Visit Merida and Have Fun
Have fun in the sun, the Merida way
Since the Spanish conquest, Merida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatan Peninsula. A delightful blend of provincial and cosmopolitan, it is a town steeped in colonial history. It’s a great place to explore, with narrow streets, broad central plazas and the region’s best museums. It’s also a perfect place from which to kick off your adventure into the rest of the Yucatan state. It has excellent cuisine and accommodations, thriving markets, and events happening just about every night.
Long popular with European travelers looking to go beyond Quintana Roo’s resort towns, Merida is a tourist town, but a tourist town too big to feel like a tourist trap. And as the capital of the Yucatan state, Merida is also the cultural crossroads of the region.
Art, culture and history
With its colonial past, Merida boasts rich culture, history, art and traditions. Enjoying the city to the fullest means getting to discover and fall for them all. Walk through the city’s downtown buildings, an attraction in their own right. Painted in bright shades of pink, blue, red, yellow, and purple, they leave you transported back to the city’s colorful colonial times with a simple stroll.
Walk around some more and you will see various attractions, from the lavish pink building on Main Square, to the Cathedral, to government buildings to an abundance of parks. The Museum of Modern Art, located next door to the Cathedral, is set around a lush courtyard and regularly shows exhibitions by Yucatan artists who promote local traditions and the beauty of their region. Small galleries can also be found around Santa Ana square, which show more upbeat and contemporary art.
Last but not least, visiting the nearby Maya ruins is a must while you are here. Less known than their bigger counterparts Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Dzibilchaltun are a must see. Less crowded than Chichen Itza, Uxmal is situated in the jungle but close enough to be able to make the trip in a day.
Sweet and savory
The regional gastronomy is such that you won’t believe you only knew about tacos, fajitas and burritos. Every dish you eat in Yucatan uses local products that won’t be found in other Mexican states. Be prepared to try escabeche, relleno negro/blanco, queso relleno and poc chuuc as they represent the best of what you can eat here.
Do as the locals do
If you are looking to visit like the locals live, head out after sunset when the night air is cool and gives a respite from the relentless heat of the day. Night and day markets, and a nightly music and dancing by Santa Lucia or Santa Ana squares are where the fun begins. There are also traditional costumes and dances on Main Square every Monday night.
Browse Paseo Montejo, a tree-lined street offering some of the city’s most iconic buildings. Locals love going there on Saturday nights to sit on the benches, listen to music, eat a marquesita, and walk from one bar to another, taking it easy. Going out at night is a regular activity for both locals and foreigners and the vibe is very carefree.