The country of Mexico is made up of 31 States with the capital being Mexico City. The Yucatan is at the Southernmost tip of Mexico, extending North and facing the Gulf of Mexico. The capital city of the Yucatan is Merida, which is also known as the “White City” due to the extensive use of white limestone and white painted buildings. Merida certainly carries the old-world charm and splendor of Colonial Mexico. As time has passed, Merida transformed into a very modern city, with all the modern conveniences from fashion, architecture, restaurants, bars and technology.
Merida was founded in 1542 by Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Montejo. The main street connecting the North (beaches) and the center (Centro) of the city was named after Francisco de Montejo and the street (or Calle in Spanish) is called Paseo de Montejo or (the Walk of Montejo). It is also compared to Paris’ Champs Elysée due to the stunning mansions lining the streets and around.
In the center of the city is the Governors Palace, which displays various spectacular paintings that depict the pain and suffering of the Yucatan people. The Yucatecan’s were brutalized and manipulated by the Conquistador and the paintings display these issues from the past, depicting their struggles and hardships.
Merida is one of the safest cities in the world, with a people that are very warm, friendly and open to the visitors that make the trek to come and enjoy the extremely colonial history and beauty of the city and its beaches. The culture of Merida is very unique, due to being so isolated and the difficulty of traveling there due to the dense tropical jungles at the time. Now, the city is completely connected to all the surrounding states and the world. It’s truly a beautiful place to visit.
Being that Casablanca Living is located in the Historic Center and is close to most of the main attraction. As a result, walking is a great way to find and explore all that Merida has to offer. Keep in mind that the summer months are the hottest, so it is highly recommended to walk in the early mornings or late afternoons and evenings, as there is sufficient shade to keep you cool. The streets are all numbered like a grid. All the streets going North / South are Even numbers and the streets running East / West are Odd numbers, which makes it really easy to navigate your way around the city on your own. So, getting lost is unlikely. If you do not feel like walking, you can easily order an Uber, rent a bicycle or simply hire a driver to take you around the city and countryside.
Merida completely separates itself when compared to its closest large cities like Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Merida is more cultural and boasts all the modern conveniences one might expect. For those looking to shop, Merida has completely expanded by adding more than a dozen new malls, shopping centers, high end fashions, as well as many traditional markets and squares. Be ready to dive into a cultural abyss.
There is so much to explore in Merida including the Port City called Progresso (a short 30-kilometer drive North). Cruise ships arrive weekly so people can come and enjoy the gorgeous beaches and all the daily presented fresh fish from the Gulf. You can take daily excursions to the Salt Flats, take a boat ride through the Habitat of the Flamingos, or make your way through the jungle to take a refreshing swim in many of the Cenotes.
There is an abundance of options for exploring the Mayan culture by visiting many of the cultural ruins and ecological wonders.
Flying to Merida is easy. You can fly direct or if you land in Cancun, you can take a bus or hire a driver to bring you here in under 4 hours.
Whatever the reason for you visiting Merida, you won’t be disappointed and we will make every effort to make your stay and exceptional experience.
All Photos on this page are Courtesy of Steve and Janice Shewchuk at Diamond Road Photography