Mérida is the capital of the state of Yucatán in Mexico. It has a population of about 750,000, and is the largest city in the Yucatán Peninsula.
The "Monument To The Flag" along Paseo Montejo in Merida.
Merida is a city of contrasts. You will find elegant hotels, restaurants and malls in the northern part of the city. Downtown, there are hotels and restaurants to suit every budget. A large central market and numerous small shops are found all around the main plaza. Merida has a rich cultural life which also reflects its diversity. Many free concerts, performances and other events are held daily.
The city was founded by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1540s on top of a centuries old Maya city called T'ho. The palatial home of the family of Conquistador leader Montejo can still be seen on the south side of the Zócalo or main square. Here and there bits of ancient Maya stonework can be seen reused in Spanish Colonial era buildings in the old part of town.
From the later 1800s to the 1920s, Mérida enjoyed prosperous boom times fueled by the henequen or sisal plant harvest, which made Yucatan the rope maker to the world. Progressive Mérida had electric trams and street lights before Mexico City. The wealthy constructed the grand Pasejo Montejo avenue north of the old town, inspired by the Champs-Élysées in Paris. With the development of artificial twines the sisal boom ended, and Mérida slowed to a more sleepy provincial capital until development picked back up in the late 20th century.
The city's ambiance is colonial and the climate is tropical. The daytime temperature varies; in January, it is about 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24° Celsius) and in June, about 95°F (35°C). To beat the heat, most people are busiest in the mornings. They have lunch and siesta, then go back to work for a few hours in the late afternoon. The cool breezes from the Gulf of Mexico drift into Mérida in the evenings and this is when many of the residents spend their time outdoors. You can see them visiting and talking as they stroll along the streets, sit in the plazas or dine in the many sidewalk restaurants.
From Mérida, it is easy to take day trips to a vast array of destinations: archaeological sites, ecological parks, typical villages, caves, beaches, colonial missions and more. Take your time and really explore the Maya sites… walk for miles along the Gulf of Mexico… attend a village festival… photograph the wildlife… crawl through a cave or swim in a cenote...
Catedral de San Ildefonso, merida, mexico
Merida, like the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula, has a tropical climate with year-round heat and two distinctive seasons: the dry season and the wet season.
The dry season is sliightly "wetter" in Merida than in other Mexican cities and lasts from December to April. Daytime temperatures are around 30°C (86°F) in December, January and February but March and April are really hot months with an average high of 35°C (95°F).
Merida's Manual Conscencio Rejon International Airport (IATA: MID), is located 7.5 km south of the city along Hwy 261 and offers services to all types of flights, private and commercial. There are daily flights between Mérida and México City, Houston, Miami, Belize City, Havana and a few other cities in México. The following airlines serve Mérida:
- Aeromexico, Aeromexico Connect, . Mexico City, La Havana, Miami, Monterrey & Veracruz edit
- Aeromar, . Tuxtla Gutierrez, Villahermosa & Cancun edit
- American, . Miami edit
- Delta, . Atlanta edit
- Interjet, . Mexico City edit
- Magni, . Mexico City edit
- Mayair, . Cancun, Cozumel, Villahermosa & Veracruz edit
- TropicAir, . Belize City edit
- United, . Houston edit
- Viva Aerobus, . Guadalajara & Monterrey edit
- Volaris, . Mexico City, Guadalajara & Monterrey edit
To get from the Airport to your local destination (by ground transport) you have several options:
- Take an authorized taxi cab or van, at the Airport for MN$200-250. Buy the ticket in a booth outside of the airport exit doors.
- Uber is allowed to pickup/drop off at the airport. Approx fare to City centre. MN$65-100 (8Oct18)
- Hail a taxi for half the cost on the main road (Calle 23). To get there you must walk a fair distance out past the main parking lot in front of the building, and along the access road.
- Take an ADO (Autobuses De Oriente) bus, which runs regularly from the airport to the main CAME bus station (Calle 70 entre 69 y 71, #555) or up to the Hotel Fiesta Americana (Calle 60 por Avenida Colón). See "By bus" below for details. The airport bus stop is next to the crosswalk on the island along the second access road in front of the arrivals (llegadas) doors on the north end of the terminal.
- Take a local city bus on Calle 23 (see above). Buses heading north (to the right) towards Hwy 261 bear the legend "79 Aviacion"  or "El Centro” displayed on the windscreen/windshield. The former is more convenient while the latter is more frequent and cheaper.
The bus from downtown to the airport leaves from Calle 69 x 62.
Cancun (CUN) has more flights on regularly scheduled airlines, as well as charter airlines with tours to and from Europe, North America, Central America, South America, Cuba, Russia, and additional cities within Mexico. With the extra competition, it may be more economical to fly to Cancun and then drive or take the bus to Merida. See "By bus" below for details.
There are 3 "main" bus stations in Merida:
- Grupo ADO (CAME), Calle 70 #555 (Calle 70 btwn Call 69 & 71), ☎ +52 999 924-83-91 (toll free: 0800 702-80-00), . ADO (Autobuses De Oriente)  & OCC first class, ADO GL Deluxe & ADO Platino on longer routes to various major cities in Yucatan, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas & Oaxaca states and to/from Mexico City ($1,182 pesos or ~US$95.53 for 20-24hrs). ADO buses also run between the CAME and the Merida airport. edit The CAME is in a commercial area of El Centro.
