The 8 best beaches in Merida (2023)

Along the curve of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Gulf Coast lie the lesser-known and relatively unspoiled beaches of Mérida, Mexico.

LikesThe beaches of Oaxacaunfairly overshadowed by its northern cousinsthe cablesmiport of vallarta, the beaches of Mérida are often overlooked by bathers who choose the beaches ofriviera mayainstead of that.

Your loss because some of the best beaches in the Yucatan are on the Merida coast.

Unlike Quintana Roos, what the beaches near Mérida offer are long stretches of white sand with far fewer foreign tourists, beautiful emerald waters, and the more likely chance of not seeing a single flamingo, but colonies of these pink-plumaged beauties. .

Even better is the fact that all the beaches in Mérida are easily accessible by car from the city of Mérida and are also accessible by public transport.

Whether you prefer small beach towns that still know how to cater to tourists, or a completely remote coastline with nothing but sand and coconut palms, there's a Merida beach for you on this list.

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The best beaches near Merida

These are the eight best beaches in the state of Yucatan. They are all accessible by car from Mérida and most can be enjoyed as a day trip from Mérida if you have a car.

Spend more time in Merida? don't miss theThe best things to do in the citymithe best restaurants here.

1. Goal progress

As the closest beach to Mérida, the breezy white sands of Progreso are some of the busiest, especially during the peak cruise ship season each winter. But don't let the visions stop you from fighting for a place in the arena. Progreso is one of the longest beaches in Mérida, which means there is plenty of space for everyone.

Grab a spot under one of the beachfront palapas for around 100 pesos a day, or bring your own shade for free.

The beauty of this beach in Mérida is that it combines in equal parts the relaxed atmosphere of a coastal town and tourist amenities such as restaurants,Strandclubsand tours, something you'd be hard-pressed to find on many of the other, less-developed beaches in the Yucatan.

Progreso is a popular spot for windsurfers and tourists alike. Many Merida residents have second homes in Progreso, while younger locals come to the beach parties on the weekends.

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When you need a break from the beach, El Corchito Ecological Reserve is just off the coast of Isla Racoon. Swim in cenotes, book a mangrove boat tour, and watch the island's namesake race.

See location on Google.

The 8 best beaches in Merida (1)

Playa Progreso is the closest Mérida beach to the city center and is the easiest to reach without a car.

2. celeste

Celestún, one of Mexico's sanctuaries for pink flamingos, is much better known for its slender residents, who fill the reserve by the tens of thousands returning from the beach. But its beaches are also among the best near Mérida, with pristine sand facing the emerald waters of the Gulf.

The two beaches of Celestún, Playa Norte and Playa Sur, are separated by a long fishing pier, but they are actually the same beach.

Of the two, Playa Norte has more restaurants, especially seafood, and amenities than Playa Sur, making it the better option for most beach goers.

Celestún is an oasis of calm and peace by the sea, perhaps due to its slightly greater distance from the city of Mérida. It takes 90 minutes by private car and up to three hours by bus.

If you visit Celestún when the flamingos are in town, usually from November to early March, take the opportunity and book a boat ride through the mangroves, where the flamingos are sure to do their mating dance.

It is estimated that around 35,000 flamingos visit Celestún each year during the mating season before flying to the beaches of Río Lagartos to nest and give birth.

See location on Google.

The 8 best beaches in Merida (2)

Flamingos on the beach of Celestún near Mérida.

3. whose

If you are looking for a Yucatan beach that still has a touch of what the most famous beaches of the Riviera Maya bring, El Cuyo is definitely the Mérida beach for you.

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El Cuyo is located at the eastern end of the Yucatan Peninsula, basically on the border with Quintana Roo and right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea.

Considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in the Yucatan, El Cuyo boasts endless expanses of white sand and enough tourist infrastructure to spend the day (or days) sunbathing, swimming in the sea, or kitesurfing. a popular pastime on this stretch of coast.

Three and a half hours from the city of Mérida, El Cuyo is more than a beach for hikers. Spend a night or two and soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the seaside town.

Then, make the most of your visit by visiting the pink lakes near Las Coloradas. In addition to the stunning magenta hues of the lakes, you are likely to see several flamingo colonies at the right time of year (usually March to June).

See location on Google.

The 8 best beaches in Merida (3)

The beaches near Merida don't get enough praise because many don't have the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, but they do have their own magic.

