Puerto Progreso Yucatan for 1 Month

Published February 2023

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Our first stop on our slow travel tour of Mexico was Puerto Progreso Yucatan for 1 month! Progreso hosts miles of beautiful coastline, a cruise ship port, and is home to the longest pier in the world (4 miles long)!

Ships along the Puerto Progreso Yucatan coast at sunset.

We wanted our first stop in Mexico to feel like a beach vacation, but without hordes of tourists. Our research pointed us to Progreso where there are plenty of great restaurants, a beautiful malecon for long walks, but a place we’d never heard anyone mention! 

We really enjoyed our month living in Progreso, and here we’ll share everything we learned so that you, too, can enjoy this hidden gem of the Yucatan!

How to Get to Puerto Progreso, Mexico

Getting to Progreso is easy, and that’s one of the reasons we chose it as our first stop in Mexico!

You can fly into the international airport in the nearby capitol city of Merida. From there you can use an app called Didi (the Mexican version of Uber) to request a car to take you to Progreso.

It’s about a 45 minute ride, and will cost around 300 pesos ($15 USD). Keep in mind that if you want to go directly from the airport to Progreso you will need to walk out of the airport and about 1 block down the road to call a Didi car. This is because the Merida airport does not allow Didi drivers to pick people up directly in front of the airport.

We opted to spend 1 night in Merida after our flight, and then we called a Didi the next day to take us to Progreso.

Do you Need to Speak Spanish in Progreso?

I love Progreso sign

No! We are not fluent in Spanish, and we were able to manage just fine in Progreso.

With that said, few people speak English, so having some basic Spanish will help you communicate with cab drivers and restaurant staff. Google translate works very well for this!

Things to do in Progreso, Yucatan

We were actually surprised at the variety of things to do in Progreso! We were able to explore cenotes, enjoy loads of restaurant options and, of course, spend hours swimming and sun bathing.

Playa Progreso Yucatan

Palm trees on playa progreso yucatan

The first, and most obvious, thing to do in Progreso is head to the beach! The main beach stretches for several miles, and the water is shallow and warm for easy swimming.

If you’d like to rent a beach lounge or a table with an umbrella for the day prices range from 200 pesos to 300 pesos ($10- $15 USD) for the whole day. Be sure to ask around before you commit, because we heard some places will let you use the loungers for free if you spend enough money on food/drinks.

Be careful if you decide to order drinks or food from the beach though. We did this one day and our waiter tried to overcharge us twice! Keep an eye on the menu prices and clarify any charges.

Also, there is PLENTY of beach in Progreso, and you definitely do not need to rent a lounger in order to enjoy it. Just lay a towel out in the sand, none of the beaches in Mexico are private, so you can relax wherever you’d like.

We did this most days, and it was lovely!

Cenotes in Progreso Yucatan

Swimming in cenote in progreso

One of the BEST discoveries we made in Progreso was a set of cenotes that you can actually walk to from town! (now, to be totally clear, it’s a long walk so you may want to call a cab like we did)

Reserva Ecologica El Corchito is located on the Southern edge of town, along the bay. You pay 150 pesos per person, load up onto a boat, and they boat you across the bay and into a thick mangrove forest.

The boat drops you off deep in the mangroves where there are 3 crystal clear, gorgeous cenotes that you can swim in! There are bathrooms/changing rooms/lockers available so you’ll have somewhere to store your stuff while you swim.

Along with the cenotes there are a bunch of wild coatimundis running around, which was a HUGE treat for me, because I used to work with coatimundis back in my zookeeping days! They’re really cute little creatures.

coatimundi in Progreso yucatan

You could easily spend a couple hours or more at these cenotes in Progreso, and the cold freshwater feels amazing in the hot Yucatan climate!

Walk the Malecon in Progreso, Yucatan

Malecon Progreso Yucatan

We love long walks, and the impressive Malecon in Progreso made it so easy for us to take our daily strolls.

The Malecon stretches for several miles along the beach, and it is a pedestrian-only trail so you don’t have to worry about traffic or cars.

Plus, there are restaurants, food stands, vendors, and even carnival rides all along the Malecon! I recommend starting your walk around sunset, because after dark the Malecon lights up and all the food stalls open up.

