A rare view of one of my favourite ruin sites in Mexico, Ek Balam, which is an easy day trip from Puerto Morelos. A visit to Ek Balam is also an excellent excuse to stop in Valladolid, a genuine Colonial city on our doorstep.
Here are the cash exchange rates for April 15, 2019 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
Here are the cash exchange rates for March 25, 2019 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
This week saw the demolition of a Puerto Morelos landmark, which unofficially in town was known as “the Taj Mahal”. Located at the end of Rojo Gomez, the giant mansion was erected on four lots 16 years ago.
The real name of the house was, Casa Chichan Nah. It was owned by a couple from Pennsylvania. We won’t mention their names here, but he was an executive with the company in the US that popularized the use of zinc lozenges to lessen the effects of the common cold. For that reason, we always called it “the house that zinc lozenges built”.
We don’t have exact dates, but the house was built in 2003 and survived Hurricane Wilma in 2005 very well, though the pool area was destroyed.
At 517 square metres (over 5000 square feet), this was not a small house, it sat on four full lots and despite its enormity, it only had three bedrooms. Since its gone now, I can share that it also featured a “secret room” for storage.
Let me paint the picture for you. This home was stunning. As you entered the front door, you would step into a breathtaking foyer with two sweeping staircases that lead to the bedrooms that overlook the tranquil blue waters of Puerto Morelos. On the main floor, an open-plan great room leads onto a veranda that has a beautiful pool and the Caribbean sea.
To your left is a large, well-equipped kitchen with island and seating area for four. In front is a formal dining area with seating for eight.
To your right is a living room with a comfortable family area with couches and a television.
Upstairs you find three bedrooms. The Master has a king size bed and a commanding view of the grounds and Caribbean. There are two more bedrooms, each on either side of the Master each with two, queen size beds.
All the bedrooms have their own, large, luxurious bathroom with a dressing area and storage for clothing and luggage. Each bedroom also has a balcony with unparalleled views and fresh ocean breezes.
The owners unfortunately rarely made it down to Puerto Morelos because of work up north, so the house sat empty a lot of the time, only occupied by a house manager who kept things in top shape.
In more recent years the house was actually available for rent on AirBnb.
Last year, the owner sold the house to a company for a record-high Puerto Morelos square foot price. As lovely as it was, the company’s plans did not include the Taj. (The photos get a little sadder after this point)
On March 4, 2019, the sight of such a prestigious house being reduced to rubble was quite a shock. Frequent PM visitor Flo Vergeer captured the destruction for posterity with some excellent photos.
The Taj Mahal was taken down quickly, room by room after the valuable windows and doors were removed.
The new reality was especially shocking for those of us that watched the house go up back in 2003. The building was the talk of the town then, as was the destruction this week.
After its rapid ruination, the proud Taj Mahal was sadly dumped into big, noisy trucks and hauled away one load at a time. The once distinguished domicile reduced to fill.
The company that bought the house and lots are planning to build a condo/hotel on the site called “The Fives Puerto Morelos”. They have an office on the square in Puerto Morelos and a completed project in Playa del Carmen.
Here are the cash exchange rates for March 8, 2019 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
Here are the cash exchange rates for March 6, 2019 at G Capital in the Aki Plaza in Puerto Morelos. (CI Banco’s new high-tech rate sign was turned off.)
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
Many thanks to those who took part in our annual “Best In Puerto Morelos” survey. We started this survey as part of our Beach Reads newsletter back in 2005 when we owned Alma Libre Bookstore, so that visitors could share their favourite things about Puerto Morelos with other visitors (and to make sure we weren’t missing out on anything ourselves!)
So without further ado… here are the results of the 2019 InPuertoMorelos.com Beach Reads Survey. We will start with the last question we asked, and move up to the first.
12) Where are you from?
1. USA 62% 2. Canada 28% 3. Mexico 4% 4. Unanswered 4% 5. Other 2%
11) Next, we asked one of our favourite questions. “What is your best tip or hint to give a new visitor to Puerto Morelos?” In no particular order, here are your most common answers.
“If you snorkel go out from shore in front of Dia y Noche Beach Club and snorkel towards the round white buoys, you will discover the Ojo de Agua ocean cenote teeming with fish.”
“For solo travellers, there are always people to hang out with and have a fun time!”
“Stay away from the big resorts – stay in a local place, get out, walk around, talk to people, and you’ll see what an amazing community there is here.”
9) Where do you get your news/information about Puerto Morelos from?
We also learned that just as many people get their information from our InPuertoMorelos.com site as from our Friends of Puerto Morelos Facebook group. These were your top two sources of information on Puerto Morelos followed by Facebook in general.
8) Another of our favourites, we asked you to complete this sentence “Whatever you do, do not miss (BLANK) in Puerto Morelos”.
The top answer to this question was “the beach”, which was thought was a little obvious. Some of the other answers were a little more enlightening:
Spend time in the main town square at night, both on the port side or the Colonia side, meeting people, watching a basketball game or just enjoying some street food. (Great tip!)