4. Chelem and Chuburna

Technically, two beaches, Chelem and Chuburná, are really just an extension of each other. Located just a 20 to 30 minute drive from Progreso, these quiet and serene beaches have attracted many American retirees and expats, so much so that there is even an area of ​​Chuburná now nicknamed "Gringo Gulch."

The appeal of these beaches further west of Mérida, however, lies in their laid-back coastal-town atmosphere and relatively empty sand.

Don't expect beach clubs here that rent palapas or lounge chairs, but that has its advantages. Since the beaches are so empty, turtles spawn here at night, especially in the picturesque area of ​​Playón las Dunas de Chuburná.

In town, in both Chelem and Chuburná, you'll find small markets selling fruits and vegetables, a few good restaurants, and basic services that feed Progreso's growing number of expats and day-trippers.

This means you can easily stock up on food and drinks in town before sunbathing on the beach.

See location on Google.

The 8 best beaches in Merida (4)

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Chelem beach near Merida.

5. Pig Beach

Playa Cochino is better known as Playa del Cerdo in Mérida.

In late 2021, local authorities rescued eight orphaned Vietnamese guinea pigs from an abandoned property and are caring for them on the beach. They are released from their enclosure at 12 midnight every day and bathers are allowed to play, hold and swim with the pigs.

Playa Cochino is a relatively small beach in Mérida, but one of the best maintained and a great place to relax or cool off in the typically calm sea.

It is halfway between the beaches of Progreso and Chelem, in a small town called Yucalpeten. The little pigs welcome visitors every day at 8 in the morning.

Eventually, Playa Cochino will go back to being just another Mérida beach, as the plan is to move the pigs elsewhere once they reach adulthood. But for now, enjoy this delicious twist of fate in a seaside town that already attracts about 300 people a day.

See location on Google.

The 8 best beaches in Merida (5)

Merida beaches.

6. Chicxulub

Just over a 10-minute drive east along the coast from Progreso is Chicxulub, known as the site of the meteorite impact that wiped out the dinosaurs and created the Yucatan Peninsula's thousands of cenotes.

Today, the long, soft white-sand beaches are lined with luxury homes, most of which are second homes for Mérida's wealthiest families and first homes for a growing wave of Canadian and American expats.

The increase in tourists and expats means that Chicxulub is relatively well-developed compared to other Mérida beaches, with a few small grocery stores, a few modern conveniences, and several good restaurants in town.

Before outsiders moved in, Chicxulub was and is primarily a fishing village, which means that the seafood in particular is some of the best you'll find on any beach near Mérida.

See location on Google.

The 8 best beaches in Merida (6)

Sisal beach at night.

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7. Sisal

This sleepy fishing village, an hour from Mérida, is lauded for its turquoise waters and some of the best beaches in the Yucatán.

In December 2020, Sisal's appeal was boosted by its inclusion on the list of Magical Towns of Mexico, a designation that drew far more tourism than this sleepy beach town is used to.

The beautiful beaches of Sisal have chair and sun lounger rentals and family restaurants under shaded kiosks.

Buy some food or drink and camp in its shade for the day. Nearby are mangroves to explore, cenotes to dive, flamingos to see, and even an old fort to visit.

Historically, this coastal town of Mérida was the first commercial port on the Yucatán peninsula.

Throughout the 19th century, the cariocas exported products such as cotton, tobacco and a fibrous plant called henequen, also known as Yucatecan sisal (hence the name of this beach in Mérida, Mexico), with which ropes and various fabrics.

See location on Google.

The 8 best beaches in Merida (7)

Playa Sisal is one of the best beaches near Merida.

8. Saint Chrysanto

Uncrowded and isolated, San Crisanto is a popular beach near Merida.

Locals like to refer to it as Coconut Grove for the abundance of palm trees twisting with coconuts. But you'll find more than fresh coconuts on this Merida beach. Flamingos, pink salt flats, and even crocodiles dot the nearby landscape, as do several freshwater cenotes and mangroves that you can explore by boat.

The beach itself is unique. Each night the sea recedes up to 300 feet making for the perfect sunset and then stargazing. During the day it is just a narrow strip of sand facing the crystal clear sea, without any infrastructure or development.

Most visitors to this Merida beach settle at Playa Sac-Ha for around 90 pesos a day, as there really aren't any other places along the beach where you can find a bathroom or showers to rinse off.

