Puerto Morelos Mexico Retirement Desirability and Costs

In this report, I will discuss Puerto Morelos Mexico Retirement Desirability and Costs.

I first came to Puerto Morelos in 2017. I was staying in Playa Del Carmen and decided to visit a childhood friend that had moved to Puerto Morelos in 2016. It was such a quaint little village that I decided that the next time I visited the Riviera Maya, I would stay in Puerto Morelos for a month.

I just completed a month in Puerto Morelos in March of 2021. I loved it even more than I thought I would. In fact, I just rated it the best place to retire early for cheap in 2021 in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is my favorite place to live in Riviera Maya.

What is it about Puerto Morelos that makes it the best place to retire early in Riviera Maya? I would say that it is a number of factors.

First, it has not grown as rapidly as other well-known places in Riviera Maya, such as Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum. So it still has a quaint village feel to it.

Second, geographically Puerto Morelos is not situated in such a way as to allow urban sprawl. As shown below, Puerto Morelos is split into two pieces. There is a beachside and a village side in Puerto Morelos. The locals (mostly) live on the village side and the tourists (Mexican and International) live on the beachside (mostly). Between the beachside and the village sides, sits large lagoons.


The lagoons are a natural barrier to urban sprawl.

Third, the village side of Puerto Morelos, also known as the Colonia, has remained largely insulated from the high cost of living existing on the beachside. We stayed in an apartment that could be rented for 7000 Pesos a month ($350 USD) plus utilities on a long-term contract. That is really cheap in the Riviera Maya. Plus the groceries and the restaurants on the village side are typically much cheaper than those on the beachside. The village side also has a real Mexican feel to it whereas the beachside has a tourist vibe, which we preferred.

Fourth, although substantially cheaper on the village side, you are only a 10-minute bicycle ride from the beach, or you can take a taxi for 30 Pesos ($1.50 USD). There are bicycle shops on the village side where you can buy used bicycles for $60 to $120 USD. You can also buy and sell bicycles for even cheaper on the Facebook Market.

For all of these reasons and more, Puerto Morelos would presently be our favorite place to retire early for cheap in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico (i.e., Riviera Maya)

Puerto Morelos Mexico Cost of Living Estimates

Qiang and I were in Puerto Morelos for more than a month. Make sure to read what we spent to live in Puerto Morelos for the month. Since your expenses would not likely be the same as ours, we have provided another possible estimated cost of living in the below table.

Here is another way to estimate expenses. We found the place we rented on one of the Facebook Expat pages for Puerto Morelos. Just go to Facebook and search for “Expats Puerto Morelos.” Join a few of the larger Facebook groups that pop-up in your search. Then ask anyone if they have a 1 bedroom apartment on the Colonia side of Puerto Morelos. Ana answered our inquiry and said she had a place for rent. We contacted Ana on her following Facebook Page for her apartments for rent.


Ana Rented us her 2 Bedroom apartment for 12000 pesos ($600 USD) per month including utilities, AC, and Wifi (router inside the unit). That is $20 USD per day for a 2 bedroom apartment including everything.

I will use $20 per day in the below table for an apartment. But you can rent it cheaper for the long term ($350 USD a month), but you’ll have to pay your own utilities. 

This is a village side apartment. The apartments at the beach could easily be double.

In this link, I explain how to get the best deals: How I find the best apartments for cheap around the world.

The high-end restaurants in Puerto Morelos average around 180 pesos ($9 USD) for an entree, a local family-owned restaurants starts around 80 Pesos ($4 USD), and you will see food cart type vendors starting for as little as 15 Pesos ($0.75 USD) in the locals’ neighborhoods.

With regard to local transportation, collectivos (shared minivans) are 8 Pesos (40 cents USD), taxis are about 30 Pesos ($1.50 USD). The taxi from the village side to the beachside is 30 Pesos ($1.50 USD).

Thus, a bare-bones cost of living estimate that includes only rent, 2 meals a day, and Taxis or collectivos as local transportation is shown in the below table.

