The difference between Cancun and Merida is stark! Cancun is big roads, fast traffic and not pedestrian friendly. Merida is the opposite — the heart of the old colonial city is perfectly walkable. Well, at least size-wise. The streets have incredibly narrow sidewalks, and car traffic can be bumper-to-bumper at times, but thankfully Merida closes its downtown to cars quite frequently. When we were there, the main street (Calle 60) was pedestrian-only on Friday and Saturday night, as well as all day Sunday.
Since our hotel was just 1 1/2 km from the heart of Merida (Plaza Grande), we decided to leave the Bromptons in our room and walk. The bikes are incredibly handy for seeing sights that aren’t central (like the Gran Museo Del Mundo Maya and the Zona Arqueológica de Dzibilchaltún – more on that in our next blog post), but otherwise a crowded, cobblestoned city like Merida is best seen on foot.
Merida Walking Tour
Merida’s city tourist office runs free guided walking tours of the historic centre, so we decided to do that one morning and it was well worth it. Don’t forget to tip the guide! The tour leaves from the Palacio Municipal at 9:30am.
Christmas in Merida, Mexico
We were in Mexico during the Christmas holidays, and there were tons of decorations up everywhere! Seeing Christmas decorations when it’s hot outside is weird to us Canadians, so of course we took pictures…
Overall Impression of Merida…
We really enjoyed Merida and would recommend visiting. If we’d been there longer we could have done many more day trips with Merida as our home base. Alas, we were there just three days, one spent walking around the city, the next biking to the Mayan ruins north of Merida (Dzibilchaltun), and the last enjoying Pedestrian Sunday. Oh, and of course we ate lots of yummy food! More on that in Cities & Sights from Mérida to Tulum.