Merida

merida-city-hall.jpg

Mérida, a city of about 831,000 people (2010 census), is a wonderful mixture of colonial city and cosmopolitan destination. With Mérida as your base, you can visit cathedrals and churches, Mayan archaeological sites, museums, haciendas and cenotes. You'll also find movies, theaters, important hospitals, public and private schools, four universities, shopping malls with such stores as Sears, and chain stores such as Sam's, Costco and WalMart as well as the Mexican chains of Liverpool, Comercial Mexicana/MEGA, Soriana and Sanborn's.

History of Mérida:
The Spaniard Francisco de Montejo "El Mozo" founded Mérida on January 6, 1542. When the Spaniards arrived, Mérida was a large Mayan city known as T'ho, situated on what is now the Main Plaza. It was conquered by the Spaniards, who dismantled all the pyramids and used the huge stones as the foundation for the Cathedral of San Idelfonso (1556-1599), the oldest cathedral on the American continent.

The Cathedral, situated on the east side of the Plaza, is only one of Mérida's many interesting sites. Directly across the Plaza is the Palacio Municipal (1735), Mérida's Town Hall. On the south side is the Casa de Montejo (1542), the former home of the conqueror of Yucatán.

The Palacio de Gobierno (1892), on the north side, houses 27 murals by Fernanco Castro Pacheco illustrating the somewhat violent history of Yucatán.

One of the major influences on Yucatán history is the henequen plant, also called sisal (for the Yucatecan city of Sisal from which shipments left the continent). This plant became known as 'green gold' or verde oro for the wealth it lavished upon the haciendados or hacienda owners in this area. In the early 20th Century, as a result of the henequen or sisal trade, Mérida was the home for numerous millionaires who built their lavish homes on Paseo de Montejo, and their impressive haciendas throughout the jungle surrounding Mérida.

A walk down Paseo de Montejo is a wonderful way to view some of these mansions , many of which are completely restored, and some of whose romantic decay are food for the imagination.

For centuries, geography made it difficult for the Yucatecans to communicate with the rest of Mexico. As a result, architectural and cultural influences from Europe, the Caribbean and New Orleans were as strong or stronger in the growth of the city. To this day, the people who live here consider themselves Yucatecans first, Mexicans second. If you look carefully, you will see tshirts and bumper stickers proclaiming Orgulloso Yucateco, Yucatecan Pride.

Because of its tranquility and cleanliness, Mérida has become a popular place for families from other Mexican states. Many people have moved here from Mexico City, where crime, pollution and overcrowding are evergrowing problems. Crime is not tolerated in Mérida, and it has the distinction of the city with the lowest crime rate per capita in Mexico.

The Yucatán is one of Mexico's most tranquil and safest states, with a climate resembles that of Florida or Cuba. Yucatecans are good, tranquil and hospitable people who have strong roots and traditions. They take pride in their city, known as "The White City", not only for the predominance of white limestone as a building material, but because of its streets, plazas and parks that are cleaned daily.

Free Guided Tours:
Free tours of the Centro Historico of downtown Mérida are available from Monday to Saturday at 9:30 AM. Call 942-0000 Ext. 80119 or go to the Tourist Office on the ground floor of the Municipal Palace (corner of Calle 61 and Calle 60).

Tours of Mérida:
There are also 2 comfortable ways to get to know the city in about 1-1/2 to 2 hours: the red bus called Turibus that is very easy to spot because its a double decker and you can hop on on any of its many stops around the city; and the local company Carnavalito City Tour bus that leaves from Santa Lucia Park (Calle 55 and 60) at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm daily (no 7pm trip on Sunday). For more information, visit our tours page.

What to do in Mérida... A sample itinerary

Sunday:
Visit the handcrafts Market "Lucas de Gálvez"; it has everything. Enjoy Mérida en Domingo, outdoor handcraft markets and food festivals in the Main Plaza, Hidalgo Park and Santa Lucia Park. 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Also visit Museo MACAY for free. Bici Ruta. Every Sunday from 8 AM to 12:30 PM more than 5 kilometers of roads in Mérida are closed off to traffic. Corazón de Mérida (see Thursday) happens in the evening.

