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13. November 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: Valladolid · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags:

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to Valladolid. Whenever we want a break from the beach and a little change in culture, we sneak away to Valladolid in neighbouring Yucatan state. Now you may get to Puerto Morelos and just want to stay in town until it is time to get back on the plane. We understand and support that idea, but there are a lot of amazing things to do that are not that far away.

Not only is Valladolid a great jumping-off point to visit Chichen Itza or Ek Balam, but it is a worthwhile destination on its own, filled with art and history. We recommend at least a two-day stay just for the town itself. You can leave Puerto Morelos in the morning and be in Valladolid before noon. Using the Ruta de Cenotes shortcut to Leona Vicario, the trip has never been easier by car. Taking this route is quick, direct and avoids all those nasty charges on the overpriced toll road.

Local Tip: There can be a one hour time difference between Puerto Morelos and Yucatan State as they are on Central Time and we are on Eastern Standard Time (EST). They also recognize Daylight Saving Time, and we do not. 

Valladolid itself is a gem. It’s a colonial city with beautiful architecture and an incredible and important history. The Caste War of the Yucatan began here in 1847, and early seeds of the 1910 Mexican Revolution sprouted here. Today it is a busy, but a very accessible town. Most of the attractions are an easy walk from the town square, including the impressive San Bernadino Convent, the fun San Roque Museum, the stoic Cathedral of Valladolid and the Government Palace, which features large dramatic murals depicting the history of the city.

One of the greatest attractions in Valladolid is Casa de los Venados which features the most impressive collection of Mexican folk art we have ever seen, all in a uniquely restored, privately-owned colonial mansion. We have travelled all over Mexico and know that each region has its own distinct art. Often two towns next door to each other will have completely different art, so a chance to see such a fine selection in one place is rare. Admission is by donation (of at least 60 pesos) making it a bargain too. Seeing the impressive casa is worth the price of admission alone. The house is just off the square. Proceeds from your admission and special events held throughout the year go to support a variety of charities in Valladolid.

Local Tip: Casa de los Venados offers tours every day at 10:00 am

PRIME DATES STILL AVAILABLE

While in town, visit chef Hugo at the restaurant Conato (also known as Conato 1910 or Casa Conato Cultural). It is near the square on Calle 40 at number 226. The building was once a meeting spot for revolutionaries in the early 20th century. Now it is an excellent restaurant with a wide and varied menu. While there, be sure to take note of the outstanding local art that decorates the space, and don’t miss the music in the back garden. Highly recommended.

Local Tip: At Conato, sit upstairs for a view of the church at night.

If shopping is your thing, Valladolid is home to some very chic designers who have opened a few high-end shops and businesses like Coqui Coqui Spa & Perfumes that make their own scents and candles. They also own a spa and home-shop, plus La Barberia, a hip place to get a hot towel shave. Featured in Vogue, Ariane Dutzi’s handbags are sewn by local Mayan woman using recycled materials. More reachable on the financial scale are local craftsmen who make leather sandals and the Mayan woman of Valladolid sell their handmade wares at Centro Artesanal ZacÍ located on the main town square.

These are just a few things to get you started in Valladolid. The town has so much more to offer. Our favourite thing to do there is just wandering the streets, eventually stopping for an afternoon drink watching life go by around the main town square. If you really want a change of pace, we recommend Valladolid for a quick getaway. With tons of history, art, culture, and great food, Valladolid is not to be missed.

This post is part of our ongoing feature where we will send a SHOUT OUT to one of our local businesses, people or hints that could improve your time In Puerto Morelos. If you would like to be a part of this feature click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

06. November 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: Al Chimichurri · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags:

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to a perennial PM favourite, Al Chimichurri. When they opened more than 10 years ago we didn’t even know what an empanada was, let alone what a chimichurri was (some kind of animal?)  Now many years and countless empanadas later, we know and love our Uruguayan cuisine and we are hooked on their home-made chimichurri…though we still have trouble spelling it.

Eduardo was the man behind the grill in those early days. I remember chatting with him while he pounded out the empanada dough by hand every day, before grilling beautiful steaks all night in his sweltering, tiny restaurant kitchen. I used to joke that his kitchen was not much bigger than a phone booth, and at any time, at least a third of it was on fire.

Local Tip: Order the Lomo en Salsa Madera. It’s the specialty of the house and comes with a flavourful gravy that takes days to make.

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Later he added a handcrafted, wood-burning oven that was based on an ancient design from Uruguay. This is where they bake wonderful fresh bread and pizzas.

