We have had good luck using Google's Matrix Airfare Search. This website allows you to compare prices from major airlines over a date range with many options. Once you find a flight you like, go directly to the airlines website to book it.
We have put together a travel guide for Puerto Morelos at vivapuertomorelos.com
The caretaker of the property is Leo. He, or his assistant Edwin, will be available should you need something. They will be coming into Villa Mateo during your stay to clean the terrace and to turn on the swimming pool pump in the basement.
If you plan on visiting any of the theme parks in the area or plan to take tours, make sure to get reservations in advance. Discounts are available for early reservations. We have used a local tour agency for years and can recommend them: Entertainment Plus Tours & Transfers
Puerto Morelos and Cancun are on Eastern Standard Time. Daylight savings time is not observed.
First, print out the directions map here. Make sure and have a printed map when you arrive. Without the printed map and directions you will get lost. Villa Mateo is hard to find the first time and easy after that. Leo will meet you when you arrive and show you the house. He will give you the code to the front door. If you have any problems let him know and he will do his best to get them resolved.
Once you leave your plane you will go thru Mexican immigration and then customs. If you have arranged a car rental at the airport you will go to their booth (inside the airport) after Mexican customs. If you have an off-airport car rental or a transfer arranged, simply walk out of the airport to the open air area at the airport entrance. Ignore all the salespeople as you exit. Your shuttle driver will be waiting for you just outside the exit of the airport door. Look for a sign with your name on it or the name of the company you have reservations with.
You will definitely need a car during your stay. Villa Mateo is located on a cul-de-sac road about 4 km (2-1/2 miles) north of Puerto Morelos. There are a few other homes in the area but no regular taxi service and no bus service at all. The nearest taxi stand is located at the H-10 hotel approximately 1 km (3/4 mile) from the house. There are no restaurants or stores within walking distance of Villa Mateo.
There are several car rental agencies at the airport. All of them will take you to an off-airport location to fill out paperwork and pick up the car. If you check for a car online you will get some really low quotes. These quotes do not include the mandatory insurance required in Mexico for a rental car. Figure on a minimum of $50 daily for a small rental up to $100 or more for a large car or minivan. The minivan normally requires advance reservations.
Here are rental car places we have used before:
Cancun Rent-a-Car (off airport, they will pick you up)
Other car rental places in Cancun:
There are many other car rental places, just search for Cancun car rental in Google or Bing.
Driving in Mexico is similar to home. Shirley and I have driven all up and down Highway 307 (along the Mayan Riviera) and had no trouble. We have driven throughout Cancun without incident. Be careful here as you would anywhere else.
Transfer & Taxi Service
If you have a large group of people, you will need a transfer service to get everyone to the house. This is basically a large Sprinter van with a lot of seats. We have used USA Transfers many times and can recommend them. Please let them know we referred them, never hurts to have friends in strange places! For an extra fee they will take you to Sams Club/Walmart or the new Chedraui grocery store in Puerto Morelos for 1 hour to shop for groceries.
Taxi service is available at the H10 Ocean Coral & Turquesa hotel, about 1 km (3/4 mile) from Villa Mateo. They offer regular taxi service and tours of the area. Call them at (998) 939-3041 or have the caretaker call for you.
There are a number of ATM machines and a money changing booth in Puerto Morelos. All are located near the town square.
Cover the keypad with your free hand when entering your PIN number. We have had our debit card used without our permission in Mexico. The thieves are able to electronically steal your card number and observe you entering your PIN number via a small wireless camera. This is most common at isolated ATM machines.
Given the choice, use an ATM in a manned location. There is a 7-11 in the village by Highway 307 that offers an ATM inside the store. The new Chedraui grocery store also has ATM machines inside the store and a Mexican bank, CI Banco, has a branch out front that will exchange money if you bring your passport with you.
Here is the current exchange rate.
You will need to pick up groceries for your stay with us. We normally go to the Sam's Club in Cancun. From the airport road turn left on Highway 307 toward Cancun instead of right toward Playa del Carmen/Tulum. There is also a small Walmart Superama beside the Sam's Club. You will get the best prices on most things at either of these 2 stores. Buy your big quantity stuff in Sam's and smaller quantity stuff in the Walmart Superama.
Another option is the new Chedraui grocery store in Puerto Morelos. To get there follow the directions to the house but do not turn at the Crococun Zoo. Continue on and take the Puerto Morelos exit off highway 307. You will see the grocery store on your right just before the overpass. Once you have bought your groceries head back toward Cancun on 307 and then turn right at the Crococun Zoo and follow the original directions to the house.
Occasionally, groceries are left in the refrigerator after a guest leaves. Sometimes we leave some things in the fridge. You are welcome to use anything in the fridge. If not, just push this stuff out of your way.
We have never hired a chef to cook for us but we know of several people who will cook for you. Fernando ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) will pick up groceries and come to the villa to prepare a meal for you. Juan Loya ( email@example.com) comes highly recommended from one of our guests. Cat at The Little Mexican Cooking School will cater for you or cook onsite. Veronica (firstname.lastname@example.org) and her mother will cook for you at the villa.
We have wireless internet in the house. The network is Villa 5 and the password code is 55555555 (8-5's). This network is available in the living areas, bedrooms and on the terrace. The service is sometimes erratic, so please be patient.