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San Crisanto is about as undeveloped as it gets, with few local restaurants or markets even near the beach, so plan to pack a cooler in Progreso or Mérida before you arrive.

See location on Google.


Does Merida Mexico have nice beaches? ›

There are no City of Merida beaches, though there are miles of beaches near Merida, Mexico. With its central location, Merida makes a great home base to explore them all! There are many great beaches close to Merida, with about five options a short drive of 30-60 minutes away by car.

What is the best month to visit Merida Mexico? ›

The best time to visit Mérida is between December and March if you're looking for dry weather and lots of things to do. Opt for a January trip to experience Mérida Fest, a huge annual celebration that honors the founding of the city.

Are there beaches near Merida? ›

Merida is an inland city. So there are no Merida beaches, but there are a number of beaches within an hour or less from Merida Mexico.

Is Progreso beach nice? ›

Overall, Progreso Beach is very nice, with soft, white sand that's free of hard rocks or shells. There may be a bit of sargassum (seaweed) at times, but they do an excellent job at removing what they can from the main beach area.

What is the best part of Merida to stay? ›

The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Merida Mexico For Long-Term Stays
  • Santa Ana. If you pick Santa Ana as your place to stay in Merida, you'll basically have the best of both worlds! ...
  • Santiago. On the west side of the city center is the beautiful area of Santiago. ...
  • Benito Juarez Norte. ...
  • Paseo de Montejo. ...
  • Zocalo – Centro Area.
Jan 22, 2022

What are 2 interesting things to see or do in Merida? ›

Top Attractions in Merida
  • Paseo de Montejo. 3,483. Points of Interest & Landmarks • Architectural Buildings. ...
  • Hacienda Sotuta de Peon. 1,305. Ranches. ...
  • Mayapán Archaeological Zone. 713. ...
  • Plaza Grande. 1,514. ...
  • Ruta Puuc. 574. ...
  • Cathedral de Mérida. 2,080. ...
  • Gran Museo del Mundo Maya. 1,757. ...
  • El Palacio de Gobierno. 969.

How many days do you need in Merida? ›

Exploring Merida in 3 days or over the weekend is the perfect amount of time to see the major sights while getting a feel for the vibrant culture and wonderful food. But if you have extra time on your hands, Merida makes for a great base to explore more of Yucatan.

What is the rainiest month in Merida Mexico? ›

Rain falls throughout the year in Mérida. The month with the most rain in Mérida is September, with an average rainfall of 5.4 inches. The month with the least rain in Mérida is March, with an average rainfall of 0.7 inches.

Can you swim in Progreso beach? ›

The water in Progreso is very clean, clear, and perfect for swimming in. It is usually very calm too, making a day trip here perfect for families with kids.

What are the beaches like in Merida? ›

The best Merida beaches are as beautiful as those of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, but have none of the crowds. In fact, on their stretches of soft white sand, you won't find too many foreign tourists, but rather, locals fishing or relaxing with families and friends on the sand.

What is the nearest beach to Merida? ›

1. Puerto Progreso. As the closest beach to Merida, Progreso's white and wind-blown sands are some of the most crowded, especially during peak cruise season each winter. But don't let visions of sparring for a spot on the sand stop you.

What is the most visited beach in Mexico? ›

Cancun Beach, Riviera Maya

Covering a 14-mile stretch, Cancun Beach is one of the most popular beaches in all of Mexico. Anchoring the Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula, which sticks out into the Caribbean Sea, Cancun is famous for its developed tourism industry, powder-soft white-sand beach, and turquoise sea.

What is the cleanest beach in Mexico? ›

  • Beaches of Cozumel, Quintana Roo (Las Casitas, Downtown, Dzul-ha, Chankanaab, Rastas, Bonita, Caletita, San Martín and Chen Rio)
  • Mahahual Beach, in Othón P. ...
  • Beaches of Altata Bay Navolato, Sinaloa (Altata and El Tambor)
  • Costa Azul Beach, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
  • Playa Dzilam Bravo, Yucatán.
Dec 25, 2019

What is the most affordable beach in Mexico? ›

With nearly 6,000 miles of coastline, these are the most budget-friendly beach towns in Mexico.
  • Playa del Carmen. This Riviera Maya coastal town attracts high numbers of international backpackers who bunk in hostels, guesthouses and budget-friendly hotels. ...
  • Mazatlán. ...
  • Loreto. ...
  • Pátzcuaro. ...
  • Todos Santos. ...
  • Troncones.

