BEACHES IN YUCATAN
Beaches of YUCATÁN
There is a wide variety of beaches in Yucatan, ranging from Progreso, which is only 20 minutes from Merida, to more distant beaches such as San Felipe. They all offer a peaceful environment where you can relax, camp and enjoy nature, or practice various sports such as fishing, kayaking, SUP and many other water activities.
Among the options that Yucatan offers, there are some that are true paradises such as Celestún and Río Lagartos where the sky is painted pink because they are the habitat of important colonies of pink flamingos. Most of them are wide white sand beaches and in several you can savor some of the delicious typical dishes of Yucatan.
The Celestún estuary has 27 km of brackish water and is an authentic natural paradise with extensive beaches full of coconut trees and mangroves where a large number of migratory birds live, in the area more than 400 species have been identified, in addition to crocodiles, iguanas and snakes.
In addition, it is one of the two places in Mexico where the pink flamingo nests, feeds and reproduces. The best season to visit is during winter when migratory birds abound and the number of flamingos is greater.
Celestún has more than 40 beautiful freshwater eyes hidden in the natural tunnels formed by the mangrove branches, where you can swim.
The “Baldiosera eye” is the highest concentration of fresh water within the mangrove and has small piers so that visitors can have access to the place.
It is worth noting the “Tampetén” or petrified forest with a unique landscape that looks like a creation of some surrealist artist with capriciously shaped trees.
There is a beach of incomparable beauty that stretches the length of the town, with pleasant establishments that offer an exquisite variety of seafood and fresh fish.
During the rainy season, the estuary turns a peculiar burgundy color due to the tannins released by the red mangroves. Another of the natural peculiarities of this corner of the Yucatecan peninsula is that the sea deposits millions of shells on the coast, which is why it is painted white and in some places even dunes of calcareous shells are formed that contrast with the green of the low jungle characteristic of the area.
You can hire boat rides to enjoy the landscape, but it is advisable to be careful with the environment and not get too close to the flamingos.
It is located 36 km north of Mérida. It is the first high-altitude port and the most important on the Yucatecan coast. Progreso has all the natural elements for the practice of different activities and has gradually become a tourist center integrated in urban planning with the towns of Chelem and Chuburná.
It has an impressive pier that connects to the high-rise harbor. It consists of a viaduct that juts out into the sea for 6 and a half kilometers, gaining depth, which allows deep draft vessels to dock, making it the point of arrival for luxurious tourist cruises from all over the world. Also, at the end of the pier there is an area for fishing.
The boardwalk offers restaurants with Yucatecan and marine specialties, typical handicraft shops, live music and a panoramic view of the beautiful beach, making it one of the favorite places for walkers to walk.
A place to visit is the old building that occupied the maritime customs built in the 19th century. Other interesting places are: the Municipal Palace; the Lighthouse, which dates from 1891 and rises 40 meters; and the Chapel of San Antonio Yaxactún.
Its beaches have white sand, they are not very deep and the oleje is calm and without currents, which makes it an ideal place to practice various water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, swimming, paddle surfing, boat rides and many others. . In addition, its waters are rich in marine species, so fishing is also an option.
Near Progreso are the Alacranes Reef and Pérez Island, with its beautiful beaches of Chelem and Yucaltepen, ideal for swimming.
Progreso offers a good hotel infrastructure suitable to accommodate walkers both during holiday periods and the rest of the year, and has become a very popular port for cruise ships from all over the world.
It has a good hotel infrastructure.
It is part of a Special Biosphere Reserve with a unique natural beauty. It is an estuary since it is an arm of the sea that enters the coast thus forming a lagoon.
The combination of coastal dunes, mangroves, grasslands, reed beds, petenes, and low deciduous forest fosters enormous biodiversity. Here there are 450 species of vertebrates, 100 vascular plants, various mangrove species and 280 species of birds, among which the hundreds of pink flamingos stand out, which use Ría Lagartos as a nesting area.
In this reserve you can also find a large number of Tho birds, considered one of the most beautiful birds in the region. Here is a picturesque fishing village with the same name of the reserve that is characterized by its wide streets of sand and shells and wooden houses with pastel frames. It has a pleasant central park that is the meeting point of all the locals.
Another of its attractions is its tasty cuisine that you can taste in its various informal restaurants with thatched roofs and tables overlooking the beach. Its beaches are recognized as one of the main arrival areas for sea turtles, especially hawksbill and green.
A place called “Petenmac” stands out because it is a petén whose freshwater eye is surrounded by some palms that the locals call “mac” and that bears fruit similar in appearance to pears, but not so juicy or sweet.
Of course you should try the Mayan bath, which consists of visiting the mud mounds to put on the whole body since it is said that they hydrate and soften the skin.
