Progreso is a little beach town in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. Located about 25 minutes north of Mérida, it's a place where the residents of the state’s capital city build their summer homes or just drop in to enjoy the beach. They come on the weekends and on holidays and have pretty much had Progreso’s beaches to themselves. Until recently, there’s not been much to do in Progreso except enjoy its quiet beaches and hurry-free ambiance.
Progreso often a windy place, making it an ideal location for kite boarding and surfboarding enthusiasts. But the enthusiasts would have to bring their own gear. Progreso has not been rich in touristic conveniences, yet it is fast becoming a port of call for cruise ships, and may have to provide something for tourists to do besides on lay on the beach.
Lying on the beach is not a bad option, but here tourists would also need to bring their own gear, including shade. Progreso’s long, well-groomed beaches have few palapas available for beach loungers to seek a reprieve from the sun. While this may change, currently visitors would need their own beach chairs and umbrellas. The only thing on the beach of any substance is Mexico’s longest wharf, which runs 6 - 7 km long.
Yet, due to the new splurge in tourists, Progreso is building colorful and festive restaurants and accommodations along its seaside promenade, “EL Malecon.” Perhaps this will also spur the presence of water activity services and sun shelters for beach goers.
While Progreso began as a fishing village, the pier has made Progreso the most important port in Yucatan, and its key export location. Still, fishing and now tourism are Progreso’s most important economic resources.
Remember, unlike other beach cities in the Yucatán Peninsula, Progreso is a Gulf of Mexico beach so don't expect the gorgeous blue waters on the Caribbean side.
Attractions & Things To Do in Progreso
Flamingo Watching at Laguna Rosada - a good flamingo sighting location.
The Alacran Reef - an emergent platform reef that is part of a group of reefs known as the Campeche Bank Reefs. It is the largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but is the northern most reef. Five vegetated islands are associated with the Alacran Reef. They include Isla Desterrada, Desertora, Perez, Chica and Pajaros. All of these islands are the subject of several scientific studies that focus on the dynamic conditions of vegetation changes over time. The reef is great for diving and snorkeling.
Perez Island – This island features two beaches with gentle waves and fine sand: Chelem and Yucaltepen.
How to Get to Progreso, Yucatán
Visitors can fly into Merida and rent a car or take a bus to Progreso. By car, the drive is about 35 km along a fast four-lane highway, which is a continuation of the Paseo de Montejo. Buses travel frequently between Merida and Progresso into the evening.