For events in Progreso check out the Yucatan Times!

Best Restaurants in Progreso, Yucatan

There are a LOT of seafood (mariscos) restaurants in Progreso. We tried most of them, and there were a few that really stood out!

Los Mariscos de ChiChi

Pulpo a las brasas at Meriscos de Chichi Progreso Yucatan

Hands down the best in town. I had a Pulpo a las Brasas here that blew my mind- so delicious! They have a huge menu, and everything we tried there was perfectly cooked and delicious.

Plus, service was consistently very good, AND you have a beautiful view of the sea while you eat.

Restaurant El Toro

The BEST pescado frito in town. Period.

This local spot is ALWAYS busy and there’s a good reason for that! They let you pick your whole fish before they fry it, and it comes out perfectly crispy, flaky, and oh-so-good.

Despite the fact that it’s always busy we never had to wait long for our food, and the waiters were very kind and friendly here.

The Garden Coffee

This was our go-to breakfast spot. It’s air-conditioned, beautifully decorated, and they have eggs benedict on the menu! What more could you ask for??

The service here was always prompt and friendly, and they bring you a little yogurt fruit parfait while you wait for your food.

Smorgas Kaffet

Another awesome breakfast spot where the owner clearly takes serious pride in the food he’s cooking.

This is the best spot for coffee lovers in all of Progreso. They have a few different varieties you can choose from, and they brew it in a french press right at your table.

They also make their own homemade bread that comes with your meal, and it’s delicious!

This place gets very busy, but for good reason!

Barlovento Progreso

This is the gringo gathering place where all the staff speaks perfect english, and you can order a US-style burger and fries!

We don’t drink much alcohol, but if that’s your jam this is a great place to kick back with a beer and enjoy the live music on weekends.

You can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner here, and the menu has a lot of US-style comfort food on it.

Hotels in Progreso, Yucatan

For a longer stay like ours I definitely recommend getting an Airbnb in Progreso. That’s what we did and it worked out really well, we were just a few blocks from the beach.

If you’re making a shorter trip, however, we did scout out some hotels that looked great!

Hotel & Suites Domani

This is directly on the Malecon, right in front of the water, and it has a little pool that also faces the water!

Everytime we walked by we noticed that guests there seemed to happy and having fun.

Hotel Scappata

This is a higher-end, beachfront hotel that is also along the Malecon. Perched above the restaurant of the same name, this hotel has a rooftop pool, and just looks super comfortable and cool.

This is also the highest-rated hotel in Progreso, so definitely worth checking out!

Taxis in Progreso, Yucatan

Getting around Progreso is easy. Most of the town is walkable, and if you do want to go to the far edges of town you can just use the Didi app to call a cab!

What to Pack for Progreso, Yucatan

Just keep in mind that Progreso is hot and humid year round! Most days it was in the high 80s Fahrenheit with 100% humidity.

What to Wear in Progreso

I recommend light clothes made from breathable material. My Icebreaker brand merino wool t-shirts were a life-saver in Progreso!

Seriously, merino wool is a nature traveler’s dream come true. The material is antimicrobial so it doesn’t get smelly, it’s lightweight, breathable, AND durable.

It’s worth the cost, I promise you.

If you’re anything like us then you walk a LOT when you travel! Having the right pair of shoes goes a LONG way, and we recently discovered our absolute favorite shoes for travel.

Altra trail runners have blown our minds! These are the only shoes we’ve ever owned that result in zero blisters, and zero sore feet, even on long hikes. In fact, Tom and I both love these shoes so much that we both bought a pair!

Useful Travel Items

I always travel with my infinity travel scarf featuring a hidden pocket. This can hold my phone, passport, and cash discreetly thanks to the secret pocket.

I love being able to stash my valuables somewhere that no pickpocket would ever suspect!

Another travel item we never leave home without is our collapsible backpack. This Sea to Summit daypack compresses down into a tiny little bag that fits in the palm of your hand.

This is such an awesome, lightweight daypack option! We take this daypack hiking, to the beach, to the grocery store. We use this daily when we travel, and highly recommend it!

Puerto Progreso Yucatan was a great spot to hang by the beach for a month, and now you have all the info you need to take your own trip to Progreso!

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