- Terminal de Autobuses de 2a Clase (2nd class bus station), Calle 69 #554 (Along Calle 69 between Calle 68 & 70. Next to first class CAME terminal), ☎ +52 999 920-44-44 & 924-83-91, . This the 2nd class bus station right next to the ADO terminal in centro, on calle 69. The lines serving this station are second class ADO, Oriente, Mayab & ATS buses (all subsidiaries of Grupo ADO) to various cities & towns in Yucatan, Campeche & Quintano Roo states, such as to Cancun, Valladolid, Piste, Chichen Itza, Progreso, Izamal, Oxkutzcab, Uxmal, Ticul, Tulum, and Celestun edit
- Fiesta Americana, Calle 60 por Av. Colon (Across Calle 60 (west) from the big Hotel Fiesta Americana), ☎ +52 999 920-55-23. Alternate bus station for ADO, ADO GL, Platino, and SuperExpresso buses to/from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the airport The Fiesta Americana terminal is in a better area of the city, a short taxi ride to El Centro, but with a more limited number of bus connections. edit
Additional bus companies (mainly offering second class service) have their own bus stations in other parts of town:
- AutoCentro, Calle 46 No 517, por 65 y 67; Merida, YUC, ☎ +52 999 923 9962, . operates second class bus service between Cancun & Merida via Tixpeual, Tixkokob, Euan, Cacalchen, Izamal, Tunkas, Dzitas, Valladolid, Chemax, Xcan and/or Leona on three different routes. These buses stop anywhere along the road to pick up and drop off people on request. edit
- Autobuses del Noreste en Yucatan, Calle 67 Nº 531 por 50, Merida Centro (Along 67 between 50 & 52 at middle of block), ☎ +52 999 924-6355, . Another second bus station for Autobuses del Noreste, Lineas Unidas del Sur & Oriente to Kanasín, Acanceh, TecohM, Telchaquilllo, Tekit, Muna, Chumayel, Teabo, Tipikal, Maní, Oxcutzcab, Mayapán, Cantamayec, Yaxuná, Rio Lagarto, Izamal, Tizimin, Valladolid and other surrounding towns & villages in the area on multiple routes edit
- Terminal Auto Progreso, Calle 62 #524 (Along Calle 62 between Calle 65 & 67), ☎ (999) 924 89 91 & 928 39 65, . Regular buses to Progreso edit
The trip from Cancun to Merida is about 380 km, and takes about four hours. There is bus service from the Cancun Airport as well as from the downtown Cancun terminal (with buses between the two every half hour). The buses that depart from the airport seat about 15 and, while excellent vehicles, are not as luxurious as the big ones with driver mirrors that look like huge antennae. Each bus goes to either the main (CAME) terminal or the Fiesta Americana terminal (see above).
On longer routes like this one, ADO offers three levels of service: ADO, ADO GL, and ADO Platino. ADO Platino is the highest class of service, with tickets costing around $438 pesos. It has free instant coffee packs with hot water, single seats on one side of the bus, and TVs on the back of every seat offering an array of movies and TV shows, including some in English. ADO GL at $322 pesos is a step down without the extras, but more legroom than the regular ADO buses. Both the GL and Platino busses travel on the toll highway 180D, which is kept in excellent condition and has limited access. The regular ADO bus cost $268 pesos. It travels the parallel route 180, which has no tolls but is bumpier and goes through more than 40 villages and 70 hamelets, making the ride a bit longer. On balance, the ADO Platino seems worth the extra price.
An example of 2nd class bus service is the Oriente bus to Valladolid. This trip in January 2014 cost $97 pesos. The seats were comfortable, the air conditioning was at a comfortable setting (not set to "Arctic"), and there was no disturbing tv. However, the bus stopped to pick up and drop off passengers basically everywhere, which led to a crowded bus with people packed in the aisle, and a ride that would otherwise take 2 hours took 3.5 hours.
The streets in most of the parts of of interest to visitors are in a rough grid with numbers for street names. Even numbered streets run from north to south, with the numbers increasing as you go further west; odd numbered streets run from east to west, with the numbers increasing as you go further south. This makes it easy to tell how many blocks away from something you are (just remember to divide by two when counting blocks in the same direction). Addresses are commonly given as either intersections of two streets, or stated as on a street between two cross streets. For orientation in the old part of town, remember the Cathedral and Zocalo (main square) are at the corner of 60 and 61 ("Calle 60 x 61")
Note: Virtually of Merida Centro's roads are in a one way grid pattern, with every other road N/S or E/W going the opposite direction; one way signage is small and sometimes hidden from easy view, while locals on foot are helpful and tolerant, locals in vehicles are not pleased when driver in front dithers; just like Paris, Rome or Singapore.
If staying in the older central part of town, many attractions, restaurants, etc are within walking distance for those who don't much mind walking in the tropical climate. Buses and taxis are numerous and reasonably priced.
Organized tours are available from a variety of companies.
Walker Alert . . . .
Much like the walkways of many cities and towns in Mexico, those of Mérida, especially in the city center, are fraught with hazards.
The sidewalks present you with with plenty of booby-trap-like irregularities and impediments which can easily cause a fall. Toe-catching bolts, clips and small sundry projections can be overlooked quite easily, especially when you are absorbed in the sights around you. In the city center there is usually no space to serve as a buffer between street and sidewalk. Traffic is zipping by just inches away from the sidewalk, many of which are quite narrow, mere ledges in places. A tumble into the street can make for a very bad day.
