Mexico Travel tips part 4: Public Transit

The area has an extensive public transit system. We are also walking distance to the center of town in Chelem which has restaurants, bars, pharmacy, and stores. While the stores are all small they do seem to carry everything you would normally need. More extensive shopping is available in Progreso, and US chain stores and restaurants are available in Merida. Thus you can get anything you need without a car.


Bears en la playa is 6 blocks from the edge of town, the main road, 4 restaurants,  a small convenience store carrying beer, wine, soda and snacks. We are 10 blocks from the town square which has many restaurants, bars, stores, and a collectivo terminal (more on that later).  Before progressing I should mention that we are in a tropical climate so its hot most of the year. The streets have no shade and the smaller transport vehicles don’t have air conditioning. Be prepared to be hot and sweaty!


A Collectivo is a van used as a mini bus. It has a standard route, and will stop anywhere along that route to pick up or drop off passengers. The route starts and ends at terminals where they wait until one fills up and then starts it’s run. Hence there is no schedule. As soon as one fills up it leaves and the next one starts filling up. This also means that on the route shortly after leaving the starting point there won’t be any room for the van to pickup anyone. Luckily we are close to the terminal so you can just walk over there.  While there are Collectivos that go to Churbuna (a small fishing village west of Chelem), most head towards Progreso.  Typically you would board in Chelem town square and exit at the Progreso terminal. You can do that without knowing a word of Spanish. If you want to get off along the route, you need to tell the driver in Spanish.


Buses are available in Progreso, Merida, and between the two. Except for a single bus that leaves Chelem in the morning and heads to Merida (returns in the evening), Chelem has no bus service. Buses within the city are just larger versions of Collectivos while those that travel between Progreso and Merida are modern, air conditioned buses. Progreso and Merida have the same sort of bus service you would expect to find in any city. There are various lines, with fixed stops and run on a schedule. In Progreso you probably will only use the buses to/from Merida. It’s just too small to bother with the other lines. Instead most people use Collectivos in Progreso to get to various sections of the town. As a tourist, you probably won’t even use those since the town is small enough that you can walk to the areas/stores you are interested in.

Progreso has a bus terminal (which is different from the Collectivo terminal) where you would board a bus to Merida. You can take the bus to Merida centro or various stops along with way like Costco. Where you exit is also usually where you pick up the return bus. Once in Merida, if you speak Spanish, you can take one of the other lines to get around. Getting to Merida you don’t need Spanish but once in town, there are so many buses and  collectivos you need to speak Spanish. Finding and getting on the return bus to Progreso can be done without Spanish (just point and say Progreso? and look for a “yes” head nod lol).


Progreso and Merida both have taxis that you can flag down. In Chelem you typically need to call for one. Obviously you will need to communicate where you want to go. Driver’s generally do not speak English nor do they take credit cards. However if you are going to a well known destination you can just say the name (“Plaza Santa Lucia”, “Plaza Santa Anna”, “Gran Plaza”, Costco, Bestbuy, etc.) just don’t say Walmart since there are so many of them. As in any city they might take you for a ride, but its cheap so don’t worry.


Merida has Uber! As does Progreso and Chelem though there are not many drivers there. In Merida many foreigners use Uber since its so familiar and there is no language barrier. Your cellphone app will work in the area just like anywhere else. However, if its not peak time, don’t expect to get one in Chelem (though you will have no problem getting one to drive you to Chelem). In Progreso the availability drops to nothing later in the evening or early in the morning.



House renovation is compete

We closed on the house on October 6, 2016 and it took us until March 10th 2017 to do all the renovation work we wanted to get done before opening our B&B. As with any beach front property there is always more to be done. Our driveway needs landscaping, the seawall needs to be verified, and we need more furniture for the upstairs bar and bathroom. However these things can all wait. Now we focus on being the best hosts possible. We are open and ready to accept company.  Our first official  guests arrive tomorrow!

Day 140: COMPLETION!!!