The real secret of Al Chimichurri is that it is a family operation. Luckily Eduardo has a very big family! On any given night you can see the siblings working side by side.

Local Tip: The same family also owns La Rambla right across the street. It’s new!

Al Chimichurri has a wide menu featuring steaks, chicken, pizza, salad (with or without carne) and those wonderful empanadas. With a full bar, they also have a good selection of wine. We like the Norton Malbec from Argentina.

And, if you have room, they have delicious desserts.

In the last few years, they have expanded their seating with the addition of a beautiful back garden. During high season reservations are highly recommended. Find their contact information on our restaurant page They are open evenings except for Monday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Al Chimichurri…hard to spell, fun to say, delicious to taste.

This post is part of a new feature where we will send a SHOUT OUT to one of our local businesses, people or hints that could improve your time In Puerto Morelos. If you would like to be a part of this feature click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

Photos courtesy Al Chimichurri

02. November 2018 · Comments Off on Town Update: New Supermarket for PM Nov 2, 2018 · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Photo Post · Tags: , ,

A big Hola from Puerto Morelos!

Hope you are doing well wherever you are, and that you are actively planning a trip to Puerto Morelos.

If you need accommodations, we still have some space at Casa de los Viajeros. Please see our website for more details & rates. 

There is lots of news from your town. For this post, we’re going to focus on the new Chedraui grocery store that should be open by the end of the year.

The store is being built just south of the square between the restaurants Al Chimichurri and Spaghettino. There was a very large vacant lot there that was used for parking in past years. The Chedraui will take the entire lot, so it will be accessible on foot from either Rojo Gomez or Rafael Melgar. By car, you will reach it from Rojo Gomez. (See the map below for more clarification)

This will be the main entrance from Rojo Gomez. Al Chimichurri is on the left side of the photo. The entrance is where you see the scaffolding. The parking area is on the right side of the photo. (Click any photo too see it full screen)

This is a side view from Rojo Gomez and the small parking area. We are told it will handle just 36 cars.

This is another view of the parking lot. To the right is the truck entrance. They have one dock to supply the store. It will be tricky to back a truck into, glad it is not my job.

This is a view of the store from the other side. Crews are building palapa roofs for what we assume are going to be small locales, spaces for small businesses.

Closer view of the locales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big crew is working on the palapa. It looks like this will be another entrance on the northeast side of the store, right across from Las Palmeras restaurant.

Here’s a very rough drawing of where the new Chedraui will sit. That is the town square at the top of the photo. You can also see Pelicanos and their dock to the right.

We have been told that this will be a Chedraui “Select” store, so a little more fancy than the existing Chedraui on the highway. There are Chedraui Select stores already in Cancun, in the Hotel Zone and in Plaza Las Americas. They tend to have more import goods and also have cafes and restaurants inside. I have not been able to confirm any of this.

The store is going up very quickly, with a very big crew of workers, working long hours. They hope to be open by the end of November. That might be a bit optimistic, but with a big crew, a lot can be accomplished quickly.

We’ll have more updates from Puerto Morelos coming soon!

Check out our rental properties! We have one and two bedroom suites available, close to the beach and centro. www.CasaDeLosViajeros.com

 

 

 

 

01. November 2018 · Comments Off on Cash Exchange Rates in Puerto Morelos for November 1, 2018 · Categories: Do not use

Here are the cash exchange rates for November 1, 2018 at CI Banco in Puerto Morelos. I post these rates on occasion so that you can compare these rates with the rate your bank or the ATM may offer. To see where the rates have been in the last couple of years, search “exchange rates” on our page at InPuertoMorelos.com 

Cash Exchange Rates Buy Sell
US Dollar $ 19.00 20.35
Canadian Dollar $ 14.35 15.65
Euro € 22.00 23.40
Pound Sterling £ 25.15 26.80

30. October 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: DK · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags:

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to Puerto Morelos’ only container restaurant, DK.

DK (short for Dive Kitchen) has just reopened after Luis and the guys took a well-deserved vacation. We can’t wait to go back for their Gingermiel (Honey Ginger) Chicken. This dish is a yummy combination of Mayan honey, ginger and chicken cooked to crispy perfection and served over a bed of coconut rice.

DK is also one of the few restaurants in town that are helping to protect our reef by serving Lionfish. They have Lionfish Tacos, Lionfish Burgers and Thai Lionfish. The more of these fish we eat, the better it is for our reef as they are an invasive species with no known predators. So eat up!

DK prides itself on “excellent food quality, prepared with fresh ingredients and mostly local, served quickly in a low-key environment”. Which is all true. They do not disappoint. Check out the rest of their inventive menu here. created by Andres.

