Mérida, named the Cultural Capital of the New World in 2002, is an ideal starting point to experience the Yucatan Peninsula’s choice attractions.
With important archeological sites like Chichen Itzá and Ek Balam, beautiful beaches such as Puerto Progreso, and luxury haciendas nestled in picturesque towns, the capital of the Yucatan state invites you to pack your bags and set out on a voyage of discovery.
Once in Mérida, a great way to start is by settling into a Mérida hotel and treating yourself to savory papadzules, washed down with a refreshing horchata. Next, you may want to relax in one of the numerous small plazas and take in the historic architecture in the heart of the city. Many of these Colonial-era buildings are said to have been built using sacred stones from indigenous temples that formerly stood here. In the city streets, while you will notice women wearing brightly colored, embroidered traditional huipil blouses, a further look will show many men, even executives in modern dress, wearing the Caribbean guayabera shirt.
In the daytime, Mérida’s white facades glow under the tropical sun, making its nickname, the “White City,” well-deserved. On Sunday morning, see even more of the city by renting a Mérida bicycle and riding on Paseo Montejo and Calle 60, closed to automobile traffic at that time. At night, a ribbon of neon illuminates the shows and festivals, running from the central square to the Paseo Montejo boulevard. Cultural events organized by the city of Mérida take place year-round.
The history of the Mayan people is laid out for you to read at archeological sites, which preserve the majestic buildings that honored the great gods Chaac, Itzel, Itzamná, and Hunab Kú. The Puuc site, described as the second-greatest Mayan city, is one of the region's most important archeological sites.
Mérida, Yucatan, is one of Mexico’s most appealing cities to visit, with its fascinating architecture, history, food, and friendly smiling people, who preserve their Mayan language and traditions.