The Best Things to Do in Merida Mexico: Your Curated Travel Guide
Merida is Yucatan’s capital and the state’s largest city and often touted as Mexico’s safest but it’s definitely more than just that. When given a chance, Merida has a lot to offer from cultural activities to cenotes and beautiful historical buildings to great Yucatan food. It’s a city with a relaxed pace of life, with the beach and several cenotes never far away. It’s a city full of friendly locals, grand colonial mansions and churches and some of the best local restaurants around. If you’re looking to get away from the beach resorts of Cancun or Playa del Carmen in search of a more authentic side to Mexico look no further than spending a few days here and enjoying the best things to do in Merida Mexico. You won’t need more than three days to fully appreciate Merida and due to its small and compact centre, you can fill your days with some of the city’s best museums, cultural activities and nightlife.
If you’re considering a trip to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, make sure to factor in a few days to spend in Merida to enjoy some local culture and city vibes.
*This best things to do in Merida Mexico post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book using them at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with free, quality content.
- BEST TIME TO VISIT MERIDA, MEXICO
- HOW TO GET TO MERIDA
- WHERE TO STAY IN MERIDA
- WHERE TO EAT IN MERIDA, MEXICO
- TOP THINGS TO DO IN MERIDA, MEXICO
- EXPLORE THE HISTORICAL CENTRE
- TAKE A WALK DOWN PASEO MONTEJO
- SWIM IN SOME CENOTES
- EXPLORE THE SANTA ANA NEIGHBOURHOOD
- VISIT LAGALÁ CONCEPT SPACE
- VISIT A MARKET
- TAKE IN THE MONUMENTO A LA PATRIA
- LEARN ABOUT MAYAN CULTURE
- VISIT CHICHEN ITZA
- GO TO THE BEACH
- GET A DRINK AT A CANTINA
- VISIT UXMAL RUINS
- WATCH A POK TA POK BALL GAME
- TAKE A DAY TRIP TO IZAMAL
- RELAX IN THE PARKS
- TOP TIPS FOR VISITING MERIDA
BEST TIME TO VISIT MERIDA, MEXICO
Merida, just like the whole Yucatán Peninsula has a hot, tropical climate with consistent day temperatures of over 26°C/78°F all year round. Yucatan however, unlike the Riviera Maya doesn’t have a sea breeze to keep temperatures down so temperatures in Merida and other towns in Yucatan feel much hotter than Tulum or Playa del Carmen. The hottest time to visit is in April and May where temperatures soar to 38°C/100°F and exploring gets difficult. We visited in April and to be honest at times the heat really was unbearable.
The rainy seasons runs from May until October where strong showers can quickly inundate the streets even though most showers come and go and there are opportunities for exploring in between.
The best time to visit is during the winter high season (Dec-February) when temperatures are at their lowest of about 29°C/84°F during the day yet days are dry and sunny. Alternatively October, November and March are good alternatives.
HOW TO GET TO MERIDA
Merida is best reached by bus from Valladolid, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Campeche and Tulum. From Valladolid, you can also take a shared mini-bus or colectivo and the trip takes a little under two hours.
The best bus to take is the ADO. Their buses are large, have air-conditioning, comfortable seats and a toilet on board. Tickets can be purchased in advance via their website or at your local ADO bus station. Remember that there are two arrival stations in Merida and you’ll want to leave and arrive at ‘Merida Centro Historico’. The other one is much further out and arriving there you’ll have a long taxi ride ahead of you to get to the city center. From the Centro Historico bus station, you can easily walk to your hotel.
You can also reach Merida with your own rental car which is a great idea for exploring the surrounding area and it’s beaches and cenotes. For the best car rental deals use the form below to check rates and availability for your dates.
Private transfers to Merida are also available. If you would like to book a private transfer it’s best to organise this with your hotel.
