Every summer, residents of the inland towns and cities of Yucatán head to the beach. If you live in Mérida, you go to Progreso, Chicxulub Pueblo folks go to Chicxulub Puerto, Motul residents head for Telchac Puerto, and Tizimín-ers go to Río Lagartos. From Celestún to Río Lagartos, the beaches of Yucatán are popular places during “La Temporada” (this is how Yucatecans refer to the summer “season” when school’s out and “the livin’ is easy.”) In México, all the beaches are public. Click here to see the map.

Let’s start the farthest west with the town of Celestún. Known for its flamingo reserves, it is a “must” for birdwatchers. The beach is wide and there are lots of seafood restaurants on the shore.

Chelem is a quaint older town, with full services – stores, shops, restaurants, taxis, buses, and telephone. The next area east is Yucalpetén. This is an area just 4 miles from Progreso with full services. The homes are mostly modest, and the beach is quite wide.

The next area east is Yucalpetén. This is an area just 4 miles from Progreso where most of the marinas are located, including Marina Silcer. They have full services for members, including all marina services, sailing school, and beach club. They also have a Pro Shop which is open to the public where they sell Hobie Cat, kayaks, windsurf, accessories, etc.

Today you will find Progreso to be a bustling town of about 54,000 people. Progreso has safe beaches with no currents or tides, which makes them great for swimming, floating, windsurfing and jet-skiing, although you have to watch out for boat traffic. If you like crowds, Progreso in the summertime is the place to be…with live music, dancing, and beer on the seaside boulevard (Malecón).

Isla Pérez is one of the five small coralline islands and atolls in the area known as Parque Nacional Marino Arrecife Alacranes, located 65 miles due north of Progreso. There are no ferries or regular transportation out to the reef. To visit Alacranes, you must comply with the requirements of the Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP ), in order to enter the park.

Chicxulub is for families and teens, especially after 5 pm. There is a night-time food court just east of Chicxulub across from the discos, with a Burger King, ice cream, tacos, etc. The four discos open their beach branches in the summer and are overflowing with action and people Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Continuing east, the Uaymitún area has a flamingo sanctuary, followed by San Benito and San Bruno. These areas have wonderful stretches of open beach.

The port town of Telchac Puerto is located about 20 minutes east of Progreso, making it just far enough away from the denser population areas so that it maintains more of a laid-back feeling. San Crisanto and Dzilam Bravo are tiny towns to the east of Telchac Puerto.

Río Lagartos is within the Biosphere Special Reserve on the northern coast of the Yucatán on the Gulf of Mexico, just west of the border with Quintana Roo, and is famous for its enormous flamingo colony and large variety of other species. It is also a picturesque fishing village with colorfully painted wooden and cement homes. Río Lagartos has 60 km. of pristine beaches (in the Bio-Reserve) which are accessible by launch from Río Lagartos…perfect for beachcombing, shelling, picnics, snorkeling and camping.

Recommended reading:
Summertime in the Yucatán
The Lazy Days of Summer in Yucatán
Progreso Port of Call
Progreso Marinas and Water Sports


Beaches on the Gulf
Yucatan Peninsula

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