15 IDEAL Things to Do in Progreso, Mexico

Are you looking for a beautiful and relaxing getaway to Mexico? Visit the port city of Progreso! Discover the best things to do in Progreso, Mexico.

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Are you looking for your next great cruise destination? Have you done the Caribbean and you’re looking for something new? Well, Mexico could be just the right place for you. 

Mexico is one of the most important countries in all of the Americas in terms of its cultural and historical contribution to the world. Few areas of Mexico boast such a historical pedigree as Progreso. 

Situated in the Yucatan peninsular, Progreso Mexico is close-by to a wealth of ancient Mayan ruins, luxurious beaches, and amazing ocean views and activities. Here are 15 of the best things to do in Progreso:

1. Hit the Beach

Being situated in the Yucatan peninsular, there are so many Progreso Mexico beaches for visitors to choose from. The first port of call should be the amazing Playa Progreso

Surfers won’t be able to catch many waves here, but it’s the perfect location to spend a lazy day with your loved ones lounging around and taking in the surroundings.

Progreso Beach
Progreso Beach (Photo Credit: Pe3k / Shutterstock.com)

The sun can be incredibly strong on the playa, so be sure to bring plenty of suntan lotion and a good hat to give your neck some shade. 

2. Stroll the Malecón

Running alongside the Playa Progreso is the famous Malecón. The Malecón is the boardwalk that runs the length of the beach. It offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to take a moonlit walk amongst the picturesque surroundings.

Progreso Malecón
Progreso Malecón (Photo Credit: Nazar Skladanyi / Shutterstock.com)

During the day, you can find a wealth of street vendors and bars offering tableside service so that you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail while gazing out at the pacific ocean before you. 

While we’re talking cocktails, don’t neglect to try a Michelada. It’s a spicy beer-based cocktail that is guaranteed to put a skip in your step. 

3. Visit the El Corchito Ecological Reserve 

Nature lovers, this one is for you. Not far out from the city of Progreso lies the beautiful ecological reserve of El Corchito.

El Corchito ecological reserve
El Corchito ecological reserve (Photo Credit: Roberto Michel / Shutterstock)

Take a boat ride through the dense mangrove forests that surround the area before all of a sudden you see the nature reserve come into view. You’ll be greeted at the park by a host of local wildlife that you can get up close and personal with. 

Take a guided tour around the area to swim around and explore the freshwater sinkholes that pockmark the bottom of the water. 

4. Kayak Through the Mangroves 

You can find mangrove swamps all around the local area, and they are one of the iconic landscapes of the Yucatan peninsular.

Mangroves Near Progreso
Mangroves Near Progreso (Photo Credit: Roberto Michel / Shutterstock)

You can hire a kayak from La Ria Progreso so that you can spend the day at your own pace on the water. As you gently make your way through the still mangrove landscape, try and see how many tropical birds and plants you can see.

The areas surrounding Progreso are chock full of amazing flora and fauna that will give nature lovers more than enough to do for a day. 

5. See the Mayan Ruins at Dzibilchaltun

The Yucatan peninsular was the heart of the famous Mayan Empire. The entire area is covered in fascinating historical sites, and few rival the astronomical center of Dzibilchaltun. 

The archeological site is one of the most interesting unearthed in Mexico to date. The most well-preserved building at the site is the Temple of the Seven Dolls, named for the seven effigies that archeologists found when uncovering the site in the 1950s.

Mayan Ruins at Dzibilchaltun
Mayan Ruins at Dzibilchaltun (Photo Credit: Mayan Ruins at Dzibilchaltun / Shutterstock)

It’s thought that the temple was built for religious or ceremonial purposes. During the spring equinox, the sunlight shines directly through the temple, entering through one window and exiting through another on the other side of the room. 

If you want to know everything about the history of this site and its discovery, go with a guide who can take you around and explain what it all means and why it’s all so fascinating. 

6. More Mayan History at Xcambo

Want more Mayan history? Not a problem. Located just 30 minutes away from Progreso is the Zona Arqueológica Xcambo

The city of Xcambo (pronounced sh’cam-bow) was one of the most important port cities in all of the Mayan empire. The city specialized in salt production for most of its history, which made it a hub for local trade.

