Within Walking Distance
The glittering green Gulf of Mexico is shallow and calm in Progreso, the perfect spot for swimming and kayaking. Thatch-roofed palapa-style restaurants dot the coastline, where you can sample fresh seafood and icy beers under swaying palm trees.
Beyond the Port Area
Nearby the port area is Uaymitun village, where a flock of pink flamingos make their home. Climb the viewing tower to watch these beautiful birds feeding and flying. You can visit one of the largest flocks of flamingos in North America at the Celestún National Wildlife Refuge, west of Progreso. Here, you'll quickly spot the bright pink flamingos standing in the shallows beyond the mangroves, along with the shorebirds such as pelicans, sandpipers and spoonbills.
Maya Ruins Near Progreso
Carnival cruises to Progreso dock near the ruins of three ancient Maya cities: Xcambó, Dzibilchaltún and Uxmal. Tour one of the most important archeological sites on the American continent and once home to the great Mayan Empire on the Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins excursion. View the pyramid of Kulkulcan, the ball court, the mystical cenote, the temple of the warriors and the observatory.
Nearby the beaches of Chicxulub and Uaymitun are the sun-bleached temples and pyramid platforms at Xcambó. South of Progreso is Dzibilchaltún, where 8,000 ancient buildings are waiting to be excavated by archaeologists. Take the Mayan Ruins & Beach Break Combo excursion and follow the ancient Maya road to the Temple of the Seven Dolls on a platform of stairs. For a refreshing cool-down, jump into the sacred cenote, a freshwater well, with Maya ruins tucked among the surrounding trees.
The unique ruins of Uxmal are nearby Progreso. Rising 115 feet above the ancient city is the unusual Pyramid of the Magician, with its smooth oval shape. Uxmal is famous for its beautiful buildings covered in rock carvings. Examine the walls and doorways of the Nunnery to find the curly-nosed rain god Chaac, mythical feathered snakes, and fantastical human heads—some of the finest ancient Maya art in Mexico.
Shopping in Progreso
Progreso, Mexico, is just a quick drive from Mérida, the vibrant Spanish colonial capital of the Yucatán. See the sights of Mérida by foot from El Parque in Plaza Grande, the main square. The leafy square is surrounded on all sides by pastel-colored Spanish palaces. On one side is Mérida’s cathedral—the oldest in the Americas—built of stone blocks from an ancient Maya city. Stroll up 60th Street (Calle 60) past Mérida’s churches and squares, and enjoy a hearty Yucatecan lunch of pit-roasted pork. As you explore Mérida, you’ll pass dozens of artisan shops. Don’t miss the city’s bustling market district and the Bazaar de Artesanías, the crafts market. Mérida is famous for its embroidered guayabera men’s shirts, hand-woven Panama hats and comfortable hammocks. Savvy shoppers should also look for Maya linen huipil dresses and handmade huarache sandals.