Mérida’s version of what we Torontonians call “Car-Free Sunday” or “Pedestrian Sunday” or “Open Streets” is Biciruta Mérida. La Bici Ruta literally translates to “The Bike Route”, which we think is fitting!
Biciruta Mérida takes place every Sunday, and on Saturday too in some areas of the city. We were there for the Sunday morning version on Paseo de Montejo where the east side of this super wide boulevard is closed to car traffic and bikes rule. Here’s the video evidence!
The City of Mérida website has all the information about its Biciruta events, plus a handy map of where things are taking place.
What to See along Paseo de Montejo
During Biciruta Mérida there are activities planned and vendors set up. We missed most of that because we arrived very early (we left Merida by 10am to make it to the Aké Ruins and Izamal), but we did take advantage of the Bike Tune-Up station to get some lube for Pier’s chain. I tuned my Brommie up before we left, but Pier did not, and the sand in Cancun left his chain dry and beginning to rust. No, we didn’t bring chain lube with us. We definitely will next time we go to Central America or anywhere off the beaten path. So thank you, Biciruta Mérida, for having a bike tune-up station at your event!
Other than tune-ups, another excellent benefit of Biciruta is that it allows cyclists and pedestrians to get close to the Monument of the Fatherland without having to run across 4 lanes of speeding car traffic!
Other sights to see include the Cacao Museum, many impressive mansions, Casa Museo (alas we didn’t have time to go inside) and some cute shops.
After the short but informative tour (that includes chocolate samples) you can buy a bar of authentic Maya chocolate for yourself. It was a hard choice, but I went with the plain chocolate bar (Natural) to get the unique flavour of the pure Mexican chocolate sweetened with local honey. If you’re used to more processed chocolate, this might seem dry to you, but I love the rich flavour. I can’t eat processed chocolate anymore! I’m ruined! It tastes so waxy in comparison to real cacao. Another plus – this chocolate bar doesn’t melt! We were able to pack it in our bags for our cycle trip across the Yucatan and eat it little by little without worrying about it becoming mush.
Biciruta Mérida is the best way to enjoy Paseo de Montejo. We walked down this boulevard a couple days earlier to sightsee, but the sights are quite far apart if you’re on foot, and cycling with speeding traffic isn’t fun. So biking down this street is the way to go.
After enjoying Biciruta, we returned to our hotel, checked out, and began our cycle tour across the Yucatan!