Xcambo
Xcambo (Photo Credit: doromonic / Shutterstock)

The whole site is fairly large and has several areas for you to explore. The main square is mostly made up of municipal and religious buildings, with the rest of the site made up of various courtyards that archeologists believe to be residential areas. 

The site is open from 8 am to 4 pm every day, and the admission price is $75MXN. Mexican citizens can visit for free on a Sunday. 

7. See the Pink Waters of Laguna Rosada

Just a short jump from the Xcambo archeological site is the natural phenomenon of Laguna Rosada. The area is home to an expanse of salt flats and lakes that are pink in color. The pinky-red hue is thought to be caused by the algae that call the lagoon home.

Laguna Rosada
Laguna Rosada (Photo Credit: Jess Kraft / Shutterstock)

The sight is a must-see, and you’ll have rarely seen anything like it. You can explore the area in many different ways. You can take your time and explore on your own, rent a kayak, or take a guided tour to learn more about the area. 

8. Catch Some Rays in Chuburná

If you’re looking for something a little quieter, head out of Progreso to the west, and you’ll find the quiet seaside towns of Chuburná and Chelem. These towns both have populations of under 2,000 people but have some stunning beaches that you can explore.

Chuburna Yucatan
Chuburna Yucatan (Photo Credit: Jose Luis Toscano / Shutterstock)

The two towns get their fair share of tourist footfall, but there are few places like it in the Yucutan to enjoy some peaceful and quiet time lounging on the beach with nobody there to hassle you. 

9. Explore the Marketplace of Mérida

Fancy some Progreso Mexico shopping? Well, a short distance away from the port of Progreso lies the cultural hub of Mérida. The city is steeped in history, but its biggest attraction for visitors is the wonderful Lucas de Galvez Market.

Lucas de Galvez market
Lucas de Galvez Market (Photo Credit: Matyas Rehak / Shutterstock.com)

You can find so many cool items to buy at this cultural market. It’s also a great place to try some local street food. The marketplace is lined with street food stalls and gelato shops, offering plenty of authentic and tasty local treats. 

10. Find Some Flamingos at Celestún

One of the best places in the world to see the iconic pink flamingo birds is in the Progreso area. Take a tour of the area around Celestún to get a fantastic view of the flamingos milling around on the water.

Flamingos at Celestún
Flamingos at Celestún (Photo Credit: Pe3k / Shutterstock.com)

Your tour guide will take you out on a boat so that you can get the best possible view of the birds available to you. If you’ve come somewhat unprepared, don’t worry. You’ll be able to buy water, bug spray, or any other essential items from your tour provider. 

You won’t want to miss this fantastic chance to see one of nature’s quirkiest animals in its natural habitat. 

11. Experience the Yellow City of Izamal

A short distance away from “the white city” of Mérida lies the “yellow city” of Izamal. The town is a cultural and architectural wonder and is often referred to as a city of three cultures. 

Stroll the quaint streets lined with yellow-painted colonial buildings that give a real insight into the Spanish history of Mexico and the wider Yucatan area. Interestingly though, the city actually predates the colonial era.

Izamal Yucatan
Izamal Yucatan (Photo Credit: Schaub / Shutterstock)

With such a rich historical pedigree of both colonial and indigenous sites to explore, you can spend hours in Izamal just taking it all in. There are plenty of churches, bars, historical sites, and archeological areas for you to explore in this wonderful city of culture. 

12. Watch the Sun Set From Progreso Pier

Fancy a stroll down Mexico’s longest pier? You’ll find it in Progreso. The pier is over 80 years old, and it takes over an hour and a half to reach the end on foot. 

The pier was initially constructed as a fishing pier and was a central location for the local area’s important salt trade. In 1929, the Mexican government designated the site as a historical monument, and it quickly became a must-see attraction for visitors.

Progreso Beach with Pier and Sunset
Progreso Beach and Sunset (Photo Credit: Bret Reyes / Shutterstock)

This is one of the best places in all of Prgreso to just sit and watch the world go by. Head down to the pier just before dusk and grab yourself a spot on one of the many benches that line the pier. 

