Chelem is a real Mexican village and a small fishing port located west of the port of Progreso still within the same municipality. It’s become a tourist hot spot thanks to its incredible emerald-water beaches and estuary. The port is used by the local fishermen, perfect for a colorful walk to see the catch of the day and the fishing boats. If you are looking for an authentic Mexican experience in a clean and quiet fishing village, Chelem is the place to go.
In addition to the soothing beach, not far away you will find small seafood restaurants and local eateries serving tacos and snacks. A few expat-owned restaurants have also popped up and are popular gathering places on the weekends. Chelem is a small town with a little more than 4,000 people including expats. It is also home to many migratory birds and flamingos.
Take a walk on the beach in the evening for sunset. In addition to the beach, one of the most popular activities is to hang out in the main park in the evening. Give it a try. This is a typical, Mexican evening past time. People live outdoors and gather together at nightfall to socialize. The streets are peaceful, and kids play and ride bikes. Several small stores are located around the square.
Chelem is about 8 kilometers or 5 miles from Progresso or 30 minutes north of Merida. If you don’t have a car, you can use public transportation to reach this destination. From Merida you can take a combi at Calle 60 and 65 and 67 in the center, or you can take a bus at Calle 62 and 65 and 67. Once in Progresso, you take another bus to go to Chelem.
We hope you enjoy discovering the peaceful atmosphere of Chelem and meeting the Chelemeños (how the people of the town are called). Spend an afternoon or combine the outing with a visit to nearby cenotes, Progresso, flamingos or archaeological sites.