Mérida is the proud cultural capital of the region, a beautiful colonial city with a strong traditional character. Mérida offers a range of interesting possibilities to the visitor. 

Mérida is the cultural reference of the Yucatan Peninsula, a beautiful colonial city with a marked Yucatecan character, forged through years of influences without losing an iota of its essence. Their customs and accent is part of the intangible, of everything that will inevitably catch you.

Merida is essential to know Yucatan.

Merida Yucatan


Mérida is located in the state of Yucatan, in the northwest part. Less than 40 kilometers from the Gulf of Mexico, 158 km from Valladolid, 300 km from Cancun and 120 km from Chichén Itzá.


DISTANCE BETWEEN CANCUN AND VALLADOLID: Calculate about 3 and a half hours on the toll road, a distance of 300 km. CANCUN VALLADOLID CASETA PRICE: Cars 409 pesos, motorcycles 259 pesos. If you go on the free road it takes you one more hour.


DISTANCE BETWEEN MÉRIDA AND VALLADOLID: He calculates about 2 hours on the toll road, a distance of 158 km, practically the same distance as from Cancun to Valladolid. CASETA PRICE MÉRIDA VALLADOLID: 185 pesos for cars, motorcycles 92 pesos. If you go on the free road towards Kantunil-Pisté-Valladolid, it takes half an hour longer.


Mérida was chosen by the prestigious travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler in 2019 as the best small city to visit outside the United States. Beating cities like Florence, Québec, Salzburg or Monte Carlo.

According to the UN in 2018 it is the best city to live in Mexico, a study based on quality of life, security, investment and economic prosperity.

As you can see Merida is not short of girlfriends. It is a city that works very well with tourism for years. Calm and pleasant with the visitor, we like Merida.



Merida was one of the settlements that the Spanish colonizers chose to settle, transforming the ancient Mayan city of Jo 'into the new city of Mérida, the city was linked to the kingdom of Spain for years. They say they called it that because the Mayan vestiges reminded them of the Romans of the Spanish Merida, something that we cannot appreciate because they destroyed it.

The conquest developed from Merida, heavyweights like Montejo the groom, whose house occupied an entire block of the Plaza Grande, lived in Mérida. Merida has not ceased to be the capital, the clear reference of power in the Peninsula.

Merida has just emerged in the city that is during the century of splendor that lived thanks to the henequen, a local product that changed the economic panorama of the Peninsula. Starting in the mid-XNUMXth century, thousands of heneque estates emerged. The leaders of this business, the divine caste, a group of the richest landowners who controlled the henequen trade, they resided in Paseo de Montejo of the solemn Merida.

Explore Mérida with our complete guide: what to do, what to visit in the surroundings, the best cenotes in the area, restaurants and hotels in Mérida. one
Casa Montejo
Casona del Paseo Montejo


La Merida tourist is divided into two large areas:

  • the center where we locate the Plaza Grande
  • and the Paseo de Montejo.

You can walk from one area to the other, the bad thing in Merida is not the distances, but the heat.

Most Mexican colonial populations are governed by a similar urban layout, made to string and square, forming a chess board in the style of Castilian and Andalusian cities. Merida is like this: perfectly ordered parallel streets. This will be very easy for you to get your bearings in the city.


In the center of this calculated layout is the Plaza Grande located in the heart of the city, where we find the government buildings like the Government Palace, the Municipal Palace, or the Casa de Montejo. These buildings are open to the public, they are worth visiting. The Cathedral of San Idelfonso It was built between 1562 and 1597, you can visit on Saturdays with a guide to learn about the history.

5 free visits in the Plaza Grande of Merida

Cathedral of San Ildefonso
Casa Montejo
Government Palace, Mérida, Yucatán


In the Paseo de Montejo we see the Mérida of stately and opulent buildings. Most of them today have bought companies, hotels and banks, usual trend in several cities. This trip tried to imitate with more or less success the Champs-Élysées from Paris.

It is a pleasant walk, you can also go by buggy and on Sundays it becomes a circuit for bikes.

Explore Mérida with our complete guide: what to do, what to visit in the surroundings, the best cenotes in the area, restaurants and hotels in Mérida. one


In Mérida you will not get bored, it offers endless cultural activities, museums, restaurants and shops, there are even cenotes to visit. Merida is one of those comfortable cities that travelers love to spend a few days and make it our base camp.

Merida has been expanding the cultural offer, you are going to find a city with a very local atmosphere dotted with places that the traveler likes.


The Plaza Grande is the soul of Mérida, in its surroundings much of life bustles that makes the traveler get trapped in it. Don't miss those Sundays in the morning: see the regional dances, eat at the park stalls, the crafts, the show of the funny clown, the grannies who dare to dance, the man who runs the show.

There is little entertainment, there is always something to see or do in the big square.

