Progreso Travel Guide

  • Progreso
    by Gatopardo
  • Things to Do
    by Redlats
  • Refreshing swim in the cenote.
    Refreshing swim in the cenote.
    by Aafia

Progreso Highlights

  • Pro
    Aafia profile photo

    Aafia says…

     Friendly people, good food, amazing Mayan culture 

  • Con
    american_tourister profile photo

    american_tourister says…

     Hot and humid with not many tourist options 

  • In a nutshell
    HispanicYob profile photo

    HispanicYob says…

     Doesn't try to please, it's just Mexico and it's most sincere! 

Progreso Things to Do

  • Shore excursions in Progreso, Yucatan

    You can book most of the excursions offered on the ship right in Progreso. Take the free shuttle along the 5 mile pier to town and when you get off, there will many a salesperson offering trips. Autoprogreso is your best bet, as they are also the ones doing the tours being sold on the ship (at a higher price in most cases!) You will be back in time...

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  • Visit the Mayan ruins at Dzibilchaltun

    Dzibilchaltun offers a museum of the Mayan people, an archeological site, a park and a cenote (a sink hole). We arrived early in the morning and had the whole site to ourselves. We hired a guide for our group of 6 and she was very knowledgeable and thorough in explaining the spring and fall equinox in relation to the temple and the importance to...

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  • Visit Dzibilchaltun Mayan Ruins

    This was a day trip from Progreso that was scheduled by Carnival Cruise Lines. We had a very good and knowledgable guide who spoke very good English. The motor coach was comfortable and air conditioned. As the ruins were only 45 minutes by coach we chose this trip so that we were not in a bus all day.I enjoyed this trip. The ruins, museum, food,...

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  • Progresso

    The Yucatan Peninsula sits on a limestone shelf which declines into the sea so gradually that the pier had to built at a length of 6.5km so as to reach deep water! Thus much said the waters of Progresso are shallow and safe, as well as being warm, although there is a lot of seaweed which can make it seem rather murky.The beach itself is practically...

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  • Consider helping the less fortunate

    Progreso and the towns around it struggle economically. Other than the limited tourist industry, Progreso and Chicxulub are primarily fishing villages. There is no social security in rural Mexico - seniors are dependant on their families for support.There are a few organizations that exist to help the less fortunate, and the one the we assist is...

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  • The lighthouse

    You can climb the lighthouse (El Faro), but we had no idea that you could, so we missed out. The lighthouse is very close to where the cruise ship buses drop off their passengers (Don't forget that the ship is a few kilometers from Progreso on the long pier). Notice the outdoor market below. This is where all the booths are for the cruise ship...

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Progreso Restaurants

  • When you're craving red meat....

    Casa Isidora provides good restaurant facilities in a warm and welcoming setting. The venue is located in a beautifully restored Spanish mansion that also accommodates overnight guests. It is run by a Canadian and American who have relocated to Progreso, and are both a fountain of local information. Once you order your meal, you're free to use the...

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  • A must for every visitor

    Buddys is the best place on the beach. The food is great, inexpensive and the owner's are just dolls. The staff always give great service. You can set under the palapa or go across the street to a mini palapa right on the beach and the staff will be just as attentive.The story behind how the resturant came to be is very amusing. It is on the menu....

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  • Fantastic service and the food ain't bad...

    This is the place to eat in Progreso! Man, such great prices and food. The staff were generous on my last visit and they brought extra things on the house (because it was a crew members birthday). I can't say enough good things about this restaurant's food and atmosphere. It's all open so you have good views of the beachfront while being shiedled...

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  • Restaurants in Progreso

    There are a lot of restaurants in downtown Progreso -- different strokes for different folks. Along the Malecon (the street that faces the beach), there were a number of restaurants geared to tourists. We have gone into a few for a cervasis. We also ate at the Mercado a few times. Attached to the Mercado (the Market) are a number of booths with...

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  • Tourist Restaurant

    Eladias seems to be the prime tourist restaurant in Progreso. They have a contract with the cruise ships, so there are sections of the restaurant available just to the cruisers. Those of us who 'live' in Progreso tend to stay away on from Eladias on cruise days.But we did go there on other days. Eladias has a house band, and there are the botanos....

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  • Ahh! The hacienda life!

    You cannot go wrong at this gloriously restored, 18th century, former sisal hacienda. This is Mexico at its finest: luxury without pretentiousness and opulence. The hacienda includes a small luxury hotel, pools, fine gardens, a spa and a unique dining room offering indoor and outdoor facilities.We dined here for a late lunch one day and returned...

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Progreso Nightlife

  • senoritamc's Profile Photo
    Courthouse at Central Park

    by senoritamc Written Aug 12, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The fair and the beach is beautiful at night.
    The best way to start this adventure on a weekend is to start around dark at the Centro Parque (park). There they have good food, singing, trampolines, and all kinds of stuff for the kids to do. Then when you are ready for the fair get a tour bus from the park. You can't miss them they are two level buses with music blaring. They are cheap about $2.00 for all four of us. Take the tour once around so you see everything and then take it again but this time get off in front of the fair.

    Dress Code: Dress cool but it is a good idea to wear pants and spray for mosquitos.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Budget Travel

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Progreso Transportation

  • Public Transport in Progreso, Yucatan

    You can go to the main square in town and hire a van or taxi for specific trips or just for the day. Be sure to negotiate! The bus service into Merida and back is excellent, and then you can take buses from there. You might want to rent a car for a few days, and use public transport for the rest. Read more about Progreso here:...

