Progreso Cruise

Chichén Itzà and its symbols
Uxmal, among nuns and turtles
The ancient Dzibilchaltn and its beach

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Progreso

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.

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    Mexico

    Under the shade of a sombrero
    Under the shade of a sombrero

    One of the world’s great civilizations, Mexico is a great cruise destination with its melange of Mesoamerican cultures, modern indigenous tribes and Spanish traditions; it’s a vibrant modern economy too, the biggest in Latin America after Brazil.

    Mexico’s landscapes are just as diverse, from the shimmering blue coastline of Baja California and the iconic cactus-strewn deserts of the north, to the Mayan villages and gorgeous palm-smothered beaches of the Caribbean Sea. You can climb volcanoes, watch whales, swim underground and tour tequila farms during your holiday to Mexico.

    And sprinkled throughout you’ll find richly adorned colonial churches, giant ancient pyramids and a sophisticated cuisine that has little in common with the world of nachos and burritos. Despite the inevitable influence of the US and close links with the rest of the Spanish-speaking world, the country remains resolutely individual. The music that fills the plazas in the evenings, the buildings that circle around them, even the smells emanating from a row of taco carts: they all leave you without any doubt about where you are.

     Many first-time visitors are surprised to find that Mexico is far from being a “developing” nation: the country has a robust economy, the world’s fourteenth largest, a remarkably thorough and efficient internal transport system and a vibrant contemporary arts and music scene.