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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

(Pronounced: MEH-ree-dah, YOO-cah-tan, MAY-hee-coh)

Currency Conversion Site 

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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We left Valladolid for Merida by taking an ADO 2nd class bus. Eighty-two Pesos per person bought us tickets and we arrived in Merida 3.5 hours later.

Merida is considered the cultural capital of the entire Yucatan Peninsula. European travelers come here looking for something different than the hub-bub of resort towns. You will find narrow streets and broad central plazas all over this city.


Merida's Central Plaza

Merida is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatan and is only 22 miles from the Gulf of Mexico Coast. It has the region's best museums, cheap places to eat, thriving markets and something going on every night.

 In 1542, the Spanish conquered the ancient Maya city of T'ho which had been a center of Maya culture and activities for centuries. The city's architecture reminded them of the Roman buildings in Merida, Spain and the conquistadores promptly renamed the city and began to rebuild it in Spain's image.

The Spanish used the rubble of the pyramids of the city of T'ho to build the colonial buildings of Merida, and one can still see these stones in the ancient church that lines the plaza.


Modern day Merida Plaza is wifi connected

By the end of the 1540's  all of the Yucatan was under Spanish rule.

The Plaza Grande is the city's heart and has been since ancient Maya times. Most of this city's attractions and services for tourists are to be found within 5 blocks of the Plaza.


Stately buildings line the plaza. This one houses a museum.

If you look closely on some of the walls of these buildings you will see that they have carved Maya stones from the Maya structures from centuries past.

If you want to see the pyramids of Chich'en Itza, they are close enough to Merida that you can go and return in one day if you choose.


The archways typical of Spanish architecture are abundant in Merida

Merida is also the financial capital of the state of Yucatan and plays host to international conferences and heads of state, as well as both sport and science competitions.


Today, cafes line the Main Plaza

The Centro Historico area is becoming popular with Expats who are rescuing the old colonial buildings and renovating them to their previous glory.


Silver mime angel

On weekends the plaza fills up with kiosks, food vendors, mimes and other entertainment. Here this silver angel waits for the gift of a tip.


A bustling city with beautiful architecture


Cheap eats are everywhere

You can get a tasty, full meal for $2-$3 here at this local eatery. Comes with pork, chicken, beef or fish and rice, tortillas and soup.


Face-to-face in a confidencial bench

Plazas all over Mexico are places to rest, meet up with friends and loved ones, and for exciting activities of the season. Here this couple share some private time in uniquely made chairs along side a traditional bench.

Beautiful barrio church

There are many barrios (neighborhoods) that surround Merida proper and each have their own plaza, church and activities.

Photo opportunities abound!

Upscale hotels and outdoor cafes

Eating out-of-doors or having a coffee under a table umbrella is a way of life in Latin America. Well kept buildings, clean streets and picturesque places to eat are everywhere.


A sneak peek inside

Taking the time to relax in beautiful surroundings and enjoying a meal is also a value in these Latin countries. You won't run out of places to visit.


Another plazita with a grand staircase to a monument

If you like to wander around and take photos, you are in luck. Bring a book and sit on a bench and enjoy the shade. Meet a friend or make one. Life is easy.


Many fine hotels from which to choose

If you have friends or family coming down to visit, there are many hotels that will satisfy.


Enjoying a break from the city's heat

Many hotels and restaurants have interior courtyard gardens. There's a sophistication here that is quite appealing.


Paseo de Montejo

Many millionaires from years past built homes on this large boulevard. Each weekend, traffic is closed off and you can meander the sidewalks or watch the bicycle races in the early day.

From the late 19th century and into the 20th, the area surrounding Merida prospered from the production of rope made from the course fibers of a local agave plant.

This agave plant soon became known as "green gold," and for a brief time in the 20th century, this city housed more millionaires than any other city in the world. You are still able to see many of those homes on the Paseo de Montejo.

Henequen is a green agave plant, not to be confused with the blue agave from which tequila is made.

These days, the production of nylon has replaced the manufacturing of sisal hemp and this enormous cash crop has practically dropped off the economic map.

A great turnout for the bicycle races

Each Sunday you can come and watch the cyclists as they speed by the mansions.


Sunday morning exercise

Hundreds turned out for the fun and competition.


Serious turn

It's best to stay out of the way when these athletes turn the corner.


Millionaire's mansion

Many of these mansions are now banks, insurance companies or or office buildings. The architecture is kept in tact and the beauty is appreciated by all who view.


Another mansion

Life must have been grand for those who lived in these homes. Wouldn't you love it?


Wide sidewalks line the Paseo de Montejo

See how beautifully shaded this side of the street is? Perfect for that weekend stroll.


A monument to the Maya

At the end of the Paseo, there is this beautiful monument to the Maya culture.


A closer look

At the back of this monument you will see a Ceiba tree, the Maya tree of life. In the circle of this monument you can see the symbolisms of the Maya etched in the stone.


Railroad museum

You can easily take a bus (or taxi) to the old railroad museum.  And inside you will find.... old railway cars!


Old engine on old track

And engines like this one.


Sunday afternoon lunch

Just about everywhere you look is a place to have a meal. This one came with a waiter and his grand sense of humor. As he held an old "Wild West" rifle (unloaded) he would drop a waiter's tray to the floor and make a huge bang!... and everyone's heart would stop a beat! 

Merida is a city of almost a million inhabitants and has humid, tropical climate. The Expats who live here enjoy the historical culture, social activities and the nearness to the Gulf of Mexico Coast. It also boasts of many regional hospitals and medical centers offering full services for the city, the whole Yucatan Peninsula and for neighboring states.

For more stories about places of interest in Mexico, click here


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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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