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Merida Vacations

Package Includes:

  • Choice of accommodations
  • Hotel taxes and maid gratuities
  • Luggage handling
  • Assistance of a local host



Frequently Asked Questions

Who should go?

History Buffs
Enjoy ancient architecture of the Maya and historic buildings built by the Spanish Conquistadors.

Shoppers
Great deals can be found on Mayan art and clothing.


What's the climate like?

  Winter Spring Summer Autumn
Average High 85° F 94° F 93° F 88° F
Average Low 64° F 69° F 73° F 69° F
Average Rainfall 1.1" 4.3" 6.0" 4.2"

Mérida has a hot, humid climate, with a maximum of about 95°F in May and a season of short, sharp rains between June and September.


How do I get around town?

Transfers
Transfers to/from the airport are optional with your Mérida hotel package.

It is highly recommended that you pre-purchase private transfers to the Starwood Haciendas in outlying areas of Mérida due to the 1- to 2-hour transfer time and because taxis may be unavailable or difficult to reserve upon arrival.

Taxi
Throughout Mérida, taxis are plentiful, and are considerably less expensive than in Cancún.

Bus
Colectivos service the main areas of Mérida, especially the area around the main plazas.

Walk
Mérida's tree-lined boulevards and many plazas make it an ideal city for walking.


What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?

Restaurants in Mérida offer traditional Yucatan cuisine that has long been admired by the world over. Known for a unique amalgam of flavors, Yucatan’s regional fare is held up as some of the very best in Mexico. And now, with the influx of innovative chefs exploring international cuisine and trying new takes on sought-after classics, Mérida is fast becoming an essential city-of-interest for any taste seeking aficionado.

  • Bryan's Modern Grill
    A New York style neighborhood grill, featuring an impeccable open kitchen.
  • K'u'uk
    A gourmet kitchen with style, using traditional Mexican and Yucatecan recipes with new twists and flavors.
  • Katun
    A friendly atmosphere with excellent service in which to enjoy the true tastes of Mérida.
  • La Casa de Frida
    Enjoy Mexican cuisine in an intimate and relaxed setting. Outdoor seating is available to enjoy the beautiful Mexican nights.
  • La Parrilla
    Offering live music and events, this is a great place to hang out with friends and family.
  • La Pigua
    Traditional kitchen serving only 100% natural foods to guarantee maximum freshness and quality in its dishes.
  • La Recova
    Stop by to enjoy exquisite steaks and seafood specialties inspired by Argentinian flavors.
  • La Tradición
    Featuring authentic Yucatecan food, right down to original ingredients and preparation processes.
  • La Tratto
    The perfect meeting place for locals, friends and business associates to enjoy Italian cuisine and wine.

Nightlife in Mérida is also expanding with many different options to choose from. There are sidewalk cafés and open-air fiestas, offering everything from fruit sorbets and other late night food selections to refreshing drinks and coffees, all under the stars. Otherwise, join in dancing, billiards and karaoke at other local venues.


Where should I go shopping?

Mérida has open-air markets selling craftwork and souvenirs. Among the most popular articles are the hammocks that are perfect for relaxing. An open-air market is set up on Sundays opposite the Palacio Municipal where you can buy wooden, shell, leather, and pottery handicrafts as well as traditional candy. Several popular shops include:

  • La Poblana
    A popular shop that ships hammocks all over the world.
  • Marie Soleil
    Yucatan clothing for women that combines European styles with regional fabrics.
  • Mercado Municipal
    Negotiable prices on hammocks, Panama-style hats, and huipils.
  • Casa de las Artesanias
    Handful of artisans that work to combine traditional crafts with new forms of expression.

When are the local events?

Festival de la Cuidad
January. A celebration in honor of the city’s founding lasting just over three weeks. More than 1,000 artists will participate in this event, where you can enjoy dance, music, theater and visual arts.

Carnaval
February/March. A weeklong celebration before Lent with outlandish parades, floats, dance contests, fireworks, and outdoor dances. Known for its flamboyant parades in which the whole city participates by dancing through the street for days on end.

Equinox
March and September. At the Mayan archaeological site of Chichén-Itzá, a phenomenon of light and shadow displays the pattern of a serpent, symbolizing the great plumed serpent deity Kukulcán, slithering down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulcán. Thousands attend this remarkable display of Mayan astrology and mathematics. Occurs on the vernal and autumnal equinox.

Day of the Dead
November. A festive celebration honoring deceased relatives and friends.

Autumn Cultural Festival
October. Enjoy an opera, symphony, and other cultural pursuits.

Los Santos Inocentes
December 28. Mexico's answer to April Fool's Day. A common prank is to ask for a valuable item or cash. If that gift is given, the prankster gets the right to keep the item for one year.


What are my recreation options?

Snorkeling/Scuba Diving
Just a short car ride outside of Mérida is the village of Progreso where you can take a boat out to the Alacranes Reef and explore the impressive marine architecture in the sea's crystalline waters.


Travel tidbits

Archaeological Sites
A vacation to the Yucatan Peninsula isn't complete without a visit to the ancient sites of the Maya. Chichén-Itzá and its Pyramid of Kukulcán is the most well-known. Once the site of a Mayan temple, it was built with such precision that on the spring and fall equinoxes, thousands of people still gather today to watch the shadow of the feathered serpent-god Quetzalcóatl make its way down the steps of the pyramid.

Free Concerts
Mérida features free concerts every day of the week, and really goes all out on Sundays. A full day of entertainment can be had in and around the main plaza with numerous bands, a flea market, book fair, comedy acts, and more!

Uxmal
A UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its great beauty and outstanding universal value, Uxmal is a picturesque Mayan city that was founded more than 1,300 years ago and offers some of the best examples of Puuc architectural style, considered the finest among many archaeologists. Be sure to bring a hat, good walking shoes, and plenty of sunscreen.

Cenotes
Cenotes, part of the Yucatan’s unique geographical environment, are underground waterways. Several of these magnificent, crystal-clear pools have been open to the public for swimming and diving. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see these sacred Mayan caves.

Free Guided Tours
Free tours of the Centro Historico of downtown Mérida are available every day at 9:30 am. Go to the tourist office on the ground floor of the Municipal Palace to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about Mesoamerican culture.

Watersports
Mérida is definitely not a beachfront destination, but that doesn't mean you have to go completely without watersports. A few miles outside Mérida stands Puerto de Progreso, a major resort for water-skiing and snorkeling.

Good to Know:

Airport Names &
3-letter Code:
Cancún International Airport (CUN)
Mérida Airport (MID)
Best Weather: December – April
Best Values: May – November
Currency: Mexican Peso
Language: Spanish; English is understood by most employed in the tourism industry
Time Zone: Mérida is in the Central Standard Time Zone and adjusts for Daylight Saving Time.
Proof of Citizenship: Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the United States and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas, and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
Tipping: Leave 10% - 15%, but make sure the tip hasn't already been added to the bill.
Dress: Mérida is very casual. Shorts are allowed at most restaurants, except fine dining establishments. Bring a sweater, as some of the air-conditioned places can be quite cool.

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