Adding to the hazardous conditions, the sidewalks become surprisingly slippery when wet. Besides walkways wet from rain, you might find wet sections ahead as storekeepers commonly scrub down the walk in front of their building. Slow down and step extra carefully. Think ice.
Prudence calls for extra-careful scanning of the way before you as you amble down Mérida’s busy streets. It is not just the sidewalk that is at issue; unexpected head-bangers (rods, bars, poles, wires, etc.) poking out from building walls can also beset you with a measure of grief. Mindful walking is the order of the day.
- Plaza Grande is the city's central square. It is the heart of the historic center of town. The central park is pleasant to sit in and watch people, and it is surrounded by impressive historic buildings. On the east side is the grand Cathedral and the Museo Macay Museum of Contemporary Art. To the south is Casa de Montejo, the 1549 palace of Montejo the Conquistador. Now converted to commercial use (a Banamex bank with handy ATMs), don't miss the elaborate sculpture around the main doorway, including figures of Spanish Conquistadors standing on the heads of conquered native Maya -- a graphic illustration of the new order the Conquest imposed. On the west side is the Ayuntamiento , the old City Hall, with a distinctive clock tower. On the North side is the Governor's Palace, where it is free to go inside and upstairs to see the beautiful murals depicting local history. Every morning at 9.30, the tourist office offers a free guided tour around the Plaza Grande.
- El Paseo Montejo is a beautiful, tree-lined street, lined with houses developed by the henequen-industry barons. It's a great place to walk in the evening. Have a dish of ice cream, look at the renovated mansions. If you are walking during the day, make sure to go to the bakery at the Plaza de La Bandera circle (across from the McDonald's). The baked goods are delicious. Right outside, a family sells tamales every evening (and has been for decades). The tamales are cheap, fresh and absolutely delicious. Less cheap, but a romantic treat, is renting one of the horse drawn carriages, called calesas, that will drive you up and down the grand boulevard. You can catch a calesa at the Plaza Grande and take a trip down Paseo de Montejo and back.
- Palacio Canton houses the Museo Regional de Antropología (Regional Museum of Anthropology). Since the archaeological pieces were moved to the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya in 2012 the Palacio Canton offers exhibitions. Tue-Sun: 8am-5pm, fee $55. If you are hungry or thirsty afterwards, Hennessy's Irish Pub is just on the other side of Paseo de Montejo, a favorite hangout for both locals and visitors. The food and drink are reasonable, in a variety of settings (indoor, outdoor, non-smoking, smoking, etc.).
- Quinta Montes Molina  Another of the Paseo's grandest old mansions is also a museum, just north of Calle 35. It's still owned by the original family. Guided tours of the lavish interior Mon-Fri, fee $75; tours in English at 9am, 11 am and 3pm.
- Teatro Peón Contreras at the intersection of Calles 60 & 57 (2 blocks north of the Zócalo) is the city's grand opera house. The current structure was designed by a visiting Italian architect and opened in 1908 during the height of the boom times, replacing a less opulent earlier theater of the same name. The theater is the center of Mérida's high culture and in 2011 was recently renovated with a new stage and updated air conditioning. If opera, symphonies, and ballets aren't to your taste, the building is still worth a look for the impressive architecture. There is also a sizeable art gallery downstairs with changing exhibits.
- Museo de la Ciudad de Mérida at Calle 56 at 65 (the old post office building, 3 blocks east and 1 south of the Zocalo). The Museum of the City of Mérida provides more evidence of the city's long history and rich culture. Admission is free, with guides who speak Spanish, English, and French. The museum has a very interesting permanent exhibit, as well as changing art exhibits upstairs. An added bonus is that the museum is just across the street from Merida's central market, Mercado Lucas de Galvéz.
- Museo de los Ferrocarriles en Yucatan, Railroad Museum, 43 at 48. Rail buffs will love this mostly outdoor museum near the train station north east of Centro. Old locomotives and lots of quirky old rolling stock without further explanation. Wed-Sun, fee $20.
- There is much to see in Merida, a city of a million inhabitants that is over 400 years old. Besides the centro historico, where most tourist attractions are located, there are many charming neighborhoods, shopping malls and parks. Progreso and the Yucatan Gulf Coast is only thirty minutes away to the north.
- Yucatán Today, a free monthly magazine with several maps and suggestions for museums and DIY day tours in and around Mérida.
- The 'Ayuntamiento de Merida' (City Hall) sponsors many cultural events during the week, free of charge. Almost every night visitors and residents alike can enjoy outdoor concerts or dances in one of the many downtown parks and squares.
- Sunday evenings at the Zócalo (at and around the main square) are a particular treat, and perhaps the most charming time in Mérida. The streets around the square are closed to vehicles, and the locals dress up to go for strolls to see and be seen. Brass bands and dance orchestras hold free concerts, and couples dance -- if you're not shy, consider joining in, or ask a local to teach you the steps to a local dance like the jarana. Street vendors sell a variety of refreshments.
- Merida has a growing number of art museums and art galleries. Be sure to see the MACAY gallery just off the Zocalo next to the Cathedral. Galleries include Artists in Mexico and Galeria Merida.