Monday:
Take the Carnavalito bus at 10:00, 1:00, 4:00, or 7:00 in Santa Lucia Park or the Turibus red bus that stops every 2 hours at the plaza. In the evening, enjoy an outdoor concert with traditional "Vaqueria" a Yucatecan dancing and dress at the Palacio Municipal on the main Plaza at 9 pm.

Tuesday:
Travel to the Mayan archaeological sitos of Chichén Itzá and the Caves of Balankanche.
In the evening, dance to big band music of the 40's in Santiago Park on the corner of Calle 59 and 72 at 8:30 pm. Also at evening time you can listen to the traditional Yucatacan music with a "Trova Night" at the Olimpo at 9:00 pm.

Wednesday:
Visit Hacienda Teya on the way to the City of Izamal , or take the Convent Route of Acanceh, Tecoh, Telchaquillo, Tekit, Mama, Chumayel, Mani and Oxcutzcab. If you stay in town, enjoy shows at the Olimpo at 9:00 pm.

Thursday:
Visit the Mayan
archaeological site at Dzibilchaltún on your way to the beaches of Progreso, Chelem, Chicxulub, Telchac and X-Cambo. Visit the co'op next to the church in Dzibilchaltún. Perhaps you might like dinner at Hacienda Xcanatun on your way back. At evening time there is an open-air concert in downtown Mérida featuring Yucatecan dress, dance, music and folklore at the Santa Lucia Park on Calle 60 and 55 at 9:00 pm. The second event is downtown where you find the strees closed to traffic and restaurants with tables on the street and different music on every corner. This event is called Corazon de Mérida and it happens from 09:00 pm to 02:00 am.

Friday:
Go shopping at the markets, Pasaje Picheta or the best in the city, Casa de las Artesanias on Calle 63, with handcrafts from Yucatán made by Yucatecans with the best prices in the city. Corazón de Mérida (see Thursday) happens in the evening.

Saturday:
Explore the caves in Loltun and travel the Puuc Route: Kabah, Labna, Sayil, Xlapak and Uxmal . Stop by Hacienda Ochil or Yaxcopoil. Evening time has 2 events, one at the end of Paseo de Montejo with Calle 47 called Noche Mexicana from 8:00 pm to midnight (see video below). Corazón de Mérida (see Thursday) happens in the evening.

How to get to Mérida
International flights come in from Houston with Continental, Miami with Aeromexico and Atlanta with Delta. Commercial airlines fly from all of México mostly through México City. Bus lines are an excellent resourceis you are arriving into Cancún.

Maps
- Mérida City Map  
- Mérida Downtown Map
- Mérida Attractions Map

Video of folkloric dancing at Saturday's Noche Mexicana:

 

01.

BANCOS EN MERIDA

HOLA,NECESITO UNA LISTA DE LOS BANCOS EN MERIDA QUE TIENEN RELACIONES BANCARIAS CON BANCOS EN EL CAIRO,EGIPTO POR SI QUIERO HACER UNA TRANSFERENCIA DE DOLARES DE EGIPTO.
TAMBIEN QUIERO SABER SI DECLARANDO DOLARES EN CASH Y TRAVELERS CHEQUES...CON UNA SUMA MUCHO MAS DE 10 MIL DOLARES ENTRANDO EN MEXICO, EN LAS ADUANAS PUEDE HABER ALGUN PROBLEMA?
YO SE QUE HAY QUE DECLARAR LAS CANTIDADES QUE SON MAS DE 10 MIL DOLARES,PERO YO PREGUNTO POR LA CANTIDAD...HAY CANTIDAD MAXIMA O NO TIENE LIMITE MAXIMO PARA LLEVAR DENTRO DE MEXICO PARA RAZONES DE POR EJEMPLO COMPRAR UNA CASA EN MERIDA,,,SOLO HAY QUE DECLARAR LOS DOLARES IRRESPECTIVAMENTE DE LA CANTIDAD ??
GRACIAS.