Take a ride on the local bus. Ride the two Collectivo routes and explore. (Cheap and fun way to get the lay of the land)
We’re delighted that 81% of you subscribe to our Beach Reads Blog. Gracias! Subscribers get an email every time we share a new (hopefully informative) Beach Reads post. We usually write one or two posts a week. If you don’t subscribe, please click here and join us.
6) A new question this year, “What is your best “hidden gem” in Puerto Morelos?” While many of these are not that hidden to regular Beach Reads readers, as we have written about many of them before and even Shouted Out a few , they may be new to you.
1.”The Pan Man with all the yummy pastries.” (We think this is the bakery car that drives around in the evening) 2. “Churros in the park in the Colonia” 3. “Off the Vine – have wine and a meat & cheese platter while sitting in front of the shop. 4. “The Godfather Jewelry Store – Ruben and Magnolia in particular!” 5. “Alma Libre Bookstore” (We agree!) 6. “DK” (this restaurant was mentioned several times) 7. “The fruit stand on Ninos Heroes with freshly squeezed orange juice.” 8. “Tuch-Tlan” restaurant 9. “Rastaquitos” (we need to check this restaurant out, several folks mentioned it) 10. “Fonda Americana” (one of our favourites) 11. “Casa de los Viajeros” (Thanks to those of you those who mentioned our casa!) 12. “South Beach” (several people mentioned this special spot)
(Gracias to the TexMexExpats for suggesting this question. Click the link to check out their informative and fun-to-pronounce blog)
5) Where is your favourite place to stay in Puerto Morelos?
There was no clear winner in this category, but we learned that almost all respondents stay in vacation rentals, or in their own homes.
3) Favourite “local dish”? This dish could be anything that you think is best served in Puerto Morelos.
The top two local dishes that were mentioned over and over again were ceviche and empanadas. Definately two things you really don’t want to miss and are easy to find in Puerto Morelos. But even though you are in Mexico, you still seem to want to a burger! The “Jane Burger” at The Burger Underground was mentioned many times by many burger buffs.
2) What is your favourite place to have a drink? (Does not have to be alcoholic).
And last but certainly not least, the most popular survey question we ask is “What is your favourite restaurant?” Below are a few of the results from the first years of the Beach Reads Survey and the early restaurant favourites. How many do you remember?
But, let’s not live in the past! Without further foofaraw, here are your favourite restaurants from our 2019 survey. (Please insert drum roll here)
La Pizza Nostros
John Gray’s Kitchen/Punto Corcho
Spaghettino/T@cos.com/El Pirata/La Papillon
DK/Mangata/The Burger Underground
I Wanna Pizza/La Casa del Pescador
CONGRATULATIONS to Anthony and the rest of the great staff at La Sirena Puerto Morelos for their second appearance at the top of the survey in as many years.
The BIG difference we noticed in this year’s survey results was just how many different restaurants were mentioned. We now have MANY more choices of places to dine than we ever have before. In fact, so many places were mentioned and the votes so close that we extended the list to the top 12 places, (which is actually 19 restaurants because we had so many tie votes.)
A BIG GRACIAS to everyone who completed the 2019 InPuertoMorelos.com Beach Reads survey. We hope you enjoyed the results and we look forward to doing it again next year. Make sure you subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss out on everything going on InPuertoMorelos.
This week’s SHOUTOUT goes to Puerto Morelos’ very first microbrewery, Casa Cervecera Pescadores which brews Cerveza Artesanal Pescadores. For all you craft beer lovers, this is a real treat!
On a recent Saturday, we visited the tasting room at Casa Cervecera Pescadores while one of our favourite local bands The Nobodies were playing. It was great fun to try a flight of the local brew while listening to music. They even had a food truck on site that you could order tacos and even brisket, which got a thumbs up from our friend and he’s a Texan!
While there you can choose from several different craft beers made right on site including an Amber Ale, a Caribbean Golden Ale, an IPA and several more. Click here for a full list. All of their products are original, made right here in Puerto Morelos and GMO-free.
Cerveza Artesanal Pescadores is the brainchild of owners Federico, Alberto and Luciano who wanted to create their own high-quality craft beer. They built Casa Cervecera Pescadores with the idea of creating the best craft beer ever made in México.
You can judge for yourself by visiting Casa Cervecera Pescadores, located on the main highway (km 316.5), 5 km south of town. Click here for their exact location. The best way to get there is by car. You can also take a taxi, the rate is about $270 pesos each way or you can take the Playa del Carmen collectivo from the highway and asked t be dropped off at Casa Cervecera Pescadores.
If you don’t get a chance to visit their tasting room, you can still try their craft beer around town. It is served at several restaurants and bars n Puerto Morelos including Club De Playa Unico, Punta Corcho, La Sirena, Off The Vine, Las Micheladas del Semaforo and El Pirata. Or you can buy it at the Chedraui Selecto in Puerto Morelos or online. They also offer a mobile beer service for parties and events.
For more information on Casa Cervecera Pescadores and their Cerveza Artesanal Pescadores contact them here or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Salud!
Here are the cash exchange rates for January 24, 2019 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