Mérida is the largest city in the Yucatan Peninsula. And you can feel it when you arrive from the bus station! The city is buzzing, with tons of people queuing to enter shops with loud music all over the streets around the centre.
What to do in Mérida?
- Uxmal ruins: the main reason I chose to come to Mérida. I had initially decided to go to Rio Lagartos, but everyone I was meeting was telling me about these ruins, so change of plan! It was quite easy to go, beautiful to visit but quite tiring to come back.
- Entrance: MXN 461 – only cash! And you can’t enter with big bags, they will store it for free in a locker for you.
- How to go to Uxmal? Be super careful, before COVID-19, there were several buses to go and come back from the ruins. But in December 2021, there are 2 buses leaving from the massive bus terminal in Mérida to go to Uxmal at 6.00 and 9.00 AM and only one bus to come back at 3.00PM (but don’t be surprised if it only comes at 4.00PM and be ready to stand up during the whole journey back)
- So while you wait for the bus back, you can visit Choco-story: Ecoparque & Museo del Chocolate. At first, I was not completely thrilled but the animal sanctuary convinced me and it was actually a great visit. It includes a Maya Chaac-Chaac ceremony performed by a shaman in honour of cacao, a hot chocolate (free) tasting, many interesting info panels and also the possibility to feed some cute spider monkeys. Worth the MEX 150!
- If after the visit in Uxmal, you want to know more about the Maya civilisation, you can visit the Gran Museo del mondo Maya in Merida. The Museum entrance is MEX 150. It’s apparently quite nice but I’ve been told that if you know already a bit about Mayas, but you may not learnt that many new things.
- Explore Mérida’s main but also smaller cute squares (Parque de Santa Lucia, Parque de La Madre) and the Paseo de Montejo, with fancy colonial houses, trendy cafes and souvenir shops.
- You can also do a Free Walking tour organised by the Tourism Office every morning at 9.30AM
- Watch a free Vaqueria dance ‘show’ every Monday at 9PM outside the Palacio Municipal. Not many seats due to COVID-19 but you can still enjoy it from a bit further away. Loved it!
Where to eat in Mérida?
- Afternoon tea at El Hoyo Casa de Té with some cute cats
- Enjoy live music and a drink at La Negrita Cantina, or live music and dinner at Amaro
- Choose your favourite type of cuisine (sushi, burgers, pizza etc) at Mercado 60
- If you’re craving Belgian beers, go to Le Carré and if it’s rather nice pasta from a Napolitan chef, head to Trattoria La Pasta
Where to sleep in Mérida?
Two days before arriving, I found a Double Room (even if I’m alone) in a super pretty hostel for MEX 1,700/night. Look at this beautiful pool at the Che Nomadas Hotel! Many activities organised nearly every day/evening.
Useful tips in Mérida:
- The bus station is a bit outside of the centre. Be ready to walk a bit!
- I arrived from Chichén Itzá (check out One day in Chichén Itzá) with a Mayab bus (second classe) but there are also many ADO buses coming from all over Yucatan regularly arriving
All recommendations are mine, no ads. Prices from December 2021.
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