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
In 1542, the Spanish conquered the ancient
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
the end of the 1540's all of the Yucatan was under Spanish rule.
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
Stately buildings line the plaza. This one houses a
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.
you want to see the pyramids of
they are close enough to Merida that you can go and
return in one day if you choose.
archways typical of Spanish architecture are abundant in
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
Today, cafes line the Main Plaza
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
weekends the plaza fills up with kiosks, food vendors,
mimes and other entertainment. Here this silver angel
waits for the gift of a tip.
bustling city with beautiful architecture
eats are everywhere
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
are many barrios (neighborhoods) that surround Merida
proper and each have their own plaza, church and
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
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
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.
fine hotels from which to choose
you have friends or family coming down to visit, there
are many hotels that will satisfy.
Enjoying a break from the city's heat
hotels and restaurants have interior courtyard gardens.
There's a sophistication here that is quite appealing.
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.
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.
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
Henequen is a green agave plant, not to be confused with
the blue agave from which
tequila is made.
days, the production of nylon has replaced the
manufacturing of sisal hemp and this enormous cash crop
has practically dropped off the economic map.
great turnout for the bicycle races
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.
best to stay out of the way when these athletes turn the
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.
must have been grand for those who lived in these homes.
Wouldn't you love it?
sidewalks line the Paseo de Montejo
how beautifully shaded this side of the street is?
Perfect for that weekend stroll.
monument to the Maya
the end of the Paseo, there is this beautiful monument
to the Maya culture.
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.
can easily take a bus (or taxi) to the old railroad
museum. And inside you will find.... old railway
engine on old track
engines like this one.
Sunday afternoon lunch
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.
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