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 centre, 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 centre. 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 centre 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 pedestrianised and there is often music and dancing in the street.
Merida also makes a good base from which to explore the Mayan archaeological 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 miles away
- Uxmal 44 miles away
- Kabah 51 miles away
- Chichén Itzá 71 miles away
- Yucatán Peninsula 100 miles away
- Coba 127 miles away
- Tulum 151 miles away
- Isla Holbox 160 miles away
- The Mayan Riviera 167 miles away
- Playa del Carmen 167 miles away
- Cancun 180 miles away
- Isla Mujeres 187 miles away
- Palenque 285 miles away
- Yaxchilan 297 miles away