What is the prettiest beach? ›

25 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World
  • Saud Beach, Luzon, Philippines.
  • Elafonissi Beach, Crete, Greece.
  • Nungwi Beach, Tanzania.
  • Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii.
  • Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia.
  • Clearwater Beach, Florida.
  • Sotavento Beach, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.
Apr 12, 2021

Which beach is very beautiful? ›

Calangute Beach, Goa

Known as the Queen of the Beaches in Goa, Calangute Beach ranks among the top ten bathing beaches in the world. It is located around 11 kilometres from Panaji in Calangute town of North Goa.

What is considered the most beautiful beach? ›

1. Boracay White Beach, Philippines. White Beach is perfect for those who love swimming, thanks to its flat, calm waters. This 3 mile-long stretch is considered to be one of the most popular beaches in Boracay and offers everything from beach activities and restaurants to nightlife and hotels.

What is the safest beach town to visit in Mexico? ›

Cancun is ranked as the safest beach town in Mexico with lower crime rates than most Mexican cities.

What is best month to go to Mexico? ›

The best time to visit Mexico is during the dry season between December and April, when there is virtually no rain. The coolest months are between December and February, although temperatures can still reach averages of 28°C during the dry season. The wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October.

How much money do you need to retire in Merida Mexico? ›

Since most will want some degree of comfort during Merida retirement, I'd recommend to plan for at least $1,000 USD per month to cover the basics like your rent, bills, groceries and incidentals. Once you get to Merida and get acclimated, your cost of living may go down.

What is the safest area to stay in Merida? ›

Centro Historico & Plaza Grande

For tourists and travelers, Centro is where it's at. It's one of the safest areas in Merida, and that says a lot when you consider how safe Merida is! What is this? This area is where you'll find the city's oldest buildings, hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping streets and Plaza Grande.

What are the safest areas in Merida? ›

Avoid South Merida! There are so many things to do in Merida, and none of them are in the south. Stick to the safest areas only — Centro Historico, Paseo de Montejo and North Merida — by selecting one of these 12 Stunning Airbnbs in Merida Mexico [Picked by a Local].

What is Merida famous for? ›

Mérida is known as the “white city”—a reference to the elegant white-stone buildings along Paseo Montejo—and it's also the capital city of the state of Yucatán, renowned for its rich Mayan history, and its vibrant, contemporary cosmopolitan cultures.

What is the famous street in Merida? ›

With its wide sidewalks, old fashion street lights, monuments, and landscaping, Paseo de Montejo is a street that no one has trouble remembering. This tree-lined historic road instantly makes a lasting impression.

What do locals do in Merida Mexico? ›

  • Explore Centro Historico & The Zocalo. Kicking off our list of things to do in Merida is a walk around the city's Centro Historico. ...
  • Swim in Cenotes. ...
  • Visit Chichen Itza. ...
  • Travel the Ruta Puuc. ...
  • Hit the Beach. ...
  • Day Trip to Pink Lagoons. ...
  • Eat Delicious Food. ...
  • Take a Cooking Class (one of the best things to do in Merida for foodies)
Mar 17, 2022

Can you drink the water in Merida Mexico? ›

Can locals drink the water in Merida? No — Merida locals drink bottled water. Tap water in all Mexico is not safe to drink for anyone, so no one drinks straight tap water in Merida.

What are 3 popular foods in Yucatan? ›

Chiles, cheese, corn tortillas, eggs, and beans are staples in Yucatán cooking. If you find yourself in the Yucatan Peninsula, you must try these tasty, traditional dishes.

Do you need a car in Merida? ›

For travelers who do not plan to leave the city of Mérida, a rental car can still be useful but likely isn't necessary given the walkability of the city and the availability of cabs, buses and Uber. If you do choose to rent a car, reserving it ahead of your trip will likely save you money.

How much is a meal in Merida? ›

Cost of Living in Merida
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant134.18MXN
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course700.00MXN
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)124.18MXN
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught)55.00MXN
62 more rows

Is Merida a walkable city? ›

Well, like any capital city, there are a million things to do in Mérida. Plus, the city is incredibly walkable, so getting around from attraction to attraction is relatively easy on foot.

Do hurricanes hit Merida? ›

Hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean can affect Merida. Although the hurricane storms do not affect the city directly (as it is inland) tropical storms and hurricanes on the coasts can cause adverse weather conditions over Mérida and environs.