TV and Sirius Radio
We have TV's in the living room and the lower master bedroom. Both are connected to Dish Network with USA programming. Both TV's have a DVD player attached.
Here are instructions for using the remote controls for the TV and DVD player. Please print out these instructions and bring them with you.
Dish Network is on HDMI 1. The Roku player is on HDMI 2 and the DVD player is on HDMI 3.
You must press the "Volume Up" button on the Dish remote control to turn the sound bar on after you turn the TV and Dish Receiver on.
The Sirius radio is located on the cabinet under the window in the dining room. There are over 100 channels to choose from. We turn the volume up when we are on the back porch or in the pool and listen to our favorite music. There is also a Sirius Boombox on the terrace level. To use it, take the small Sirius receiver from the downstairs Boombox and insert it in the Boombox on the terrace.
Use the cordless phone to call anywhere in the USA or Canada at no charge. Calls to local numbers in Mexico cost 5 cents per minute. To make a local call from this phone dial 011 52 998 + Local Number. The 011 is the US exit code, 52 is the country code for Mexico, 998 is the area code for Cancun and then the local number. Here is an example: 011 52 998 227 6952.
This phone uses the internet. If the internet is not working the phone will not work. To dial a US or Canadian number enter the area code and then the local number you are trying to call. The phone number of the house is (806) 853-7406.
If your cell service does not include service in Mexico be careful in using your phone. Turn off the data on your smartphone to avoid a high cell phone bill when you get back. Your smartphone will "ping" the cell tower repeatedly even though you are not actively using the data on your phone. Solve this problem by turning off the data prior to your arrival in Mexico.
Some of the cell phone companies offer plans that include service in Mexico. Make arrangements with them before your trip so that you can use your cell phone while you are in Mexico.
Electricity in Villa Mateo is 110 volt with USA style plugs. You will not need adaptors if you are from the USA or Canada. Electricity is very expensive, so please adhere to our electric, water and towel use guidelines.
All incoming water is chlorinated and travels thru an ultra-violet light filter to eliminate bacteria. In addition, a Reverse Osmosis water system is available at the kitchen sink and the water and ice at the refrigerator is attached to it. We use this water for drinking and cooking. If you prefer, bottled water is available in the kitchen. Make sure to fill up ice trays from the bottled water dispenser, the ice in the refrigerator door is from the RO system.
Place your empty water bottles outside the front door on Tuesday and Friday. They will be returned filled.
We have 2 Kayaks and 2 Bicycles. The kayaks are located between the house and the fence at the ocean side of the property. Please return them here after use.
The bicycles each have a cable to lock them when not in use. The codes are 2217 for one and 7121 for the other. Do not leave them anywhere unlocked...they will disappear!
We use the "Rush" laundry service beside the new Chedraui grocery store just off highway 307 in the Puerto Morelos colonia. This is a new business and we have had good luck with them. There are several other laundry services available in Puerto Morelos. Your milage may vary.
There is a basement in Villa Mateo. It contains a lot of electrical wires and pumps. Do not go into the basement for any reason. A door is located just before the basement stairs. Please keep this door closed at all times. Tell the caretaker if you need anything regarding the basement.
Please review our electric, water and towel use guidelines.
Please use the trash bags located in the drawer beside the refrigerator. If none are there, look on the shelves by the basement entrance.
Leave full trash bags just outside the front door. Leo will take them to the trash bin for you. The trash bin is located across the beach road within a wooden fence if you prefer to dispose of your own trash.
There are several Hospitals in the Cancun area. We have used Ameri-Med which caters to tourists. This hospital is located near the mall, Plaza de las Americas. If you have an emergency, go to the Taxi stand outside the H10 hotel and ask them to take you to the AmeriMed hospital. It takes about 25 minutes to get there.
There are 3 doctors in the Puerto Morelos area:
Dr. Veronica Serrato Quezada is located in the back of the shopping mall north of the town square. She speaks English and will make house calls. Office 998-253-4118.
There is a medical clinic in the Pescadores, just east of Highway 307 on the road into Puerto Morelos. Office 998-251-1478 or 998-201-2456.
We have used Dr. Benjamin De la Vega when our grandson was sick. He can be reached at 998-285-9186 or cell 998-165-9955.
There are over 40 restaurants in Puerto Morelos. Our favorites are La Panza es Primera for Mexican food, La Playita for seafood and Al Chimichurri's for beef steak and pizza. You can ask anyone in town where these are at.
La Panza has a beautiful ocean view in a sit down restaurant, you stand on a sand floor and eat off a plastic table in La Playita and sometimes at the edge of the street in Chimmichurri's. All have wonderful food and reasonable prices. Remember, this is Mexico!
Here is a restaurant list courtesy of the Alma Libre bookstore in Puerto Morelos. The bookstore has a huge selection of english books if you want to read something during your vacation.
About Puerto Morelos
We have compiled a Puerto Morelos visitors guide. Take a look at it here.
Leaving Villa Mateo
Please leave the house as you found it. Plan on getting to the airport 2 hours prior to your departure.
Leo will check the house after you leave. If everything is in order we will return your deposit within 10 days.
We hope you enjoy your stay with us!