Watch the red hue of the setting sun reflect off of the still waters and gaze in amazement at the wondrous beauty of the Northern Yucatan area. 

13. Enjoy a Spot of Golf at the Yucutan Country Club 

Don’t fancy a day of wilderness or historical sightseeing? Wish you could just relax with a game of golf? Well, you’re in luck. 

Check out the Yucutan Country Club for a day of leisure. The club’s El Jaguar golf course was designed by none other than the legend himself–Jack Nicklaus. During the design process, Nicklaus was keen to preserve the area’s natural beauty, and the course was constructed with that in mind. 

This is the perfect spot in all of the Yucatan area for you to tee off. 

14. Explore the Ghost Town of Misnebalam

Are you seeking mystery and intrigue on your list of things to do in Progreso, Mexico? If so, the Ghost Town of Misnebalam will be right up your street. 

The town used to be an agricultural center in the Yucatan but was deserted by its residents just over a decade ago. The town is now famed as a supposed supernatural hotspot. 

If you’re brave enough, you can take a trip through the town, explore the creepy abandoned buildings, and hear the chilling tales behind the town’s desertion. 

Former residents of the town claim that they left because of paranormal activity that was triggered by the assassination of Hacienda owner Don Fidenco G. Márquez.  

15. Try Some Water Sports

If you like getting out onto the ocean and experiencing the thrills of kite surfing or paddleboarding, then you’ll have plenty of options near Progreso.

Progreso, Mexico
Progreso, Mexico (Photo Credit: Iren Key / Shutterstock)

You can find the watersports company AlphaSports along Calle 29. They have a number of kites and paddleboards that you can rent for the day and hit the ocean for some exploring. 

If you’re a novice, don’t worry. They offer kitesurfing and paddleboarding lessons for around $1000MXN an hour. Rentals start at $300MXN for an hour, or you can pay $500MXN to have your board for the day. 

Get exploring. 

Progreso Mexico FAQs

So there’s your list of Progreso Mexico things to do. You’re guaranteed to have an amazing time in this area of Mexico that is rich in culture, history, and natural beauty.

Also Read: IDEAL Things to Do in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

You might have a few more questions before your trip to Progreso, though. Let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

When is the Best Time to Visit Progreso?

Progreso lies within the Yucatan area of Mexico. Progreso Mexico weather is typically hot and humid and, given its jungle surroundings, is prone to bouts of rain. 

The best time to visit on a cruise depends on your budget and how well you can handle the heat. Arguably, the best time to visit Progreso is in November at the tail end of the season when temperatures and humidity reach a more tolerable level. 

What Currency Do They Use in Progreso?

The currency that is used in Progreso is the Mexican Peso. The commonly used symbol for the Mexican Peso is $MXN.

One US dollar is worth around $20.50MXN, and so you should find most things to do in Progreso Mexico reasonably affordable. It’s always important to plan your cruise trip carefully and know your budget to get the best deal for you. 

What Language Do They Speak in Progreso?

The primary language spoken in Progreso is Spanish. If you have a basic grasp of Spanish, you won’t struggle to communicate in Progreso or anywhere else in Mexico. 

A less commonly spoken but very important language spoken in Progreso is Yucatec Mayan. It’s unlike any European language and operates without tenses. Learn a few simple phrases in Mayan to impress the locals.

Let Cruise Hive Help You With Your Progreso Trip 

After reading this article, you should know all the basic information you need about what to do in Progreso Mexico. There are so many amazing historical, natural, and cultural sites for you to explore in this amazing area of Mexico.

Things to do in Progreso Mexico

Feel free to discuss this topic and all things cruise at our new boards. A place where readers can ask questions, help their fellow cruisers and general cruise discussions on cruise lines and ports. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Haiyan Ma
Haiyan Ma

I absolutely love cruising with my favorite ports of call being in the Caribbean. As a former crew member for Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line I can continue my passion by sharing my experiences with readers.

Find out more about us here.

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