Mayan architecture along stunning beaches
Without a doubt, Progreso is a city that can satisfy your desire for the beach. Docking with your MSC cruise at the Caribbean and the Antilles, you will see a long and spacious coast, surrounded by the longest pier in Mexico, 6.5 km, where you can find peace in a relaxed atmosphere.
Built in the nineteenth century as a seaport of Mérida, Progreso is located in the north-central part of Yucatàn overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. It is purely a maritime city and a very important industrial centre, around which, only a short distance away, there are numerous archaeological sites dating back to the Mayan culture.
To explore this city’s history, an MSC excursion will take you to Chichén-Itzà, an important Mayan archaeological site which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site includes numerous buildings; what catches the most attention is the temple of Kukulkan, a stepped pyramid from the pre-Columbian era with stairways running along the four sides. The Temple of the Warriors is also very stunning; it consists of a large stepped pyramid with rows of carved columns, depicting warriors on the front and sides. Chichén-Itzà is characterized by the seven ball game fields. In particular the biggest one is adorned by bas-reliefs.
Another magical place rich in history near Progreso is Uxmal, another destination to discover through an MSC excursion. Also UNESCO heritage site, this archaeological site is a perfect example of Mayan architecture. Among the wonders to be discovered there are the Governor's Palace, resting on a pyramidal platform, and composed of three buildings with a richly decorated facade. The House of the Turtles is so named due to the turtles that decorate the cornice, while Nunnery Quadrangle is the most majestic architectural element of the site. Identified erroneously by the conquistadors as a convent, it was a representative building and its facades are full of symbols to decipher.
As mentioned, however, Progreso and the Yucatan are synonymous with beaches. An MSC excursion will take you to visit the archaeological site of Dzibilchaltún, a spectacular historical context in which the Temple of the Seven Dolls prevails; an example of the astronomical abilities of the Maya. At the end of the tour you will have the possibility to enjoy a peaceful break, relaxing on a beautiful beach.