- Cairo Cinema Café, Calle 20 #98 A x 15 y 17 Colonia Itzimná, ☎ 926-5718, . 09:00 - 24:00. Independent movie theater, coffee shop and dvd rental store. They show movies from Thursday to Sunday at 7pm and 9pm, the schedule is on their website. 30 pesos per movie, includes popcorn. You can have a beer or a glass of wine and a baguette while you're enjoying the screening. edit
- Mercado Lucas de Galvez and San Benito, (Between Calle 65-67 at the intersection with Calle 54-56 in Merida Centro). Open 7 days until about 5-6pm. Large, crazy indoor market, with small stalls that sell everything from shoes to clothes to fruit and dead turkeys. The Lucas de Galvez market is on the north side with entrances on calle 65/65a with seafood, fruits, vegetables, candy and pets. Adjoining it on the south size with entrances on calle 54 is the newer San Benito market housing the meat hall, flowers, jewelry, and some spices. Truly a different experience for most travelers. edit
- Those who have time to spend several months in Merida, will also encounter many opportunities to become a volunteer — helping women, children, the disabled, the elderly, the sick and the illiterate. Places to volunteer include PPPN  for helping disabled children and AFAD  for helping unwanted dogs and cats find health and new homes. A full list of volunteering opportunities can be found here. 
- If you are interested in learning Spanish, learning about Latin America and learning more about yourself in the process, Merida is an excellent place to do so.
- Carnaval de Merida is an annual event; a week of celebrations leading to up to Fat Tuesday (date varies, ending at the eve of Ash Wednesday; mid February through early March) . Merida has one of the five most important Carnivals in Mexico.
- El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Great Museum of the Maya World), Calle 60 Norte (Beside the Convention Center Siglo XXI), . 08:00-17:00 Light and sound show at 21:00. Holds anthropological, historical and archaeological displays that exiting Yucatan Governor Ivonne Ortega described as fulfilling "a pending debt with our Mayan ancestors, our culture, with this land and with ourselves." Employing more than 6,000 tons of steel – an Eiffel Tower's worth – in an aggressively modern and highly technological design, it examines Maya culture both past and present. Hundreds of ancient artifacts are included in its cavernous showrooms – four for permanent exhibitions and another for temporary displays. Many pieces came from the galleries and storerooms of the Regional Museum of Anthropology and History in the majestic Palacio Canton, built in Merida's affluent, Eurocentric period during the reign of Porfirio Diaz in the early 1900s. Palacio Canton has narrowed its focus to regional history. Artist Richemont Xavier, known for light and sound shows he has designed in Europe, has created a special show for the new museum, which also includes a botanical garden, a 350-seat theater, a child care center, a cafeteria and a shop. The museum occupies 5 square miles adjacent to Merida's convention center on the Merida-Progreso Highway/Calle 60 in the northernmost reaches of the city. Bring a warm jacket. Tuesdays closed, entrance fee $150. Buses (yellow buses to Komchen) leave on Calle 58 x 59 y 61. More information edit
- Cursos Mérida, . If you are looking for courses in the city, you can check this webpage to find what to do. This webpage announces all types of courses (sports, cooking, art and more). If you have trouble reading it in Spanish, you can always send them an email for translation. edit
- <do name="Spanish Schools in Merida" alt="Spanish schools in Merida" url="http://www.yucatanliving.com/yucatan-survivor/learning-spanish-in-yucatan">
- Merida is the perfect base for exploring Yucatan state and there are many tour operators offering a range of trips to places such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal and the flamingos of Celestun. If you're looking for the flexibility of a private tour, Destino Merida Tours  offer day trips in and around Merida, often taking you off the beaten path to special places you may not have discovered on your own.
- Ruta Puuc At TAME bus station a tour takes you along all the sites of the Puuc Route. No guide. The bus waits at every site and then continues to the next. Stops are too short to take your time but it is still amazing. A great opportunity if you don't have your own transport as you only pay the bus ticket ($178) and the entrance fee (free for Mexicans): Labna - 35 minutes, $50; Xpalac: 30 minutes, free; Sayil: 35 minutes, $50; Kabah: 50 minutes, $50; Uxmal: 2 hours, $213. There are later buses from Uxmal to Mérida if you decide to stay longer at this last stop (which you have to pay, of course). Sunday, 8am. (Nov. 2016)
Merida is a great place to pick up a good quality hammock. However, be aware that many people selling hammocks in and around Merida will try to get the highest price they can from a tourist. A good hammock costs between 300 and 800 Pesos, not dollars. The tighter the weave, the better the hammock. You should always insist on unfolding and viewing a hammock before buying it.
On Plaza Grande some friendly people try to involve you in small talk, telling you some historical facts about the surrounding. Later on they recommend a shop for artesanias produced by a Mayan cooperative. They tell you that the shop will close in about 1 hour and be closed for several days so you need to hurry. This is not true and the products in the shops are extremely over-priced. Further, one could doubt that the products were produced by an non-profit cooperative. Take some time to explore other shops and compare prices. And go back the next day, you'll see the shop is still open.
There are plenty of hand-crafted things to buy in Artesanias Bazar García Rejón at corner of Calles 60 and 65, as well as in the shops Calle 56A.
- Alma Mexicana, Calle 54 No. 476 (x 55 & 57 corner of Calle 55), ☎ 52-999-923.4711, . Mexican folk art & crafts. Lighting & furniture, home decor items, Day of the Dead art, retablos & ex-votos, saints & angels, beautiful jewelry, hand-woven bedspreads, designer leather handbags, cards & stationary, curios & unusual gifts. Telephone +52 999 923-4711 Cel +52 999 155 6049. Open Mon to Sat, Hours 9:30 am - 6:30 pm. Sun open half day 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. reasonable. edit
- Cafe Pop  57 x 60 y 62. Small and clean but with personality, a favorite of the students of the University of Yucatan just around the corner as well as knowing visitors for generations. The menu offers a curious combination of Yucatecan specialties along with old style diner & soda-fountain treats. Breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner, inexpensive. 7a - Midnight. In the same building as the larger and more upscale Portal del Peregrino listed below.
