A Day in Cancun

A Day in Cancun

We chose the charming village of Puerto Morelos as home base for our family of five on an eight-day trip to the Riviera Maya. Puerto Morelos was the perfect location to visit Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and the Yucatan Penninsula. A 30 minute taxi-ride to Cancun led us to gorgeous beaches, excellent tacos and shopping galore.

You Might Also Be Interested In: How We Planned for Our Trip To Puerto Morelos

Hitting the Beach!

Playa Delfines in Cancun


This beach is gorgeous! If you’re looking for free beach access, this is the place to be.

Playa Delfines is a free public beach tucked in between the mega-resorts of Cancun.  There are restrooms, showers, and palapas for public use.  The restrooms were better than I anticipated for a public facility.

There were tons of iguanas heading from the parking area to the beach.  I nearly ran right into one who was annoyed that I was disturbing his sunning!  How many iguanas can you spot in this picture?

Three iguanas playing hide-and-seek.

Playa Delfines was pristine and uncrowded. We arrived early  and had our choice of palapas close to the water and the restrooms. There we no chair rentals in that area, but the sand made a comfy-enough bed. There were chair rentals available further down the beach, but the sea grass had not been cleared in that area. We thought the pristine beach trumped chairs!Cancun


You May Also Be Interested In: Essential Beach Gear

Once we tired of the beach, we headed to the Hotel Zone for lunch and air-conditioned activities. We started off walking down the well-paved street, but quickly determined it was too darn hot.  Within minutes we were red-faced, sweaty messes, so we stopped at the next bus stop and hopped on a city bus.

The bus cost about 15 pesos per person, and the bus was clean, uncrowded, and much cooler than the pavement outside. We just let the driver know where we wanted off, and he was happy to accommodate us.  The buses run frequently and we did not have to wait more than a couple of minutes.  This was a much easier option for our family of five than trying to find a cab that would accommodate us.

Lunch at Blue Gecko

We hopped off the bus at a little hole-in-the-wall in between Playa Delfines and the Hotel Zone called The Blue Gecko.  We found it when I searched for nearby restaurants in Google Maps, and it popped up with good reviews. The reviews were accurate, and it turned out to be a great stop!

Blue Gecko

Mixed drinks were pricey–all about $10. But if you want to eat on the cheap, beer was $3and enormous and delicious tacos were $7. We also munched on chips and fire-roasted salsa.  Chips and salsa is a food group for us Texans, but not readily found in Mexico, so it was a nice treat.

We also chatted with a a fascinating young man who had just moved from Brazil to work at the Blue Gecko and was just hanging out that day.  We talked about family and travels and being away from home Neither of us spoke the other’s language perfectly, and  this is what travel is about–meeting new people from far away places and still managing to connect across language barriers.

Interactive Aquarium Cancun

After filling out bellies, we hopped back on a bus and continued our journey toward the Hotel Zone to Interactive Aquarium Cancun. We hoped for air conditioning and an afternoon’s entertainment, and were somewhat disappointed.  First, this is not an inexpensive stop.  We spent about $75 for our family of five, and they would not honor online discounts.  Book in advance for cheaper tickets!


Most of this aquarium is outdoors, so we didn’t get much benefit of cooler temps, either.  The outdoor portion is nicely done, and would be a good diversion for kids in more moderate temperatures.  There is a pool of sting rays that you can get up-close-and-personal with, and a touch pool with starfish and sea urchins. (My twins would go near the touch pool because of Finding Dory, lol!) There are also dolphins and a dolphin swim available, although I am always wary of these types of experience and how the animals are acquired and kept.

Overall, we spent about an hour at this aquarium.

La Isla Cancun Shopping Village

The aquarium was located inside La Isla Cancun Shopping Village, an outdoor shopping mall in Cancun. There was plenty of shade, food and shops to stroll in. Most of the shops and restaurants were places we could easily find at home, but if you’re not from a big city and shopping is your thing, this is the place to be.

Fortunately, it did provide ready access to taxis, and even a minivan so we could all return together to our condo in Puerto Morelos (we had to take separate taxis from Puerto Morelos to Cancun).

Visting Cancun was a great way to spend one of our days in Mexico!


I am a 40-something lawyer and mom of 3 teenage girls. I love exploring new places, and when I can't be on the road, I'm planning my next trip. Over the years, I've learned a lot about how to travel in a pack of five. Our trips range from budget-friendly road trips with the family, to more luxurious trips for work, either solo or with my husband, Kenny.

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