We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beaches near Merida

Seattle
Level Contributor
156 posts
94 reviews
Save Topic
Beaches near Merida

My husband and I (late 60s-70 years old) plan to spend one-two weeks in Merida in January 2017. We are looking for a place with access to archaeological sites, swimming and snorkeling. We speak some Spanish and like to stay in less touristy areas. On a previous trip to the Yucatan, we have stayed in Puerto Morelos and Valladolid, visiting Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba. We want to visit Merida but would really like to have a good beach with snorkeling nearby. We were thinking of Progreso, but we have seen disparaging remarks about the beach and also mention of Telchak Puerto, Chuburna, and Chicxulub. Which of these would best meet our interests? Would any of them?? We also intend to check out Isla Mujeres for a week or so after Merida. Does this sound like a fruitful plan? (To give you an idea of our preferences, we love the little village of Chacala, north of Puerto Vallarta, which has a lovely calm beach, but no snorkeling and no archaeological sites. And we loved the city of Oaxaca and all the variety in the surrounding villages, but we want a beach too!) Now that we are retired, we would love to find a spot we want to come back to year after year (and we have spent time in Mazatlan, PV, Guadalajara, Melaque, Zihuatenejo, San Miguel de Allende, in addition to Chacala, Oaxaca, and Puerto Morelos), so let us know if you have other suggestions. Many thanks!

Mentioned in this post
Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza
21,277 Reviews
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Merida
Merida
Yucatan, Mexico
Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Valladolid
Valladolid
Yucatan, Mexico
Tulum
Tulum
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Progreso
Progreso
Yucatan, Mexico
Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta
Jalisco, Mexico
Oaxaca
Oaxaca
Oaxaca, Mexico
Mazatlan
Mazatlan
Sinaloa, Mexico
Guadalajara
Guadalajara
Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, Mexico
22 replies to this topic
Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
46,228 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beaches near Merida

I will let more people comment on your specifics regarding beaches and snorkeling in the Merida area. Because even having lived on Cozumel I am not much of a beach person. I can tell you that I would not waste time with Progreso as far as Beach or snorkeling. You mentioned having been to many of the touristy spots and if you do not seek another very touristy spot I would skip Isla Mujeres. It is now way too too touristy for me.

Mentioned in this post
Merida
Merida
Yucatan, Mexico
Cozumel
Cozumel
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Progreso
Progreso
Yucatan, Mexico
Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Merida, Mexico
Level Contributor
2,255 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Beaches near Merida

I could be wrong but I don't think there are many places for snorkeling on the north coast of the Yucatan. Be aware that the beaches are very different from the Caribbean. The water is greyer, the winds stronger, the beaches dirtier. That being said, many ex-pats enjoy living there. There are many forums and sites dedicated to beach living in the Yucatan; they may be better places to inquire than on here. For example, you can check out yolisto.com. Progreso is the busiest of the beach communities - with a market and main square - but the entire coast is a string of connected communities with rows of houses fronting the beach.

Mentioned in this post
Progreso
Progreso
Yucatan, Mexico
Merida
Destination Expert
for Merida
Level Contributor
1,402 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Beaches near Merida

The clarity and color of the water of the Gulf of Mexico on those beaches is highly dependent on the time of year. We have been there when the ocean looks dirty and choppy, and other days when it looks clean, aqua-blue and clear as a bell. That said, there is no snorkeling at those beaches... there is nothing to see. No coral reefs... it's just a sandy bottom for miles. There is snorkeling at islands off the shore, but they are a day away by boat and few people go there. The thing to do around Merida is to swim in cenotes... a unique experience if you have never done it. Otherwise, if you want snorkeling, stick to the Caribbean.

Mentioned in this post
Mexico
Mexico
North America
Merida
Merida
Yucatan, Mexico
Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
Beaufort, South...
Level Contributor
302 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Beaches near Merida

Many people do snorkel in the cenotes. There are fish, especially in some of the open ones.

Merida, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Merida, Chichen Itza
Level Contributor
2,767 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Beaches near Merida

You might consider a stay in the town of Sisal, which is between Celestun and Progreso. It might be calm and small enough for you to enjoy, although the water, since it is the Gulf of Mexico, is not great for snorkeling and there is nothing to see under the water except sand.

Mentioned in this post
Celestun
Celestun
271 Reviews
Merida, Mexico
Progreso
Progreso
Yucatan, Mexico
Mexico
Mexico
North America
Seattle
Level Contributor
156 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beaches near Merida

Thanks to all for your tips and suggestions. Does anyone have particular cenotes to recommend for snorkeling?

Edmonton, Alta.
Level Contributor
2,088 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Beaches near Merida

I own condo near Chixculub. There is no reef in this area, so no coral for the type of fish you would want to see when snorkeling. This area is known for kiting as there is often a good breeze in the afternoons during the winter. The further east you go along the coastal highway, the nicer the beaches are. The area from San Bruno to Telchac- sand is very white.

There is one cenote in the ruins between Merida to Progreso- called Dzibicheltun. Many people snorkel/swim in the cenote there- plus you can get a guided tour through the ruins and learn many interesting facts about the Mayans. Depending on when you will be there- there will be flamingos along the coast- between Nov.- March. There is a free look out point about 4 km east of Chixculub - called Uymitun- where you can go & observe the flamingos.

Mentioned in this post
Merida
Merida
Yucatan, Mexico
Progreso
Progreso
Yucatan, Mexico
Boston...
Level Contributor
27 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Beaches near Merida

Your question, Seattle Sue, and the answers are very helpful to me, too! My husband and our college-age kids are planning a week in the Yucatan the second week in January. We fly in and out of Cancun, but we're not looking for a glitzy resort and would like to be in a less touristed area. We're primarily looking for beach time, but would be happy to devote a couple of days to colonial-city culture and/or Mayan ruins. So we've been considering two alternative scenarios: (1) staying in or near Telchec and visiting Merida, or (2) staying in Akumal or Puerto Morelos and visiting Valladolid. Any thoughts? Visitingnow, your comments about the beaches make Telchec sound less appealing. For sunbathing and swimming, would Akumal/Puerto Morelos be a better bet in January, and which of those two would you recommend (or do you have other suggestions)? Thank you!!

Edited: 20 November 2016, 21:19
Mentioned in this post
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
4,301 Reviews
Playa Paraiso, Mexico
Cancun
Cancun
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Merida
Merida
Yucatan, Mexico
Akumal
Akumal
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Valladolid
Valladolid
Yucatan, Mexico
Boston...
Level Contributor
27 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Beaches near Merida

.

Merida, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Merida, Chichen Itza
Level Contributor
2,767 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Beaches near Merida

Staying in Telchac is great if you

a) bring a book

b) bring a lover

c) bring a revolver

ie. there is not much to do out there except enjoy the peace and quiet. Visiting Merida will be a pain as it is a good hours drive to the outskirts and then you have the traffic of Merida itself to contend with. It is not a good base, in my opinion if you are wanting to be out, driving around and exploring.

For sunbathing on a nice beach and then heading inland for a more cultural look at the Yucatan, the Pto Morelos Valladolid option sounds better to me.

Mentioned in this post
Merida
Merida
Yucatan, Mexico
Valladolid
Valladolid
Yucatan, Mexico
Reply to: Beaches near Merida
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted