Mérida may not be one of Mexico’s better-known destinations, but it may be one of its best: With its beautiful architecture, storied past, and delicious food, the Yucatan capital is a must-see. Here are 10 reasons why Merida should be on your bucket list:
- This is heaven for history lovers…
Mérida is the largest city in the Yucatán Peninsula, with a history dating back more than 400 years – and a Mayan history that goes even further. Because of this, some historians consider it the oldest continuously occupied city in the Americas.
- …and Pinterest pros
It’s not just the age-old architecture that makes Merida an aesthetic dream. The municipality is known as the “White City” for the prevalence of white limestone formations, many of which are painted in vibrant pastel colours.
- You can have pork for dinner…
Don’t sleep on a torta de lechón al horno, a sandwich jam-packed with roasted suckling pig.
- …and sweets too
More adventurous diners will want to try a scoop or two of ice cream at the Pola Gelato Shop, where flavors range from mango and kiwi to pork and beans.
- You can follow in the footsteps of the Mayans…
Chichen Itza is arguably Mexico’s most famous Maya ruin, not least because it is one of the best restored. It was declared one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” so try to plan your visit to the site to beat the crowds.
- …then set your foot in the city
At the B&G Atelier in Downtown Merida, you can have a pair of custom leather kicks made to your exact specifications — and measurements. Note, though: You’ll need to be in town for more than a day to do this.
- The weather is steamy…
If you don’t like the heat, head out to the Yucatán: Merida is hot. With high humidity, daily temperatures average above 29 °C (85 F).
- …but the cenotes are fresh
Fortunately, what Merida has in high temperatures matches it in cold cenotes: deep sinkholes filled with cold groundwater.
- You can take in some art…
From the Nahulli Casa de Los Artistas, a private residence/studio/gallery, to the more contemporary Soho gallery, Mérida has options for lovers of all types of visual arts.
- …then ride
Horse and buggy rides are available in and around Merida’s long, wide streets. It’s a charming, old-fashioned way of looking at the city – and it’s totally in step with its colonial architecture and rich history.