Enjoy the Thursday serenade at 9 pm in Santa Lucía Park, more than 40 years presenting Yucatecan folklore in music and dance

mariachi doll


This long walk in Mérida evokes splendorous times. It is one of the most precious corners for the visitor. Along the walk you will find pastry shops, colonial mansions, restaurants and some museums such as the Palacio Cantón or the Quinta Montes Molina House Museum.

From Calle 49 to the Monument to the Flag is the most traveled section by the traveler, from here the walk is more for the use of the citizen. 

There is a 5 kilometer bike route on Sundays from 8 am to 12:30 pm, where the streets close for a bike tour of the white city. You can rent a bike in Paseo Montejo



From Thursday to Sunday they close the traffic of the urban center and Mérida becomes a pleasant place to stroll. Most of the bars and restaurants in the urban center, set up their terraces on the street and live in a verbena environment, where you can dine, walk, dance, go to the theater.

Mérida it moves, of that there is no doubt.

In the Santiago park on Tuesdays at 8.30:XNUMX pm there is a must-see dance event by the City Council Orchestra

Merida Yucatan


Stroll around, poke your head in the patios of old houses, eat in the markets or in the street stalls, do everything you see to enjoy Yucatecan life as a local. Most of the attractive shops, restaurants, churches and markets are located in the center, around the Plaza.

Beyond the tourist places, Mérida has a life of its own to lose yourself in.

A tour of the historic center departs from Monday to Friday at 9.30 am leaving the Municipal Palace

Merida Yucatan


The most culture people find in this city a small oasis where they can visit several of the most attractive museums. Those with a Mayan theme such as the Great Mayan Museum of the Mayan World, the Catherwood house or the Canton Palace with traveling exhibits, are among the most outstanding.

I leave you an interesting list of museums and places to visit in Mérida

Guangzhou Palace


Mérida is an excellent place to enjoy Yucatecan food. There are several restaurants of local and international food to vary during the days that you are in the city. From eating on the street to luxury restaurants, Mérida has a whole range of possibilities.

All the recommended ones are peculiar or typical places where it is worth going

  • LA CHAYA MAYA RESTAURANT: one of the best restaurants of traditional Yucatecan food most famous among locals and that tourism has appropriated in recent years. Delicious to taste the typical dishes.
  • MARKET 60: an old renovated market with different food stalls ranging from tacos to pizzas or local food. Good atmosphere with music at tables shared informally.
  • THE NEGRITA CANTINE: one of the traditional canteens that serve good snacks, a classic for the curious of old-fashioned atmospheres.
  • THE GOOD BYE: a place to experience the environment more than food, a place for curious travelers. With each beer you order they serve you good and varied snacks. You do not need to order food with so many snacks that they give, and you try a variety of flavors in Mexican snacks. Live music, live the atmosphere
  • ROSAS & XOCOLATE HOTEL: one of the hotels in paseo Montejo famous for its restaurant. Elegant restaurant with different atmospheres and jazz nights, fusion cuisine.
Merida Yucatan


Merida has a very wide hotel offer, sure you find your perfect option. To make your search easier we write an entry about hotels in Merida, We hope you find it useful.

I leave you a table with the accommodation offers in Mérida.



The surroundings of Mérida are surprising, both culturally and naturally. They await you from the best Mayan archaeological zones, cenotes where you will not want to go, henequeras haciendas full of charm and fascinating natural landscapes.

The 9 places to visit around Mérida

Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve, Yucatán


Did you know that there are cenotes in the city of Mérida? We show you the most relevant cenotes that you can enjoy in Mérida and its surroundings. Some of the most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan are found in the surroundings of Merida, so get ready for the good.

Los mejores 8 cenotes of merida that I wouldn't miss

cenote noh mozon yucatan pixya

We hope the information will help you to enjoy this beautiful city in the best way. Any questions write us in comments and we try to support you.

We leave you tips for driving around the Yucatan Peninsula

Mérida It is very attractive for the traveler without losing its essence. Mérida is sincere with a charm that captures, a place where things do not stop happening. If you like to spend the night in a fixed place for a few days, it is a perfect city as a base for some excursions in this area of ​​Mexico.

Explore Mérida with our complete guide: what to do, what to visit in the surroundings, the best cenotes in the area, restaurants and hotels in Mérida. one

Merida, towns

LOCATION: Merida It is located in the northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula. At 3 hours and a half of Cancun and only at hour and little more than Campeche.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? To Merida arrives transport from Cancún 4 hours, Valladolid 2'15 »h, Campeche 2'30» h.Official Web of the main bus company that operates in the area.
Tricks and tips: try to make your visit during the weekend to experience the festive atmosphere of the city.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE SURROUNDINGS? Good base for excursions to the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve, archaeological zone of Uxmal and others of the Puuc routeHacienda Yaxcopoil, Izamal, cenotes Cuzama and others, the route of convents, Progress and the archaeological zone of Dzibilchaltún y Xcambo. All these places are reached by public transport and the agencies of Mérida make excursions.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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