The arrival of summer vacation is celebrated by children all over the globe, and Yucatán isn’t the exception. Here, we refer to it as La Temporada – The Season. The Season of what? Well, it’s beach season, mainly. ‘Tis the season of moving to your family’s beach house for most of July and August, or, if your family doesn’t actually have a beach house, ‘tis the season of making yourself welcome at one of your friends’ beach houses and becoming an adoptive member of their family.
Where to eat, shop and find entertainment
It’s not just families that move to the beach, a large part of city life is temporarily transferred to the Yucatecan coastline. Due to the seasonal increase in population, restaurants, bars, and clubs open up shop at provisional establishments, mostly in Chicxulub Puerto.
But you won’t just find temporary businesses, as beach towns have grown in size and population, many chains have expanded here, making frequent trips to Mérida unnecessary to find the services we’re accustomed to. In Progreso, you will find many grocery stores to stock up at; another great choice is going to the local market to buy seasonal fruit or seafood, or visiting one of the many mom and pop shops in Chuburná Puerto, Chelem or Chicxulub Puerto to get snacks, drinks, and other holiday staples. If you get tired of beach activities, you can always go to one of the movie theaters in Progreso.
Some of my favorite childhood memories took place at my Chichí’s beach house where I would stay with all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was a four-bedroom home, but at one point I counted a “Moloch” (a bunch of people, that is) of up to 40 people who spent the night. To accommodate another person, all they had to do was bring their own hooks and hammock and we would shift around some of the “bedding” which had already been strung up to make room. My beach days growing up always included a swim with my cousins in the morning, waiting for the meringue man and reading old magazines in the afternoon, and going to the fair or to a bonfire in the evening.
Where to rent a beach house
There are houses for rent all along the coast and you can get a place with a view of the water, in the second row, or further in, depending on your budget. Take into account that prices of beach rentals go way up during the summer months due to high demand. Start your house hunt with plenty of time so that you can get one with the number of rooms, location, and services you need. Some of Meridanos’ favorite beaches to rent on are Chuburná Puerto, Chelem, Progreso, Chicxulub Puerto, Uaymitún, San Benito, San Bruno, and Telchac Puerto, due to their relative closeness to the city.
For many families this season has changed in recent years due to modifications in work culture. Now, it’s common that one, or both parents, are unable move to the beach for two months out of the year. That being said, even under these new circumstances, there are families that still do whatever they can to keep the traditional beach season alive (and the memories that come with it); they do this by driving long distances to get to work each day, or will join their family on the weekends.
At the end of summer, we’re left with sun-kissed skin, lightened hair, and the memories and adventures of yet another Yucatecan beach season.
Editorial by Maggie Rosado
Photography from several sources for use in Yucatán Today
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