How safe is Merida?
Merida is currently considered the safest city in Mexico, and its crime statistics are very low, as compared to other cities in the country. In Merida, we can find a friendly environment that is mostly quiet and very relaxed. You do not have the lack of security feeling that you might get in other cities that are known to be more dangerous, and there’s never a concern of sudden violent situations on streets, nightclubs, concerts or other places. It’s perfectly safe.
Statistically, Merida has had some increase in crimes; however, very few of those were related to drug cartels’ violence. The felonies that have affected Merida the most, have been robberies to established businesses or homes, which had a certain impact on the economy of the State and it has made the government take actions to try to control the situation before it causes greater economic losses. Nothing different than you would find in any city in the Americas, Canada, Asia, or Europe
During the last few years, the government of Merida has invested a significant amount of money on security infrastructure and on better training and equipment for its police force, and this has helped to maintain the sense of safety that people in Merida are so proud of having. You will notice a very large police presence here.
Do the locals like foreigners?
Yes! Locals in Merida are very friendly to outsiders. Many Expats bring about commerce that expands growth.
What’s the weather like in Merida?
Typically, it is always in the low to mid-80’s. Our hottest time of year is April through May. Temperatures can easily get to 105-108 degrees. Rainy season begins in late May and ends in October. Merida’s weather can be affected by hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Caribbean.
What’s the typical attire like in Merida?
Shorts and a T-shirt will get you by in comfort. If you want to fit in more with the locals, the dress here is jeans and T-shirt or button-down shirt. The same holds true for the ladies though a sundress is perfectly acceptable.
How should we tip?
Know that wages are extremely low in the Yucatan compared to the US, Canada, and Europe. Most people working in Mexico’s tourism and service sectors rely on your tips to supplement their basic pay and they give good service to prove that it makes a significant difference to them. Always keep some loose change in your pocket because you never know when you’re going to need some of it for a tip.
- Restaurants – 10%-15%, though with really good service I give 20%
- People who bag groceries, taxi cab drivers, park your car, deliver water, etc. – 5-10 pesos
- Street entertainers can expect 3-5 pesos
Currently $1 USD = about 18 MXN. For simple US conversion, divide the pesos amount in half, then take away a zero and you’ll be really close to the US rate. For example if something costs $1000MX, it would be about $50US. At this moment the exact conversion is $48.57.
Is the water safe to drink?
When you’re traveling in Mexico, you must take extra care when drinking water, or fresh beverages that may have tap water added to them. Also, check the ice—ask if it was made with tap water especially in more rustic establishments and rural areas. Salads can also be dangerous if they have been rinsed with tap water; so again, the rule is: if in doubt, ask first! All main hotels and good restaurants use purified water throughout.
At Vida Magica, we keep large 10-gallon containers of water here at all times. The one on the kitchen counter has a hand pump. Use this water for drinking and making coffee or tea. The tap water is perfectly safe to brush your teeth and wash dishes and shower. The problem happens when it’s digested. The water is too hard for the human body to digest.
All commercially produced beverages, including bottled and tinned water, fizzy drinks, wine, beer, spirits, etc. will be perfectly safe for you to drink.
Mexico’s electricity system is the same as that of the USA: 120 V; 60 Hz. Any electrical equipment you carry with you that operates at the higher (240v) rate will need to be dual-voltage (e.g. hair dryers). A lot of electrical equipment (like video cameras, digital cameras, laptops) that operate on low voltages via a product-specific adapter will happily cope with dual voltage—check the adapter and the device instructions to be sure.
Can I get TV in English?
Yes! One of the remotes for the TV has a button called Language. In many cases you can press this button and go from Spanish to English. I use it with subtitles to help me better my Spanish.
How can I dial outside of Mexico?
- From a landline Phone: 001 + 10 digits
- From a Cell Phone: 044 +10 digits
- For a local number: Just the 7 digits
There’s a phone in the pantry in case of emergency. Calling to America is free, but you will be charged for calls to anywhere else in the world.