Merida | Vacations and Travel to Merida
Merida, nicknamed “The White City,” has its own identity that’s very different from other parts of the country. With a mix of Mayan and Spanish cultures, the capital of Yucatan is known for having the second largest historic center in Mexico, as well as for its diverse cultural activities, architectural beauty, and delicious traditional dishes.
The people of Merida are extremely proud of their city, as evidenced by studies showing that it is among the safest cities in Mexico and offers a one of the highest standards of living in the country. The friendliness of its residents, excellent city services, beautiful natural attractions, and mystical archeological sites located nearby, all combine to make Merida a great starting point for exploring the wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula. This city is also the gateway to the Mayan world, one of the most important civilizations to have flourished in the Americas.
The Capital of Southeastern Mexico
Attracted by excellent universities, a peaceful atmosphere, and a thriving economy, people from all over Mexico and around the world now call Merida home. For this reason, business has grown exponentially offering residents and tourists alike a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, day or night.
Merida has highly specialized hospitals and serves as the main hub for many companies operating on the peninsula. With a metropolitan area that’s home to more than one million inhabitants, Merida is the largest city in southeastern Mexico and one of the most prominent cities in the country.
A Brief History
Francisco de Montejo of Spain founded what is now the capital of the state of Yucatan on the ruins of Tho’, a Mayan city that he and his army destroyed. The name pays homage to Merida in Spain, as Tho’ was very similar to the Roman ruins located there. t prominent cities in the country.
Merida was divided into well-defined neighborhoods: San Sebastian, Santiago, Santa Catarina, Santa Lucia, and Santa Ana. The indigenous population was forced to live outside of those areas, so as not to mix with the people from Spain, hence the nickname, “The White City,” because only Europeans were allowed within city limits.
Merida, located far from the center of the country, has experienced its own historical events. The economic boom of sisal production resulted in a city with a notable French influence, which is especially apparent on the Paseo de Montejo, and led to the prosperity that has made it one of the most prominent cities in all of Mexico.
- Home to a wide variety of museums, theaters, and other cultural attractions
- Surrounded by Mayan archeological sites and incredible natural wonders
- An accent and customs very different to other places in Mexico
- Delicious nationally renowned cuisine
- Architecture with Spanish and French influences
- A climate as warm as the hospitality of its people
- The most important and populous city in the Mayan world
Things to do in Merida
- Tour the historic center and the Paseo de Montejo on foot or by horse-drawn carriage, and note the contrasting architectural styles of the buildings
- Try some of the delicious dishes that have made Yucatecan cuisine famous
- Shop for a variety of souvenirs, linens, textiles, and different kinds of hammocks
- Visit some of the nearby archeological sites
- Swim in one of the nearby cenotes, which you won’t find anywhere else in the world
- Check out the schedules at the cultural centers and theaters to find events that are free or low cost
- Explore the historic center during "Merida en Domingo" and see artwork by local artists and craftsmen
- See how wealthy Yucatecans lived during the Porfiriato period and visit some of the haciendas located in and around the city
- Visit the museums and explore the fascinating history of the Mayan World
- Learn some of the local slang and incorporate new words into your vocabulary
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