Looking for an experience in Mexico but more interested in culture than the beach? Welcome to the quiet paradise of Merida, the pearl of the Yucatan State of Mexico. Experience the culture of colonial Mexico and the wonders of the Mayan civilization.
Founded in 1542 by Francisco Montejo y Leon, a Spanish conquistador, Merida is 200 miles west of Cancun, situated 30 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico to its north and one hour from Chichen Itza to its east.
Known for its beautiful and colorful colonial architecture, its lively music and cultural flamboyance, Merida once produced in abundance sisal (henequén), the fabric used in making ropes, which made this city very prosperous. Mérida today is one of Mexico’s fastest growing cities and the gateway to all that is Maya. The city, much like the state of Yucatan, has heavy Mayan, Spanish, French, British, Lebanese and to a lesser extent Dutch influences. When you think of travel to Mexico you think about beach destinations. Mérida is a cultural alternative!
Nearby attractions include the ruin sites of Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Kabah as well as the flamingo sanctuary of Celestun. Progresso, a quaint fishing village and home to the cruise ship port, is only 30 minutes to the north. Numerous cenotes and cave systems are available for exploration as well as visits to quaint nearby towns and beautiful haciendas. You will fall in love with Merida and the Yucatan!
International gateway cities with direct flights to Mérida include Atlanta (Aeromexico Connect), Houston (United), Miami (American Eagle), and Toronto (Westjet). There are also many ways to get to Merida connecting through other Mexican cities with the most options being from Mexico City. Mérida’s airport code is MID (Manuel Crescencio Rejon International). In addition, Progresso is visited by Carnival cruise lines sailing from Galvaston, New Orleans and Mobile.
Cancun airport is yet another gateway. You can overnight in Cancun or in the Riviera Maya on arrival day and the night before departure. Mérida is a 4-hour ride from Cancun and during the journey you may want to stop at Chichen Itza or visit Ex-Balam and Valladolid.
Hotels in Mérida are extremely affordable, especially compared to what you would find at Mexico’s beach destinations. Among the premier hotels are the InterContinental Presidente (127 rooms), Hyatt Regency (289 rooms) and Fiesta Americana (350 rooms). Mérida also opened in April of this year a brand new state of the art convention center that is most impressive. Many smaller boutique options may appeal to special interest or social groups and are available for buyout such as Rosas & Xocolate. It is anticipated that there will be 9,000 hotel rooms in Merida by the end of 2019.
We welcome the opportunity to show you all that this coveted part of Mexico has to offer!