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  • Progreso Busses

    Most monthly visitors to Progreso do not use cars, but rely on the local bus system. Frequent buses run from town to town. They even have competing bus lines that run from Progreso to the neighbouring towns. The first photo is of the Combi's that run from Progreso to Chicxulub (the next town 5 km further east on the Gulf of Mexico). The second...

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  • Vehicle rental

    We found the easiest way to get to Progreso from the east coast of Canada was to fly into Cancun, rent a vehicle and drive the 41/2 hours to Progreso, stopping along the way to have a meal. There are many rental agencies at the airport in Cancun and we chose Alamo. The service was efficient and the rentals reasonably priced.Since our rental home...

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Progreso Shopping

  • Mercado

    As with Merida, Progreso has its Mercado (Market). Everything seems to be sold at the market -- from meat, fish and vegetables to dry goods, clothing, crafts, etc. All are small private stalls, and if you live in Progreso, you come here to do your shopping! Strange thing for us to get used to. If you check the first photo, you will see that all the...

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  • Street merchants

    In addition to the market, locals also sell their handiwork. In this case, a mother and her son are displaying some of their products. Note the son also has a job -- to sell his bag of little animal figures (turtles, dogs, etc.) with bobbing heads. It is amazing how often the mother has a child along to help. I guess he acts as a ice-breaker...

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  • Museum Shopping

    There were several shops set up at the Dzibilchaltun ruins museum. They were clean, freindly, and low pressure. We bought magnets with the months we were born on from a Mayan calendar. I also bought a real Panama hat for $18.00. A lot less than the USA. An authentic Panama hat in the USA is $45.00 or more.

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Progreso Local Customs

  • Cheque please...La cuenta por favor....

    When you've finished eating and ready for the tab, let your server know. Mexicans don't want you to feel that they're rushing you out the door so they wait until you ask for the bill.

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  • Tips on tipping

    In addition to wait-staff in restaurants (10%) and taxi drivers (3-5 pesos), gas station attendants receive tips between 3-5 pesos and supermarket baggers receive 3-5 pesos.

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  • Dogs and cats

    Dogs and to a lesser extent cats have no status in Progreso. It is basically survival of the fittest. As you can see in the picture, they sleep anywhere. Because nobody seems to actually own any of the dogs, they breed indiscriminately, don't have owners who pick up their droppings and are sometimes a nuisance.

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Progreso Warnings and Dangers

  • One way streets!

    As competent as these three gringo drivers seem, I managed to lure them down one way streets more than once. Some signs are clearly visible, others are non existant. Drivers should assume all streets are one way and just try to figure out which way. One time we were pulled over by very unhappy police with sirens wailing and red lights flashing. I...

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  • Look out for poops from the sky

    There are a lot of seagulls around. We were having a party when we got attacked from the sky. Seagulls flying by! Actually gulls are not the only birds that fly along the coast - besides them we saw pelicans and other birds that we could not identify.The other warning (common sense really) is watch your step in downtown Progreso. All roads are...

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  • Progreso Hotels

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Progreso Tourist Traps

  • american_tourister's Profile Photo
    Uno cerveza?

    by american_tourister Written Jul 11, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There were many places to get a cold beer before getting back to the ship (where beer is $5.00) for as litle as $1.00 US. this gal set up a stand and peeled off into this bikini and charged $3.00. Guys stood in line to buy from her even though a dude about 20 feet away charged $2.00.

    Unique Suggestions: Buy beer from an ugly dude. It is always cheaper. She is not going to sleep with you and you don't have time anyway. The ship sails in an hour.

    Related to:
    • Cruise

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Progreso Off The Beaten Path

  • El Faro

    You can climb the lighthouse (El Faro), but you need to ask permission from el farero (the lighthouse keeper) since it is usually locked. When I was in Progreso, I asked the guard to climb the lighthouse. She told me to come back in two hours since only he had the key. When I went back in two hours, the entire complex was locked up and the vendors...

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  • Chixchulub For a smaller less crowded...

    In Progreso they have buses that start in Chixchulub and run all the way through Progreso. The streets are one way so you catch them on one street and come back on another. Chixchulub is a small town. This is where the rich Mexican people go to get away from the hustle. They have a very nice central park and a fair with nice rides. They also have...

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  • Yucalpetan

    Beautiful swimming spot! You have to pay to swim but it is not much per person. I think a dollar. You have to take a Combie (van) and share the ride with others. It is like $4.00 to ride.You can get these vans near the center of town. Try in front of the department store San Francisco. Go early and make sure you leave about 2:30 pm because the last...

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Progreso Favorites

  • Kitty at the pier

    When you see a lady on the pier looking for donations for the dogs and cats please be very generous and at least give a dollar. She is a one man show to get a clinic up and running to curb the over population of both dogs and cats.

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  • Don't forget to relax.

    There is so much to do in and around Progreso that we felt we needed to schedule every second day as a "stay at home and unwind" day. We loved the laid back pace of life, the caring people and realising that it is possible to have a holiday that includes relaxing and learning.

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  • Take lots of film

    To the beach at sunrise and sunset and to the market. The wonderful people. They are the most nicest, helpful people I have never meet. Even though there are not very many that speak english they still try to help you.

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