Capital of the state of Yucatán, Mérida offers easy access to a world of centuries-old haciendas and the many Mayan archaeological monuments found on the peninsula. The city itself offers many wonderful examples of colonial architecture and has wide boulevards lined with mansions left over from when Mérida controlled the world´s sisal market. A few of these mansions and haciendas have become for Merida small boutique, luxury hotels. Extensive underwater caves (cenotes) in the area attract the most adventurous of divers while Yucatán beaches are just under an hour away.
Merida has a history that includes mayans, silver shipping, explorers and pirates and a gradual growth.
Where is Merida
To Tulum – 233 km – 144.77 mi – 3:31 hrs
To Isla Holbox – 3:30 hrs to Chiquila and 20 minutes by boat
To Cancun – 317 km – 196.97 mi – 4:07 hrs
What should you taste?
More than 400 restaurants offer cuisine from all parts of the world. Several of them have award-winning chefs and world-class cuisine.
What should you buy?
At the hundreds of galleries, boutiques and markets you will find everything from yachts to grains of rice with your name painted on while you wait.
Dozens of galleries showing the work of local and international artists and "Art Walks" from November to April make the city an art-lover´s paradise.
What´s the weather like in Merida
Many flock to Merida to escape cold winters, but the sunny days of summer with their dramatic evening thunderstorms are also exciting.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in or around Merida
PRE HISPANIC TOWN OF UXMAL - Located one hour from Merida.
The Mayan town of Uxmal, in Yucatán, was founded circa 700 A.D. and has some 25,000 inhabitants. The layout of the buildings, which date from between 700 and 1000 A.D., reveals a knowledge of astronomy. The Pyramid of the Soothsayer, as the Spaniards called it, dominates the ceremonial center; which has well-designed buildings decorated with a profusion of symbolic motifs and sculptures depicting Chaac, the god of rain. The ceremonial sites of Uxmal, Kabah, Labna and Sayil are considered the high points of Mayan art and architecture.
The way to go is hiring a tour guide who will take you from your hotel, give you the tour in Uxmal and return you to the hotel.
PRE HISPANIC CITY OF CHICHEN - Located one and a half hours from Mérida.
This sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan Centers of the Yucatán Península. Throughout its nearly 1000 year history, different people have left their mark on the city. The Maya, Toltec and Aztec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their stone monuments and artistic works. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen-Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatán. Several buildings have survived, such as the Warriors´ Temple, El Castillo and the circular observatory known as El Caracol.
The best option to visit Cichen-Itza is hiring a certified tour guide who will take you from the hotel to the ruins, and share with you interesting information about the area.
You may want to know...
Downtown, divided in half by the old town and the new avenues, is filled with restaurants, houses and shops. The western edge is the boardwalk (malecon), boutiques and restaurants on the other.
In the northern part of the city is the zoo.