To spend a day in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, we first have to choose a form of transportation that will get us there. Our choices are to rent a car, take a taxi or do a colectivo. We elected the colectivo. A brief description of a colectivo is a passenger van that transports mostly locals from place to place for very little money. They usually don’t have AC and you never know who you will be sitting next to. However, we find it a bit adventurous and at the same time, a safe and inexpensive way to get from town to town.
We caught a colectivo in Playa del Carmen and it dropped us off in a small town just outside Puerto Aventuras’s (PA) private community. We walked under the overpass and down the street to the gated entrance. We showed ID, answered a few questions and proceeded on towards town center. The wider than normal sidewalks are well maintained and the overhanging trees offer plenty of shade from the sun. We also followed parts of a well manicured executive 18 hole golf course that intertwines throughout the community.
Puerto Aventuras is the second most populated community in Solidaridad Municipality – a county like district in the state of Quintana Roo. It has approximately 6,000 permanent residents, but is known more as a second home and vacation destination. Its population more than quadruples in size during season – December through March.
There are lots of assorted attractions and water sports available in and around PA. We have good friends that operate a paddle board business called Go Paddle 365 (pictured above – left) here in Puerto Aventuras. They offer personal tours and classes (pictured left) by simply making an appointment. John is a fully certified instructor and an expert in the growing field of paddle boarding. Patricia – John’s partner and wife, is on her way to being an expert as well.
We had so much fun the day we took our first class. We cruised around the back bay and spacious canals (pictured right) practicing our new found sport. The water is so clear that we could see the fish rushing around as we paddled next them. Go Paddle 365 provides all your necessary equipment. There is a practice pad (pictured above – right) that seconds as a dock where your training begins. Just bring your bathing suite and be ready for an exciting adventure.
The walk from the gated entrance to the town square takes approximately fifteen minutes. As we walked along the sidewalk, we passed several canals filled with boats that separated rows of condos (pictured left). There is a round-about that directed us either towards the residential area or the town center. Just to the right of the intersection is a courtyard. We made a brief stop at the large blue sign that points you in the general direction of where you want to go. You will have to use a little imagination on a few of the names.
As you can see Puerto Aventuras offers hotels, golf & tennis, a marina, and plenty of restaurants and shops. They also have a Maritime Museum (labeled; Museo) and Swim with Dolphins Discovery Show (labeled: Delfines). Our first stop was the beach and to have a refreshing beverage to start the day’s adventure. The Omni Hotel has a great beach side bar & grill. We ordered a beverage and then took a dip in the crystal clear water that was just steps away from
We finished our beverages and proceeded down the beach enjoying its white sugar fine sand squeezing between our toes. The turquoise water was so clear and calm on this perfect day. It portraits as a mirror that reflects the blue sky and sun above. The peacefulness that all this brings is so surreal. We slowly stroll along with the palm trees gently swaying above us thinking, “Isn’t this heavenly”.
After walking along the beach and cooling off in the perfect tempered waters, we moved from the sand to the rock lined inlet. Here is where the boats come through to dock at Puerto Aventuras’s well laid out harbor.
The harbor (pictured below – left) is home to many international people who dock their boats here. We marveled at the some of the yachts from neighboring countries – the one pictured right is from Argentina. Here is where you can book a fishing trip or snorkeling tour. You can walk up to one of the captains who are tending to their boat and ask, “How soon can we be on our way?” You could possibly be shoving off to a new adventure within a matter of minutes. There are plenty of sport boats waiting to search the open waters for that trophy fish you have always dreamed about. Or the catamaran wanting to hoist its sails to the wind and take you snorkeling or diving off the Mesoamerican Reef.
We spent a small period of time venturing around the boardwalk that follows the harbor’s circumference. There are condos for rent that overlook the docks with a few of them having town center views as well. Our next destination will be where some of the action happens.
The town center is the heart beat of the community and is populated with most of the restaurants, shops and aquatic entertainment that is offered in PA. The water that fills the harbor’s thoroughfares also flows into the large ponds where dolphins frolic amongst themselves.
We walked between pools of seawater were the warm blooded mammals swirled around. They would pop there heads above the surface and eye us in a curious manner. They seemingly want us to play ball with them (shown above – left). These intelligent, bluish-gray colored creatures are one of the ocean’s most magnificent inhabitants. We watched the trainers tenderly caress, work with, and genuinely give lots of attention to their precise subjects.
There is a smaller island situated in the center with a man made waterfall accenting its presence. The seal exhibit stems off one of the ponds where a few of the main character were laying out sunning themselves. We walked all the way around admiring the stage like setting before deciding to stop for lunch. There were a variety of eateries to choose from.
There are lots of restaurants and bar & grills that serve Mexican traditional, Italian and a few that combined American dishes with a Mexican twist to them. Some of the establishments attention getters are not always the menu boards placed out front. They also utilize well known life size figurines or amateur works of art to entice your appetite’s curiosity. Who knew the Blues Brothers would be waiting under a tree to welcome you to their favorite spot when visiting the area.
We decided to eat at The Pub for two reasons. The first being we have visited them before and the food was good and their prices are
reasonable. The second reason is because the Dolphin show was being performed in the pond straight across from them. We grabbed an open table along the walkway with no one in front of us. We ordered a couple of beverages and some cerviche, then settled in for the show.
The dolphins wowed their audience by chasing balls, sky high flips, and of course coming up to the participants and showing their affection. We hung around for awhile relaxing and watching people who obviously haven’t had much experience being around these docile creatures. You can tell they were having the time of their lives.
It was getting close to that time where we needed to head back to Playa del Carmen. We cut through the square just behind us where the museum and a few quaint boutique shops and cafes hide themselves from the main strip. The courtyard setting is perfect for a quiet meal and a cup of your favorite java, or a glass of Pinot or Merlot.
We walked out the front gates and down about a half a block to the colectivo stop. There we waited with a few other people until the white van picked us up. Puerto Aventuras is about a 20 minute ride south of Playa del Carmen.
We only saw approximately half of Puerto Aventuras and its amenities while on today’s adventure. If you plan on doing a day trip, I would highly suggest to take a beach bag with a change of clothes, towel, water and a camera. However, I would really recommend that you either rent a condo or stay at one of the hotels or resorts that resides on the property for at least two to three days minimum.
I want to give a shout out to Patricia & John Hanson at Paddle Board 365 for everything you did for us.