Welcome to Puerto Aventuras – the height of refinement on Mexico’s north-east coast.
Situated in the Quintana Roo region it offers a little escape from the livelier resorts but it is not too far from the large cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It is a destination which goes at a much slower pace in-keeping with its fishing village roots. It provides an excellent location to spend a week or two of pure relaxation.
So what makes this quiet, unassuming corner of Quintana Roo tick? And, more importantly, why should you pay it a visit on your next holiday? Let’s take a tour of Puerto Aventuras.
Laid back atmosphere
When you stay in Puerto Aventuras it’s hard to imagine that the craziness of Cancun is just a short drive north. This quaint resort offers a retreat from the party capital of the region and is somewhere you can watch the world go by in perfect tranquillity.
Puerto Aventuras centres around its gorgeous marina with restaurants and bars lining the water’s edge. The port, which can currently claim to be the only one of its kind on the Mayan Riviera, acts as the hub of the community. Locals and holidaymakers congregate here to eat, drink, catch up with friends and watch the multitude of yachts float in and out of shore.
As is customary in this part of Mexico, Puerto Aventuras is blessed with a host of excellent diving spots. Zip up your wetsuit and try your hand at either snorkelling or scuba diving. For the beginners, head to Chan Yu Yum beach at the north of the resort where you can snorkel in the calm waters and relax on the white sands.
For the more adventurous, you can dive out to the beautiful reef located just a couple hundred yards off the shore. Hire equipment from dive centres such as Ponderosa, Casa Cenote and Dos Ojos and head out to this blissful underwater paradise.
In Puerto Aventuras itself, you can sample authentic Mexican food at the plentiful restaurants and twice a week you can peruse the market. Held on Bahia Xacel, you can purchase fresh and exotic fruit and vegetables or watch the daily catch come in at the informal fish market.
If you’re looking for a little exploration, then the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen are only short drive away. You can also visit the impressive Mayan ruin at Tulum, an ancient walled perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean – excursions leave from Puerto Aventuras on a daily basis.
Why go to Puerto Aventuras?
Relaxation – one simple word that sums up a holiday in Puerto Aventuras. This is a destination that is not in a hurry for anything and creates an atmosphere that will have you feeling right at home. Spend chilled out nights by the marina and days soaking up the sun.
Thanks to its proximity to some of the larger cities, you will be able to explore the Quintana Roo region but always return to a chilled out resort. No matter if you’re travelling as a family or couple, Puerto Aventuras can create memories that will last a lifetime.
There are numerous cenotes surrounding Puerto Aventuras, all around 10 minutes away, with the most popular being Eden, Cenote Azul, Cristallino and Dos Ojos. Others such as Chikin Ha, Kantun Chi and Chakalal Cenote are excellent snorkelling locations with the latter home to a small Mayan temple overlooking these sacred structures.
Speaking of Mexico’s Mayan past, there are a number of tours leaving from Puerto Aventuras to explore the ruins of this ancient civilisation. The star attraction is Chichen Itza, a former Mayan settlement, which is home to the famous El Castillo temple. It is said that this ancient city is one of the most important in Mayan culture and thus has gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Puerto Aventuras is surrounded by immense natural beauty ripe for exploration. Close to the resort is Xel-Ha, a real favourite for scuba divers and snorkelers, thanks to its proximity to the Mesoamerican Reef. This natural wonder is what thousands of sea creatures call home and you can swim among them.
Experience the Mexican’s take on a theme park at Xcaret. Described as an “Eco Mayan theme park” you can travel back in time and live life in the Mayan Village. Snorkel in the blue lagoon at the site of the ancient Pole, swim with dolphins, float down river runs, meet the animals of the zoo and at night take in the spectacular shows. It is an experience not to be missed.
A short distance from Puerto Aventuras is one of Mexico’s most unique and interesting sites – cenotes. Thousands of these illuminating caves are dotted across the country but the Yucatan Peninsula is the cenote capital. Formed over millions of years ago, they were seen as sacred to the Mayans and have since become hugely popular destinations with holidaymakers as they take advantage of the crystal clear waters to snorkel and scuba dive.
Puerto Aventuras is split into three bay areas – Fatima Bay, Chan Yu and Chac Hal Al. Each are fairly laidback affairs with palm trees swaying in the light breeze. The powder white sands and azure Caribbean waters create a hugely inviting scene. As is custom on the Yucatan Peninsula, snorkelling is the main pastime on these beaches so grab your mask and explore this crystal clear ocean.
Travel a little further south along the coast and you’ll come to the popular Xpu-Ha Beach which is a little livelier. Here you’ll find a number of beach bars and restaurants and plenty of watersports to get involved with.
Have you ever dreamed of having a Caribbean island all to yourself? Spend your holiday in Puerto Aventuras and you can make that seem a reality. A little south of the lively resort of Playa del Carmen, the village offers a sense of tranquillity with a number of secluded coves perfect for whiling away the day.
Stroll down to the marina and take a seat as yacht after yacht float peacefully into shore. Have a real taste of Latin America at Mezcalex famed for its delicious fish tacos and accompanying margaritas. A real favourite among holidaymakers is Hippos Marina Lounge – a laidback restaurant with an enticing menu. Tuck into succulent steaks, freshly caught lobster and innovative tacos all at an affordable price.
If you’re looking for a culinary adventure then spend an evening at Makito Fusion Restaurant. Situated on the marina, this Asian-inspired eatery puts its own twist on Japanese and Thai food including some of the best sushi you will find in Mexico. You can also stop by Restaurant Latitude 20 for incredible Mexican and Caribbean food such as Mayan grilled chicken and a host of fresh seafood dishes.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a romantic meal at Pelican Point, grab a lunchtime bite to eat and beer at The Pub or sample the best pizza in Puerto Aventuras at Paparazzi Pizza.
Enjoy food with a view at one of the many promenade restaurants around Puerto Aventuras. Carrying on the fine tradition of the towns dotted along the Yucatan Peninsula, the resort has a wealth of fine eateries serving local delicacies and a range of the international dishes. With a relaxed atmosphere and a beautiful panoramic, there aren’t many places better than this.
Many of the restaurants such as The Pub, Hippos Marina Lounge and Pelican Point transform into happening bars as the sun goes. You can spend the evening watching the world go by at the marina while sampling the wide range of cocktails, domestic and international beer and, of course, tequila – you are in Mexico after all.
If you’re looking for something a little livelier then you can hop in a taxi and head to the craziness of Playa del Carmen around 20 minutes away.
It may not have the reputation of nearby Playa del Carmen and Cancun but Puerto Aventuras offers a hugely pleasant nightlife. There may not be the super clubs and endless street parties here but there is chilled out vibe and plenty of cocktails on offer.
You can immerse yourself in the culture of the area by visiting the regular Farmer’s Market. Every Wednesday and Saturday, the Puerto Aventuras’ square is alive with the sound of traders selling a host of exotic fruit and vegetables. You can even purchase a mini cactus or a bottle of local tequila – an excellent choice of present for your friends and family.
Puerto Aventuras possibly offers the most authentic experience of day-to-day Mexican life in the region. Wander around the village during the day time and stop by the boutique shops selling a variety of handcrafted gifts. Whether it is ceramic pots, clothing or traditional garments you can pick up a memorable souvenir from your trip here.