DK is PM’s only container restaurant, with a special emphasis on being eco-friendly, using recycled and sustainable materials in all their operations. Their innovative design even made it to the prestigious Architectural Digest magazine. To see the transformation of an old shipping container into a full-scale restaurant with a cocktail bar, click here.

Local Tip: Order the Bruce Lee… if you dare! 

DK is located on Calle Rafael E. Melgar, south of the square. They are open from 1:00 PM to 10:30 PM Tuesday to Sunday. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for special events and movie nights.

This post is part of a new feature where we will send a SHOUT OUT to one of our local businesses, people or hints that could improve your time In Puerto Morelos. If you would like to be a part of this feature click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

23. October 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: Colonia Tour · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags: ,

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to the walking tour of La Colonia by Ana.

A lot of visitors to Puerto Morelos miss La Colonia (the Colonia), which is a shame. The Colonia is easy to find, it is the district of Puerto Morelos that is located directly on the west side of the main highway that splits the town. The Colonia is big and growing bigger every year. Most of PM’s population now resides there. There are lots of stores and restaurants that are well worth checking out.

An excellent introduction to the are is offered by Ana Trepanier, who offers a fun and easy walking tour of the area. Ana’s tour begins on the port side of the town. She meets you in the square where she tells you a bit of history of the town. Then she shows you how to take the collectivo (public bus) up to La Colonia.

Once there she takes you on a walking and food tour of the area. She shows you how the local fruit and vegetable stands operate, telling you about the produce you may not be familiar with. You even get to taste test some of the more unusual items.

She takes you past the library, the DIF and other notable sites in town. You will learn you can buy practically anything in the Colonia, as long as you know where to look. As you go, you can ask as many questions as you like.

The tour continues for about 2 hours with history, information and tastings along the way. If you want to really get to know Puerto Morelos, this is a great way to get started.

Local Tip: Ask Ana! 

Besides the walking tour, Ana has some new experiences coming. Check with her about these. Tours are arranged on an individual basis. To book your walking tour of La Colonia, contact Ana on Facebook or by email at welovepuertomorelos@yahoo.com.

This is a new feature where we will send a SHOUT OUT to one of our local businesses, people or hints that could improve your time In Puerto Morelos. If you would like to be a part of this feature click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

And be sure to check out our suites at CasaDeLosViajeros.com

We still have some good dates available for 2018 & 2019

16. October 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: Ecab Explorer · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags:

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to PM’s premier private tour guide, Eric at Ecab Explorer.

Many of our guests at Casa de los Viajeros ask us about tours to the see the many attractions of our area including ancient ruins, swimming with whale sharks, seeing flamingos or cruising on a boat through the jungle.

Eric is PM’s most experienced tour guide and he has thoughtfully crafted his tours to provide the best possible experience for his guests. Originally from France, Eric fell in love with Mexico many years ago and has made Puerto Morelos his home. He has a curiosity and enthusiasm about the area that is infectious and his vast knowledge means no question goes unanswered.

Local Tip: Eric speaks Spanish, English and French

Eric offers small group tours to the popular ruin sites of Chicken Itza, Coba, Ek Balam and Tulum, but he also offers unique tours you may not have thought about. You can visit the flamingoes at Rio Lagartos Reserve, or discover the uncharted Mayan ruins of Holbox, enjoy a boat ride from Punta Allen through Sian Ka’an to see aquatic birds nesting, sea turtles and dolphins swimming or visit the Mayan site of Muyil for a walk through the jungle, and a boat ride down a lazy river.

In the summer months, you can swim with the whale sharks, an amazing adventure.

Make sure you reserve your tours with Eric early as he does book up in the high season months. You can reach him through his website or his Facebook page. Private tours and van rentals for shopping trips or larger group airport pickups may also be booked through Ecab Explorer.

This post is part of a new feature where we will send a SHOUT OUT, highlighting a local business, person or experience to enhance your time In Puerto Morelos. Look for the “local hint” for insider tips.

If you would like to be a part of this feature or suggest a SHOUT OUT, click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

And be sure to check out our suites at CasaDeLosViajeros.com

We still have some good dates available for 2018 & 2019

09. October 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: My Paradise · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags:

Michael News: Tropical Storm/Hurricane Michael passed through the channel between the Yucatan and Cuba and did not hurt Puerto Morelos at all. Michael “power-washed” our beaches leaving them flat, smooth and clean.  

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to everyone at My Paradise Beach Club.

