The waterfront town closest to Mérida, Progreso is not particularly historic. It's also not terribly picturesque; still, it provokes a certain sentimental fondness for those who know it well. On weekdays during most of the year the beaches are deserted When the sun is shining, the water looks translucent green and feels bathtub-warm, and the fine sand makes for lovely long walks. When the wind blows during one of Yucatán's winter nortes, the water churns with whitecaps and looks gray and unappealing. View more
The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.
Enjoy a half-day excursion to an historical hacienda with panoramic views of some of Mérida's highlights en route.
Mérida Panoramic Drive
Depart the pier in your air-conditioned coach for the approximate 90-minute drive to the beautiful city of Mérida. In the late 19th century and early 20th centuries, Mérida prospered from the production of henequén (sisal) and it is said that during this time Mérida had more millionaires than any other city in the world. Your guide shares his knowledge of the historic city of Mérida during your scenic bus ride along Montejo Boulevard, which was inspired by the Champs Elysee and features mansions from this period. Your drive will also take you pass The Monument to the Country, an immense stone carving depicting the history of Mexico.
The production of henequen also gave rise to hundreds of haciendas (large estates) outside the city. Visit one of these historic haciendas that now produce Xtabentun (Ex-shta-ben-toon), Mayan liquor made exclusively in the Yucatan Peninsula from rum, honey and anise. The family-owned business also uses local fruits such as coconut & mango to make fruit-flavored rum liquors. Your guide will lead you on a walking tour through the beautiful hacienda grounds to see where the liquors are produced, barreled and aged, where the bottles are crafted and hand-painted, the fruit trees used in the production, and finally the tasting room where you may taste the final products.
Following this visit, re-join your coach for the 1-hour return drive to Progreso and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour involves moderate walking over some uneven surfaces on the hacienda grounds and is not suitable for guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests should wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat-soled walking shoes, insect repellent and sun protection.
Experience a journey into the Maya's ancient past to its present, which may leave you surprised, fascinated and with a newfound respect for this long-lived culture and the legacy they leave in the Yucatan Peninsula during this half-day excursion.
Depart the pier in an air-conditioned coach to the 2,000 year old ruins of Xcambo, once an important city in the ancient Maya trade route. Built to control the production of salt, today Xcambo is a fascinating example of archaeology's gift as it contains untouched sites, fully restored pyramids and buildings still under reconstruction.
Dzemul Mayan Village
Your next stop is the town of Dzemul; a modern day Mayan village where traditional Mayan palapas sit next to Spanish influenced buildings. Many visitors think of the Mayans as an ancient civilization that disappeared long ago, but in fact the Mayan culture, customs, language and beliefs remain strong on the Yucatan Peninsula today. The visit to this village will both educate and delight you as you witness the reality that faces these remarkable people. Follow your guide through town to the Catholic cathedral in the main square to rest in the gardens, watch the town's people pass by, take in the colourful surroundings and witness how history has shaped every aspect of the current lives of the Mayan people.
Las Iguanas Beach and Lunch
Re-join your coach for an approximate 50-minute drive passing by a location with two natural lagoons where countless flamingos dive and play against the backdrop of the clear blue sky. Your drive ends at a private beach, where you have approximately one hour to relax in the sun, swim, play games and enjoy a Mexican lunch buffet and refreshment. When time is up, you may return directly to the ship with the tour or take advantage of an optional drop-off at the Progreso Marketplace to explore the colourful stores. A complimentary shuttle bus will be available to return you to the ship when you have finished browsing through the marketplace.
Please note: This tour involves moderate walking over uneven surfaces and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. We recommend guests wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat-soled walking shoes, sun protection, insect repellent and bring a swimsuit and towel from the ship.
Explore Merida's historic central plaza, learn to make authentic Mexican salsas and guacamole, drink margaritas and learn how to dance salsa on this half-day excursion.