- D'Al a wonderful local hangout for lunch, menu includes very inexpensive tasty fare, specialties are seafood & local cuisine. Try the shrimp cocktail, delicious. Great specials & soups. Located on the corner of Calle 54 & 53, downtown, historical section.
- La Parrilla on Paseo Montejo is a great outdoor restaurant. Be sure to have the Sopa de Lima, which is a chicken soup flavored with lime, a Yucatecan specialty.
- Portal del Peregrino  57 x 60 y 62. European & Yucatecan fare in the historic centro; mid-range prices.
- 'Mary' in Santa Ana Market, Calle 65 between 54 and 56. This stand in Santa Ana market always seems busier than the rest. Don't be phased by the watiers shouting specialties from their menu at you. Order traditional dishes like salbutes with cocinita pibil (a Yucatecan pork specialty) or panuchos (shredded turkey in a fried tortilla stuffed with beans). edit
- Taqueria Herrera, Calle 65 between 54 and 56 (We did not find it). Excellent tortas, priced mostly at 13 pesos. edit
- Hennessys Irish Pub.  on Paseo de Montejo at Calle 41 is a favorite with locals, expats AND tourists. The restaurant has good food at reasonable prices, a full bar and, of course, Guinness beer. The two impossibly handsome owners are almost always on site and greeting customers. There are various distinct rooms, smoking and non-smoking, outdoors and air-conditioned... something for everyone. No need to dress up or make reservations. edit
- Other favorite places to eat include Marlin Azul (The Blue Marlin), Cangrejitos, Trotter's, La Tratto and Pancho's (owned by the same father-son partners), Rosas and Xocolate, Slavia and more.
- El Trapiche, Calle 62 no. 491 (between Calle 59 & 61), ☎ 4169163377. Good en cheap mexican food, nice atmosphere, friendly staff. edit
- Prasad (Prasad), C. 59 No 572 entre 72 y 74 (Inside Casa Catherwood). The menu del dia is 50 MXN including soup or salad and water. They also serve vegetarian hamburgers and nice salads. You can buy homemade wholegrain bread there. edit
- Wayan'é, Calle 20 x 15 y 17 Colonia Itzimná (two blocks from the Colonia Mexico Park and Circuito Colonias Avenue), . One of the best places in Mérida for tortas and tacos. The castacán con queso is just greasy perfection. Not open on Sundays. Get there between 10 and 11am to avoid the big crowds and still have the best options available (if you go later than noon, they will be out of the best ones). edit
- Eladios. Go with a few friends, buy two beers and get a huge amount of plates with all kinds of traditional Yucatan dishes plus a lot of seafood. Don't bother ordering from the menu, most locals don't even look at it, the free food is more than enough. Many locations around Merida, but the best one is in Progreso, right in front of the beach. edit
- Mercado Lucas de Galvéz. As mentioned above, this is the main market in Mérida, and there are ton of eating options. There are at least three or 4 eating areas within and along the edges of this market. The food is cheap and quite tasty, but in many places the prices are not marked. Make sure you ask how much the food costs "Cuanto cuesta" before ordering so you don't get any surprises when the bill comes. I did get overcharged here by nearly double what the prices were on the menu (before politely correcting the server as to the correct amount due) so as long as you're a shrewd eater (and mathematician!) and speak a bit of español, you should be fine here. Many places here serve cochinita pibil, tortas, carne asada tacos, sopa de lima, tamales, panuchos, ceviche, mole con arroz, negro relleno, tacos al pastor, plus there are many tortillerias making their own tortillas and masa from scratch (nixtamalización), etc. Most of the action happens for breakfast and lunch so get here early. edit
- Dulceria y Sorbeteria Colon, Calle 61 No. 500 por Calle 62, Centro. 09:00 - 23:00. A local Mérida sorbet and ice cream shop that has pretty tasty sorbets and has been around sine 1907. Located right across from Independence Plaza, the main square in the city center. There is an alternate location on Paseo de Montejo. Coco (coconut) was particularly tasty as was guanabana. Offers other flavors like piña, chocolate, naranja, etc. $36 - 40 MXN per generous scoop. edit
Besides the ubiquitous Coca Cola, most establishments in Merida offer aguas frescas. The usual ones are horchata (made from rice and cinnamon), jamaica (made from hibiscus flowers) and limon (lime). If you are lucky, they might also have sandia (watermelon), melon (canteloupe), guayaba (guayaba!), piña (pineapple) or cebada (barley). Sometimes you can find a drink made with chaya. Chaya is a leafy green vegetable like spinach that grows on bushes and is full of vitamins.
- La Fundacion Mezcaleria, Calle 56 No.465 x 53 y 55 | Centro Historico, Merida, Mexico, ☎ 01 999 121 0411, . Mezcal! edit
- Casa Nico, Calle 63 No. 517 (between Calle 68 & 66a), ☎ 9992868944, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Quiet, clean and cheap hostel with free wifi and good breakfast, great kitchen, very friendly and helpful staff. Private rooms and 6 bed dorms. Enough common space to meet others. 100 pesos/dorm. edit
- Hostel El Jardin , Calle 70 No. 509 x 61 and 63 (centro), Phone (999) 123-4178, dorms from 150 Pesos. Private rooms from 270 pesos (fan) and 360 pesos (A/C). A nice place to stay in Merida on a low budget. E-mail: el_jardin_merida(at)yahoo.com
- Nomadas Hostel, , Calle 62 #433, at the corner of Calle 51, Phone: 999-924-5223, E-mail: [email protected] Dorm accommodation. Internet and simple breakfast included. Kitchen use. Nice large pool. Dorms for 119 pesos.
