Approximate travel time: 1 day
How to get there: Puerto Progreso is located only 18 miles from Merida. You can get there by taking the local bus leaving from the Merida terminal, or by car. From there, a taxi can take you to El Corchito, which is just a few minutes away.
The challenge: don’t wear a watch; allow yourself to flow at the relaxed pace of the coast of Yucatan.
What you will need: everything you usually take to the beach: swimming suit, sunscreen, a tanning cream, a towel, a well –stocked cooler, books or a net and a ball.
What you cannot miss: a stroll along the boardwalk to work up an appetite, and sampling the marine delicacies at the local restaurants.
You only need to travel half an hour from the white capital of Yucatán, and you will already find yourself facing the sea at Puerto Progreso, one of the favorite places for residents of and visitors to Yucatan.
A straight highway and a lowland forest horizon will accompany you on your journey from Merida to Puerto Progreso. You will be amazed at the calm that prevails in this place, which is only interrupted by the arrival of cruise ships from around the world. This is the vacationing spot for those who live in Merida, and the complement of sun and beach for a destination full of culture and tradition such as Yucatan.
Take advantage of this calmness to relax on the white sand, an advance of the Mexican Caribbean. The ocean in Puerto Progreso is calm, and therefore you can practice some water sports such a kayaking and windsurfing, or riding a banana or a jet ski. You should stroll along the boardwalk while you choose a place to taste fresh seafood dishes. One classic dish is coconut shrimp; there are specialties prepared with dogfish, grouper, mullet and red snapper, although you will also find recipes from the typical Yucatecan cuisine.
On the dock, you can hire the services of a fisherman, who will take you for a ride to nearby areas. If you like fishing, bring your fishing rod and bait, as you will certainly find a good catch here.
A few minutes from Puerto Progreso there is a little piece of Paradise called El Corchito. This natural area is overseen by a fishermen cooperative that has taken on the task of cleaning and refurbishing the area without changing the environment. The project, which began in 1990 with the rescue of a cenote, plans to open another six cenotes and to install a zip-line route. The aim of this cooperative is to turn this area into a place of coexistence and an encounter with nature, but without affecting its natural balance. As its members like to say, they have dedicated themselves to observe and follow the rules set by the “Great Architect” in order to preserve this place.
To enter this ecological park, you have to take a raft and cross a river. Once inside, a path among mangroves will lead you around four cenotes open to the public. Choose your favorite one and enjoy a refreshing dip in its clear water, surrounded by trees and palms.
El Corchito has been planned for coexisting with you family. Visitors usually bring their own food and spend the day swimming in the cenotes and enjoying the children’s playground areas.