The Yucatan has hundreds of miles of beaches swept by thermic side on shore wind. It is a culturally rich, yet peaceful and scarcely-populated area. You will love exploring the many things to do here along with kiteboarding. The Yucatan is a great family destination.
You can basically kite from anywhere east or west of the 4 mile long pier in Progreso. The water is shallow and warm with a sandy bottom. The main kite spot for the locals is located about 1.5 miles west of the pier in a place called Yucalpeten. Here you will see a group of some of the best riders in the sport. Locals are blessed with flat water and 18 – 20 knots conditions most of the year which is perfect for practicing freestyle.
Risks and Hazards:
Launching: Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 devastated the entire coast and destroyed up to the first 3 streets parallel to the ocean. To this day you will still find rebar, concrete and erosion barriers just under the surface of the water. Within 2 miles east of west of the pier is clear but any further then that can be dangerous.
2 blocks from the city square in Chelem is access to a huge flat water “lagoon”. These salt water, shallow inlets are home to the second largest population of flamingos in the world during the spring which makes for a beautiful kite session.
Wind is good here in the mornings between 7 – 10am but can be very gusty.
Risks and Hazards:
Lunching: Unless you are a very experienced rider you should not be launching here without help. There are power lines right in the middle of the launching area. Take extreme care.
Water: The entire lagoon is only a couple feet deep so if you fall you can stand up but do with caution as there can be broken glass on the bottom. Near the dock and shore there may be clusters of tiny jellyfish. Their sting will hurt but goes away in a couple of hours, nothing serious.
One of my favourite places to kite in the Yucatan. To the west of the pier in the river mouth you will find nice, flat, shallow water. The setting is beautiful because this is the end of the road for the next 100 miles.
Downwinder – if you find a local fisherman you can hire him to follow you downwind. It’s completely worth it because you will find a private flat water spot surrounded by pristine beaches and jungle.
Risks and Hazards:
Water: just off the short around 20 meters out you will find random coral heads. They are just below the surface and can only be seen at low tide.
Downwind: Take care when kiting west of the pier as there is no way to get back upwind if you have a problem other than swimming across the river mouth.
Wind breakdown – In the morning the wind will come off shore between sunrise and noon. It is gusty but good for riding the lagoon. The wind then switches between 1:30 and 3:00 to side on shore to the coast and blows until sunset. Wind is between 15 – 22 knots.
Mayan Ruins – The Puuc route is one of the best day tours you can do. I recommend renting a car (Avis at Fiesta Americana is the cheapest) and setting out early in the morning. There are 5 non-touristy Mayan sites, the Loltun caves and a cacao (chocolate) plantation to visit along this route.
Cave diving – the Yucatan peninsula has, amazingly, over 6000 thousand cenotes (sinkholes) created from when the Chicxulub metor crashed into the earth killing all the dinosaurs. Cenotes are sacred to the Mayans as they are the only source of fresh water in the area.
(this is a very dangerous sport and should only be practised with a guide)
Deep Sea Fishing – 40 miles north of Progreso is a massive, unspoiled reef system called Alacranes. It is uninhabited and a permit is necessary to enter the area. Deep sea fishing here is said to be extraordinary. Tuna and Wahoo are available all year long.
Nick Hall & Jessica Winkler first met in Mexico while working as kiteboarding professionals on the Yucatan peninsula.
Jessica (Canadian) is a professional athlete with sponsorship from Adidas and Shinn (amongst others) holding some impressive achievements including 3rd place in the women’s World Speed Championships and 1st place in the Mexican freestyle championships 2013.
Nick (GB) grew up in a world of hospitality which makes him a perfect host. His other talents include motorsport, marksmanship and anything to do with the water! He grew up as a strong swimmer and worked as a high level diving and rescue instructor for some time in Mexico and Curacao before moving careers to kiteboarding.
Together Nick & Jessica are a strong and inspiring couple who enjoying social occasions, fine dining, water-sports and spending time with their feet up in front of Netflix! Their healthy sense of adventure took them on a 120km kitesurfing journey along the Brazilian coastline… without support!
Website – JessicaWinkler.net