Among the activities that you can carry out in Ría Lagartos are ecotourism walks, bird watching, boat rides especially during the sunsets, if you want an activity with more adrenaline you can opt for a night tour to observe the crocodiles. It is located 270 km from Mérida and 50 km from Tizimin.
Within the Reserve there are also Las Coloradas with a very peculiar landscape, since the salt flats give a beautiful pink color. Make sure to visit this salt mirror that will offer you photos that will be the most surprising on Instagram. It is located 270 km from Mérida and 50 km from Tizimin.
El Cuyo is located three and a half hours from Mérida. In this beautiful place the turquoise blue water of the Caribbean mixes with the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is located just two hours from Cancun and three and a half hours from Merida.
It is called the hidden treasure of the emerald coast of Yucatan. It is a charming fishing village on the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula within the Río Lagartos National Park.
One of its main attractions is that from January to September more than 20,000 pink flamingos come to this region to breed. This natural sanctuary is also home to the Sea Turtle which visits the area between June and August, and to more than 250 different species of birds.
In this small community you can enjoy a typical and quiet environment living with nature.
Within the Río Lagartos Reserve there are tropical forest and royal palms, coconut plantations and majestic Ceiba trees, the symbolic tree of Yucatan. In fact, this landscape is reminiscent of the Pleistocene when dinosaurs still ruled the world.
To get to El Cuyo, you must cross the road over the riverbed of Río Lagartos, above a red lagoon where the color results from a high concentration of salt. This lagoon separates El Cuyo from the mainland from the rest of Yucatan.
The lighthouse, which is built on the remains of old Mayan ruins, welcomes the visitor.
Because its beaches are almost deserted, it is easy to find a great variety of shells and sea snails.
It is located just 55 km from Mérida, in the municipality of Hunucmá. This town became the most important port in the peninsula, since during the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was the gateway to and from a wide variety of products, especially henequen.
Currently, it has pleasant beaches and an exotic natural setting that make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. The sand is white, the water that bathes its shores is green and with little waves, ideal for swimming or taking a boat ride.
It is home to a wide variety of migratory birds, such as the Canadian duck, and its beautiful sunsets are famous.
There are some informal restaurants that offer delicious dishes based on fresh fish and seafood.
It has fortifications built to protect itself from pirate attacks and some other historical buildings such as: the Maritime Customs, the Fort of Santiago “El Castillo”, the Lighthouse, the house of the Empress Carlota Amalia and the cannons located in the central park.
Chelem beach has calm waves and warm white sands. Despite being very beautiful, it is not very visited by bathers because it does not have large hotel chains, which makes it a peaceful place.
Chelem is a small fishing town 9 km west of Progreso, which is distinguished by offering this, one of the best beaches in Yucatan and by the proximity of the port of Yucalpetén.
Its estuary is a refuge for colorful migratory birds and a place to practice ecotourism activities. In front of the main park of Chelem there is a small market where you can have a tasty breakfast and buy fresh things to cook at the lodge.
6 km from the town is the port of Yucalpetén, an important concentration point for the Yucatecan fishing fleet.
It is a typical fishing community that is distinguished by its delicious gastronomy. It is located 6 km east of the municipal seat of Progreso.
Among its attractions are: “The trenches”, located on one side of the road to Chicxulub Pueblo, and the archaeological zone of Namul. “The trenches” date from the 18th century, they are stone constructions on top of some walls, they were used by the first settlers to protect themselves from pirate attacks during colonial times.
The archaeological zone of Namul, located five kilometers from the coastal highway to Uyamitún, has five hills that were apparently used by the Mayans as a ceremonial center.
Chicxulub’s beautiful sandy beach and crystal blue waters are ideal for practicing water sports.
It has small hotels, villas, several restaurants and some nightclubs.
The sea supports the inhabitants of the town of San Felipe, near Las Coloradas, and provides its visitors with one of the best beaches in Yucatan.
San Felipe is 198 km northeast of Mérida and 113 km from Valladolid in the frank north. Its simple wooden houses and bright colors portray the simplicity and humility of its inhabitants.
It is known that a group of indigenous fishermen got lost on the Yucatecan coast and ended up in a place where they were greeted by songs of chuleb, a native bird, at the beginning of the 19th century.
They decided to settle in the place and gave it the name, Actam Chuleb, which means in the Mayan language, “in front of the chuleb”.
In 1853 the village was renamed San Felipe de Jesús and since its foundation it lives from fishing and the fertile lands nearby.
Recently a tourist trend has developed thanks to its peaceful beach and the nearby beauties, especially Ría Lagartos.
It is located 51 kilometers east of Puerto Progreso and is a fishing village where you can enjoy an ecotourism adventure that was carried out by the inhabitants of the place, opening a series of channels through the mangroves to see beautiful water holes and enigmatic cenotes.
