It is the capital of Yucatán. The place has much of its colonial attraction and is a prosperous center for textiles with strong trade connections to Europe for years. The city is known as Ciudad Blanca or the white city. It is called so for the white garments worn by the townsfolk.
It is a historic downtown that shows us some of the city’s top attractions and most popular things to do. The area gives you a warm, humid climate.
Mayapán Archaeological Zone
An anthropologist or an archeologist would be the best to guide you through the area. They will explain in detail about the ancient culture. At least two days would be the best to explore the zone.
You can climb the structures but they are very steep. Restrooms are available. Climbing is allowed so it’s fun for kids of all ages. The Observatory and the reliefs are different from other places. The entrance fee is quite low.
Paseo de Montejo
The Paseo is so beautiful to walk. See the real people very early in the morning while walking or running. Beautiful architecture in the old mansions like shops, coffees and restaurants are interspersed along the route.
There are nice monuments established. Take a horse drawn carriage along the avenue if you are used to it. A nice tree lined avenue like Europe than Mexico.
Beautiful home from the grand style of living in Merida in the early 1900s. The original family still has the house and it shows in the care of everything thoughtfully displayed.
Hacienda Sotuta de Peon
It is the restoration project of a landmark located in the heart of the ancient henequen zone in the Yucatan state. Beautiful gardens, winding paved paths, and luxurious rooms are available here.
The accommodation included a wonderful breakfast and dinner prepared to order. The history of the sisal or henequen industry was famous in the 19th and 20th centuries.
You can have a guide for the tour and visit the beautiful cenote on the property. A great location for touring the many Mayan ruins in the area.
Zona Arqueologica de Dzibilchaltun
Most Mayan sites around Merida are south or east of it. The walls are not the tallest but are interesting. You cannot climb the pyramids as you can still do at a few sites. There are facilities to swim.
Dzibilchaltun is a convenient site for those heading north to Progresso. Not anywhere near as awesome as Uxmal or chichen itza but if you are staying in Merida it really is a must do.
Gran Museo del Mundo Maya
The architecture of the building is worth the trip to the museum. It is a nice example of modern architecture. It contrasts strongly with the ancient artifacts in the museum. There is a lot to see.
The things shown in the museum are interesting. Simulated life experience of real Mayan culture. Sunday is free admission. It is a bit far from the center but worth the taxi or uber ride.
Cenote X Batun
Beautiful crystal blue water in a cave. Here you can visit two very different cenotes in one trip. This is a pair of two pretty small cenotes suitable if you’re passing by on your way to Uxmal or Merida.
They’re some 10 min drive off road when you turn from the main one. Due to their size it gets crowded quickly. It is nice to drop by if you’re in the area.
Casa Museo Montes Molina
Great walk through into one of the great Merida mansions. It showed how the wealthy lived in old Merida. Many interesting pieces from the period. Tour is self-guided. There is a nice book and gift shop at the end of the tour.
If you like walking into the past this is the place to go. It’s a stunning place that is very well kept with it’s original furniture. Really gives you a feel for how the wealthy lived back in the day.
Anthropology and History Museum
Worth visiting for the maya artifacts as well as the building.
Bottom floor maya artifacts are very interesting and worth seeing up close. All information is in Spanish just in case you do not read Spanish. The upstairs exhibit is beautiful with embroidered items of an artist highlighting maya women.
The artifacts are amazing and the entry fee is so reasonable. Visitors will find lots of information on Mayan language, history and culture. Architecture lovers will also find the building itself highly interesting.
El Palacio de Gobierno
This old colonial building is now a beautiful art gallery. It houses huge paintings, many of which depict the history of the area. This elegant green edifice is the area’s government seat, standing on the main Plaza Grande square.
In normal times you can enter it to admire great murals in the arched courtyard. They are reminiscent of Diego Rivera murals in Mexico City’s City Hall, but here in Merida, Fernando Pacheco is responsible for them.
Merida Tourism Office
You can have Native American cultures and history. This walking tour is an absolute hit. The authorities here can speak both Spanish and very clear English.
The walk doesn’t go too far away from the central plaza. There’s quite a bit of history here. Merida has people selling tours in every corner.