02.

bancos

Probablemente todos los bancos en Mexico pueden manejar transferencias a o de cualquier pais del mundo. Para una lista de bancos, visite esta pagina:
http://www.info-centro-24.com/bancos-mexico.html
Para info de la Aduana, visite su sitio:
http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/home.asp

03.

move to merida

How much are the rentals? What are the rentals like?1

04.

Move to Merida

Rentals as you can imagine vary greatly, from 200 to 2,000 dollars. You would have to inquire directly with the houses you are interested in, some have the rates in their website. Check this link where you can get a list of vacation rentals (at the bottom): http://yucatantoday.com/en/topics/vacation-rentals-yucatan

05.

12/4-7

Hola,
Voy a visitar Merida durante el primero fin de semana de Diciembre. Que pasa en Merida este fin de semana que es necesario por una turista de Chicago a ver? gracias

06.

must see events

The best things in Merida on the weekend are Saturday night Corazon de Merida and Noche Mexicana, and Sunday Merida en Domingo, both mentioned in the article above. As well, visit our Events page to see what specific things will be happening during your stay: http://yucatantoday.com/en/events

07.

recomiendo Merida

Hoy tuve la oportunidad de escribir un comentario de lector - al fin de un articulo sobre Mexico 2010 en que se mencionaba ciudades de interest historico. Entonces aproveche la oportunidad de mencionar las bondades de Merida que son multiples. (En uno de los diarios importantes de Alemania.) Merida y los Yucatecos se lo merecen: Malo kin anac tech! El diario no habia incluido Merida y Yucatan - pero el foto desmuestraba una pareja en trajes folcloricos Yucatecos - entonces tuve que explicar que es "huipil" y "filipina". Claro he mencionado de que Yucatan es tierra de la Jarana y de grandes compositores...

08.

Merida

I had the wonderful opportunity to live in Merida for several years. As a "temporary transplant" to a completly different culture, the people of Yucatan are the most gracious and hospitable you will find. It was one of the most exciting and enjoyable times of my life. I would recommend Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula for a family adventure to all.

09.

Thursday or Sunday

Would it be OK if I drove from Cancun to Uxmal on Sunday, saw it and then could also catch both the Merida En Domingo and Corazón de Mérida....and then drive back to Cancun next morning (with a 5year old) or is that too hectic

10.

your plan

It might be a bit too much, here are my comments: The drive from Cancun to Uxmal is about 5 hours, you have to go thru Merida. So let's say you leave Cancun at 8 am and get to Uxmal at 1 pm. Give yourself max. 2 hours at the site (young children won't enjoy it as much as you will!) So you are leaving Uxmal at 3 and getting to Merida at 4. A couple hours of Merida en Domingo and your 5-year-old will be done. I would suggest a siesta in Merida after Uxmal, then walk around Merida en Domingo, have dinner, and go back to Cancun the next day. (Corazon de Merida is basically an extension of Merida en Domingo, but it also has live music on the streets. It doesn't get going til after 9 pm.)
Yucatan Today Editor

11.

2 days now!

Juanita Stein,

thank you so much for your help. I have extended visit to 2 days. Travel on Saturday to Merida via Chichen Itza. Then Sunday trip to Uxmal and back to Merida Domingo and then then Corazon de Merida.
Monday will still be a rush to get from Merida to Cancun Airport to catch plane at 3pm!
One question- Will it be safe to stay for sound and light show on Saturday at Chichen Itza (means will not reach Merida hotel till ~10pm)..or I should avoid that as a first timer to the country (I do not know Spanish)

Thanks
Amit

12.

