Volunteering in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Making a difference to the Marine Conservation of the Caribbean Coast
Why volunteer in Puerto Morelos, Mexico?
Puerto Morelos in the Yucatan Peninsula is part of the 120 km tourist corridor of the Riviera Maya that runs from Cancun to Tulum and offers a diversity of ecosystems ranging from the low evergreen jungle, the low swamp jungle, the savanna, the flooded palmar, the coastal dunes, mangroves, cenotes, the beaches, the marine grass and the coral reef, part of the second-largest reef barrier in the world!
If you are looking to enter the world of scuba diving or wanting to gain some driving experience to add to your PADI stripes, then this is the perfect location for you since you will have the chance to take on diving and snorkelling while making an impact in the world ́s environment! Keep your eyes open for dolphins and sharks, as well as the notorious lionfish!
And there’s so much more!
After getting into scuba diving as a hobby last year and as an ocean lover, I decided to participate in a volunteer program for marine conservation. I was there for a month in February, living on the Caribbean side of Mexico. Being part of a volunteer program was such a great experience. You are there for a purpose with other like-minded, passionate people, having a great time for a great cause – and doing your part in making a difference.
Puerto Morelos Volunteer Projects
Get ready to make a difference and conserve one of the world ́s largest reef barriers by protecting the marine ecosystem and collect valuable data while learning how to dive and snorkel in Mexico ́s most beautiful spot!
Location: Puerto Morelos, Caribbean Coast
Duration: 4 – 12 weeks
Puerto Morelos Volunteer
Although Puerto Morelos is a small city, there is plenty to do in the town and the surrounding area, especially if you love the sun and sea. It is strategically located between protected mangroves and colourful coral reefs giving the perfect atmosphere to unwind, relax and explore the unspoiled beauty of this serene stretch of the Caribbean!
Puerto Morelos is one of the oldest towns in the area and although it has grown substantially over the past few years it still remains a small fishing village. As a volunteer, you will be 2.5 kilometres (1.59 miles), or 15 minutes away from downtown Puerto Morelos within the National Park Reefs of Puerto Morelos. In your downtime, you will be free to travel in the local area and will have 2 free days per week.
Volunteering in Puerto Morelos
Every 4-week volunteers get a 3 day weekend. In your time off you could do day trips such as visiting Tulum or Coba Mayan ruins, do some cenote diving, visit Playa del Carmen, etc.
Keep in mind that there are also a lot of Cenotes near Puerto Morelos, in fact, there is an entire road full of them called Ruta de Los Cenotes! Don’t miss out on the amazing opportunity of diving in the cenotes in Mexico!
Highlights & Excursions
Mexico is a stunning country that offers something for everyone that wants to visit it. Mayan Ruins, beautiful beaches, adventure activities, culture and history, sensational gastronomy and much more await our volunteers! Tours and trips can be easily booked through us on site and we ́ll be there to help you organize your travel plans.
Here are some of the top activities you can do in the Mayan Riviera, but if you want to travel further and explore the rest of the country don’t hesitate to ask since we can help you organize your trip as well.
There are many Mayan ruins scattered throughout the Riviera Maya and close to Puerto Morelos. Some of the most popular sites are Tulum, a walled Mayan city built near the end of the empire located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and Chichen Itza, one of the largest in Mayan history.
This area of the Riviera Maya is home to eco-adventure parks like Xcaret and Xel-ha, which are naturally beautiful areas of land featuring rich biodiversity and Mayan ruins that have been turned into sustainable theme parks. They feature water activities like swimming, tubing, and snorkelling as there are also plenty of opportunities to spot and learn more about the unique flora and fauna of the region.
Cenotes are like naturally occurring limestone cathedral, filled with deep blue water, and lit up by slants of tropical sunlight from above. These were believed to be sacred and there are plenty of cenotes close to Puerto Morelos where visitors can swim, snorkel, or dive while observing the dabbled light dancing along the cave walls. The most famous is Las Mojarras and Verde Lucero.
Horseback riding along the tropical sandy beaches as the sun rises is an increasingly popular way to explore the beaches of the Riviera Maya. Tours can be hired in many locations nearby that are appropriate for even the most inexperienced rider.
