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Yucatán and Campeche States Travel Guide


The waterfront town closest to Mérida, Progreso is not particularly historic. It's also not terribly picturesque; still, it provokes a certain sentimental fondness for those who know it well. On weekdays during most of the year the beaches are deserted, but when school is out (Easter week, July, and August) and on summer weekends it's bustling with families from Mérida. It's also started

attracting cruise ships, and twice-weekly arrivals bring tourist traffic to town. Because this town is void of upscale hotels, it is recommended to overnight in neighboring Mérida at one of the nicer properties, and simply spend the day relaxing in Progreso.

Progreso's charm—or lack thereof—seems to hinge on the weather. When the sun is shining, the water appears a translucent green and feels bathtub-warm, and the fine sand makes for lovely long walks. When the wind blows during one of Yucatán's winter nortes, the water churns with whitecaps and looks gray and unappealing, and the sand blows in your face. Whether the weather is good or bad, however, everyone ends up eventually at one of the restaurants lining the main street, Calle 19, across from the oceanfront malecón. These all serve up cold beer, seafood cocktails, and freshly grilled fish. There's also a small downtown area, between Calle 80 and Calle 31, with small restaurants that serve simpler fare (like tortas and tacos), shops, banks, and supermarkets.

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