Progreso is the beach area that is mainly used by the citizens of Merida. Progreso
is about 21 miles noth of Merida. Progerso population has leveled off around 30,000 individuals. Historically Progreso wad the port used to export most of the henequin products produced on the Yucatan until 1811 when the majority of the shipping of heniquin was shiftred to Sisal. The shore front does retain many of the historic fin-de-siecle mansions of the weathy heniquin hacienda owners. The municiple pier is more than a mile long. It is a relic of the days when numerous cruise ship would make port here at Progreso. Recently there has been some attempt by serveral of the cruse lines to use Progreso again.
These cruise lines soon find that their clientele is not pleased with the facilities of Progreso. Cruise ship users need the glitz of Las Vegas, the shopping venues of Paris and services of high end spas to keep them occupied. Progreso has none of these. In addition the beaches in Progeso are so low energy that they have constant murky waters. The cruise ship clients mistake this for dirty water. Fewer tourist is good for me because Progreso will continue to keep its small town charm and affordable price structure for many years to come. There are many newer vacation homes and a few hotels. The beach is large and deserted with clean gulf water. There is a a wide beach front road "El Malecon" where you can stop and park just about anywhere and have your own secluded beach. The average temperature for Progreso is about 87 degrees.
Progreso was a sleepy fishing village until the beauty of the area and the richness of the culture was recognized by non-locals. Progreso is busiest in July and August and on some weekends during the winter. There are numerous day trips available out of Progreso. Some are the flamingo reserve east of Progreso at Uaymitun. Drive east out of Progreso on the coast road toward Telchac. In about 10 miles you will see a tall wooden observation tower on your right. You are at Uaymitun, a state CULTUR run facility. They have been providing free of charge the use of binoculars to observe the shore birds. A few years ago a portion of the flamingo colony at Celestun
migrated here and establish a colony. You are very likely to see hundreds of flamingos here and not have to hire a boat as you do at Celstun.
If you continue east on the coastal road you may have to opportunity to observe additional colonies of flamingos. Contuning east you will see signs directing you to turn right to reach the Maya Archaeological site of Xcambo. This right turn is about 12 miles east of the Uaymitun observation tower. Xcambo was likely a significant salt production area controlled by Dzibilchaltún. Archaeologists have done some work consolidating and reconstructing a small ceremonial precinct that includes several platforms and temple. The site is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with no admission fee. Dzibilchaltún a Maya Archaeological site with what was one one of the largest populations and certainly one of the longest occupations is about 5 miles south of Progreso.