Mérida is perfectly situated for a summer day at the beach, a popular way to escape the high city temperatures. The state of Yucatán has about 400 km of beachfront. Grab a cooler and pack a picnic lunch…and off you go! Or better yet, plan to spend a couple of nights and really relax. There are hotels in the larger towns, and houses to rent in them all.

Let’s start on the west side of the state with Celestún, famous not only for its seafood restaurants, but also for its beautiful flamingo colonies, fresh water springs, and calm beaches.

Although there is no coastal road link, next is the small town of Sisal, at one time the port from which all the henequén fiber was exported to the world. The beach is calm with a constant breeze, and there are several restaurants to choose from.

Continuing east, again with no coastal road link, we come to the beach towns of Chuburná and Chelem. Chelem is a pretty town, with full services – stores, shops, and restaurants.

Driving east along the coastal road, the next area is Yucalpetén, where most of the marinas are located. Next is Progreso, a bustling town of about 54,000 people. It has safe beaches with no currents or tides, which makes them great for swimming, floating, windsurfing and jet-skiing. If you like crowds, Progreso in the summertime is the place to be…with live music, dancing, seafood, and beer on the seaside boulevard (malecón).

Continuing east, we come to Chicxulub: ideal for families and teens, especially after 5 pm. There is a night-time food court just east of Chicxulub across from the discos, with burgers, ice cream, tacos, etc.

Next we come to the Uaymitún area, with a flamingo sanctuary, followed by San Benito and San Bruno. These areas have wonderful stretches of open beach.

Telchac Puerto is 40 km east of Progreso, making it just far enough away so that it maintains more of a laid-back feeling, although it is hopping in the summertime. San Crisanto, Chabihau, Santa Clara, and Dzilam de Bravo are tiny towns to the east of Telchac Puerto. And at the far east end of the state, the towns of San Felipe and Río Lagartos offer beautiful lagoons for birdwatching as well as excellent seafood restaurants and small hotels.

Recommended reading:
Port of Call: Progreso
Reef Yucatan

Beaches on the Gulf
Yucatan Peninsula

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