A Trip to Mérida

We started the New Year off right by taking a quick 3 day trip to Merida, Yucatan.

Merida was founded in 1542 on the site of an older Mayan city, and has a very long and interesting history. The thing that most impressed me was the architecture. After living in Cancún, which is very young and has no buildings older than about 30 years, I was enthralled by the many, many beautiful buildings in Merida which are hundreds of years old.

We were also impressed by the very large number of tourists we saw in Merida. The hotels were not packed but they were doing a brisk business and we saw tourists almost everywhere we went.

We spent most of our time wandering around the downtown area. We spent a lot of time enjoying the beautiful churches, going to museums and lounging around cafes and restaurants. We enjoyed the Museo Macay, which is right next door to the fabulously beautiful Cathedral San Ildefonso. We visited the Museo de la Canci&#243’n Yucateca, which is a museum dedicated to the famous Yucatecan song style. The Government Palace is a lovely building and has some very moving murals depicting Yucatecan history. We wandered through several of the markets, and interestingly did not see many tourists in those. We made our way to Paseo Montejo and saw the Monument to the Flag. We also went to the Canton Palace which houses the Anthropology and History Museum. The Anthropology Museum has a large collection of Mayan artifacts from all over the area.

On Monday night we were lucky enough to see an exhibition of Yucatecan dance, which was performed in the street in front of the Municipal Palace.

Finally, as our time in Merida, was ending we decided to take a quick drive up to the Port of Progreso. Progreso is only a 20 minute drive from Merida and there’s a well maintained highway going there. I was impressed by this because, due to traffic, it takes more than 20 minutes for me to get from my home in the center of Cancún out to the beach area in the Cancún Hotel Zone. Progreso has a decent beach, the water is not the same turquoise blue as the water here in the Caribbean but it’s still very pretty. There is a boardwalk along the beach where people stroll and there are street vendors selling all manner of Mexican junk food. We made our way to a sea-side restaurant called Eladios (it’s a small chain) and enjoyed seafood, cold beer and Yucatecan appetizers.

During the ride home we indulged in fantasies involving buying an older home in Merida and restoring it. I highly recommend a trip to Merida to anyone who comes to the Yucatan. It is a very busy and charming city.

Check out my Mérida Photo Album

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One Response to “A Trip to Mérida”

  1. Liz
    January 6th, 2006 17:53

    Loved your pics of Merida!!! Were great! Thanks for sharing. You definitely have an “eye” for it.

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