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Progreso Review - 6/19 Elation


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Yes, it is hot. Still, do get off the ship, but take a hat, use sunscreen, and take a water bottle. All but one of our party of 13 went to Dzibulchaltoun (spelling?). Chichen Itza was a definite draw, but none of us wanted to spend 2-2.5 hours each way on a bus. From this board, I felt very prepared for this day’s excursion, prepared enough to do it completely on our own (and save quite a bit of money over Carnival’s tour). We decided to hire a taxi to get to the Dzib. ruins, return to the ship for anyone who was hot and tired, and then proceed to Merida.


Once off the ship, you will pass through a handful of stores as you make your way to the 7-mile long pier and the free shuttle into Progreso. I thought we would have to take the shuttle and then get a taxi to the ruins. Not so. A taxi service is right there, with posted priced to various sites of interest. Right there was the price I knew to expect from reading these boards. But we were a party of 12, so we asked how much for us all to go together: $80. That included the 25 minute or so drive there, the driver waiting for two hours, and the return trip. Along the way, the driver stopped for a photo op - a very old church. He did not, however, speak much English, and when I asked “how old,” he obviously did not understand. When I asked “vieja,” he seemed to understand but said he didn’t know. Still, it was a nice gesture for him to stop. Once at Dzib., he offered to take us to Merida afterward for an additional $40. We said we would hold off on deciding.


Lots of confusion at the entrance. You will pay $6, but nowhere in English is that posted, and the employees spoke very little English. If you want to take your camcorder, you’ll pay just $3, but at first they said $30 - turns out that was pesos. After we paid, it seemed we then needed wrist bands, and that took a while to sort out. We wasted a lot of time there - well, it didn’t seem like a lot of time then, but remember, your driver is waiting just two hours.


I also knew from these boards to hire a guide, and this I also recommend. Explanatory signs are not very plentiful, and a guide will also tell you much more. While I read the price could be anywhere from $15-25, we were a party of 12, and when the first guide we approached said $25, we didn’t try to bargain. He was very informative, but I recommend telling your guide you only have two hours (if that is the case). He spent a long time in the sculpture gardens and the museum - very interesting, but we finally told him our time constraints, and he fast-tracked the rest of the museum. On our approach to the ruins, he drew in the sand to explain the astronomy applications and calendar use of the ruins. Very interesting. Then we walked and were allowed to climb the main ruin. After that, he explained more of the buildings on the acreage as we walked toward the cenote. By now it was sunny (we had enjoyed lovely overcast skies up to then) and muggy, and some of our party went back to the museum. At the cenote, our guide talked more. Plenty of people were swimming, but we didn’t. I walked to the water’s edge and was surprised how warm it was. I figured it would be cooler than that. Plenty of water lilies dot the surface, and it is shady and very pretty there.


On our return walk, we all decided we were too hot to go on to Merida and do it any justice. I am sorry for that, for I was looking forward to the architecture. But walking around appreciating old buildings and the beautiful European style boulevard just wasn’t going to happen - the heat was just too intense. Sorry, hdawson!! But if we went again during cooler months, I would definitely work in both.


Any questions?



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Take a small battery-operated fan or a water bottle that has a fan attached to it; it definitely helps. Better yet, buy several fans at the Dollar Store and sell them!!


Enjoy your time there.

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