- Hostel Zocalo, is located on Calle 63 #508 (between 60 and 62) in front of the Zocalo on the main plaza. Breakfast is included, typically a fresh made omelette, fresh tropical fruit, cereal and yogurt . Phone: 999-930-9562, E-mail: [email protected] Dorms from 125 Pesos.
- Hostal del Peregrino at Calle 51 # 488 (between 54 and 56) is a colonial house that has been renovated into a comfortable and clean hostel.
- Faby Hostel , Calle 44 No. 501-D entre 61 y 63 centro, Tel. (999) 928 8593 Mobile (999) 142 2010, E-mail: info(at)hostelfaby.com.mx, dorms from USD 13 (fan) USD 20 (a/c)
- The Nameless Place, Calle 57 #495, between Calles 58 and 60, Phone: (Spanish) 999-924-0859 (English/French) 044(999)969-5282, E-mail: r_espejo(at)yahoo.com
- Aventura Hotel, A clean, American-owned budget hotel. Each room has a private bathroom. Located a few blocks from Santiago Park. Calle 61 #580 between Calle 74 and 76, Phone: 999-923-4801, E-mail: [email protected]
- Hotel Aragon, No. 474 entre 52 y 54, Col. Centro, ☎ (999) 924-0242, . Placed in a neighbourhood House at the suburb of "Mejorada", just 200 mts. Away from the Carmen Church and Park of Mejorada or "Ninos Heroes". Hotel Aragon offers 18 rooms with bath, air conditioning, telephone, Cable TV and detailed decoration. Rates start at MXN 400.00. edit
- Hostal Art Apart, Calle 60 456 A entre 51 y 53 col. Centro, 97000 Mérida, México, Hammocks from $80 MXN, male/female dorms from $135 MXN, privates (double) from $300 MXN with ensuite and fan. $400 MXN with ensuite and A/C. A good choice for low budget travelers. There is free wifi in common areas. Reasonably clean with funky art everywhere, free filtered water, decent kitchen and nice little courtyard amongst some interesting plants. Beds were reasonably comfortable and the rooms although a bit worn were pretty clean. Free towels and soap.
- Casa Del Maya Bed & Breakfast, Calle 66 Num 410A por 45 y 47 C.P 97000, Centro, ☎ 999-181-18-80, . checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 12:00 PM. Six guestrooms in the Mayan tradition. All rooms feature queen size pillow-top mattresses, plush linens, air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, pool, and a full gourmet breakfast. $65.00 and up. edit
- Diplomat Boutique Hotel, . A boutique hotel in the historic city of Merida where guests will indulge in personalized service, spacious rooms and modern amenities. An upscale jumping off point for exploring the colorful streets of Merida, adventuring to Mayan Ruins or seeking out cenotes. Run by travellers for travellers, Team Diplomat provides insight into the local culture and can connect you with places that are off the beaten path. Located on Calle 78 No. 493A, Calle 59 Y Calle 59 A Merida, Colonia Centro" edit
- Hotel El Espanol, Calle 69 Num 543c por 70 C.P 97000, Centro, ☎ 01999-923-28-54, 01999-924-10-36, . Accommodations at Hotel El Español come in Double, Triple, Standard King, and Standard Twin types. All guestrooms are air-conditioned and fitted with a deck/ balcony. Rooms also come with a refrigerator, IDD telephone, and cable television. Room service is available. edit
- Hotel Montejo Palace, Av. Paseo de Montejo #483-C x 39 y 41 Col Centro, ☎ (999) 924.76.44 / 924 72 90, . ″. edit
- Hotel Las Arecas  is a small 5-room hotelito in the historical center. Modest, clean and run by a local Yucatecan.
- Hotel Piedra de Agua, calle 60 no. 498 x 59 y 61 centro, ☎ 01 800 999 924 2300, . Rooms fitted with a private toilet & bath with shower, Internet access, and DVD player. Rates start at MXN 950. edit
- B&B Cascadas de Merida  is a unique bed and breakfast, consisting of four casitas built for maximum privacy around waterfalls and a filtered swimming pool.
- Hotel Villa Verde, Calle 56 # 468 (x 53 y 55 in Centro Historico), ☎ 1-614-500-7118, . is a beautifully restored 250 year old colonial mansion renovated to be a small hotel. Gorgeous central courtyard, luxury furnishings, swimming pool. edit
- Hotel Casa del Balam  an elegant Colonial boutique hotel, 60 x 57, located across the Peon Contreras Opera House. 1 800 624 8451
- Hotel Luz en Yucatan urban retreat, Calle 55 #499 x 60 y 58 (three blocks from the Zocalo), +11-52-999-924-0035, . Has fully furnished apartments, complete with kitchen and private bath, in a former nunnery. The rates vary from 350–800 pesos, depending on facilities and also how "successful" you rate yourself to be.
