Kiteboarding Travel Guide: Progreso Mexico, Yuckite - Destinations EP 01
Welcome to destinations, your one stop kiteboarding video travel guide.
Wind By Season
It's warm and windy most of the year, but spring is the best season to visit. Progreso doesn't always work like clockwork, but it can be consistent! To give you some perspective, we visited in the winter and it was quite windy. In fact, we could have ridden every day had we not been so tired from adventuring. Touch base with Angel from Yuckite if you're planning a visit and he can give some insights into the season ahead of time.
Progreso is a small city; it's quiet and has its own relaxed pace. You can find some luxury options, so we'll dive into that later in the guide. We've implemented an adventure scale to balance between full-on luxury locations and 'make your own adventure' meaning you can get right off of the grid. We've rated Progreso an 8, so more of the 'make your own adventure' type of locale. From Scuba rentals to sailing to stand up paddleboarding, you'll have no shortage of entertainment. You are traveling on your own, not in a resort, so use the same common sense any traveler would apply.
Your inside contact in Progreso
Angel Rojas owner and head instructor of Yuckite
Phone +52 9992790255
- Kiteboarding lessons with IKO certified Instructors
- Professional training for advanced kiteboarders who want to begin a professional career as IKO certified instructors
- Stand Up Paddle guided tours through the mangroves
- Stand Up Paddle Rentals
- Sailing tours with SUP included
You can find waves; albeit, they're small to medium wind swell. They are often choppy and, while you might not train for big wave surfing here, you can have a lot of fun with a sufboard or use them as kickers!
There is a great slick here. It's a short drive from the main kiteboarding beach with an easy launch. A rock jetty and pier create a perfect flat water spot for freestylers looking to train or the weekend warrior who likes to unhook.
Progreso is very beginner friendly. The water is shallow, the beaches are far from crowded, and there is Yuckite, a fully equipped IKO school right on the beach that will cater to your needs.
If you do get skunked or you are traveling with non-kiters, there are heaps of fun outdoor alternative actives from sailing tours, mayan ruins, SUP tours, and cave diving. This is an incredible place for those seeking adventure, culture and outdoor activities.
It's easy to get here, it's easy to find accommodation, it's just all around an easy trip. After your flight, it's a short cab ride to the beach.
DESTINATION: Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico
Kiteboarding Spot Guide
Most kiteboarders that make the trek south to the sun-filled, sandy beaches of Mexico head to the usual hotspots like La Ventana or Playa del Carmen. However, the best sessions often happen off the beaten path. If you’re ready to explore a more authentic side of Mexico, you’ll love the quiet beaches, steady breeze, and local vibes in Progreso.
This hidden gem in the Yucatan is light on all-inclusive resorts and wild parties, but chock-full of friendly locals, rich history, and incredible nature – both above the ground and below. It's easy to forget just how big Mexico is… But to give you a sense of the vastness of this country, we're way out east on the Yucatan peninsula, about 1,800 miles east of La Ventana and a few hours west of Cancun.
Kiteboarding lessons take place in shallow blue water here.
As a kiteboarder, Progreso may not have made it across your radar. We had no clue what to expect from this spot until we began planning our trip to visit Angel and the team at local kite center or aim for one of their typical windy seasons:
Winter: November to February brings north fronts, with windy days delivering winds of about 18-25 mph, with some of the storms bringing in even stronger winds – great for boosting! You may still get wind even without a weather system coming in, but these winds are typically quite light – perfect for foiling. You’ll want to watch the forecast when you’re planning a winter trip.
Spring/Summer: March to August has that steady thermal sea breeze. You can expect average wind of 14-21 mph in the spring and summer months. As always, the wind can be below and above average, so be sure to bring a range of kites and/or boards to make sure you don’t miss a session.
Weather / Temperature
In the winter, the air and water temperature are typically warm and comfortable. But watch the weather.. when a north front comes in and you’re frothing for a session, everything cools off – so pack a sweater or windbreaker. The water temperature also drops, so a 3/2 or shorty wetsuit will keep you comfortable during your session. In the spring/summer months, it is hot - sometimes very hot - so be prepared! Sunscreen, water, and a full arsenal of bikinis and board shorts will do the trick both on and off the water!
Crystal and Angel enjoying a 30 knot session in front of the kite school
Playa Progreso: The best launch spot in Progreso is right in front of Yuckite if you’d like to visit and ride at this spot and to book beginner lessons or intermediate coaching.
Progreso and the surrounding areas in the Yucatan are ideal for those that want to go slow and experience Mexican culture and history, as well as those who are stoked on jungle adventures and exploring off the beaten path. It’s an easy spot to get to and an affordable place to spend some time. Here’s a quick start guide on traveling to Progreso. For a detailed travel guide – and one you can share with non-kiting travel companions - check out this article by Crystal Veness.
Rygo, Angel, Kristen and Crystal returning from a cave diving excursion
How to get there
Travel to Progreso is best from either Cancun [CUN] or Merida [MID]. You’ll typically find cheaper flights to Cancun and have the option to spend some time exploring this tourist hotspot and the nearby kite spots, but it’s about 4 hours drive from Progreso. if you’re ready to get straight into some Progreso kite sessions, your best bet is to fly into Merida which is only a 40 minute drive.
Renting a car at the airport is the most convenient way to get around, especially when it comes to getting gear to and from the kite spot. Be careful though- driving in Mexico comes with its own risks, including frequent stops by the police and confusing insurance policies on rentals.