If you’re visiting from further afield, you can also fly into Merida. Merida’s international airport is located in the southwest of the city and not too far from the city center. Most daily flights are domestic, arriving and departing to Mexico’s largest cities like Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara but there are also a few direct flights from Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston.
Uber works in Merida and you can easily get around the city for a few dollars each time. We found that we didn’t even need to use it when not going out of the historic centre as almost everything is walkable.
WHERE TO STAY IN MERIDA
In order to fully enjoy the best things to do in Merida Mexico, you’ll need a beautiful place to stay. When it comes to accommodation Merida is famous for iconic colonial mansions in the historic centre and its haciendas, which you can also find all over Yucatan. Many of the best hotels can be found inside these colonial, stone mansions distinctly characterised by their vaulted beams, high ceilings, thick stone walls and grand inner courtyards.
Merida isn’t a big city, but you’ll definitely want to stay in the historic centre to get the most out of your trip. Most of Merida’s sights are located in the historic centre and so are many restaurants and cafes. The focal point of the city is around Plaza Grande and Paseo Montejo so any accommodation a few blocks from these will mean you’ll be able to walk around and explore without the need to take taxis or public transportation.
Here are some of our favourite stays in Merida
Set in a recently renovated, listed townhouse, this is one of the best places to stay to experience life in 19th century Merida. Enjoy the exquisite details around the hotel such as the beautifully tiled floors, ornate bannisters and 19th Century furniture all around the property. Spend the hottest hours in their pool or in the beautiful, shaded courtyard. The rooms here will make you feel like royalty. Located just two blocks from stunning Paseo Montejo.
Look no further for one of the most unique hotels in Merida. Not only is it entirely pink and oh-so-pretty, but it’s also airy and unique with an atmosphere that immediately makes you feel welcomed. Set in a colonial mansion, it has a lovely on-site restaurant, one of the best pools in the city and a spa with a focus on chocolate treatments. Rooms are comfortable, grand yet simple and tasteful. Don’t miss out on one of the most unique stays in Merida.
If Casa Azul isn’t quite your cup of tea then make sure to look into Casa Lecanda. This beautiful property, just a block from Paseo Montejo is, simply put… a dream. Featuring beautiful colonial-style architecture, a pool, beautiful gardens and luxurious rooms, this adults-only hotel is perfect for anyone looking to really unwind and experiences Merida in luxury. The staff here are wonderful, always going above and beyond to make sure you have an amazing stay. If there’s one hotel in Yucatan to splash out on, make sure it’s this.
For the more budget traveller, Kuka y Naranjo is a lovely choice just a few blocks south of the heart of the historic centre. Located in an old mansion, this lovely and comfortable boutique hotel uses local materials, and artisanal products to really allow you to experience Yucatan design and culture with a modern twist. It also features a lovely garden with a plunge pool, rooftop terrace and beautifully decorated rooms. Breakfast here is delicious too- a truly great place to stay.
Housed in another beautiful colonial mansion, Hotel Caribe Merida is a great budget opportunity to enjoy the splendour of past centuries. Built around a fountain and spacious courtyard, rooms here are airy, colourful and filled with beautiful touches such as the exquisite tile-work on the floors. During the day you can relax in the courtyard or take a dip in the rooftop pool in between exploring the city. This is one of the best value hotels in Merida.
WHERE TO EAT IN MERIDA, MEXICO
Merida isn’t exactly a healthy food or plant-based food paradise, especially if you’re coming from Tulum or Playa del Carmen. We found that many of the better vegan restaurants to be located outside of the historic centre and what is in the centre was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having said that, if you are looking for delicious local, Yucatan food, there is plenty to be had and staff here are happy to try their best to ‘veganise’ dishes and adapt to your diet. If you are plant-based though, you might want to consider renting an Airbnb with a kitchen to prepare a few simple meals.
