Progreso lies at the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula - a region of Mexico that has long been an enchanting hub for the country’s rich culture, fine beaches, and incomparable climate. The winds here provide a stirring breeze that continues long into the night, making Progreso a balmy night time retreat, as well as a sumptuous break from the scorching heat that defines many of Mexico’s coastlines.
Progreso has long been a popular port for North Americans and Europeans, and now, its burgeoning reputation has led it to be blessed with a global allure. Year round, you can find a peaceful, yet vibrant township that pulsates to its own rhythm, and is full of Mexican locals making the most of their time off, and enjoying fine food, salsa and cocktails.
Sightseeing in Progreso
Progreso’s closest neighbour Merida has a colonial heritage which imbues its architecture with a heady mix of influences dating back centuries. Heading into the main town, you’ll find well-preserved historical marvels such as the Catedral de San Ildefonso, which had its genesis from the foundations of an ancient Mayan temple, and the gorgeously decorated Palacio de Gobierno.
The Mayan ruins at Dzibilchaltun are an utterly astounding part of the history of the Yucatan Peninsula, and luckily for travellers, the local authorities have made every effort to preserve their timeless mystique. If you arrive early in the morning, you can often have the whole location of the Mayan village to yourself, free to wander amidst the ancient temples and archaeological sites at your own pace. There are even extremely knowledgeable guides to be hired from the central tourist centre, who can give you a fascinating insight into the surrounding buildings and their importance to the Mexican people. Further along the coast, you’ll find the Cenote River, which is ideal for a refreshing afternoon swim in a local out of time.
Celestun Biosphere Reserve
Mexico is revered for its diverse wildlife, but the sight of hundreds of flamingos gathering amidst the glittering waters of the Ria is without compare. Through a spectacular trail of mangrove swamps and petrified forests, you journey downriver will eventually culminate in a cascade of pink, as the bright shades of the flamingos weave through the waters. Alongside the luminous attraction of these magnificent creatures, you’ll find over 320 species of birds winging their way from branch to branch, making their homes amongst the treetops in the swamps. In summary, bring a pair of binoculars, and be prepared to become a bird watching convert.
Shopping in Progreso
The centre of town is home to a market imbued with the fervent energy of the townspeople, which is blessed with skilled jewellers and artisans crafting exquisite gold and silver accessories. Take a sketch along, and these talented metallurgists can smelt anything you dream up.
Eating out in Progreso
If you want to enjoy the freshest seafood with a scintillating Mexican flavour, make sure to book a table at Flamingo’s Seafood Restaurant, which serves up delicious crab, lobster and crayfish, cooked to perfection.