Feeling At Home In Merida
There’s no place like home and the Yucatan is home to more than 1,200,000 ex-pats
Whether you are moving in or on vacation, Merida is a great place best explored the way the locals live. Tourist attractions are great but Merida offers so much more than that. It is a charming small city that isn’t so small. You can come here and rent a house or stay at a local bed and breakfast, right in the heart of residential areas and truly live like a local. Sure, hotels are great, but if you truly want to explore this city, come and get cozy.
Here are a few key tips to get you started when planning your trip to Merida:
You can catch a nonstop from Houston or Miami or connect in Mexico City. It is actually quite easy to get here and Merida has its own airport.
Merida is huge, but you will likely spend your time in the Centro, or historic center. You can walk almost everywhere but in the heat, you may not want to. Rely on Uber, which is really cheap. For longer trips, you can rent a car at the airport.
The street-food situation
It is pretty much everywhere in Merida and generally safe to eat. Most food stalls operate in the same way: they make big batches of food, open early in the morning and serve until they sell out.
Where to stay
The easiest way to rent a home is through major sites like Airbnb or HomeAway, which let you pay by credit card. You can also find bed and breakfasts this way or through local real estate agencies that will often rent to vacationers.
What to bring home
You will see handicrafts for sale from street carts and roving vendors throughout the Centro. The prices are right but the quality isn’t always there. Hit neighborhood shops that are permanent fixtures and often authentic items from the area like linens, handbags, beach totes, and jewelry. There are boutiques that sell handmade perfume, suede luggage, and finely woven totes. There are many local artists who craft all of these things right in their shops.
The day trip worth taking
The Mayan ruins of Uxmal, about an hour’s drive from Merida, area as grand as Chichen Itza but not nearly as overrun by sunburned tourists. The dusty limestone Pyramid of the Magician is a must-see. The climb up the steep steps of the Templo Mayor will give you views over the jungle. You can hire an English-speaking guide on site but much of the charm is simply wandering through the complex of monumental Mayan buildings. There is little shade so go early to avoid the afternoon heat and pack a hat and extra sunscreen.
There is so much to see and do in Merida and there is also time to do much of nothing. Merida is, if anything, a relaxing town with good food, great entertainment and lots of time to sit still and enjoy some downtime.