Top 10 Things to Do in Progreso Cruise Port

Progreso Cruise Port

The Progreso cruise port serves as both a major export point for the Yucatan Peninsula as well as the pier point for many guests whose Western Caribbean cruises make a stop here. The port itself is nontraditional, as shuttle buses are necessary for every guest leaving the ship to traverse them across the nearly four mile long pier. Limestone formations under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico make such a pier necessary, and the shallow, calm and clear waters that cover them may have made a logistical nightmare for port building, but provide a beautiful and welcoming destination for travelers. There are many things to do in Progreso for those coming in from port and from historical tours to water adventures, there is something for every member of your party. We put together a list of the best ten, including some excursions available from the Progreso cruise port as well as some freelance fun for the would be international adventurer.

1. Chichen Itza: One of the big lures to stopping in Progreso is the proximity of the port city to numerous Mayan ruin sites, a hallmark of Mexico Cruises. The largest of these in the area is Chichen Itza, where guests can observe awe inspiring sights like giant pyramids and a very well preserved ancient ball court. Booking excursions to this particular site is an all day adventure because it takes two hour bus ride from the Progreso cruise port to the ruined city. However, for first time guests, it is one of the best choices in things to do in Progreso and one of the best historical journeys in the region.

2. Tours of Merida: Although the Progreso cruise port drops guests into the fishing village that the port is named for, many find that a visit to Merida is more than worthwhile. The historical city offers many architectural wonders, including a cathedral built with stones from a nearby ruined Mayan pyramid. Aside from shopping and partaking in Mexican cuisine, guests of Merida can also interact with the locals, learn a little about the history of the area and take tours with knowledgeable guides.

3. Golfing at El Jaguar Championship Course: There is not a lot to do aboard Western Caribbean cruises in terms of perfecting your golf swing, but luckily many port cities offer prime and pristine courses where boat riders can grab their clubs and head out to tee off on championship courses around the world. The El Jaguar Championship course is one signature course by Jack Nicklaus and offers five different tee points situated in a lush jungle setting. Spectacular views and challenging drives await the daring who are looking for a little more than handicraft stands at the Progreso cruise port.

4. Dzibilchaltun Ruins: For those looking for a chance to see some of the Mayan ruins in the area without an immense amount of tourists in tow or a multi hour bus ride from the Progreso cruise port, the Dzibilchaltun ruins are a perfect pick. Aside from the obvious activity of exploring the archaeological site, museums and dining options are also available and the entire excursion is operated by knowledgeable and English speaking guides.

5. Celestun Biosphere Reserve: Progreso nestles up against one of the largest nesting grounds of pink flamingos in the entire world, and the pinky hued birds can be viewed en masse at the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, a short bus ride from the Progreso Cruise port. Here guests can explore the surroundings and observe the flamingos from a respectful distance while also enjoying all the other incredible creatures that make their home here, including almost four hundred different species of birds.

6. Beaches and All Inclusive Resorts: For families, the Gulf of Mexico is home to some of the best beach vacations in the world thanks to warm and shallow waters and a lack of dangerous current. And while Progreso is not known for snorkeling or scuba diving, it is known for all inclusive beach resorts and family friendly shore lines where guests can play in the water, build a sandcastle or even get a massage on the beach. There are refreshments nearby as well as local shopping, but some of the best beach tours are the ones offered by the cruise lines that take visitors to some of the nearby hotels for luxurious and lavish beach experiences.

7. Mangrove Kayaking: Few activities for adventure hunters can be found in Progreso, but kayaking through the mangroves is an interesting take on both eco tours and thrilling excursions. Guests paddle up in single or double kayaks and use their own moments to steer through the delicate mangroves that make up this incredible eco wilderness. Most of these kayaking excursions feature other activities such as bike riding through the salt marshes or stopping at a ruin along the way, so it is definitely worth carving out an entire day of port time for these adventures.

8: Watersports and Kiteboarding: Many dry land activities can be simulated aboard Western Caribbean cruises, where guests can partake in rock wall climbing and even bowling. But, water sports require a large body of water, a fair amount of ocean breeze and a lot of courage. Guests of the Progreso cruise port can enjoy a wide variety of water sports including jet ski riding and water skiing, but perhaps the most popular in the area is kiteboarding, which is well loved for the same reasons that the Gulf is a popular choice for the best beach vacations. Gentle currents combined with swift ocean breezes create the perfect environment for both seasoned and novice kiteboarders resulting in a seriously popular activity.

9. Eat and Cook: There is no excuse not to sample some Mexican cuisine if exploring a port city on the Yucatan peninsula, but guests of Progreso and nearby Merida can take it a step further and learn to cook their favorite local fare. Cooking classes are available either on city tours or for those just out and about exploring one of the two nearby towns, and visitors can learn how to make their favorite foods like salsa and guacamole.

10. Learn to Dance: Dancing is synonymous with living in most parts of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, and although there are many opportunities to learn a thing or two aboard a cruise ship, these cookie cutter activities are no comparison to taking salsa dance lessons from a truly cultural professional. Dance lessons are a fun and exciting way to really embrace the local culture and take home a souvenir that never gets packed away in a closet or lost in an attic, but rather one that can be brought out and enjoyed each time the tropical feelings move you.