Merida Square Walking Tour
Depart the pier in your air-conditioned coach for the 45-minute drive to Merida's main square. Your guide will lead you on a walking tour to view the 16th-century cathedral as well as the government palace, museums and the central park.
Mexican Salsa Cooking Class
Stop to a downtown restaurant with a beautiful courtyard for a hand's-on cooking class. Your guide will take you through the steps of making authentic Mexican salsas and guacamole from the freshest ingredients. Plenty of tortilla chips are on hand to taste your creations made from the recipes you may want to take home. Quench your thirst with complimentary margaritas, Mexican beer, or flavored waters.
Following your cooking class, a dance instructor will show you how to step, sway and get into the groove of Latin America's most famous dance- the Salsa. Follow step-by step instructions and soon you are ready for the dance floor. Following your dance class, free time is available to browse the near-by stores for local artisan products or just sit and relax at the restaurant.
Please note: This tour involves moderate walking and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilize a wheelchair. Guests should wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat-soled walking shoes and sun protection. Guests must be at least 21 years of age to be served alcoholic beverages.
Embark on an off-road adventure into the Mayan frontier and find the perfect combination of exploration and relaxation during this half-day tour.
Depart the pier for a 10-minute transfer from the ship to the end of the pier where your vehicle awaits. You may choose either a Jeep Wrangler or Dune Buggy for your adventure (please confirm vehicle style with the Shore Concierge Staff in advance of your arrival in Progreso). Embark your vehicle with your fellow guests (4 per vehicle) and follow in caravan-style behind your professional guide.
Make the 45-minute drive to the 2,000 year old ruins of Xcambo, once an important city in the ancient Maya trade route. Built to control the production of salt, today Xcambo is a fascinating example of archaeology's gift as it contains untouched sites, fully restored pyramids and buildings still under reconstruction.
Dzemul Mayan Village
Re-board your vehicle for the approximate 1-hour drive to your next stop, the town of Dzemul; a modern day Mayan village where traditional Mayan palapas sit next to Spanish influenced buildings. Many visitors think of the Mayans as an ancient civilization that disappeared long ago, but in fact the Mayan culture, customs, language and beliefs remain strong on the Yucatan Peninsula today. The visit to this village will both educate and delight you as you witness the reality that faces these remarkable people. Follow your guide through town to the Catholic cathedral in the main square. Take in the colourful surroundings and witness how history has shaped every aspect of the current lives of the Mayan people.
Las Iguanas Beach Club
Re-board your vehicle for the approximate 1-hour drive to Las Iguanas Beach Club for some fun in the Mexican sun. Escape the pressures of life as you lounge by the wading pool, walk along the ocean or relax in a hammock. The beach stop includes lounge chairs, umbrellas, ocean kayaks, wading pool, volleyball, basketball and lots of games and activities. Sip a complimentary beverage (A non-alcoholic drink will be served for the designated driver, who may not consume alcoholic beverages during the tour) and unwind at this 1.5 hour beach break. Additional beverages and snacks are available for purchase.
Following this beach break, re-board your vehicle for the drive back through the town of Progreso. Park the vehicle and walk 3 blocks to the Progreso Market where local handicrafts and other souvenirs await. You may choose to remain here to do some shopping or take the next shuttle bus back to the end of the pier where your ship awaits.
Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking over uneven surfaces and loose sand. It is not suitable for guests who may be pregnant, have limited mobility or those guests who utilise a wheelchair. Due to the rough roadways, the tour is also not recommended for guests who suffer from back or neck problems. Guests wishing to enter the water must be in good physical condition and able to swim. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver's license in their possession. Vehicles are stick shift (manual transmissions) and there will be 4 guests per jeep. Sunscreen, insect repellent, swimsuit and towel are recommended. As the trail may get dusty, lightweight clothing that you do not mind getting soiled is suggested. Guests who wish to stay longer at the beach may use utilise the complimentary shuttle bus to return to the ship. Please reconfirm shuttle times with your guide. Guests must be a minimum of 21 years of age to be served alcoholic beverages.