- Hotel Marionetas, Calle 49 (between Calle 62 and 64 in Centro Historico), . is a small charming hotel with colonial style. Every room is different, with unique furnishings, mosaico floor tiles and views of the inner courtyard with pool. Wireless internet, phones and A/C in the rooms. edit
- Hotel Los Aluxes is a great, clean, and friendly place to stay that is only a few blocks to the main plaza. Off-street, secured parking is a big help if you have a rental car. Make sure to have the cafe con leche in the cafe.
- Hotel Boutique Mérida Santiago  is a small hotel in the center of Mérida. Four spacious suites with big bathrooms. The filtered swimming pool with LED lights is open 24 hours. Parking space is available.
- Las Escaleras Guest House, . Step into the history of Merida and book a renovated colonial guestroom boasting 16-ft beamed ceilings, antique mosaic tile floors and numerous historical details. All rooms feature quality cotton linens, air conditioning, Wi-Fi in the room, sparkling pool, a fully appointed guest kitchen and access to the 4th floor terrace with panoramic views of the entire city. Located in the heart of Centro Historico, within walking distance to everything. edit
- Casa Lorenzo, c41 #516A x 62 y 64 (Merida Centro), ☎ 999 287 3357, . A comfortable place in quiet St Ana part of Centro Historico, close to Paseo Montejo, restaurants, etc. Quiet garden and pool area with bar and snack facilities. All rooms have a/c,all new modern plumbing, sealy matresses. $74 - $79. edit
- Rosas and Xocolate, Paseo de Montejo at Calle 41 (centro), ☎ +52 999 924-4304 ([email protected]), . 17 rooms and suites. The hotel is five minutes from the Hotel Zone (Hyatt and Fiesta Americana). edit
- Hyatt Regency Merida, Av Colon esq Calle 60 (100m from Paseo Montejo), ☎ +52 999 942 1234 ([email protected]), . 289 rooms and suites. The hotel is five minutes from the city's convention center. edit
- Hacienda Xcanatun, Carretera Merida Progreso at Xcanatun (north towards Progreso. Exit Xcanatun), ☎ 01 800 2022 556 ([email protected]), . Beautiful rooms and suites. The hotel is twenty minutes north of the centro historico. edit
- Remixto, (downtown Merida), ([email protected]), . A local vacation rental agency with 20+ colonial-era homes in Merida Centro. Nearly all homes come with private pools, regular housekeeping and have between 1 and 4 bedrooms. 40-500 USD per night. edit
- Casa Mosaicos, Calle 53 x 62 y 64 (downtown Merida), ([email protected]), . Renovated colonial home with two bedrooms, 2 baths, a swimming pool and a garage. Easy walk to all of Merida's attractions. edit
- Casa Playa, Puerto Abrigo near Telchac Puerto (North to Progreso. Turn right (east) to Telchac Puerto), ([email protected]), . 2 bedroom, 2 bath with separate studio (sleeping couch, bathroom,kitchenette). House has all amenities including air conditioning, fully outfitted kitchen and swimming pool. On beautiful stretch of beach, 1 hour outside of Merida. $750 per week. edit
- Austria, Avenida Colón número 501 entre 60 y 62 Desp. A, número 309/310 Colonia Centro, ☎ Local 925 63 86, domestic 01 999 925 63 86 int'l +52 999 925 63 86 ("). edit
- Belgium, Calle 25 número 159 entre 28 y 30 Colonia García Ginerés, ☎ Local 925 29 39, domestic 01 999 925 29 39 int'l +52 999 925 29 39 ("). edit
- Belize, Calle 53 número 498 A entre 56 y 58 Colonia Centro, ☎ Local 928 61 52, domestic 01 999 928 61 52 int'l +52 999 928 61 52 ("). edit
- Cuba, Calle 1 D número 320 entre 42 y 52 Fraccionamiento Campestre, ☎ Local 944 42 15, domestic 01 999 944 42 15 int'l +52 999 944 42 15 ("). edit
- Germany, Calle 49 número 212 entre 30 y 32 Colonia San Antonio Cucul, ☎ Local 944 32 52, domestic 01 999 944 32 52 int'l +52 999 944 32 52 ([email protected]). edit
- Finland, Calle 8 número 101 entre 105 y 7 Colonia Montecristo, ☎ Local 948 39 20, domestic 01 999 948 39 20 int'l +52 999 948 39 20. edit
- France, Calle 60 número 385 entre 41 y 43 Colonia Centro, ☎ Local 930 15 42, domestic 01 999 930 15 42 int'l +52 999 930 15 42. edit
- Greece, Anillo Periferico 12512, Pacatbun Oriente, ☎ +52 999 930-1107 ([email protected], fax: +52 999 982-2824). edit
- Honduras, Calle 54 número 486 entre 57 y 59 Colonia Centro (Instituto Monte Líbano), ☎ Local 924 39 86, domestic 01 999 924 39 86 int'l +52 999 924 39 86. edit
- Luxembourg, Calle 25 A número 500-B entre 58 A Colonia Itzimná, ☎ Local 927 34 43, domestic 01 999 927 34 43 int'l +52 999 927 34 43. edit
- Netherlands, Calle 64 número 418 entre 47 y 49 Colonia Centro, ☎ Local 924 31 22, domestic 01 999 924 31 22 int'l +52 999 924 31 22 ("). edit
- Spain, Calle 38 número 3a Int. 31 esquina 1b y 1c Fracc. Campestre, ☎ Local 948 34 89, domestic 01 999 948 34 89 int'l +52 999 948 34 89 ("). edit
- United States, Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31 , Col Alcala Martin, ☎ Local 942-5700, domestic 01 999 942-5700 int'l +52 999 942-5700 ([email protected]), . edit
Several important archaeological sites are close to Mérida. Many moderate sized sites, such as Dzibilchaltun and Mayapan, are an easy day trip. The largest, Chichen Itza, is somewhat further and much more extensive -- while a day trip visit from Merida can be (and often is) done, if you want to see the whole site without being rushed, Chichen is better visited in 2 days with an overnight stay. Fans of of Ancient Maya architecture can also find staying overnight at Uxmal worthwhile, since it has a night-time light & sound show, and the following day one can visit the nearby smaller ruined cities of Kabah, Sayil and Labna.
