Mérida has long drawn expats for its colonial charm and temperate weather. A trip here is a great place to do nothing. This roundup is by no means exhaustive, but is a good way to fill some time in between doing nothing.
1) Unwind in a Colonial-style Airbnb
This is the main reason you’re looking at a trip to Mérida, right? You’ve seen awesome pics of renovated colonial homes and decided that looks like a nice place to spend a week. You’re absolutely right. This is the centerpiece of the Mérida experience and there’s ample choices to choose from. Check out our roundup of 10 Mérida Airbnbs to start planning.
2) Uxmal and the Puuc Route
Soak in some Mayan history along the Puuc Route, with megacity Uxmal being the highlight. This is an easy day trip to make yourself if you’ve rented a car, or you can also find a tour operator. Although less famed than “Wonder of the World” sister city Chichén Itzá, Uxmal is still every bit as impressive, and far less crowded.
3) Tour a Colonial Hacienda
Outside the city remnants of Mexico’s colonial history remain in the form of old haciendas which were extensive agricultural production centers. This area was known for its cultivation and production of sisal, a strong fiber made from a type of agave. Today they mostly exist as museums of the colonial past, with some transformed into bed and breakfasts. An overnight stay can be pricey, but touring the grounds is a cheap way to sample the experience. We opted to visit Hacienda Yaxcopoil, but there are several others in the area to choose from.
4) Swim in a Cenote
Cenotes are natural sinkholes that are revered in Mayan culture. There’s no shortage of cenotes all across the Yucatán, making it easy to combine with another day trip. Some are open air and some are more cavernous. Bring your towel and swimsuit, and for the more intrepid many offer scuba diving as well. Signs will be posted all along the roads letting you know one is nearby, but if you need a recommendation, we visited X-batun which was close to Hacienda Yaxcopoil, combining the two into one day trip.
5) Indulge in Authentic Mayan and Mexican Cuisine
Eat! Of course this is a highlight of the Mérida experience. With the majority of Mérida’s population being Mayan, the real highlight here is the authentic Mayan dishes you can enjoy. If you’re staying the centro historico, you’ll have a ton of options within easy walking distance. Check out our list of places and dishes to try in Mérida.
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