Puerto Aventuras is one of my favourite places here in the Riviera Maya. I visit this beautiful little marine town so often that I’ve even contemplated moving there, I know right! But with its stunning residential areas, laid back island feel, amazing food and even more amazing wildlife (cough cough dolphins… cough), it’s one of the most fascinating towns to visit in the area.
You can access Puerto Aventuras so easily, whether using public transport or your own car.
Simply hop onto the highway from Playa del Carmen and head towards Tulum, after around 15 minutes you will see the gated entrance to Puerto Aventuras on your left. Once through the entrance it’s just another 2 minute drive until you reach the free car parking on your right hand side.
The most expensive, but definitely the most relaxing way of getting to Puerto Aventuras is via taxi. You can hail a cab from anywhere in Playa del Carmen or can have your hotel call one to reception for you. It will take the same time as a car to reach Puerto Aventuras, but you can expect to pay $250+ each way, depending on the nature of your driver.
The most popular, and cheapest way of getting to Puerto Aventuras is using the public transport, vans called Colectivos. You can jump on one of these air-conditioned bad boys at Calle 2 with Avenida 15 in Playa Del Carmen, and they will take you to your destination for only $25MXN per person!
Puerto Aventuras, although it has the most amazing marina and stunning residential areas, doesn’t have the best beaches. However, as always, I have the tip to rule all tips… an amazing hidden beach! One way to access this unbelievably serene and most perfect beach is through the Omni Hotel. Now, this isn’t the ‘correct’ way to go about things as you are supposed to actually be staying in the hotel to walk through it, however I do it around once a week, with both foreigners and locals, and have received nothing but smiles and welcoming hellos from the staff.
If you choose to take the hotel route, you simply walk through the main entrance and out to the right into the pool area. From there you will be able to see some steps in front of you that head down to the beach, follow them down then take an immediate right. A stones throw walk and you’re out of the hotel beach and onto the deserted, picturesque, hidden public beach! If you’re feeling a little scared of the hotel staff fear not! You can access the beach from the marina at the left hand side of the hotel. It’s a tiny entrance way with no sign post, so it’s easy to miss, but if you’re looking for it you’ll find it. Once you follow the path through to the beach head right, walk past the hotel beach and you’ll hit the exact same secret spot.
My favourite thing about this beach, besides the fact there are never any people there, is that the government have built faux reefs for the residential fish. This means that the section of sea closest to the shore line is blocked from all waves, this makes the water perfectly still like a bath; a little warmer, so you don’t get that initial ‘freezing-to-death’ shock when entering; and at it’s deepest it only comes up to your thigh… so relaxing!
Not only does the faux reef attract fish to the shallow waters, making it perfect for those first timers, they also have the most unbelievable and vast natural reefs out in the deeper waters! You can take one of the many boat or catamaran tours out to the deeper waters, or you can simply swim out from the hidden beach area.
Snorkelling in Puerto Aventuras I’ve seen things that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world! They have what I like to call ‘sea brains’, which are in fact intricate coral formations over large boulders; fallen mangler jungle which form a magical underwater forest; and many amazingly colourful sea fans. Snorkelling when in this lovely little town is a must, and is enjoyable for both beginners and seasoned swimmers alike!
Out of the Water
Puerto Aventuras is best known for it’s marinas. The entire town snakes around these expansive and stunningly presented waterways. You will find anything from tug boats to million dollar yachts moored here, truly showing their open spirit to locals and foreigners living in sweet, sweet harmony! To walk around all the marina can take you anywhere between 40 minutes to 2 hours, depending how often you stop to take photos (for me that’s a lot!), or peer in at the giant barracudas eating the discarded fish from the fishing boats.
The second most iconic thing about this marine town is their sea life project. This is the only place I’ve ever seen where the town centre is actually a network of water enclosures full of dolphins… yes you heard me, dolphins! This town has pools of dolphins, manatee and even a few sea lions. You can go into their info centre to learn more about the animals and their work, take a guided tour, or simply take your time to walk around and see the animals for yourself.
Any town here in the Riviera Maya would be lost without their sweet little shops, and this town definitely has it’s share. You can find anything from the usual touristic souvenirs and t-shirts stalls, to boutique bikini shops and advanced diving equipment centres. Whats even more fun is that you can rent bikes, golf carts and ATV’s to get around Puerto Aventuras in any style that suits you!
Where to Eat
After a long day of relaxing in the sun, exploring the marinas, and swimming amongst the vibrant coral, all I want is a tasty and fulfilling meal… if you’re like me then look no further than The Pub restaurant. Don’t let the name fool you, this is an outside, family restaurant situated right next to the dolphin pools, giving it the best view of any eatery in Puerto Aventuras!
The food here ranges from delicately prepared aguachile to giant, and I mean GIANT, lasagna and pizza. Now, usually I steer well clear of restaurants that profess to be masters in a wide range of cuisines like this, but these guys really can do it! I have tried almost everything on their extensive menu, and everything I’ve had is delicious! One thing to keep a note of however, is that the proportions are huge… me and my boyfriend can very easily share a lasagne, and the full garlic bread baguette it comes with, and both be stuffed to the brim after. The Pub also offer an extensive cocktail list, and their ‘happy hour’ usually lasts all day everyday, if your smile is big enough!
After all that delicious food make sure you’ve saved room for desert… Jessie Gelato is absolutely a hidden gem of the Riviera Maya! They have the most delicious gelato I’ve ever tasted, and I’m a total gelato fiend. Jessie makes all the gelato fresh that day, and has every flavour you can think of, even some vegan options for those who are that way inclined, Willy Wonka eat your heart out! The only thing I like more than the frozen treats here are the staff. The owner is always on site to serve you and answer any questions you may have, or even just for a little afternoon chat. This is the one place I never miss on my visits to Puerto Aventuras.
You can watch my latest trip to Puerto Aventuras here!
Have you ever visited Puerto Aventuras, what did you think of this lovely town? Let me know in the comments below.
Stay Salty x