For those looking for a change Puerto Morelos is the place to be. The sleepy little fishing village on the Mayan Riviera located half-way between Cancun and Playa del Carmen is home of "Goyo's Custom Jungle Adventures." The sole owner operator, chief jungle guide, and all around adventurer is Goyo Morgan an American who came to Mexico from the North West in the 1970s and never left.
Goyo offers two basic adventures, a half-day trip and a full day one. We took the half day "Cenote Jungle Adventure." You depart Puerto Morelos in the morning and spend about four hours in the nearby bush. While there, Goyo will give an introduction to some of the various flora and fauna that abound in the Yucatan Peninsula. You'll be shown which plants can be dangerous and a little about the medicinal qualities of some of the others. Those of you that have mosquito bites ask Goyo for the cure plant. It does really work!
Goyo will share with you his vast knowledge of the Mayan people and their culture. You'll also pick up a few tips on jungle survival − not that you'll need them, at least this time out, and a few pointers on how to use a machete. A visit to a small Mayan ranch of a chiclero (producer of chewing gum) is also included. Chicle is the natural ingredient in chewing gum and long before tourism came to this region it was the main industry here. Chicle was harvested and shipped all over the world to be turned into chewing gum.
Now only a few families remain and make a living amidst the overgrown workers huts and the remnants of the narrow gauge railway to the coast. A visit to a small working Mayan farm follows with an explanation of local farming techniques and crops. For most, the highlight of the excursion is a visit to a cenote. This is a natural well fed by the numerous underground rivers that crisscross the peninsula. A refreshing swim in the cool clear waters and a chance to explore the caves that line the cenote's wall is most welcome at this point in the trip. There is even a zip line over the cenote for those who have an urge for adventure Near the cenote is a traditional sweat lodge that Goyo has constructed.
After the swim you return to the Mayan farm for a traditional, simple, and excellent lunch prepared by Delphina, a friend of Goyo's and her family. Chicken and black beans with home made hot tortillas really hit the spot right about now. Trust me you'll have worked up an appetite. Small, hand-embroidered crafts made by Delphina are available here for those looking for a souvenir of their adventure. The cost for the trip is US$ 40 starting from Puerto Morelos.
This is a good value for a half-day adventure that may well be the highlight of your vacation. The lunch and listening to Goyo's take on life are worth the price alone. Good walking shoes, a swim suit, and of course your camera are essential.
If you go you can meet Goyo at his daughter's restaurant in the Town Square named "Nisha’s". Great fish tacos by the way!