It was a gorgeous day! Here is the final look for the soaking tub in the master suite. We really love the way the bathroom designed turned out. I put up the soap holder, the tooth bush glass holder and the hand towel rack, looks amazing. Rob Teichman and I went shopping today in Merida and I found these black and white baskets for the master bathroom, they really make the open shelves come alive. Back in January we ordered some hand made custom furniture and it finally arrived today. Pictured here is our dresser/TV stand. Yay, we are now living in the Master suite, feels like home again. The workers finished painting upstairs, including the roof. As promised yesterday, I said I would paint and show you the gate I made for the front of the well pump area. I think it turned out nice. Also today, I put my workroom /laundry room back in order and added a wood shelve over the folding table. Then we had a quiet dinner at home, I used the gas grill for the first time. I grilled steaks and made home made Scalloped potatoes ( Rob’s favorite) and fresh green beans. We now setting pool side listening to the wind and saying how blessed we are and happy we are with all the renovations. I pray daily that all my friends and especially our family with live in good health, be happy and enjoy life. So after this long post, I will say good night. Xo

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Day 139

Work at Bears en La Playa is slowly coming to and the work wore completely, so happy for that. This is a picture of the roof top bar and bathroom. Everything is being cleaned and the house is being placed back in order. I played carpenter today and make a gate for the well area. I will paint it tomorrow and post a picture then. It’s a quiet and peaceful night. Rob Teichman and I wish u all a restful evening filled with happy moments with special memories. Good night to all.

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Day 138

Billie Guthrie and I painted the front wall and placed our lighted bear on the sledge to welcome our guests. I also painted the wall behind the bar and the well area. It was a great day. Rob Teichman and I along with our best friends had dinner at the Bullpen, amazing food. Saying good night. Hugs

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Day 134

It was a wonderful day at Bears en La Playa. After breakfast, Rob Teichman and I had a few errands to run and Billie Guthrie and Tammy Cheryl Kiser had some fun in the Sun. The workers cleaned the master bedroom, installed the shower and toilet and finished tiling the upstairs bathroom. After lunch, we took a ride on the beach in the Jeep and then it was off to Merida for some sightseeing and dinner. We came across live music and dancing in the Square, so fun. The last picture was a restaurant called, Two Bulls, just loved the picture. We are headed to bed because we have an early morning and a busy day tomorrow. So good night and sweet dreams and may all those dreams come true. Xo

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Day 132

I wanted to share a picture of the gas grill I put together, can’t wait to use it, I still need to find a place to have the gas tank filled. They finished the sink in the master bath, Rob Teichman absolutely loves it. They finished the shower floor, amazing. They are telling us that the will be through in the Master suite by Saturday and we can move back in, I am so excited. They also finished installing the air conditioning in the master suite and the living room area. The last two pictures are pictured of the tiling the upstairs roof top bathroom. We are so close to finishing this project. Remember my friends, there are two choices in life when facing any situation, they can make you better or bitter, I choose to be better not bitter and it makes my life worth living. Good night from Mexico.

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Day 131

It was a busy day for Rob Teichman and I. We started the day early cleaning the yard. I have been wanting to update the cushions on the beach side patio. They are in great condition but lacked color, so instead of buying new ones, I dyed the old ones, they are now blue. Tomorrow I will dyed the other ones a coffee color and accent them with beach type pillows. A few months ago Rob bought new lights for the beach walk hallway, I finally changed them out today.

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Day 129

The new doors for the front entrance, back entrance and for the water purification system area arrived today and were installed. I bought a new pillow cover to match the chair in the sitting area. The tile in the master suite is almost completed and the sink is being prep for finishing. In Mexico almost everywhere you go you see these double seats. I love them. We ended the day at Lizard:s Joe’s for Chilli Rellenos, delicious. My girls leave tomorrow, I am already fighting sadness, but so glad they were here. Rob Teichman and I will say goodnight and wish you all sweet dreams. Xoxoxoxo

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Day 126

Tonight’s sunset. Amazing! The girls and I took the day off and went to Celestun to see the flamingos, it was a wonderful day. The workers had a successful day. The accent wall out in the back court yard, which is the entrance into the villa is almost completed and our second lit bear will sit on the platform to greet out customers. The plumbing for the upstairs roof top bathroom and bar is being installed, the sink for the master bathroom is being built, the frames for the closets where installed, hopefully the doors will be added tomorrow and the wall to the beach has been repaired and painted. We are so close to the finish line. YAY!!!! Rob Teichman and I will say goodnight and we wish u all sweet dreams and a restful night.