- Chichen Itza is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site built by the Maya civilization, located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula, present-day Mexico. The main edifice, the Castillo or Pyramid of Kukulcan, was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
- Dzibilchaltún ruins and national park are less than an hour's drive north from Mérida. An admission fee is charged (MXN 65 February 2017). It can be reached by public transport from Mérida central. Bus or colectivo with destination Chablekal. Catch the colectivo on 58 street between 57 and 59. From the last stop in Chablekal you can take a motorcycle taxi to the entrance, it is just over 2 km. The site has been continuously occupied for thousands of years. Its most famous structure is the Temple Of The Seven Dolls, so named because of seven small effigies found at the site when the temple was discovered under the ruins of a later temple pyramid by archaeologists in the 1950s. On the Spring Equinox, the sun rises so that it shines directly through one window of the temple and out the other. The temple is connected to the rest of the site by a long sacbé. The other major feature of Dzibilchaltún is its cenote, which is used as a swimming hole by local residents year round. Dzibilchaltún is the first stop on Mexico's Ruta de los Cenotes, a network of natural and cultural sites that stretches from Mérida to Puerto Morelos on the Caribbean coast south of Cancun. Dzibilchaltún also contains the ruin of a 16th century Spanish church built at the site after the conquest. The archaeological site offers a museum which houses Maya artifacts from the site and the adjacent region.
- Mayapan Mayapan is a Pre-Columbian Maya site in the state of Yucatán, Mexico, about 40 km south-east of Mérida and 100 km west of Chichen Itza. Mayapan was the political capital of the Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula from about the late 1220s until 1440s.
- Uxmal is a large pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. It is 78 km south of Mérida, Yucatán, or 110 km from that city on Highway 261 towards Campeche, Campeche)
Other attractions near Mérida
- Progreso is the port city directly north of Mérida. The beaches aren't quite as nice as the famous ones on the peninsula's east coast in Quintana Roo, but have the advantage of being only 40km (30 miles) north of Merida. Progreso also has restaurants specializing in fresh local seafood. If you don't want to spend your whole day at the beach, you can combine a visit to the ruins of Dzibilchaltun in your day trip, since it's just off the highway between Mérida and Progreso.
- Celestun Wildlife Refuge. The coastal town of Celestun is 90km west of Mérida. Almost 90% of the world's wild pink flamingos spend the winter in Yucatan, and the largest group of these are in the mangrove marshes around Celestun. Take a boat tour in the park for to see great flocks of pink in the trees and flying in the air! The town of Celestun has a couple of restaurants serving fresh seafood.
- Hacienda Sotuta de Peon Thirty minutes south of Mérida is the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, a former sisal plantation which has been restored and opened up to the public. Sisal, the rope made from henequen, put Merida on the map in the 1900's and made millionaires out of many landowners of that time. The rope came to be known by the name of the port town, Sisal, where it was shipped from to places around the world. Sisal was made from the fibers of the henequen plant, which was (and still is) planted throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. The industry crumbled after about 30 years for various reasons, leaving many haciendas in ruin. Today many of those haciendas have been restored, and Sotuta de Peon is an example of one which can be visited without spending the night. Another good example of a hacienda kept in a state of arrested decay as a museum is Hacienda Yaxcopoil .
- Izamal is a small city about 70km east of Mérida. In ancient Maya times and the Spanish colonial era it was was one of the largest cities in Yucatan, leaving impressive historic architecture.
- Cuzamá is one of the interesting sites on the Ruta de los Cenotes itinerary, with prominent cenotes (sinkholes leading to significant caves). From Merida take a collectivo for about 24 pesos. The drive will be 1.5 hours. Upon arriving at Cuzuma, you will need to take a moto-taxi to get close to the cenotes for about 30 pesos each way. When you arrive in a small village close to the cenotes you will then take a horse drawn rail car to the cenotes for a cost of 30 pesos each way. There are 3 different ones and they save the best for last. At the 3rd cenote there are clean bathrooms with no running water or toilet paper. They also sell some snacks and drinks there.
- Oxkintok and the Calcehtok Caves only 43 miles away. The oldest and most well known building of Oxkintok is the Tzat Tun Tzat, Mayan for labyrinth or place in which one may be lost. Built in three levels on top of each other, its interior forms a maze of long, narrow rooms, connected by small gates and narrow stairs. The Calcehtokserved as shelter for the Mayan people during the Caste War. You must have a guide to enter the cave. Rates generally run about $200 pesos an hour. This large complex of over 30 connected caves offers 4 different tours of varying lengths. Walking and climbing through the cave can be rough, so be sure you are wearing good shoes and are willing to work a bit to see the stalactites, stalagmites, natural formations, and Mayan artifacts.
Zócalo or Main Plaza, with the Cathedral in the distance
Corner of 59 & 60 Streets
Architecture on 57th Street in the old part of town
Local women crossing city street
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