Puerto Morelos National Reef Park is a protected area located in the Mexican Caribbean, near Cancun. It is significant because it is home to a diverse array of marine life, including over 65 species of stony coral and 500 species of fish. The Park also helps to protect the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Its conservation efforts are crucial to maintaining the health of the reef and preserving it for future generations.

Puerto Morelos Mesoamerican reef

Puerto Morelos National Reef Park is located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is situated about 20 km south of Cancun and about 35 km north of Playa del Carmen.

The Park was established in 1998, primarily to protect the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. The Park covers an area of approximately 90 square kilometers and is divided into three zones: a protected marine area, a buffer zone, and a tourist zone. The marine area is the most restricted and is only accessible for scientific research and authorized personnel.

Puerto Morelos National Reef Park’s rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem attract thousands of tourists each year. It is an important site for research, conservation, and education, as well as an ideal location for diving, snorkeling, fishing, and other water-based activities. The Park continues to play a vital role in the preservation of the coral reef and its ecosystem.

Puerto Morelos National Reef Park

Puerto Morelos National Reef Park was established in 1998 with the primary purpose of protecting the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. The park’s creation was a response to the growing threat of human activity and development on the surrounding coral reefs.

Things to do on the reef in Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos offers a range of water-based activities, including snorkeling, diving, and fishing. 

  • Snorkeling is a popular way to explore the park’s shallow coral reefs, and visitors can rent equipment or join a guided tour to explore the park’s diverse marine life. 
  • Diving is another popular activity, and the park is home to several dive sites that cater to all skill levels.
  • Fishing is also allowed in certain areas of the park, but only with a permit and in compliance with the park’s regulations. Visitors are advised to always follow the park’s guidelines to protect the reef and its inhabitants.

There are several tours and services available within the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park that offer visitors the chance to explore the park’s diverse ecosystem and marine life.

In addition, there are several educational tours available that focus on the park’s conservation efforts and the importance of preserving the reef. Some tours also include visits to nearby Mayan ruins or other cultural sites.

Overall, the tours and services available within the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park offer visitors a chance to experience the park’s beauty and biodiversity while also learning about its conservation efforts and the importance of protecting the reef.

Snorkeling tours in Puerto Morelos

Snorkeling tours are available, and visitors can rent equipment or join a guided tour to explore the park’s shallow reefs. Snorkeling tours in Puerto Morelos offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s shallow coral reefs and see its diverse marine life up close.

These tours are available to all skill levels, and visitors can choose to rent equipment or join a guided tour. The park’s calm waters and clear visibility make it an ideal location for snorkeling, and visitors can expect to see a variety of fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures.

Snorkeling tours are a popular way to experience the beauty and biodiversity of the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park.

How much does it cost to do a snorkeling tour in puerto morelos?

The cost of a snorkeling tour in Puerto Morelos can vary depending on the tour operator, the duration of the tour, and the equipment provided. On average, a guided snorkeling tour can cost between $30 and $80 per person. It’s important to shop around and compare prices from different tour operators to find the best deal. Additionally, visitors should ensure that the tour operator is reputable and follows the park’s guidelines for responsible tourism.


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Snorkeling tour in Puerto Morelos

Diving in Puerto Morelos

For those who are interested in diving, the park offers a variety of dive sites that cater to different skill levels, including both shallow and deep dives. Visitors can also take scuba diving lessons or participate in a certification program.

Scuba diving in Puerto Morelos is a popular activity that allows visitors to explore the park’s coral reefs and unique ecosystem.

The park offers a variety of dive sites that cater to different skill levels, from shallow dives for beginners to more advanced dives for experienced divers.

Divers can expect to see a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, ,even the occasional nurse shark and the famous ship wreck.

Scuba diving in Puerto Morelos is an unforgettable experience that offers a unique glimpse into the beauty and biodiversity of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.


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Fishing in Puerto Morelos

Fishing charters are a popular activity in Puerto Morelos, and visitors can choose from a variety of operators that offer guided tours and equipment rentals. MExplor is one of the best fishing charter operators in Puerto Morelos, with experienced guides and well-maintained equipment. They offer half-day and full-day tours that cater to all skill levels and provide the opportunity to catch a variety of fish, including barracuda, grouper, and snapper. Fishing with MExplor is a great way to experience the beauty and biodiversity of Puerto Morelos National Reef Park while enjoying a day on the water.


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Puerto Morelos National Reef Park

Conserving the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park and its ecosystem is of paramount importance for several reasons.

Firstly, the park is home to a rich diversity of marine life, including over 65 species of stony coral and 500 species of fish. The park’s coral reefs are a critical part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which provides habitat for many marine species and helps to protect the coastlines from storms and erosion.

Secondly, the park’s ecosystem supports the local economy by providing opportunities for ecotourism, such as snorkeling and diving tours. These activities bring in valuable revenue for the local community, and help to create jobs and sustain businesses.

Finally, the park’s conservation efforts play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change, which poses a significant threat to the world’s coral reefs. By preserving the park’s ecosystem, we can help to ensure the health of the coral reefs and protect them for future generations.

Overall, conserving the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park and its ecosystem is vital for the preservation of the park’s marine life, the sustainability of the local economy, and the mitigation of the effects of climate change.

How can I help protecting the reef?

Visitors to the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park can contribute to conservation efforts and protect the park in several ways:

  1. Follow the park’s guidelines: Visitors should always follow the park’s rules and regulations, which include not touching the coral, not feeding the fish, and not littering. This helps to protect the park’s marine life and ecosystem.
  2. Use eco-friendly products: Visitors should use eco-friendly products, such as reef-safe sunscreen, to avoid harming the park’s coral and marine life.
  3. Support conservation efforts: Visitors can support the park’s conservation efforts by making a donation to a local conservation organization or by purchasing sustainable souvenirs.
  4. Learn about the park: Visitors should take the time to learn about the park’s ecosystem, its conservation efforts, and the threats facing the park. This can help to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and the need to protect the park.

By following these guidelines and supporting conservation efforts, visitors can help to protect the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park and its ecosystem for future generations.

Frequently asked questions

  • How much does it cost to enter the park? Admission to the park is free, but visitors may need to pay for parking or for guided tours and equipment rentals.
  • Is fishing allowed in the park? Fishing is allowed in certain areas of the park with a permit and in compliance with the park’s regulations.
  • Can I bring my own snorkeling or diving equipment? Yes, visitors can bring their own equipment or rent equipment from local shops and tour operators.
  • What is the best time of year to visit the park? The park can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit is from December to April when the weather is dry and the visibility is typically better.
  • How can I get to Puerto Morelos National Reef Park? The park is located about 20 km south of Cancun and about 35 km north of Playa del Carmen. Visitors can take a taxi or drive to the park, or book a guided tour that includes transportation.

1 Comment

  • ▷ Top 5 Puerto Morelos scuba diving shops

    9 months ago / May 26, 2023 @ 9:42 pm

    […] and diverse marine life. Some of the best sites for scuba diving in Puerto Morelos include the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park, which is home to an array of colorful coral formations and fish species such as barracudas, […]

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