If you’re in Mérida, Progreso is a perfect short ride away. If you’re elsewhere in the state of Yucatán I absolutely recommend taking some time for Progreso. The kids will thank you, or you know, scowl at the floor in gratitude. Either way.
Progreso beach is laid back, friendly, and fun. If you stand at the piers you’ve got about a kilometer of beach and Malecón (boardwalk) between you and the famous Progreso letters to the east and then to the west, another kilometer or two of Malecon Internacional (the new boardwalk), which is full of fun for everyone.
My family has two Progreso speeds. First, head there early in the evening and either hang out in a beachside restaurant or stroll along the Malecon Internacional. Second, pick a restaurant with beachside Palapas and stay all day. However, you choose to enjoy this cute seaside town you’ll have a great time. It goes without saying that Progreso is a great beach spot for a swim or to spend the day. There are beachside restaurants and beach clubs. This article is for the more active among you, those who want to know what’s where to exhaust – I mean, excite – the kids.
At the far east, by the letters (obviously everyone needs a photo stop here), you’ll find El Ha Guay, a cool bar/restaurant with good food and lots of space for everyone to play. On the beach, you’ll find a wooden swing and a giant photo frame for some fun photo opportunities. Just beyond is a great new addition to the town, with dedicated beach access for people with mobility concerns.
As you carry on walking towards the piers you will come across a large climbing structure that can entertain kids and adults alike. We always stop here for a play.
Around the piers, you’ll find fun sculptures and more photo opportunities. There’s a carousel that opens at dusk and there’s often a big wheel there too, so take a ride!
The Malecón Internacional is full of fun. There are two small playgrounds for little kids and further down there’s a really great wooden obstacle course playspace that bigger kids will just adore. Let the kids run, ride bikes, scoot, examine whimsical sculptures, run on and off the beach, and wind up, at the very end, at the skeleton of a whale that washed ashore in Progreso. It’s a fascinating sight and serves as a great reminder that we must look after our environment.
Fun Street Food In Progreso
The kids will just love trying the candies from the trays that are carried up and down the beach. Don’t be nervous, dig in! Be sure to pick up a Marquesita or a cup of dressed corn (Esquites) to really enjoy Progreso like the locals. As a bonus, look out for the delicious popsicles from Las Rellenas de la 60 tricycles around the pier areas, Thursday to Sunday.
In addition to all this, Progreso has plenty more in store for 2022. For example, there’s Puerta Progreso, a shopping center that will include a beach club, shops, and restaurants, as well as the “Museo del Cráter”, with robotic dinosaurs that will surely thrill the entire family. There are also plans to open a skate park, a water park, and football (soccer, of course) fields.
How to get there from Mérida:
- By car: Take Calle 60 (Carr. 261) all the way north. You can’t miss it!
- By bus: The Autoprogreso bus terminal is on Calle 62 x 65 y 67.
- By van: Take a van (called Combi) on Calle 60 x 65 y 67.
Where to eat:
On the Malecón:
- El HaGuay
Off the Malecón:
- Silcer Club de Playa
- La Antigua
- Yum Ixpú
Where to sleep:
- Hotel Domani
- Hotel Amor
Planning a longer stay?
- Contact Yucatán Vacations for help with accommodation and transportation
Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Freelance writer and blogger, born in the UK. Cassie has a BA from Oxford University and an MA from SOAS, University of London. She lives in Mérida and loves exploring Yucatán with her family.
Photography by Cassie Pearse for its use in Yucatán Today.
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