The flat-bottomed boats are propelled by a long pole, which is why it has been called the “Tropical Venice”. On the way you can enjoy the various species that inhabit the mangrove. So far, 137 species of animals have been reported, such as: turtle, lizard, anteater, raccoon, white-tailed deer, woodpeckers, white heron and Belizeans, among many others.
The main route leads to the Dzonot-Tzik cenote, a spring of fresh and crystalline water where, as a result of Hurricane Isidoro, some tarpon were trapped, which over the years have grown more than 60 cm and with which you can swim peacefully.
In addition, the community has more than three kilometers of beautiful beaches facing a calm sea, whose shades of green and blue. During the sunset the distance from the sea forms a large beach of more than 300 meters along the coast and about 100 meters out to sea. It is an ideal place to camp, although there are also ecological huts built in the traditional Mayan style of housing and located on the seashore.
Las Coloradas is a coastal Yucatecan destination in the Ría Lagartos Natural Park, 248 km from Mérida and 124 km from the city of Valladolid.
It gets its name from the impressive pink waters, a result of the very high concentration of salt and plankton that live in this habitat.
The salt mine that operates in Las Coloradas has facilitated this environment with its production process and it is possible to see the mountains of salt that will be used for industrial processing.
The sunsets in Las Coloradas are splendid, since the pink color of the lagoon makes a wonderful game with the tones of the sunset.
The Río Lagartos Natural Park is a beautiful ecosystem of almost 13,000 hectares of extension, frequented by many tourists who go to admire the concentrations and flocks of Mexican flamingos, dazzling pink birds.
Dzilam de Bravo is 107 km away. from the city of Mérida, and 79 km. east of Progreso and is a typical town that is distinguished by its white sand beaches.
In addition, the place has many other natural attractions, among which we can mention: beautiful waters such as X-Buyhá, the Elepetén cenote, the “Happy Lagoon”, and “Las Bocas”, where the river and the sea meet. , extraordinary place to practice fishing.
It is a place with a lot of history, since the Spaniards headed by Francisco de Montejo (father) landed here to begin the conquest of the Peninsula. For several centuries, it was the largest port in Yucatan, from where salty meats, tallow, hides and dye stick were exported.
In Dzilam de Bravo is the tomb of the famous 19th century pirate, Jean Laffitem, and very close to the port, is the Yalkubul lighthouse, one of the most prominent parts of the coast.
This town and fishing port on the Gulf of Mexico has one of the best beaches in Yucatan, with coconut trees that provide shade for bathers: Coco beach, 10 minutes from Telchac Puerto.
Telchac is 44 km east of Puerto Progreso and 69 km northeast of Mérida. It is called Telchac Puerto to differentiate it from Telchac Pueblo, which is only 16 km south separated from the coast. The word “Telchah” means in the Mayan language, “necessary rain.”
The Museum of the Sea, the first of its kind in the state, was inaugurated in Telchac Puerto in 2014. It exhibits a varied sample of the regional marine fauna, including fossils, snails and starfish. There is also a photographic exhibition with images of when hurricanes Isidoro and Gilberto passed.
Other tourist attractions in Telchac Puerto are the municipal palace, the main church, the pier, the local park and the building of the port captaincy.
Puerto Chuburna is one of the oldest places in the municipality. In 1663 he was declared a lookout by the government of Don Juan Francisco Esquivel y de la Rosa for the defense of the coast against the incursion of pirates operating from the Laguna de los Term.
Its name means in the Mayan language “place where houses are flooded”, it is a coastal town that has been modernizing and is a favorite place for national and foreign vacationers.
Chuburná is a fishing town of about 2,000 inhabitants located 58 km northwest of Mérida and 17 km west of Progreso.
Its beaches are quiet and with enough space for everyone, even at Easter and in summer, when many hikers and backpackers arrive.
In Chuburná you can enjoy the warmth of the sea with the healthy sea breeze caressing your face and try your luck with the fishing rod or with a simple hook, from the picturesque local pier.
It has several restaurants, where you can taste exquisite dishes based on fish and seafood. It is an ideal place to find peace and tranquility. In the town they prepare a simple but delicious sea food and you can find all kinds of coconut products, from its fresh natural water, to creams, cookies and nougat.
It is a protected area for migratory water birds; Due to its abundant flora and varied fauna, it is the perfect destination if you like ecotourism activities.
You can enjoy this ecological reserve aboard a boat and thus you will see the wetlands and petenes; as well as bird colonies, especially the Canadian duck, which winters and breeds in the area. Another way to appreciate this place is with a long night walk. Here is the tallest lighthouse in the state of Yucatan.
It is located about 80 km from Mérida and has the highest lighthouse in Yucatán. Its beaches, despite being almost virgin, have cabins and restaurants.
You can rent boats to take a walk and observe the regional fauna.
Map of Beaches in YUCATÁN
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