Puerto Morelos is a fishermen’s village located right between Cancún and Playa del Carmen. It is also known for being a quiet bay in which the flat lagoon hosts the World’s second biggest reef barrier, thus a great abundance of marine life, just 500m off the shore. Along the beach, no big resorts, no tall towers, the landscape has remained pretty wild and preserved, and only small residences of two to three-stories buildings are emerging along the 4 kilometers long white sand beach. Currently, the region suffers from depositions of brown algae on the shore, and although it does not give the expected idyllic look over the Caribbean beaches, but in the end it’s not a big deal as it really only is on the shore and we didn’t stay long before we went off to sea for our snorkeling session.
To access Puerto Morelos on the cheap and be sure to reach our final destination, I had to study the map, and thank G-d we live in modern times – Google Maps and Google street views exist. We aimed at reaching the beachfront, grabbing a meal, and heading to Wet Set Diving and Snorkeling Adventures, a local company that offers boat rides and diving/snorkeling guided tours in the bay of Puerto Morelos.
As usual, we wanted to use the services of a colectivo, but we found out that colectivos only drive on the highway 307 from town to town along the Riviera Maya. Thanks to online maps, I found out there was only one skinny road that connects Highway 307 to the seaside of Puerto Morelos, and although it had a name (Calle Jose Maria Morelos) I thought it’d be safer to tell the driver the name of a big shopping mall that could be seen from the highway, so to spot my stop more easily. It was in fact a good call and everything went fine. So, if you ever want to go to Puerto Morelos yourself, simply do as I did, ask the Playa del Carmen’s colectivo driver to stop at the Puerto Morelos Chedraui supermercado (25-30 pesos). From the stop location, you’ll have to walk across the street under the highway by foot to reach the Chedraui supermarket, and hop on one of the taxis that are waiting for clients on the parking lot, then say your direction to the beach. In case you want to do some snorkeling with Wet Set as we did, the address is at the corner of Avenida Javier Rojo Gomez and Ejercito Mexicano. They were pretty good and friendly overall, and it was a 595 pesos snorkeling guided tour for 2 hours including safety check and gear rental.
Yes, guided tour under water, because there’s a real map of the marine life along the reef, and it is so big and needs so much to be preserved that a guide wearing fins is helpful to take you to the right spots and help at the same time protecting the corals from your dangerous hands and feet. Wet Set offers 2 snorkeling tours a day, and 2 diving tours a day too. We booked the afternoon snorkeling tour that departed at 1:00pm, which gave us plenty of time to enjoy a little swim in the Caribbean sea before we headed to Wet Set’s next door cabaña for lunch. Whereas my husband had a sort of weird Caesar salad, I went more local and decided on a Mexican Ceviche Mixto composed of shrimps, fish and octopus combined to pickled tomato and onion, and a classic lime and coriander marinade. Loads of protein and the guarantee I’d be full of energy for snorkeling all afternoon long. Here is the ceviche I had in Puerto Morelos.
That’s now the delicious one we had in PDC (you can read about it here), that is almost a regular Mexican ceviche, except that it had diced mango added to it.
That’s now the Mexican Ceviche Mixto that I have made, once back from the holidays. Obviously, it’s a dish I have loved unconditionally during our stay in Mexico, because it’s only been a few weeks since we’ve come back home, and I couldn’t resist making one of my own. For the sake of cooking trials! And… because I’m crazy about lime and coriander.
- 12 shrimps, cooked and unshelled (or about 200 grams)
- 1 small red octopus (200 grams minimum)
- 1 cod fish fillet (or swordfish if you are less on a budget) (200 grams)
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, minced
- 1/4 green Serrano pepper or a jalapeño, sliced
- 3 tbsp of ground coriander (or better: 2 handful of chopped coriander leaves)
- 4 limes
- a bit of salt
- Wash well and chop the shrimps, cod fish and octopus.
- Put the octopus in a saucepan full of cold water, start the heat, and when it comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking the octopus for 35 minutes.
- When the octopus is well cooked, slice it nicely.
- In the meantime, blanch shrimps by immersing them in boiling water for a minute, and immediately transfer to a bowl full of iced water.
- Put both octopus and shrimps in a large bowl along with the raw cod, and squeeze the lime juice over. Add the salt, and combine it all.
- Reserve for at least 4 hours, so that all fish and seafood meats get cooked in the marinade.
- One hour before time’s up, nicely dice all vegetables and add them all to the marinating fish, except the avocado.
- When it’s time to serve, either dice the avocado and combine to the ceviche, or slice it nicely and use as a (yummy) decoration on top of the ceviche.
- Mexicans eat ceviche along with nacho chips or tortilla, but it’s really optional and up to you!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2017 All Rights Reserved.