Busco quarto en apartamento

Hola, probablemente me quedarè un anno en la universidad de Merida: consegui una pequena beca para estudiar allì. Asì que estoy empezando a mirar donde es mejor vivir (si en el centro o cerca de la playa), buscando apartamento etc. Si podeis ayudarme con consejos, direcciones etc, muchas gracias Silvia

13.

re. 2 days now

I always avoid driving the highways at night because of stray animals on the road, etc.

14.

My partner and I are

My partner and I are planning on moving to Merida. I have a 20 month old son. We are open to anywhere in Merida that has opportunity for jobs. I am a spinning instructor (indoor cycling) and work for Equinox and Crunch. I know it probably be hard to find a studio/gym that offers cycling classes. I also have a BS in Communications from NYU. Do you have any suggestions where we can go?

15.

re. my partner and I

Hola, one thing you should keep in mind is that if you are not mexican citizens you cannot legally work here without a work visa. Contact your nearest mexican Consul for more information. There are lots of gyms here with various different types of services. Perhaps you could contact the personal trainer who works at the gym at Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel for some ideas. http://rosasandxocolate.com/fitness.htm His email address is there. Also check out http://yolisto.com to connect with other people who have moved to Yucatan.

16.

Merida Carnaval 2011

I am planning a holiday in Merida with several friends over Carnaval 2011. Can anyone please let me know what the theme is for Carnaval next year? Many Thanks

17.

Merida es mia

Espero que pueda retirarme a Merida en solo 4 anos. Pues, es mi ultimo sueno. En serio. He vivido y visitado muuucho en Merida y por eso quiero moverme alla. Me muero por Merida y siempre parte de mi corazon queda en Merida.

18.

americans working in merida?

I am a american woman who is engaged to a mexican man, he is homesick so we will be temporarily moving to mexico and we have decided that we may want to live in merida ( depending on the job market). My question is will I be able to find work? ( I will have a work visa )

19.

re. americans working in merida

Getting a work visa is usually connected to a particular job offer, so I am not sure what type of visa you will have. In any case the population of Merida is over 800,000 with all different industries, so if you have qualifications and speak Spanish you should be able to find something.

20.

Tour por Merida

Hola!

Voy a estar del dia 18 al 21 de marzo en Merida, que puedo hacer durante estos dias.

Gracias!

Atte: Odin

21.

re. tour por merida

22.

Viaje A Campeche

Hola, pienso estar en Merida, en el mes de Junio, deseo saber, si hay un tour a Campeche o si mejor rento un carro y me voy a pasar el dia alla.
Gracias

23.

re. viaje a campeche

Hay mucho que hacer en Campeche y el viaje es de 2 horas (4 horas ida y vuelta), asi que yo sugiero pasar minimo una noche. Pero si no tienes tiempo, lo puedes hacer en un dia un poco largo. Rentar coche es excelente opcion. Tambien puedes investigar las agencias de tours o servicios de transporte que aparecen en este articulo.

24.

Primera vez a Merida

Hola, estoy planeando unos dias en Merida para los fines de Octubre o para la ultima semana de Noviembre. Quisiera preguntar, cual de las dos fechas seria mejor para visitar por primera vez? algun festival en esas fechas?

25.

re. primera vez en Merida

26.

Website

Well organized and informative. We can not wait to see your city .

27.

Chichen- Itza to Merida

Hello I would like to know how can i get from Chichen- Itza to Merida? I will travel only with public transport. Thanks for your help!

28.

Chichen- Itza to Merida

Visit www.ticketbus.com.mx and you can find the schedules and fares between Chichen Itza and Merida.

29.

Visit to Merida

when is the best time to visit Merida? and what is the climate like at that time also?
do you have any suggestion as to which is the best way to get to Merida from California, e.g.; fly into cancun or directly into Merida.
Gracias

30.

re. visit to merida

The most pleasant time of year is November through February. Little rain, daytime highs around 75-80 F, night lows around 60-65 F. From Calif. I would suggest a connection in Houston or Mexico City; from those 2 cities there are direct flights into Merida. Flights may be a bit cheaper to Cancun, but then you have a 4-hour drive or bus ride to get to Merida.