If you’d rather use other transportation options, Progreso has buses, taxis, and Uber. Solo travelers or those on a budget may wish to take the bus from Merida or Cancun. If you’re traveling in a group, there’s typically better value and convenience from Uber or taxis.
Where to stay
Whether you're on a budget or want to live a little luxe, you're not going to spend too much money in this area. You can find hostels in Merida for as low as $6 USD per night, but if you want to get closer to the kite spot... Progreso is where it's at!
Yuckite recommends Casa Rosa, which is in Chelem and very close to the kite school. They’ll also happily help you book a private apartment near the kite spot – just shoot them a message with your trip details to see what’s available! Hotel rooms in the area start at around $30 USD with the most flashy options being around $150. Not bad, especially if you’re with friends or family! Check out Casa Villamar and Hotel Playa Linda in the heart of the Malecon.
What’s really exciting about this spot is the option to rent a beachfront villa and plan an epic group trip. Villas and condos are surprisingly affordable and split between a group of people are the best option. AirBNB is the best place to find private accommodation for a group of any size. Nothing beats a kite trip with the crew!
Hacienda Tepich a bed an breakfast that grows most of the food they cook
What to eat & drink
Progreso features many restaurant choices near the Malecon - the pier and waterfront area. This is where the cruise ships park up when they come through – and you’ll know when they’re there because they’re massive and impossible to miss. The Malecon will be crowded when the ships come in, but otherwise it’s a sleepy waterfront street with plenty of food options. It's hard to go wrong here... just walk down the street and follow your nose!
There is no limit to the fresh, local food available here in the Yucatan. Personally, I'm a big fan of street tacos. If you're cruising down the street and see a busy taco stand, that one's probably a good bet! If you have access to a kitchen, check out the local markets- you'll find mountains of fruit and vegetables and fresh caught fish that you can prepare at home.
At the Malecon, Crabster is a beautiful seafood restaurant with a view, and a great place to go for a classy meal that is very reasonably priced when you compare it to similar food quality in the US. Eladio's is a great place to go for a drink – they pass around appetizers for patrons that are drinking in their establishment!
In Chelem, check out La Playa for fresh, local eats. For something special if you're on a jungle adventure, Hotel Hacienda Tepich is an old colonial home with sprawling grounds near Merida. You'll feel like you've walked into something special at this spot that features incredibly authentic, locally grown and prepared food.
Our Food & Bev Picks:
For a classy sit-down lunch or dinner – Crabster
For a casual meal at the Malecon – Los Flamingos
For a post-kite session snack and drink – Eladio’s Bar
For a pre-session lunch – La Playa de Chelem
For a mid-session meal – Yuckite Cafe
For a unique dining experience –Hacienda Tepich
Crystal, Kristen and Rygo get their tourist on and grab a bit at Crabster
If you're traveling with family or friends who are looking for local activities in Progreso to keep busy while you're sessioning, there's plenty of options including paddleboarding, sailing, horseback riding, kayaking, and spas. If you're riding at Yuckite and your team just wants to unwind, nothing really beats a hammock, beer, and a book in the shade of the palm trees.
Yuckite offers SUP rentals, guided SUP tours through the mangroves, sailing adventures, kiteboarding lessons, and professional training for kiteboarders who would like to start their professional career with IKO instructor and assistant instructor training.
If you need a break from the beach, you may find yourself secretly hoping for no wind days so that you'll have time to dive into the jungle. And yes, I mean dive literally. The Yucatan is famous for its cenotes, which are naturally formed sinkholes scattered throughout the region. Many of these cenotes are filled with water and scuba diving or snorkeling here makes for an otherworldly experience. If you want to explore the cenotes, give Eduardo from Adventure Tours a call! They offer dive and snorkel tours, and dive training. We visited the Calcuch cenote which was an incredible place for a cool dip on a hot day.
Diving an 18 meter deep cenote in the jungle
Mayan history is rich here in the Yucatan, with ruins and ancient structures peppering the peninsula. The nearest one to Progreso and Merida is Dzibilchaltun, which has some beautiful ruins and remnants of an old village as well as a cenote amongst the ruins which you can drop into for a refreshing swim. Arguably the most famous ruins in Mexico are Chichen Itza, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you can reach on a day trip from Progreso. If you're heading out into the jungle and have your own rental car, make sure to stop in the local villages to taste some authentic Mexican fare.
Our Activity Recommendations:
SCUBA diving and snorkeling – Adventure Tours Yucatan
SUP and SUP tours - Yuckite
Mayan Ruins Experiences – Maya Amazing
Sailing adventures – Yuckite
Kayak Tours – Maya Amazing
A trip to Progreso will have you dreaming of the playa for months to follow. What beats waking up with the sun, a day out on the beach and on the water with your new kiteboarding family, and going to bed exhausted after a long day of kiting and adventuring? This is a trip that you’ll never forget. I'm already planning my next visit back to the Yucatan. Maybe I'll see you there?
Don’t forget to check out the Progreso video spot guide and the Progreso travel guide. If you have any questions about the kite spot, please send us a message or reach out to Crystal on Facebook or Instagram.
We look forward to sharing the next Destination with you!
North Kites USA team rider and a MACkite team rider. Originally from Canada, she now calls the entire world her home, playground, and her workplace. She goes where the wind blows - so if you see her at a kite beach somewhere in the world, say hello! Her primary goal is to share her love of kiteboarding and travel and all the lessons learned along the way with the world.