Cafe Latte Quattro Sette– One of the prettiest and most Instagrammable cafes in Merida, Cafe Latte Quattro Sette is a gorgeous french-style cafe a short walk from the start of Paseo Montejo. Come here for breakfast or an afternoon coffee and feast you’re taste buds on some delicious avocado toast, granola and fruit bowls, pastries and a great selection of teas and quality coffee. The staff here are lovely too. Not plant-based but there are a good few options.
Lo Que Hay Cafe– One of the most popular vegan restaurants in the city centre located in Hotel MedioMundo, they specialise in a range of dishes mostly based around a variety of world cuisines.
Casa Savia Vegana – a small local eco-cafe selling a range of light meals made with local ingredients. Dishes include salads, ceviche, stuffed peppers, quinoa-based dishes and chaya cakes. Go on a Friday and they even have vegan tamales.
La Chaya Maya – One of the most famous and best restaurants in Merida, la Chaya Maya specializes in local, Yucatan dishes and flavours. If you aren’t plant-based then make sure to come here and try the Sopa de lima (lime soup), poc-chuc ( seasoned pork leg) or the iconic cochinita pibil. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many plant-based options here.
Mercado 60– One of the best places to go for dinner and drinks, Mercado 60 is a wonderful open space surrounded by funky bars, food stands, and live music. Head there to order some tacos, beers and even some mezcal or if you’d like a break from Mexican food, the vegan sushi is a great option too. The live music and atmosphere here are great and it’s one of the best things to do in Merida in the evening.
Picheta – While I can’t recommend the food because we didn’t manage to eat here, this beautiful restaurant and rooftop bar is located in one of Merida’s most exclusive places- right on Plaza Grande. It’s the perfect place to dress up to come and enjoy some sunset drinks- Merida’s Cathedral, glistening in the low orange light on one side and the sky turning pink on the other.
Pola– The best gelato in Merida, and probably the whole of Yucatan, this local shop sells a range of remarkable gelatos and sorbets combining local ingredients and flavours. The mango chilli flavour is insanely good.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN MERIDA, MEXICO
EXPLORE THE HISTORICAL CENTRE
Also known as the Zocalo, Merida’s historic centre is one of the biggest of all cities in Mexico and there is so much to see and do here. Most of the best things to do in Merida Mexico are located in the historic centre so it’s pretty easy to walk between places of interest. Merida’s historic centre is characterised by large 19th Century mansions and old, stone colonial palaces and churches that are pretty impressive. Horse-drawn carriages take tourists for rides down the narrow streets and in the evening street vendors sell marquesitas- Mexico’s most famous sweet treat.
You can easily walk around the historic centre in half a day but I suggest taking your time to really visit all the prettiest colonial mansions and taking it all in your stride.
Best things to do in Merida Mexico in the historical centre:
– Plaza Grande- Merida’s main square, Plaza Grande provides the historic centre with a beautiful green space. Here you’ll find many shaded paths and benches with locals seeking refuge from the afternoon heat. Around the main plaza, you’ll find the Merida Cathedral, a 500+-year-old cathedral built from stones pillaged by the Spanish from Mayan ruins as well as a few more noteworthy buildings.
- Museo Casa Montejo- this beautiful colonial mansion turned museum houses a lot of local art and artefacts from Yucatan. One of the most interesting features are the caryatids on the outer facade of the buildings and even though it’s just for adornment it’s one of the only buildings in Mexico to use this ancient Greek style of architecture.
- Palacio Municipal de Merida- this elaborate town hall building painted a very pretty shade of pink, is another beautiful example of colonial, stone architecture with its arched vaults and high ceilings. Make sure to go inside to check out the courtyard and the view of Plaza Grande from the second floor.
- Palacio de Gobierno de Yucatan- a grand, classical, mint-green building, this is the seat of the Yucatan government. Inside this government palace, you’ll find a vaulted courtyard and several murals of local, important events, past rulers and government officials.
The historical centre can be explored in two main ways. You can explore by yourself or if you prefer to learn a little bit more about the history of the area- take a local tour.