You will be living on the beach a few metres from the Puerto Morelos National Park Reef and a 15-minute drive from downtown Puerto Morelos. You will be staying in shared (mixed sex) dorm rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The accommodation features shared facilities such as a communal kitchen, work area, and living space. There is bottled water available for cooking and drinking, and participants share base duties including cooking, cleaning, gear and equipment maintenance, and other chores. Private accommodation is available upon request and an extra fee so speak to your Destination Specialist if interested.
Volunteers prepare their own breakfast from our choice of cereals. During workdays lunch and dinner are prepared by a local cook, and on weekends, participants cook their own meals. Conveniently, restaurants and supermarkets are walking distance from the base.
Waking up by the sound of the ocean and being able to go on a morning sunrise stroll by the beach is something truly unique!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mexico safe to visit?
We take our volunteer’s safety very seriously and we ́ll give an in-depth induction upon arrival. Please check our Safety Tips as well and don’t worry about this since we ́ll look out for you and lots of tourists visit this beautiful country every year. Petty crime and scams are some of the biggest issues so you need to be on the lookout and pay attention to pickpockets or similar petty thieves.
What is the weather/climate in Mexico?
Our project is based in Puerto Morelos, on the Riviera Maya, known for its tropical climate. The ocean is rather warm, which makes it perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkelling, and diving. The temperature remains fairly constant throughout the year, roughly 26°C or 80°F.
Regarding the water temperature and suggested wetsuit, this can vary as follows:
- Jan – March around 24-26 degrees Celsius – depending on how much you feel the cold either a 3mm or 5mm full-length suit will suffice.
- April – June the water is around 27 -28 degrees.
- July – Sept time is around 28-30 degrees and most people dive with just a rash vest and shorts though some people will wear a shorty or 3mm full suit.
- Nov-Dec is around 26- 28 degrees a 3mm full-length suit is preferred by most.
What is the currency in Mexico?
The currency is the Mexican Peso and participants typically spend approximately US$70-100 per week for phone cards, internet, bottled water, buses, food, drinks, etc. and you may want to bring additional funds to allow for extra activities and travel. For those who want to sample more of the area and Central America before or after the program, we suggest an approximate figure of US$40-50 per day. Accommodation costs vary, but throughout the Yucatan you can generally expect to pay around US$25 for a hostel room or to share a basic hotel room. We recommend that you travel with cash (pesos, US$ are widely accepted) in bigger towns as your main source of funds, although having a credit/debit card as a backup is wise. The nearest ATM to base is in downtown, and there are two banks in the urban side of town. In major towns (Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Merida, Mexico City) ATMs points are widely available. However, be aware that if you travel around small towns in the Yucatan Peninsula ATM points are few and far between! When budgeting, you might want to know that there are some snacks and drinks for sale at the base.
What is the language in Mexico?
The official language of Mexico is Spanish. Although not essential on the expedition base, some knowledge of the Spanish language is useful when travelling around the region. If you are interested in spending a week or two in Mexico learning Spanish before your expedition, please contact your Destination Specialist for information about courses nearby.
What should stay in your hand luggage when travelling?
All valuables should be kept in your hand luggage, not left in your checked bags.
Which Electrical Plugs are used in Mexico?
Electricity throughout Mexico is 110V, 60Hz – the same frequency used in North America. Be sure to check your electronics and small appliances for compatibility, and purchase any adapters or converters necessary.
Electrical outlets are US-style (with an earth pin) and US-style (no earth pin).
Know Before You Go
Code of Conduct
Volunteering Safety Tips
- Be sure to keep track of your belongings at all times.
- Keep your belongings on your lap while riding the bus.
- Do not accept drinks from strangers.
- Use busy and well-lit streets when walking and never walk alone after dark.
- Only use official taxis and public buses.
- Keep small change in your pockets and hide large bills.
- Be vigilant when using an ATM.
- Never count your money on the street or in public.
- Take special care with your camera, laptop, jewellery, purse, and electronics.
- Save your project manager’s number on your phone and make sure to provide us with a copy of your emergency contact person at home.
We will review safety again in detail during your orientation.
Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed.
Hepatitis A&B: Recommended
Routine vaccinations including measles