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All about Sisal in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips


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Author: Tobias

Sisal offers the most beautiful beaches. Compared to Progreso, Sisal is a bit further northwest of Mérida. Sisal is about 60km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 1h 10min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time tranquilly.



Day Trips


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Sisal, Yucatán, Mexiko







60km from Mérida

Travel Time:

1h 10min from Mérida


No entry fee

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Sisal is a port city near to Mérida on the Emerald Coast. Compared to Progreso, Sisal is a little further northwest of Mérida and one of the nicest places on the north coast.

Until the construction of the modern port in Progreso, Sisal was considered the most important port during the henequen boom, through which large quantities of henequen were shipped. The name "sisal" comes from the sisal fiber, extracted from the agaves.

Due to Progreso, Sisal quickly lost its importance and is now a small fishing village with only about 2,000 inhabitants. In the town itself there are a few small hotels, a few restaurants and some souvenir stores.

Sisal also has a beautiful main street that goes perpendicular to the beach. But it's only about three or four blocks long, so it's just a short walk.

Of course you will also find the obligatory "Sisal" lettering on the beach. Today, Sisal is mostly known for its beautiful and widespread beach with its soft, powdery white sand and its translucent turquoise waters.

In fact, the beach at Sisal is one of the most beautiful beaches in the north of Yucatán (along with the beach at Celestún and San Crisanto).

Streets of Sisal

Fortress of Santiago

During the colonial period, the fortress of Santiago ("Fuerte de Santiago") was built, whose purpose was to protect the port from pirate attacks. The distinctive red and white painted lighthouse "Faro de Sisal" was added in 1845 and is now a landmark of Sisal

Fortress of Santiago

Bird watching

The area of Sisal is also an important habitat for various species of birds and in the vicinity of Sisal there are mangrove forests and lagoons, which are excellent for bird watching.

The beach of Sisal is also on the route of the American Flamingos, which fly to the east, from Celestun to Rio Lagartos. Therefore, depending on the season, a large swarm of flamingos flies over Sisal from time to time.

A pair of Bulbuls birds
A pair of Bulbuls

Pueblos Mágicos

Sisal is one of the places designated by Mexico 2002 as "Pueblos Mágicos". The award has been granted by SECTUR (Secretariat of Tourism in Mexico) since 2001 for unique folklore, a rich history or stunning natural beauty. On the Yucatán Peninsula, there are fourteen places that can call themselves "Pueblo Mágico".

The 14 Pueblos Magicós on the Yucatán Peninsula are (as of 2024):

The Emerald Coast

Sisal is located on the Emerald Coast. The Emerald Coast (Costa Esmeralda in Spanish) is an unofficial name for the the 98 km long coastal area in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. The name comes from the emerald colored water.

Some interesting figures:

Figures about Emerald Coast
Figures about Emerald Coast

The Emerald Coast
The Emerald Coast

A few tips

As already written, you should pay attention to the travel time, depending on how important the bird life is to you. Another tip: You should use insect protection, because especially in the mangroves there are a lot of mosquitoes.

If you want to photograph the flamingos (or birds in general), you should use a zoom lens. Without a decent zoom lens, the impressive flamingo will otherwise become just a pink blob. And on the other hand, an ultra-wide angle lens is a good choice for landscape shots.

If you want to snorkel, you can, of course, but the water is not ideal. Due to the conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, the water is a bit murky and you don't have very good visibility underwater.

How to get to Sisal from Mérida?

By car, you drive along Highway 281 through the small town of Hunucmá to Sisal. If you would drive straight on at the end of the 281, you would land directly on the pier "Muelle De Pescadores Sisal", which leads into the sea.

There are only 2-3 blocks between the entrance of the town and the sea. There is also a direct bus from Mérida Noreste to Sisal. Connections run twice a day, and depart every day. The journey takes just over an hour.


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Best Mérida Day Trips

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Not either/or, but also!

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