Free tours organise free walking tours of the historical centre that depart daily at 10 am in Parque Santa Lucia. Your knowledgeable guide will take you all around the historic centre and can answer any questions to might have. Make sure to give a tip of about 200 pesos at the end.
Alternatively, you can also go for this tour that will show you the whole of Merida and more in a day from the back of a Gua Gua bus.
TAKE A WALK DOWN PASEO MONTEJO
Paseo Montejo is Merida’s main thoroughfare, lined with historical mansions, great leafy trees, restaurants, cafes, hotels and commerce and a walk down here is one of the best things to do in Merida Mexico. It’s a wide avenue, modelled on Paris’ Champs-Elysee and on it you’ll find most of Merida’s most iconic buildings, owned by a small share of the noteworthy families that once lived here. Some of the mansions are still owned by those same families that lived here in the 18th and 19th Century and visiting them is a fascinating way to get to know Merida’s past.
You can easily spend half a day or even a full day walking up and down Paseo Montejo and visiting all the amazing mansions, museums and concept stores during the day. You should also know that the most interesting and historic part starts at the roundabout with Calle 47 and finishes at the Monumento a la Patria. Here are the most noteworthy places to visit going from south to north:
↠ Casas Gemelas (Casa 495)– these two twin mansions belong to one of Merida’s wealthiest families of the 19th Century and they still occupy part of the house today. The house has only recently been made into a museum where you can visit part of it which has been vastly untouched since the mid-nineteenth century. The grandeur here is astonishing and you’ll immediately feel like part of Netflix’s next period drama. It’s well worth a quick guided tour.
↠ Casa T´HŌ Concept House – a beautiful, white, classical building just across the street from Casas Gemelas, this is an old mansion turned concept store space. Inside you’ll find a wide range of chic boutiques running around the perimeter with a wonderful, palm-shaded courtyard in the centre where you can relax and have a drink in the afternoon. The space is truly beautiful and free to access.
↠ Museo Palacio Canton – An opulent, light yellow, baroque-style building with the Regional Anthology museum inside.
↠ Quinta Montes Molina – Another grand home that has recently been donated to the state by the owner, explore the vast rooms and learn about how Merida’s affluent lived in the past.
↠ Fiesta Americana Merida – This luxurious hotel building is one of the grandest in Merida.
↠ Monumento a la Patria– unique monument to the homeland.
Once you reach Monumento a la Patria, turn back and walk down Calle 60 for a few blocks before going back to Paseo Montejo as there are quite a few interesting buildings here too.
Here you can see El Pinar, a fairytale pink home, with vast gardens full of peacocks, singing birds, fountains and a pool. Further down you can also check out Casa Azul Monumento Historico and even if you’re not staying at the gorgeous hotel you can ask nicely to take a peek inside this historical mansion.
SWIM IN SOME CENOTES
Found throughout Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, cenotes are freshwater sinkholes formed by the sinking and erosion of the limestone underneath to reveal the groundwater. They’re ideal for swimming and cooling off from the tropical heat. While there are thousands located all over the area, some of the best cenotes are located in Yucatan and around Merida.
You can rent a car and visit the cenotes around Merida alone or you can organise a tour with a local, reliable provider like this one, to take you to all the best cenotes around Merida for a whole or half-day.
Many of the best cenotes around Merida are part of haciendas- large properties with a gorgeously colonial country house and they also offer lunch and other things to do like horse rides.
Some of the best cenotes to visit around Merida are Cenotes Cuzama, a collection of three, beautiful cenotes all in one place and Cenote Santa Barbara, just outside of the town of Homún. All four of these can be visited together on a half-day or full-day trip from Merida.
