I've been researching the same. Apparently there isn't anything in Progreso other than the beach (water toys) and small shops. You can do the Uxmal ruin or Chichen Itza. They also offer Merida tours and a bull fighting tour I believe. Everything I've read on Merida makes it sound just like a working city, nothing really touristy about it. Two guide books I'm reading both say there is no reason to stay in either city unless you want to experience typical Mexican life. We're either doing the beach or the ruins.
Hi- Visited Progresso 4/03 on RCL, my best advice is stay aboard ship and enjoy the peace and quiet. We went to the beach as a family (2 kids) and it was horrendous! The water was dirty and the locals would not leave you alone. Small children were trying to sell trinkets and would cry if you didn't buy anything. We left pretty quickly as did many other passengers from the ship. My husband did opt for a afternoon tour of Merida and he loved it but he is a history buff and loves architecture. Check to see how far the ruins are because I think it is quite a drive. Have a wonderful trip, we are sailing agin in a couple of weeks this time doing the S. Caribbean.
Went there in Oct 03-------I never got off ship-----my hubby went off long enough to get a cuban cigar and came running back............very poor town-------not much shopping at all------just stay on the ship and get anything u want in cozumel----better prices too.
Ramona, get off the ship and take some type of tour. If you notice most of the negative comments come from people who never bothered to get off the ship or away from the pier area. Their comments are based on what they heard or saw from the deck of a ship.
There are tours to Chichen-Itza, one of the largest and most beautiful of the Mayan sites.
Uxmal is another Mayan site that is rated as one of the best. If you are not interested in Mayan history, etc, there are tours to the city of Merida for shopping and site seeing.
If you get out and see and do something and don't like it, then at least you can say you went and saw it for yourself, that you didn't form an opinion based on what someone else said that hadn't gotten off first base.
Go and enjoy--dare to have some fun.
The ruins at Uxmal are just wonderful, however if a person just can't stand 1000 year old Mayan history, then I would recommend a bus tour into Merida. It is a "real" Mexican city with some lovely buildings including a church built in the 1500's. I did a combo Uxmal (morning) Merida(afternoon) tour which I would rate as excellent! then again, I love history.
If you are at all interested in architecture or history, to come this close to Chichen Itza and Uxmal and not visit one of them would be a shame. Its a long uneventful drive (2 hrs to either), but they are stunning. It makes you appreciate what can be done w/o any of the powered equipment we have today, and appreciate how advanced these societies were.
We will be on the Elation out of Galveston in June with a large group (23) and kids age 5 to 16. We just want to go to nice beach in Progreso if there is such a thing. Can anyone give any suggestions. We were on the Celebration last year and just took our chances at the dock in Playa and really lucked out with one of the tour venders there. Will there be any venders at the dock in Progreso? ANy in put would be greatly appreciated.
We were in Progresso 4/03 and LOVED IT. It was my favorite port for several reasons
1- The is Mexico, not like the touristy Cozumel. They have an open air market that we had a blast buying stuff and bargaining. T-shirts, hats, shirts, toys, hot suace, blankets, etc... The post busses dropped you off there.
2-we took a double decker bus tour around the city, watch your head low wires. ($2)
3- The wife and kids went to the beach to lay out. The oldest daughter particiapted in a beach volleyball game.
On the walk from the market to the beach there are several more shops just crammed with stuff and they WILL bargain.
Beer, yes you can get beer for $1.00 for Dos XXX & Corona (some places $2). I went into a convenient store acroos from the beach and paid 60 cents for a cold beer. I also picked up a gatorade, 2 bottle cokes all for 3.75 Including the beer).
We like trying chips and salsa when in Mexico. Went to a restaraunt across from beach. Ordered some to go, they WEREN"T going to charge me for them and the guy was going to carry them over to the beach for me.
Whille the others went to the beach I went looking for a chair hammock to buy. I found an extra large one that they were asking $40 for and ended up getting for $15.
I also walked through the locals food market. This was interesting, but did not enjoy there "meat dept".
Don't expect fancy shops. On the bus tour you will see egg stores, FRESH chicken stores, etc... This is a new port and they are still building up. We really had a good time there. I do agree with others about the water, it was not the best. To me this was i think Mexico is, not like Cozumel. Don't get me wrong I liked Cozumel too, but for other reasons.
Thanks so much for the review of Progreso.. There are so many negative ones and it is refreshing to hear something positive. We will be on the Elation in June and this is our first port. I was hoping that we would get off to a good start and it sounds like we will!! Thanks again!