A half kilometer (0.75 mile) south of the Puerto Morelos  turnoff is a peaceful botanical garden (Hwy. 307 Km. 320, tel. 998/206-9233, www.ecosur.mx , 8 a.m.–4 p.m. daily Nov.–Apr., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily May–Oct., US$8.50 adults, US$4.25 children), study center, and tree nursery spread over 60 hectares (150 acres).
Two kilometers (1.2 miles) of trails wind beneath a canopy of trees and past many of the peninsula’s plants and flowers, each with its name labeled in English, Spanish, and Latin. Habitats vary from semievergreen tropical forest to mangrove swamp. Look for the epiphyte area, with a variety of orchids, tillandsias, and bromeliads.
As you wander around, you’ll also find a re-creation of a Maya chiclero camp (showing how chicle was harvested to be used in chewing gum), a few ruins from the Post-Classic period, and a contemporary Maya hut illustrating day-to-day life—from cooking facilities to hammocks.
Wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes, and definitely bring bug repellent—the mosquitoes can be fierce, especially in the late afternoon and after it rains. Private guided tours also available for an additional US$12.50 per group.