EXPLORE THE SANTA ANA NEIGHBOURHOOD
There’s a lot going on in this small, quaint Merida neighbourhood located just to the north of Plaza Grande in the historic centre. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Merida Mexico especially in the evening when it comes to life. With a gorgeous park at its heart, in Santa Ana you’ll find a variety of lovely cafes and restaurants, the start of Paseo Montejo and Merida’s Centre of Visual Arts. Head to Santa Ana Park in the morning to one of the many typical Mexican eateries that line its side and then explore its wonderful church, colonial buildings and of course Paseo Montejo. Come by in the evening and the area comes alive with local families.
VISIT LAGALÁ CONCEPT SPACE
If you’re a fan of beautiful spaces and design, this is definitely one of the best things to do in Merida Mexico. Located just around the corner from the start of Paseo Montejo, Lagalá is a converted historical mansion turned concept space. Inside you’ll find the prettiest cafe and a couple of boutiques but the space is just gorgeous. It’s modern, stylish and a great place to take some pictures.
VISIT A MARKET
Mexico’s markets really are the life and soul of the city and Merida is no exception. Visiting one of Merida’s markets, you’ll be able to get a glimpse into local life and culture, find out and try some delicious local meals and ingredients and even mingle with the friendly locals. There are a few different markets all over Merida but the biggest and most noteworthy are San Benito Market and Mercado Lucas de Galvez. These markets, located right next to each other, sell everything from sandals to fruit to live chickens and it’s fascinating to just walk around, meet the local sellers and try some new foods.
Head to the second floor of Mercado Lucas de Galvez, first thing in the morning and you’ll find many local stalls selling local Yucatan food such as Sopa de lima and Cochinita Pibil tacos.
If you’re interested in meeting local people and immersing yourself in local culture when you travel, make sure not to miss a visit to the local markets of Merida.
TAKE IN THE MONUMENTO A LA PATRIA
You’ll find the imposing Monumento de la Patria occupying a whole roundabout on Paseo de Montejo- marking the end of shall we say the most scenic and grandest part of the avenue. This beautiful dedication to the fatherland was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century by Colombia sculptor Romulo Rozo. It’s also one of the only monuments in the world that has been carved directly from the stone.
The iconography is based on Mayan principles, language and motifs with a large figure standing tall with an eagle above it. It’s a symbol of Yucatan and Mayan pride and heritage in the region but it also tells the story of the history of Mexico and acknowledges all the different states. It’s by far one of the most unique and beautiful monuments in the world- quite easily one of the best things to do in Merida Mexico.
LEARN ABOUT MAYAN CULTURE
The whole of the Yucatan peninsula is synonymous with Mayan Culture and the Mayan people, their culture and customs that have existed here for hundreds of years, outdating Western culture and colonialism by centuries. To learn more about Merida and its history means to learn more about Mayan culture which, luckily you can do quite easily in Merida.
Not only can you take day trips to see the amazing Chichen Itza or Uxmal ruins but you can also learn a little more from the museums in Merida. Take a taxi or Uber to the Mayan World Museum of Merida ( Gran Museo del Mundo Maya ) and learn everything there is to know about Mayan culture, their calendar, language and society at this excellent, well-rounded museum a little way out of the centre. Unfortunately, the Mayan World Museum was closed at the time of writing due to the pandemic situation. Check here before visiting to make sure it’s open before planning your visit.
If you don’t quite have time to leave the centre but still want to learn more about the Mayans then head to the Palacio Canton on Paseo Montejo, where you’ll find the Regional Anthropology Museum. Here you can look at some artefacts taken from some significant Mayan sites and learn more about the culture. The exhibit itself is small, but worth it for the entrance fee of 65 pesos.
VISIT CHICHEN ITZA
Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient Maya citadel of Chichen Itza is a must on any Yucatan itinerary. Being one of the new seven wonders of the world you simply can’t overlook this monumental creation when in Merida. This citadel was probably one of the largest and most powerful in the Mayan Kingdom and contains many temples, ball courts, platforms and civic buildings. Visiting Chichen Itza makes for the most authentic glimpse into Mexico’s rich Mayan history.
There are many ways to visit this pre-Colombian site. You can rent a car, take a tour from Merida or go by public transportation.