31.

TELMEX Land Lines

We are on the beach in Chixchulub area.
Have Telmex sticks for our computer(s).
They are very unreliable and frustrating!
Casa across the street has a Telmex land line.
Trying to find out how much it would cost to get same installed at our house.
Cannot find any info on Telmex website.
Any help appreciated.
Thanks

32.

re. telmex land lines

Your best bet is to visit one of their offices. They have a Progreso location:
Telmex Progreso
Calle 29 X 74
Centro
Mon-Fri 8:00 a 14:30 hrs.

33.

Mérida, México or Spain?

I have a question that I need answered ASAP... I am doing a foreign exchange program over the summer for Indiana University and I got accepted into the México trip... I have been given the choice between being accepted into this trip and going to Mérida, México, or waiting in line (2nd in line) to wait for the Spain trip... I can only choose one of these; which should I choose?

34.

Mérida, México or Spain?

Hola Oliver, this is a very tough question as only you can really answer it because it depends on the experience you want to live.
When you visit Merida, Mexico you get the feel of a colonial city, but what's really great are all the archaeological sites, the cenotes (underwater caves), the haciendas and definitely our people.
When you visit Spain you are visiting a very old country with very old culture, its all colonial, beautiful and impressive, but no cenotes, haciendas, archaeological sites...
Check our must do list to get an idea of our area: http://yucatantoday.com/en/topics/must-do-s-yucatan

35.

Visitng Merida

Hola

I plan on visiting family that have moved to Merida from Toluco. I will be flying from South Africa via Sao Paulo and would like to know if I would need to fly directly to Mexico City or are there flights to Cancun/Merida?
Gracias

36.

re. visiting merida

From Sao Paolo you will need to fly to Mexico City and then Merida.

37.

Planin to move to merida

My family & i r plannin 2 move 2 merida next year. B4 school starts so my daughters could go 2 school there. What are the requirements for them 2 b accepted in school, and also what is the cost of living there. N for house renting is it pricey. We are lookin 2 live comfortable, what does our monthly income should be? Thanku

38.

Planin to move to merida

We highly recommend making a reconnaissance trip before you continue with you plans to move to Yucatan. You should come visit and go check the schools and grocery stores to get an idea of the cost of living. We have a very interesting editorial we recommend you read: Do you dream of moving to Yucatan? http://yucatantoday.com/en/topics/do-you-dream-moving-yucatan

39.

Boat

Are we any closer to getting the boat from FL to Progreso? I am ready to go next month.

40.

setting up an exchange program

I am a nursing instructor at Indiana University Kokomo and I am interested in setting up an exchange program with a University or Hospital to provide an opportunity for nursing students to learn about healthcare practices in another country. Would Merida provide good opportunities for this and do you know of a contact with whom I might be able to work?

41.

boat

Where is the boat to Progreso?

42.

re. boat

I'm not sure I understand your question. There are various cruise ships which stop in Progreso. To find out which cruise lines visit Progreso, go to this website: http://www.cruisecritic.com/cruiseto/
Leave all the selections blank except POPULAR PORTS: select PROGRESO...then click on FIND MY DREAM CRUISE! The results will show a list of the cruise ships, cruise lines, itineraries, and departure dates.

43.

Ship

The boat from Tampa to Progreso.

44.

re. boat

There are plans in the works but it seems to be stagnating. If it ever comes about, we will publish the info here.

45.

Ship

Thanks!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <u> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <p> <sub> <sup> <strike> <blockquote> <hr> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Welcome to Yucatan Today
Yucatan Today is the leading tourist guide of Merida, Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula and was recently voted the best tourism website in all of Mexico! In our companion monthly magazine, we bring you the information you need to enjoy your experience while you are here. Read more