"Feliz Año Nuevo en Mérida, Mexico" Top 5 Page for this destination Mérida by karenincalifornia

Mérida Travel Guide: 351 reviews and 710 photos

Capital of the Yucatan State

We greeted the new year 2007 in Merida, Mexico. Merida knows how to party! The capital of Yucatan State, Merida is an interesting mix of neighborhoods, food, activities and attractions. Merida has a very distinct Spanish/European colonial influence. Indeed, walking through the city streets, we felt as if we were in Mexico one moment, Spain the next.

Hotel accommodations can be found in the Centro Historico, a delightful area of Merida, or if one prefers, at one of several large chain hotels to the north near the intersection of Paseo de Montejo and Ave. Colon. We stayed in the Centro Historico, but ate dinner one evening on Ave. Colon. What a huge difference! On Ave. Colon, we felt as if we had suddenly been transported to Anywhere, USA. (Anywhere, USA with mega bucks, that is.)

If you want it, you can stay at hotels that are just like the large ones in the USA. Merida has a Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Fiesta Americana or Intercontinental on Ave. Colon/Paseo de Montejo. It's like an oasis of the USA transplanted into the heart of Mexico. Even the people all look like they are from Florida. However, I do not recommend staying in this area. If you want to truly experience Merida, Centro Historico is the place to stay and spend your time.

Rich with History

We traveled with our two teenagers, and as it turned out, Yucatan was a perfect place for a family vacation with older children. We spent our evenings in Merida, and our days exploring the countryside. Mayan archaeological sites dominate the area. We chose to visit two sites - Uxmal and Chichen Itza. Both are spectacular, yet unique. We were completely awed by the technological advances and the amazing architecture produced by this ancient culture.

Eco tours

We headed west to Celestun for a memorable day trip from Merida. In Celestun, we hired a boat and guide to take us into the Celestun inlet to see the migrating flamingos and white pelicans, and to meander through the mangrove forest. That excursion was topped off with a lunch of super fresh sea food, caught that morning from in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Amazing culture and history, tasty food, not touristy, relatively inexpensive, variety of activities
  • Cons:I wouldn't want to be here in the dead of summer
  • In a nutshell:So unique - not like the rest of Mexico (this can be said for any part of Mexico!)
  • Last visit to Mérida: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Jan 11, 2007
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Reviews (23)

Comments (10)

  • Michael_D's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    I am renting a house for a month in Merida and enjoyed the info you had here Mike

  • Nov 22, 2008 at 7:56 AM

    There is a very detailed map of the Yucatan, Merida and other cities found at Sanborn's located at the Montejo side of Fiesta Americana hotel and the Gran Plaza at the north end of the city.

  • CaribNomad's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2008 at 5:13 PM

    Great tips, great photos! Have fun on your next trip!

  • 1courage's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2007 at 2:26 AM

    I loved those maya temples! I think that those who insist that there is absolutely no relation between these piramids and the egyptians, are simply idiot:)

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2007 at 5:02 PM

    Karen, thanks for the great tips on Merida. We are considering a Hacienda tour in that area. Mexican yogurt is the best, isn't it? ~ Helen

  • melosh's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    You are utterly amazing! You visit at the New Year and within the month of Jan you have posted a great collection of tips & pictures. I recall in Sept you mentioned this as a planned trip. For me it usually takes me as long to report as it does to plan.

  • Jan 24, 2007 at 9:37 AM

    will put this on my list. mapperdapper has a map

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    Karen, wow, you have a whole pile of 5-star tips here! I really enjoyed following along on your vacation, sounds just like the way I would like to do it. I read somewhere that the churches were built on Mayan ruins to show the locals who the new boss was!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2007 at 7:26 AM

    Happy birthday and congratulations on another fine new VT page. Great that your son was able to translate! I was amused to see a bicycle listed as essential cooking equipment for the marquesitas.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2007 at 9:37 AM

    What an excellent way to spend New Years. Amaro Restaurant sounds good. Hotel Villa Marias's restaurant, wow! Pemex is new information for me. Museum building is beautiful, & smart to have a great guide for info about the Mayan culture. Terrific, Karen.


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