It's a considerable hike from the center, but the Parque Centernario (Centennial Park) on the west side of Mérida certainly warrants the effort, or the cost of a taxi, if only to visit the city zoo, which hosts a surprising number of exotic animals.
The phrase "Yucatecan History" inevitably conjures images of the ancient Maya, who constructed out of limestone and ingenuity one of the most fascinating civilizations mankind has ever known. The Maya might be the most brilliant piece of the puzzle, but there are others. Here's our concise rundown of the peninsula's story.
Found just a couple blocks southeast of the Plaza Grande, Mérida's grand former post office is now home to a museum which introduces the city and its history.
The Plaza Grande is the heart of Mérida, and an exhausting day of sightseeing can be had just by touring the buildings which surround it. After visiting the city cathedral on the east and the Palacio del Gobierno on the north, we cut straight across the plaza to check out the Casa de Montejo on the plaza's southern edge.
On the northern edge of the Plaza Grande, diagonal to the city cathedral, is the Palacio del Gobierno. Built in 1892, the key-lime-colored mansion should be among the first stops during a visit to Mérida.
Completed in 1599, the Cathedral of the Yucatán in central Mérida is the second-oldest cathedral in the New World, beaten out only by the Dominican Republic's Santa María la Menor. Four hundred years after its founding, this incredible church is still the focal point of the city.
A gorgeous colonial-era city of nearly a million people, Mérida is the capital of the Yucatán and was our home for three months. Despite its size, it's mostly overlooked by travelers. In fact, before deciding to move to the Yucatán, we had never even heard of it! But Mérida is an invigorating city filled with historical sights, hectic markets, friendly locals, relatively few foreigners and an impressive cultural life.
The Yucatán Peninsula, land of the Maya, was our home for 91 days. We were based in Mérida, the peninsula's largest city, but explored practically everything this amazing region in southern México has to offer: the history, food, jungles, colonial haciendas, ancient ruins, traditional art, music and dance, underground lakes, flamingos y mucho más.