Progreso – Mérida’s Beach Town

Talking to expats and reading online accounts had led us to believe that Progreso was a humdrum place, and when we finally visited, it was more out of a vague sense of duty than any personal desire. But while we had braced ourselves for boredom, what we discovered was a friendly, likable and unpretentious beach town. Chalk it up to the miracle of low expectations, if you wish, but we loved Progreso.

As we learned while trying to reach Maní, the Yucatán isn’t exactly blessed with speedy and efficient public transportation. But getting to Progreso from Mérida couldn’t have been easier. Direct buses leave frequently from the city center and arrive at the beach in less than an hour. I had become accustomed to painfully slow bus rides, but the trip to Progreso was so brief that I barely had time to dig into my bagful of “Mexican Bus Distractions” (books, music, sudoku, food, comics, needlework). I was almost disappointed when we arrived so quickly.

Besides a pleasant main square, a prominent lighthouse and an entertaining covered market, there isn’t much to the town. We didn’t visit any fascinating museums, upscale art galleries, or beautiful old churches. But that’s not the point of Progreso. The point is “beach”. We spent most of the day strolling along the promenade, sitting under the shade of a coconut tree, lounging at a bar and people-watching.

Part of the reason we so enjoyed Progreso was due to the dumb luck of visiting on a day without cruise ships, which anchor at the end of an insanely long four-kilometer concrete pier. Apparently, the town changes its flavor dramatically when the boats arrive, becoming much more commercial and obnoxious. But we didn’t experience any of that. Our trip to Progreso was perfect. Relaxed, easy and fun… just the kind of atmosphere a beach town should have.

Location of Progreso on our Map

Hotels In Progreso

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Christopher

    Ahhhh, how I love to pass the hours with needlework. This has been a fascinating journey with y’all!

  2. drew

    My wife and I are planning to move to Mexico in May of 2017. We have chosen Progresso, Yucatan as our spot. We have lived in OC, Cali for all of our 46 years and know nothing else, but can’t wait to get away from this rat race.  We have SOOOO many questions, especially financial as we want to plan our budget. We have no idea what the cost of living is beyond the price of a home. Is anyone willing to play the 20 questions game? We need to know what electric bills cost, property tax, groceries and basically everything!!!Drew and Aimee Groh, Newport Beach Hair Salon Professionals of 25+ years

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