If Mérida’s heat has you dying for a quick beach fix, or if you want to see the longest pier (6.5km) in Mexico, head to Progreso (aka Puerto Progreso). The front strip (malecón) can get packed with diners, drinkers and oversunned tourists, as can the beach (even though it's loooong). Nevertheless, Progreso maintains a relaxed beach-town vibe. As with other Gulf beaches, the water is murky, even on calm days. Winds can hit full force in the afternoon and evenings, especially from December to March when los nortes (northern winds) kick up.
Méridanos come in droves on weekends, especially during July and August when it can be difficult to find a room with a view and, sadly, you'll see more litter on the beach. Once or twice a week the streets flood with cruise-ship tourists, but the place can feel empty on off nights, which makes a refreshing change.