Located on the best part of the beach in Puerto Morelos, My Paradise Beach Club is “the” place to be on a hot afternoon in Puerto Morelos. The drinks are big and cold, the staff is fun and they are located on our beautiful white sand beach. What more could you want? Beach chairs and food? They have all that too.

The guys behind the bar are lots of fun. Walk right up and get a drink from them or relax on the beach and have the attentive waitstaff bring you whatever you would like.

Local Tip: Listen for the conch shell. When it blows, it’s happy hour!

My Paradise Beach Club is a favourite with ex-pat locals. You will find the place packed, even during the low season, especially between 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm it’s Happy Hour.

VACATION RENTALS IN PUERTO MORELOS

They are open every day (except Wednesdays in low season) from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. You can find them here. They are just steps from Casa de los Viajeros, so close in fact that we can hear the conch shell blow, tempting us away from our housework to join the fun at happy hour.

You can contact My Paradise through their website or follow them on Facebook. They are available for special events. Be sure to check out My Paradise Beach Club next time you are in Puerto Morelos,

It will be YOUR Paradise too!

This is part of our new feature where we send a SHOUT OUT to one of our local businesses, people or give you hints that could improve your time In Puerto Morelos. If you would like to be a part of this feature click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

02. October 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: El Campanario · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags:

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to Arturo and the gang over at El Campanario. This small, family owned & run restaurant popped up in Puerto Morelos a few years ago and instantly became a town favourite. The staff always make you feel like part of the family. The service is friendly & attentive and the food is excellent.

El Campanario, which means “the bell tower”, is the family’s second restaurant. They have another restaurant of the same name in the state of Guerrero on the west side of Mexico.

El Campanario’s specialty is steak done to perfection on la parrilla (the grill), Argentinian style. Our personal favourite is the Chateaubriand for two! So good.

Not only do they have flavourful steaks, but they also have excellent empanadas, several different kinds of kinds of pasta, salads and delicious tortilla soup. Add a bottle of red wine and you can’t go wrong.

 

Local Tip: If you enjoyed your meal, ring the bell on your way out! 

 

Prices are very reasonable. El Campanario is open from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm Tuesday to Sunday. They are located here on the port side of Puerto Morelos. Reservations are recommended during high season as they are very popular. You can contact them by phone or Facebook.

 

This post is part of a new feature where we will send a SHOUT OUT to one of our local businesses, people or hints that could improve your stay In Puerto Morelos. If you would like to be a part of this feature or suggest a Shout Out, click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

25. September 2018 · Comments Off on Shout Out: Jungle Spa · Categories: Beach Reads The Blog, Shout Outs · Tags:

This week’s SHOUT OUT goes to Sandra and the ladies out at the Jungle Spa. If you have never had a Mayan massage before you are in for a treat.  The Ixchel Jungle Spa is a real Puerto Morelos success story.

The spa was started by Sandra Dayton and her late husband Dan after they saw a need for the women of Puerto Morelos to be able to earn a living right in their own village rather than having to do long commutes to work at the big hotels and resorts.

The couple donated the land where the spa is located, and through fundraising, they were able to build the structures and pay for the training that the woman needed to start the spa.

Now, 14 years later, the spa supports over 70 extended families in and around Puerto Morelos.

Local Tip: A taxi from the square is only 50 pesos. Tell the driver you want to go to see Sandra (important to mention her name) at the Jungle Spa on Calle Dos. 

Many treatments are available, including a luxurious aloe vera and banana leaf wrap and massage! (Or a chocolate massage … does it get any better??) For men, there is the “Mayan Macho” massage. You’ve never had a massage like this! They even have special massages for young adults. How about a 60 minute four hand massage? You will leave a different person!

Visitors to PM and the nearby all-inclusive hotels get a taste of real Mexico while getting the best massage of their life. The spa is so popular that you have to make an appointment either by telephone, email or Facebook to ensure you that you get in. Appointments are available Tuesday-Saturday and limited appointments may be available on Sunday. The spa is closed on Monday. Spa prices are much lower than you will find at your resort and proceeds go directly to the Mayan families that work at the spa.

Remember, when you pamper yourself at the Jungle Spa or buy a unique gift at their market, you are directly supporting Mayan families!

Local Tip: This spa is located in the jungle, so keep an eye out for monkeys. 

 

This post is part of a new feature where we will send a SHOUT OUT, highlighting a local business, person or experience to enhance your time In Puerto MorelosLook for the “local hint” for insider tips.

If you would like to be a part of this feature or suggest a SHOUT OUT, click here to find out how you can join in on the fun!

And be sure to check out our suites at CasaDeLosViajeros.com

We still have some good dates available for 2018 & 2019