By far the easiest way is to join a tour which will take you to Chichen Itza and back in a relatively short time and provide you with a local, knowledgeable guide.
Click here for my top choice of tours to Chichen Itza from Merida which also combines a dip at the beautiful cenote Ik-Kil.
You can also visit Chichen Itza by yourself by hiring a car in Merida, which will also give you some flexibility to explore places like Valladolid, Izamal and some other Merida or Valladolid cenotes after you’ve visited the ruins. For car rental, I always book through either Rental Cars or directly with City Car Rental as they have the best deals and are the most reliable.
GO TO THE BEACH
While Merida is very much a land-locked city, the beach is never far away. Progreso is Merida’s nearest beach escape, located just 35km north of the city. it’s also Yucatan’s busiest port and sees a constant influx of cargo and cruise ships throughout the year. The beaches here are lovely, however, and the town itself is alive with local vacationers as well as locals. The beaches here aren’t quite Tulum, but it makes for one of the best things to do in Merida Mexico on this side of the Peninsula.
If you prefer a much less touristy and more off the beaten path beach escape then head a little further east to San Crisanto or Telchac Puerto where you can find lovely beaches and a sleepy fishing town with not much in the way of commercial tourism.
GET A DRINK AT A CANTINA
Cantinas are Yucatan-style drinking holes with a wild, wild West flare. They are often dark and shaded and some still sport the traditional, wooden, swinging doors you’ll find in your typical Clint Eastwood Western. They are basically bars, best visited in the evening where you can sample some traditional dishes and drinks like mezcal and local beer while also listening to some live music. Frequented by both locals and tourists cantinas are a great way to mingle with locals and have a good time. They are at their most lively on Friday nights and at weekends. While there are many cantinas in Merida, here are my top picks:
- La Negrita- one of the most traditional with a long-standing cult following this cantina is one of the best for Mexican/Cuban music and vibes. They have a large courtyard, perfect for live music and dancing and many other rooms with tables for sharing food and bars for grabbing some much-needed drinks. The food here is classic Yucatan such as cochinita pibil tacos and they also have their own beer on tap and an endless selection of mezcal.
- El Cardenal- one of the best cantinas for mojitos, this Merida classic is perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring. Get a table in the leafy back garden and enjoy the shade and an ice-cold beer or mojito to finish the day.
- El Dzalbay- One of the only cantinas in the historic centre with a rooftop terrace, this is the perfect place to come for a few beers at sunset. The roof is small and intimate and allows you to take advantage of the cooling air surrounded by local and live music.
VISIT UXMAL RUINS
Located 85 km south of Merida you’ll find Uxmal, another epic Mayan citadel with exquisite carvings and pyramids. Some believe Uxmal to be even more beautiful than Chichen Itza and with less than half of the crowds. It’s considered to be one of the most important citadels in Mayan culture and it’s one of the best-preserved ruins in all of Mexico.
Uxmal was dominant at around 900AD and most of the structures originate from this period making them over a thousand years old. The main buildings to note are the Pyramid of the Magician, the Governor’s Palace with its exquisite carvings and the Nunnery.
While driving out to Uxmal makes a fine half-day trip visitors also have the option to explore the entire Ruta Puuc (Puuc Route), a 19-mile drive with five distinct Mayan archaeological sites. Apart from Uxmal, you’ll also see Sayil, Labna, Xlapak and Kabah, which all have a similar style of carved stone structures.
Uxmal is a little difficult to reach by public transport, so I’d recommend either renting a car or taking an organised tour from Merida.
Check out Merida car rental here.
WATCH A POK TA POK BALL GAME
Pok ta Pok is an ancient Mayan ball game that was played thousands of years ago by the Mayans as part of a sacred ceremony. The main idea of the game was to manoeuvre a heavy rubber ball using only the forearms and thighs through a stone hoop attached to a high wall. The winner of the game was then sacrificed to the Gods, which was, back then the highest possible honour a Mayan player could hope for.
