Visit Merida, Mexico
Merida was built more than 450 years ago on the site of T'ho, an ancient Mayan city, and is the social and economic center, as well as the capital, of the Yucatán state.
It is also known as the "White City" because of the large use of white limestone and white paint in its old center. It is an ever-expanding sprawling, bustling city of about 1 million but it retains its traditions and has a rich cultural life which is reflected in its diversity and many free concerts, performances and other events which are held daily. Despite its modernity Merida has also managed to retain its colonial charm in its small historic center which though under constant restoration has a laid-back tempo that is charming and a great place to experience Mexican culture. You can admire the cathedral, old mansions and elegant buildings built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which are now used as public office buildings, museums and hotels. Its downtown area features a large, tree-shaded central square with a market and numerous small shops surrounding it.
Jarana, is the principal dance in Mexico's Yucatán state - an illustration of the fusion of old and new world culture it enchants viewers with the elegance of its steps. The music is typically provided by a jarana orchestra comprised of two clarinets, two trombones, kettledrums and güiro. If you are in the city on a Sunday half the main avenue is shut to become pedestrianized and there is often music and dancing in the street.
Merida also makes a good base from which to explore the Mayan archeological sites of Chichén-Itzá and Uxmal. Pink flamingo sanctuaries and swimable crystal-clear cenotes (sinkholes) are some of the natural attractions of the Yucatán Peninsula that are also easily accessible from the city. Please note museums are closed Sunday and Monday.
Suggested itineraries featuring Merida
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Merida, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Merida
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Merida
- Merida & Around less than 5 kilometers away
- Uxmal 70 kilometers away
- Kabah 81 kilometers away
- Chichén Itzá 114 kilometers away
- Yucatán Peninsula 161 kilometers away
- Coba 204 kilometers away
- Tulum 243 kilometers away
- Isla Holbox 257 kilometers away
- The Mayan Riviera 268 kilometers away
- Playa del Carmen 268 kilometers away
- Cancun 289 kilometers away
- Isla Mujeres 301 kilometers away
- Palenque 459 kilometers away
- Yaxchilan 477 kilometers away