring beach towns. As a result, Puerto Morelos maintains much of its fishing village character and provides opportunities for capturing some unique beach scenes.

Like many towns in Mexico, the Jardin Principal is the town square or the main plaza of Puerto Morelos. Strolling through the Jardin in the evening or early morning offers cool breezes and beautifully lit scenes of the town’s gathering spaces. I take notice of the stadium-style seating in the Jardin, which is unique to these spaces in Mexico. I assume it was created for observing live entertainment. Although I did not witness live entertainment during my stay in Puerto Escondido, I still found the Jardin a pleasant place to spend some time on a regular basis.

Just across the street from the Jardin Principal is the main beach area. Here you can find the Malecon, a fishing pier, and the iconic El Faro Inclinado (the Leaning Lighthouse). The lighthouse was hit by Hurricane Beulah in 1967, which degraded the foundation and caused it to lean. After an attempt to remove it failed, a decision was made to leave the lighthouse as it stands today.

In my opinion, the best time to visit the beach in Puerto Morelos is the early morning. Utilizing a bicycle as my main mode of transportation, I took advantage of the cooler temps and the beautiful light of the rising sun that prevails during this time of day. A few other early risers enjoyed the sunrise daily.

Venturing away from the main beach area offers more interesting scenes, mostly in the form of piers, boats, and wildlife.

The early morning sun breaks through heavy clouds and washes its golden light across the pier of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology in Puerto Morelos. The Institute was created in the 1980s to perform research on coral reefs. 

We stayed in Puerto Morelos during the month of October and, to be honest, it was not the best time to visit if you are looking for a pristine beach experience. October is typically the last month when sargasso or sargassum seaweed litters the beach. The seaweed tends to get churned up in the surf. This turns the typically clear aquamarine waters to a muddy brown hue near the shoreline.

Although not the ideal time in Puerto Morelos, the beach is still the beach and there is plenty of beauty to be enjoyed and photographed here. I used the opportunity to take some long exposures which provided movement in the water and clouds, giving these shots a somewhat mystical look. From the right perspective, the sargassum seaweed provided some texture and foreground interest.

Different days, different light, different perspectives, always beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Ryan. I really appreciate that. I don’t know that I possess any special skills. Much of it has to do with just using good light and trying different compositions. However a great deal of it is just being out there pounding the pavement (or the beach) a whole lot to find the shots. Thanks again for stopping by and the kind compliment.

  1. Amazing photography Skip!
    We also visited Cancun/ PM previously and I’ve just said to Neil that I recognize that beautiful sunrise… Definitely worth getting up early to see! Keep up the great work!

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