Estimated Cost of Living Table (Puerto Morelos, Mexico)






Our 2 Bedroom Apt















High-End Restaurant





Neighborhood Restaurant





Food Cart





Subway (none)





Bus (Collectivo)





Taxi (No Grab or Uber)






Per Month





Per Day




Here is a free report explaining, “How The Cost of Living Table Works.”

The above table of the estimated cost of living is for one month, for one person, as a temporary visitor. It only includes rent, 2 meals per day, and local transportation. For a full understanding of what it would cost you to live here, visit Numbeo for Puerto Morelos and add anything you spend money on in your home country that is not mentioned in the table.

Never move anywhere until you have visited first personally to verify the living costs for your lifestyle and needs. I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on lifestyle and the time since this post.

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Best Area to Stay in Puerto Morelos

So my favorite area of Puerto Morelos is in the village 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) west of the beach. I have blown up the map below so you can see it easier.

Google Map

In this more traditional Mexican Village neighborhood, you are about 10 to 15-minute bicycle ride to the beach. So you can live, shop, and eat in the cheaper more culturally interesting neighborhoods and ride your bike to the beach whenever the mood strikes. Or you can get a taxi to the beach for about 30 Pesos ($1.50 USD).

Cheapest Flights to Puerto Morelos

We almost always get our cheapest flights on this Skyscanner. They have a web crawler that is constantly looking for the cheapest prices all over the world. As usual, we found the cheapest flight on Skyscanner.

Puerto Morelos Livability Factors

Here are some of the factors I think about when I consider each place for retirement potential. After I discuss each factor I will assign an overall desirability score to Puerto Morelos.

Walkability: High. If I were to live in Puerto Morelos in the unpretentious neighborhood shown in red above, I would be able to walk to restaurants, small fruit and vegetable markets, and the two large grocery stores. If you have too many groceries to walk home, you could get a taxi for about 50 Pesos ($2.50 USD).

Internet: High. We had no issues with the Internet speeds in Puerto Morelos. Here is the ATT Speed Test Results for the private router we had in our 2 bedroom apartment.


Food: Medium. We found a bunch of great Mexican food restaurants with fair pricing in the village. But there were not many foreign food choices. So if you are a fan of foreign foods I would rate the food as medium or even low.

Weather: Medium. Puerto Morelos can get quite hot in the off-season and hurricane season can be extreme. The cooler season is December through February when nighttime lows average 70F/21C and daytime highs average 82F/28C. The hot season is April through October when nighttime lows average 78F/26C and daytime highs average over 88F/31C, but it is not unusual for days to reach the high 90s in April through October. The rainy season is May through November, with most of the rain falling in September and October. The hurricane season is June through November.

Things to Do: Medium. If you enjoy the beach and water sports, you should be fine. If you are a cultural lover I would say medium or even low. Puerto Morelos has options for deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, scuba, and kite surfing.

Social Considerations: Medium. Puerto Morelos is not the best place in the world to be single. Life here is pretty much centered around the beach which is mostly tourists. There are some ex-pats living here if that is your thing. You will want to learn Spanish if you decide to settle here and date the locals. Many speak some English, but when in Rome do what the Romans do.

Expats: Medium. If you like hanging out with ex-pats, you will find them through various Facebook pages: 1, 2. New ones pop-up all the time so search on Facebook for “Puerto Morelos Expats.” Facebook is a good place to go if you have a very specific or odd question I have not answered here.

Real Estate: Property starts here for around $50k but you can easily spend $200k USD. I never recommend buying until you have lived somewhere for at least 3 years. Read this to better understand why I don’t recommend buying outside your home country.

Puerto Morelos Desirability Score: High. Puerto Morelos is one of my favorite places in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico. When I first started visiting Riviera Maya in the early 1990s, I loved places like Tulum and Playa Del Carmen the most. But they have become a little too crazy, expensive, and touristy for my taste. Luckily I discovered the laid-back atmosphere of Puerto Morales. The next time I visit Riviera Maya, I will take Puerto Morelos as my base. I love the Mexican Village area just 2 kilometers west of the beach with all of the family-owned local restaurants and stores. Plus it is just a short bicycle ride to the beach when the mood strikes.

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