Does Merida get cold? ›

With average temperatures of a high of 92.8 F and a low of 69.2 F throughout the year, it never reaches a temperature that someone visiting from a wintry area would define as cold. Scorching temperatures in Merida hit in the hot season, which starts in April and continues until September.

Does Merida Mexico get a lot of hurricanes? ›

June is also the beginning of the Hurricane Season, which runs June 1-November 30. While Merida very rarely gets a direct hit (the last one was Wilma in 2005), it does get tropical storms, severe thunderstorms and heavy rains — so keep your travel umbrella on you at all times!

Are there crocodiles in Progreso Mexico? ›

Progreso, Yucatán — Destruction of natural cienegas has pushed crocodiles into view along the Yucatecan coast.

Where can you not swim in Mexico? ›

The three beaches where swimming has been banned are all located in Acapulco, a beach resort town on Mexico's Pacific coast. The water in this area failed to pass the WHO's cleanliness tests, which involve measuring the levels of bacteria present including E. coli, faecal matter and enterococci.

Can you walk the Progreso pier? ›

Want to Visit? It would take the average adult about 90 minutes to have a leisurely walk from the start to the end of this four-mile (6.5-kilometer) pier, one of the longest in the world.

Can you swim in Las Coloradas? ›

As we have mentioned, although you cannot swim in Las Coloradas, this beautiful tourist park has other interesting things to see and learn about, as well as the photos you can take of its pink landscapes, which make up for not being able to enter the water.

Why is Merida Mexico so popular? ›

Merida is famous for the imposing and elaborate historic ruins of buildings and structures mostly in Chichen Itza. Merida City in the State of Yucatan in Southern Mexico was founded by Francisco de Montejo a Spanish conqueror in 1542.

Is it cheaper to fly into Cancun or Merida? ›

What airport do you fly into for Merida Mexico? The closest airport to Merida, Mexico, is Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport, which is located in the southern edge of Merida. However, in most cases it's cheaper to fly to Cancun International Airport and take the bus Cancun to Merida.

Is Merida cheaper than Playa del Carmen? ›

Which city is cheaper, Merida or Playa del Carmen? These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations. The average daily cost (per person) in Playa del Carmen is $58, while the average daily cost in Merida is $62.

What part of Merida should I stay? ›

The best areas to stay in Merida for first-timers are Zocalo, Mérida Centro, Santa Lucia, Santiago, Santa Anna, and Paseo de Montejo. These are very popular neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

Where do most expats live in Merida Mexico? ›

The majority of expats in Merida either live in Centro Historico or North Merida (Merida Norte, in Spanish). Centro Historico, the Historic City Center, or Historic Downtown Merida, is divided into smaller areas, and is about 25 minutes from North Merida, another popular area with expats.

How many days should I stay in Merida? ›

Exploring Merida in 3 days or over the weekend is the perfect amount of time to see the major sights while getting a feel for the vibrant culture and wonderful food. But if you have extra time on your hands, Merida makes for a great base to explore more of Yucatan.

What is Merida best known for? ›

Discover Mérida

Mérida is known as the “white city”—a reference to the elegant white-stone buildings along Paseo Montejo—and it's also the capital city of the state of Yucatán, renowned for its rich Mayan history, and its vibrant, contemporary cosmopolitan cultures.

Do they speak English in Merida Mexico? ›

The beauty of an experience traveling in Merida is that the city is authentically Yucatecan and authentically Mexican. In the markets, little English is spoken, and in fact, we rarely had locals try to speak or practice English with us.

How much is an Uber from Cancun to Merida? ›

According to the Uber fare estimator, it will cost about $250+USD for the trip, which is more than the cost of a private car from Cancun to Merida.

Is Merida Mexico walkable? ›

Getting around in Merida

Merida is on the smaller side, especially if you're just sticking to the main areas of Centro Historico and Paseo Montejo. It is also very walkable, so as mentioned, if you're just staying in the city itself, skip the rental car and just use Uber and taxis when needed.

How many US citizens live in Merida Mexico? ›

More than 11,000 American and Canadian expats call Merida their permanent base, as well as a plethora of people from other countries and cultures. As such, it is very easy to meet like-minded people and build a community here.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Merida Mexico? ›

There is an established expat community, and the city offers an international airport, exceptional healthcare services, and proximity to some of Mexico's most famous attractions. Two people can live comfortably in Merida on a budget of $1500 per month.


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