Ok, so I will attempt to write a short and informative article about the Mexican city of Progreso, which may or may not be useful to you depending on what information you are looking for!
Progreso is a city located on the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, almost directly south of New Orleans. This city boasts having anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 people living here depending on who you ask! A city which can have as many as 140,000 people visiting its beaches on the Gulf of Mexico on any given day in the summer. A city which has restaurants and nightclubs which will only open for 4-8 weeks a year and make enough money to remain closed the rest of the year while the owners are off traveling or taking care of other ventures. Well that is the rumor anyways. In reality, Progreso is a very quiet and cultural town on the gulf that only gets crazy during Semana Santa and the first 6 weeks of summer.
What can I tell you that you may not already know? hmmm — quite often we hear about how hot it is here, I know that is very difficult to comprehend being that we are located below the Tropic of Cancer! The good news is that while it is often quite warm, it is hotter in Merida which always makes us feel better about ourselves! In case anyone is wondering, we are located precisely at the 21.280o N latitude and -89.67000000000000002000 (apparently that 2 in there is important somehow). As I am new to this latitude and longitude thingy – only having to recently use it so people can easily locate the home they would like to rent – I am guessing that the “Minus” symbol on the longitude indicates West.
So being located below the Tropic of Cancer our average temperature is fairly constant and most days in the winter we are at a very comfortable 23-25 degrees. The month which seems to be the hottest is MAY! Definitely May, and as it is May right now as I am writing this, I can tell you that it is HOT! Today was a cloudy, overcast day and the temperature as I am writing this at 10pm is 34 degrees. How do we deal with the heat you might ask… we swim a lot, we live in our swimsuits, even now I am sitting at my computer in my wet swimsuit on my plastic office chair typing away. But I can tell you that when winter comes along and it is a cool 23 degrees outside, we are wearing jeans and sweaters and are wondering how the temporary residents can venture outside, let alone swim in a pool!
I think something else to mention is the “heat factor” Now, you may not have heard that term before, but being from Canada, we always hear about the wind chill. This is similar but different! When the wind is coming from the south, over the city of Merida, I swear that the “heat factor” raises our temperature by at least 10 degrees and 30 degrees will feel like 40+. You will truly understand this when you too, are standing in that sliver of shade given by a telephone pole and cannot believe how much cooler it is. There is a reason why all the Meridanos flock to our city in the heat of the summer. Our cool ocean breezes which arrive almost every afternoon are very refreshing. In the summer months, the only time there is an ‘absence’ of wind, is when a hurricane is forming somewhere off the coast. Hurricanes, seem to suck the wind away, even if they are quite distant and never come near our city.
I can tell you that from our house, driving at a fairly moderate rate of speed, you will arrive at the Merida airport in roughly 42 minutes. I put the ‘2’ in there because that ‘2’ was important to somebody with the longitude so it might be important to somebody with the time. It is important to note that the Merida airport is really easy to get to from Progreso and if you follow the periferico around the city past the Walmart Super Centre by Caucel, you only have a few minutes of driving in the actual city. However, if you drive on the Paseo de Montejo, which many GPS units will tell you to do, you will drive through the entire city and it will take you longer. Anyways, the Merida International Airport (otherwise called Manuel Crescencio Rejon International Airport) receives many flights from the United States daily so many guests will choose to fly into this airport instead of Cancun.
Sorry, I got a little off track there… back to the beautiful port city of Progreso. Yes, being that we are a port city many ships dock at our extremely long pier …… 6.5 kilometers to be exact. This is very good for the tourism business as we often wake up to discover that a Cruise Ship has docked and released a large number of people rushing into our state to see as much as they can in their 4-6 hour time frame. We tend to try to avoid going out and about on cruise ship days, because we blend right in with the boat people. It is definitely a different experience watching the many people from a “local” point of view. Our goal was to experience the Mexican culture as much as possible and we chose Progreso for its small town feel. This small town feel kind of disappears when 1500 tourists flood the beachfront. But the good news is, the tourists come ashore, have a fantastic time enjoying our little city and the surrounding area, spend a lot of money boosting our tourism industry and providing many locals much needed jobs before they get back on the boat by 3pm. Most days their visit is only temporary and life resumes to its normal slow pace very quickly after the boat disappears on the horizon.
Mayan Ruins at Uxmal
hmmmm, are you still reading? I am going to guess that you are and cannot wait for the next brilliant tidbit of information I can provide about Progreso. Progreso is a fantastic city to call home while you explore not only the state of Yucatan but also the neighboring states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco and maybe even to venture into the surrounding countries of Belize and Guatemala. There is so much to see within a 3 hour drive of Progreso, and much more within a 6 hour drive, that it would take you months to explore everything. Of course if you are just looking to relax by your pool, while enjoying cervesas and margaritas you can find many properties to rent while you are here.
As I am writing this I am thinking, wow there is sooo much to tell people about our little city that I cannot possibly fit it into one “short” article! If you have any specific questions, please post them here and I will be glad to attempt to answer them. If they are good questions, you will see them added to our Frequently Asked Questions.
Better yet, start making your plans to explore our part of Mexico! If you are looking for the real Mexico and are tired of the all inclusive resorts, it is possible that Progreso has what you are seeking.
Some months are busier than others! Plan early and do not be disappointed.