Pok ta Pok playing fields can still be seen today in sites like Chichen Itza and Uxmal.
Every Friday night in front of Merida Cathedral on Plaza Grande you can watch the traditional Pok ta Pok game reenacted. It’s a really fun experience to watch such an old game being played, just thankfully without any kind of sacrifice. Try to get there early to get a good spot close to the barriers to get the best view of the action.
Unfortunately during the COVID-19 pandemic, the game has been cancelled, with no notice of when it will start up again.
TAKE A DAY TRIP TO IZAMAL
Perfectly combined with a side trip to Chichen Itza, Izamal is one of Yucatan’s famous ‘pueblos magicos’– magical towns known for their beauty, history and culture. Izamal is one of the most beautiful of Yucatan’s offerings and there is so much to see in this town that has been entirely painted the same shade of yellow.
Start in the main square taking in the grand colonial architecture and of course San Antonio Convent, a beautifully grand yet serene place worth entering. Make sure to also not miss the Mayan Ruins right in the middle of town, Taller Maya, a lovely workshop in the centre selling all types of handicrafts and wares from the region and Centro Botanico Naturista. If you’re interested in local wellness remedies and herbalism, you won’t be able to pass up this opportunity to learn more about the traditional plants and methods used by the Mayans to cure a number of minor remedies.
To visit Izamal from Merida you’ll need to rent a car or go by bus/colectivo. To get the best deals on car rentals for your trip dates, click here.
RELAX IN THE PARKS
Right in the centre of Merida, there are a number of small parks or squares which are perfect for relaxing in or hiding away from the afternoon heat or just people watching. In the evenings you’ll also see many locals here catching up with their families and resting after a day’s work. In the squares, you’ll normally find a fountain in the centre as the focal point and around it various paths surrounded by grassy areas and large, leafy vegetation. The best parks to visit in central Merida are Plaza Grande, Santa Ana park, Santiago Park and San Juan Park. Make sure to also check out San Juan church while you’re there- it’s one of the prettiest in Merida. While sitting in a park isn’t one of the best things to do in Merida Mexico it’s a nice way to take a break if you need to relax and rest from the heat.
TOP TIPS FOR VISITING MERIDA
↠ If you can, choose a hotel with a pool. Temperatures in Merida can often reach 39°C/102°F in the spring and summer months and exploring the city at this time gets intense. One of the best things to do in Merida Mexico to avoid the heat is to relax in your hotel pool during the hottest part of the day and explore in the early morning and later in the afternoon. All of our accommodation options above feature a pool.
↠ Make sure to also carry plenty of water with you while you’re exploring to avoid dehydration. Stay hydrated sustainably though and avoid plastic bottles during your trip. Mexico’s tap water isn’t potable, however, which is why I always carry my LARQ bottle– it filters 99.999% of all bacteria meaning I can fill up my water bottle all over the city and have access to clean, fresh water wherever I go. It’s the ultimate answer to plastic bottles and you’ll never have to use one again. Get yours from Amazon here.
↠ Spend some time getting to know the locals. They are really relaxed and friendly and a great opportunity to practise your Spanish. The best opportunities to do so are in the Plaza Grande, Parque Hidalgo and at the local market.
↠ If you’re arriving by bus make sure you’re arriving at the ADO Merida Centro Historico and not any other bus station as this will mean a long taxi ride into the centre later.
↠ Free Wifi is available in many public places around the historic centre such as the main parks and squares and on Paseo Montejo but my advice is to buy a local SIM.
Ready to book your trip? Check out the best tours of the area from Merida:
Do you have any questions or doubt about the best things to do in Merida Mexico? Leave them below, I’d love to help you plan your trip.
Planning a trip right now? These are just some of my favourite websites I use to book everything from hotels to rental cars!
Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals worldwide
Booking.com for great deals on hotels
Hotels.com also for great deals on hotels
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