Journey into the heart of the Mayan world for a visit to Mexico's most famous archeological site; one of the New Seven Wonders of the World - Chichen Itza, during this full-day tour.
Depart the pier in an air-conditioned coach for the 2.5 hour journey north to this amazing Mayan ruins site. Named for the large cenotes (natural wells fed by underground rivers) on the site that provided the otherwise dry landscape with life-giving water, Chichen Itza is an iconic example of the elaborate Mayan architecture. An important city in the Mayan region between 600CE and about 900CE, Chichen Itza reflects different periods of architecture as well as different regional influences.
Notable Sites Visited
Upon arrival, your guide will take you on a journey through time as he explains the most famous structures, including the pyramid shaped "el Castillo", which was built in accordance with the Mayan calendar with their extensive knowledge of astronomy. Visit the Temple of the Warriors with hundreds of carved columns depicting different warriors, the Great Ball Court where the reward for winning was being sacrificed to the gods, the Mural of Skulls depicting the winners of the ball-game, the Sacred Cenote where human and material sacrifices may have been made to the gods, and the Caracol Observatory where the art and science of astronomy were nearly perfected.
Discover why Chichen Itza has held its place in the imagination of visitors for hundreds of years, helping to answer questions about the life of the ancient Mayans, but also how it has confounded historians for centuries with its seemingly endless mysteries. The walk through the spectacular ruins is approximately 1.5 hours, led by a professional guide sharing all the facts of the buildings and their significance to the larger Mayan way of life and the legacy of their ingenious culture.
Following your guided walking tour, some free time is available to re-visit your favorite sites within the ruins for further investigation and photos.
Leaving Chichen Itza, proceed to Mayaland Hotel and Restaurant for a buffet lunch before re-boarding your coach for the 2.5 hour return drive back to the pier and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour involves moderate walking over uneven terrain in high humidity and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear light-weight comfortable clothing, comfortable walking shoes, sun protection and insect repellent. Guests must sign a waiver to participate in this tour programme. A video camera fee of $5USD is charged at all Mexico archaeological parks, payable to your guide.
Journey back in time thousands of years to when the Mayan civilization thrived in the arid jungles and plains of the Yucatan Peninsula during this full-day excursion to Uxmal.
Depart the pier in your air-conditioned coach for the approximately 2.5-hour drive to Uxmal, once an important city centre that had its peak between the 7th and 10th centuries CE. Upon arrival, discover one of the most spectacular, well- restored Mayan sites with highly decorated architecture including elaborate palaces.
Pyramid of the Magician
The name Uxmal means 'thrice-built' in Mayan, referring to the construction of its highest structure, the Pyramid of the Magician. The Maya would often build a new temple over an existing one, and in this case five stages of construction have actually been found. This impressive pyramid stands 100-foot (30.4-metres) high.
Guided Walking Tour
Your professional guide leads you on a 1.5-hour walking tour of the ruins sharing the history of the buildings as well as the incredible accomplishments and seemingly strange customs of the ancient Mayan civilization. See the Nunnery, a complex of buildings probably used to teach scholars, healers and astronomers; the Governor's Palace that contains hundreds of sculptures and intricate stone mosaic work; as well as many other buildings, sculptors and courtyards to explore. Visit the ball court where the traditional Meso-American ball game was played using a rubber ball and only the player's hips to move it around the court. Step back into another world as you explore this historical site and soak in its powerful surroundings.
Following your guided walking tour, free time is available to further explore on your own or re-visit your favorite locations for photos.
Departing the site, travel a short distance by coach to a traditional Yucatecan restaurant for a Mayan-style lunch before starting the 2.5-hour return drive to Progreso and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour involves moderate to extensive walking over uneven terrain in high humidity and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear light-weight clothing, comfortable walking shoes, sun protection and insect repellent. Guests must sign a waiver to participate in this tour programme. A video camera fee of $5USD is charged at all Mexico archaeological parks, payable to your guide.