Near Mérida, the most popular beaches are Chelem, Yucalpeten, Progreso, Chicxulub, Cocal Josefina, San Miguel, Uaymitún, San Benito, San Bruno (neither of these are really towns, but they do have signs), Telchac Puerto, San Crisanto, and Dzilam Bravo.
Let’s start the farthest west with the town of Chelem (Cheh-lem’). This is a quaint older town, with full services – stores, shops, restaurants, taxis, buses, and telephone. The homes, that are pretty much wall to wall, are modest. Prices in this area for rent and purchase are cheaper – say between $300 and $500 USD a month for rentals. To get here you do not enter Progreso, but head west on the overpass before entering Progreso. You will find other foreigners here. You do not need a car to live in this town.
The next area east is Yucalpetén. To get here you do go through Progreso. This is an area just 4 miles from Progreso with full services. The homes are mostly modest, and the beach is quite wide. Rents also run about $300 to $500 USD a month.
(Chick’-shoo-loob) is a very popular area with the snowbirds. This is an older area for the Yucatecans, so the homes tend to be quite nice, have telephones and nice furnishings, but the beaches seem to be disappearing – they are quite narrow with lots of jetties and fishing boats up on the beach. Rents run about $600 – $800 USD in this area. You will find more foreigners, more social life, stores, and good transportation. You don’t really need a car in this area either. Right beyond Chicxulub, the areas with names such as Colonia Doctores, Cocal Josefina, San Miguel and Uaymitún (Why-mee-toon) are located. Children of the homeowners from Chicxulub moved here to build their homes when they got married and wanted to build their own summer places.
The farther east you go, the nicer the homes, furnishings and beaches tend to be. Rents in these areas run between $800 and $1,200 USD a month. Uaymitún is the premiere property area, featuring nice homes, many amenities, and rents running from $800 to $2,000 USD a month. This area also has a flamingo sanctuary. It takes about 12 minutes to drive from Uaymitún to Chicxulub. There are no stores or services in this stretch, but there is public transportation from Mérida into Chicxulub and Progreso.
The next area going east is San Benito, followed by San Bruno. Here you will find wonderful stretches of open beach, and few or no neighbors. Public transportation is more sporadic and rents are lower than the Chicxulub to Uaymitún stretch. Having a car in this area would make things easier.
To the west of Progreso is the lovely little town of Sisal. You cannot drive there from Progreso, but must leave from Mérida towards Hunucma, northwest of the city. In Hunucma, you will see signs that point to Celestún or Sisal. Sisal is another 20 minutes past Hunucma. Even on a weekend, this is a sleepy little fishing village with three or four good fish restaurants with cold beer, fresh ceviche and a lot more.
For a map on the beaches of Yucatan click here.
For info about kiteboarding, click here.
For a video on the beaches of Yucatan, from our friends at intheyucatan.com: