Nicknamed the White City, Merida is a vibrant city that offers many exciting things to see and do. Book your vacation packages to Merida with Ya Vas by Volaris for the best travel deals to Mexico.
Within easy reach to some of the best beaches on the Yucatan Peninsula, the fascinating city of Merida also boasts numerous museums, exquisite architecture, olde-worlde streets, art aplenty, and colorful markets. Free events take place regularly, including concerts and dance shows. Add delicious food, an exciting culture shaped by the large indigenous Mayan population, and a unique vibe, and it’s clear to see why Merida is worth a spot on any bucket list. Here’s the lowdown when booking vacation packages to Merida.
Best Things to Do in Merida
- Uncover Mayan culture at El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (the Mayan World Museum). The vast and informative museum houses more than 1,000 exhibits to teach people more about the ancient civilization.
- Stroll around the Plaza Grande and admire the beautiful architecture that surrounds the large square. Admire the striking colonial-style cathedral, the former 16th-century palace of Casa de Montejo, and the old City Hall of Ayuntamiento. Relax in the leafy park, go into the Governor’s Palace to discover impressive murals, and feast your eyes on modern masterpieces in the Macay Gallery. If you’re in town on a Saturday, the weekly game of pok- ta-pok is an exciting addition to your evening.
- Feast your eyes on the lavish interiors of Quinta Montes Molina. Filled with grand period furnishings, the stately building oozes charm. Stroll through the lush, landscaped gardens before you leave.
- Leisurely wander along the famous Paseo de Montejo and admire the numerous historic mansions that line the wide street. There are plenty of cute cafes, too if you want to take a break. Add even more culture to your Merida vacation and call into interesting museums along the avenue, such as the Palacio Canton. Snap pictures of striking landmarks like the Monumento a la Patria and the Montejo Monument.
- Discover the hidden gem of the Nahualli Gallery. Home to works of Mexican artist Abel Vazquez, the vivid and colorful images are sure to inspire your imagination.
- Shop for souvenirs and local products at the bustling Lucas de Galvez Market. This is one of the biggest and busiest markets in Merida, where you’ll find a wide selection of goods, ranging from crafts and clothing to fresh fruits and seafood. Book cheap flights and hotel packages, and you’ll have even more to spend on keepsakes!
- Spend an evening at the opulent Teatro Peon Contreras. The elegant building dates to 1908 and hosts various ballets, music recitals, operas, and other cultural performances.
Merida for Families
- Enjoy a family day out at Parque Animaya, a free-to-enter zoo where animals roam freely in large habitats. You’ll encounter animals such as lions, zebras, giraffes, and various colorful birds. The small sightseeing train is often a hit with younger members of the family.
- Cool down at Acuatico Baxal Ja Park, a well-maintained water park with lots of ways to relax and have fun. There are several water slides and pools, as well as a lazy river, play area, aviary, and more.
- Take some cool holiday photos in the gigantic double chairs in Santa Lucia Park. While the unusual chairs for two can be found across the city, the supersized versions in Santa Lucia Park are especially quirky.
Day Trips from Merida
- Explore fascinating ancient ruins on a day trip from Merida. The renowned Chichen Itza is an especially popular choice for people taking advantage of great Merida vacation deals. At the same time, you can get away from the beaten track at Mayapan and Dzibilchaltun. Uxmal and Ruta Puuc are other terrific options for history lovers.
- Take a winter day trip to Celestun Wildlife Refuge to spot large flocks of wild flamingos. Discover the lagoon and mangroves by motorboat or canoe and look out for an abundance of birdlife.
- Go on an adventure to nearby caves and cenotes. Walk through the maze of Tzat Tun Tzat at Oxkintok and take a guided tour of the expansive underground network at the Calcehtok Caves. For relaxation, take a dip in the clear blue waters of swimming holes at Cuzama, Cenote Dzonbaca, Cenote X’baton, and Yax Bacaltun.
Staying in Merida
Merida has two centers: the historic heart (Centro Histórico) and the newer, modern area (Motes de Ame). Both offer different experiences for visitors, and all-inclusive packages to Merida offer accommodations in other parts of the city.
Merida has accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. The historic center of the city has numerous places to stay, ranging from modest, inexpensive rooms to flashy hotels with lashings of luxury. Central accommodations are often within easy reach of a wide selection of places to eat, drink, shop, and sightsee, with many places accessible by foot.
To the north of the historic area, there’s a good choice of upmarket hotels where you can truly feel spoilt. Plush rooms combine with luxury amenities to make guests feel special.
Getting around Merida
As a relatively flat city with a safe reputation, walking is often an excellent way to explore Merida’s highlights. Streets are arranged in an easy-to-follow grid pattern, and there are plenty of bicycle rental shops too. An extensive public transport network covers most parts of the city, with buses and vans running on regular schedules. Fares are cheap, and services typically operate from early in the morning until late at night. Buses and vans are also an ideal way to reach places outside of the city center.
Vans are generally faster, though you may have to wait for the vehicle to fill with passengers before it departs. Various van services leave throughout the day from outside the centrally located Parque de San Juan. You can reach most places around the Yucatan Peninsula from Noreste Station, while Terminal CAME has many long-distance services.
Taxis are abundant and reasonably priced. Taxis use fixed-rate pricing rather than a meter, so you can check the price before you start your journey. Another cool way to explore Merida is by horse-drawn carriages. Known locally as calesas, they are particularly common along the stretching Paseo de Montejo. They are definitely a leisurely and romantic way to travel around Merida!
Merida Airport Information
Officially named Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID), Merida’s airport is located on the southern fringe of the city. It is 7.5 km from the city center. Open 24 hours, it serves both domestic and international flights. The easiest way to travel between the airport and the city center is by taxi or Uber. The journey takes approximately ten minutes. If you don’t have a lot of luggage, you can also catch an ADO bus from the airport to CAME Terminal. Alternatively, walk onto Calle 23, from where you can catch regular local buses with the sign “El Centro” displayed.
Best Time to Visit Merida
Although Merida is hot and humid throughout the year, November to February see more comfortable conditions. June to October is the rainy season, and humidity levels are at their highest.
January is usually the busiest month for tourism in Merida, closely followed by February and March. The winter is the best time for seeing the thousands of flamingoes that flock to nearby reserves, while January also hosts the city’s biggest celebration: Merida Fest. If you wish to experience the joy of Merida Carnival, complete with dancing, food, singing, music, fireworks, bonfires, and other festivities, book your trip for just before Lent (dates change each year).
Merida Travel Tips
- There’s no need to worry about staying connected while exploring Merida; free Wi-Fi is widely available, including at main squares, in parks, and in many museums.
- Many roads are blocked off in the city center on Sunday mornings, making this an ideal time to cycle through the streets.
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