10 Best Things To Do Around Merida

The Plaza Grande

The Plaza Grande is a must-see destination in Merida. It boasts lush greenery and colonial architecture, like the city’s oldest cathedral. Plus, it offers outdoor performances of traditional music and dance.

Stroll around and admire the grandeur, then grab a refreshing drink or snack from one of the nearby cafes. Street vendors also sell a variety of foods. So, be ready for an authentic culinary experience. Don’t forget to relax on one of the park benches while taking in the vibrant energy of this active center.

For a deeper understanding of Merida’s history, check out The Palace of Government. This landmark has served as a seat of power since colonial times. It houses stunningly preserved murals depicting important events from Mexican history.

Pro Tip: Visit at night when the plaza is lit up with colorful lights. It creates a perfect ambiance for an evening outing. If you want to go from an uncultured swine to a cultured hog, visit Merida’s museums and art galleries!

Museums and Art Galleries

To explore the abundance of art and culture in the city of Merida, immerse yourself in its museums and art galleries. Discover the history of the Yucatán Peninsula at Palacio Cantón and admire contemporary art at Museo Fernando García Ponce – MACAY. These prominent stops on the city’s cultural map are sure to captivate you for hours.

Palacio Cantón

This tourist spot is an old house-turned-museum in Mérida, Mexico. Palacio Cantón is a tribute to the Yucatecan culture and history. It contains Mayan and Mexican artwork such as furniture, fabrics, and pictures to show the cultural heritage of the Yucatan Peninsula. Reviews on TripAdvisor gave Palacio Cantón the Certificate of Excellence Award in 2019.

Come explore art that’s livelier than your ex’s character at Museo Fernando García Ponce – MACAY!

Museo Fernando García Ponce – MACAY

Discover Mérida’s Museo Fernando García Ponce-MACAY! It pays tribute to the renowned Yucatecan artist. The museum’s architectural design creates an immersive experience. It displays Mexican art and rotating pieces that reflect current trends and societal issues.

MACAY also offers educational programs and workshops for all ages. Enjoy its tranquil courtyard. Or, browse the bookstore for Mexican art history, culture and more. Plan ahead to take advantage of its educational opportunities. Visiting Mayan ruins? Play a real-life ‘Indiana Jones’ game – but be careful not to trigger booby traps!

Mayan Ruins

To explore the ancient ruins of the Mayan civilization in Merida, we have the perfect solution for you with the title ‘Mayan Ruins’. This section will take you on a journey of discovery to two of the most remarkable Mayan sites in the region: Chichen Itza and Uxmal.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza boasts one of its most significant structures, the Temple of Kukulcan or El Castillo. This 79-feet-tall pyramid is an iconic landmark that continues to amaze visitors and archaeologists.

The Great Ball Court and The Observatory are other notable structures. 90,000 people once lived here and were clever enough to build these incredible structures that have survived for centuries.

At the Spring Equinox period, an optical illusion appears as shadows resembling snakes slithering up El Castillo!

To avoid crowds, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it’s less busy and cooler. Uxmal’s Mayan ruins haven’t diminished my enthusiasm for climbing ancient structures in hot weather!


Uxmal is an Ancient City located in the Yucatan Peninsula. It stands out from other ruins due to its intricate architecture and unique details. The Pyramid of the Magician, Nunnery Quadrangle, and Governor’s Palace are some of its remarkable structures.

These limestone buildings were built with remarkable precision. They also have amazing carvings to enhance their beauty. Visitors can explore the archaeological sites to learn about the city’s rich history. This ancient city offers curious travelers an insight into Mayan culture.

For the best experience, rent a guide or bring books for self-guided tours. Also, wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and carry water bottles. This will help you to avoid discomfort in hot weather and uneven grounds while walking.

Rather than a pink flamingo lawn ornament, visit Celestun and see flamingos in their natural habitat.

Celestun and its Flamingos

Visit Celestun and experience its picturesque beauty. Take a boat tour to see the coral reefs and pink flamingos in their natural habitat. Get up close to the majestic birds and watch them glide through the shallow waters. After, lounge on the white sand beaches or try the local seafood dishes. For an added adventure, hike through the mangroves to discover more wildlife and lagoons. See exotic birds, turtles, and other aquatic creatures. Best to visit early in the morning for fewer crowds and uninterrupted views.

Get a taste of the lavish life and imagine yourself as Don Draper at the Haciendas of Merida.

Visit Haciendas

Merida is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and cultural heritage. To explore the city’s history, visit its preserved haciendas! These large estates were once owned by wealthy landowners for agricultural purposes like plantations and livestock rearing. Now they’ve been transformed into hotels, museums and cultural centres.

Haciendas offer visitors a unique chance to time-travel and learn about the region’s past. Popular haciendas include Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, Hacienda Yaxcopoil, Hacienda Uayamon and Hacienda San Pedro Ochil. Each one has its own charm that showcases Merida’s cultural heritage.

Exploring these historical estates also gives an insight into the region’s development over time. Some offer activities like horseback riding, bird watching tours or cooking classes. You’ll get an authentic feel for Merida’s culture, as well as relaxation.

Visiting haciendas should be on your itinerary when planning a trip to Merida. You’ll leave with knowledge of the region’s rich history, and witness fantastic architecture that reflects the evolution of time! Don’t miss out – pack your bags now!

Merida’s Street Art

Merida is renowned for its vibrant street art. Murals and graffiti adorn the walls and buildings, reflecting the culture of the locals. Take a stroll and marvel at the creativity in every corner.

Check out La Casona de los Perez for its historical murals. And don’t miss Paseo de Montejo, which showcases sculptures and murals depicting Mexico’s history.

For an even better experience, take a “Callejoneada” tour to explore hidden alleys and witness graffiti artists creating new pieces.

Street art is continually popping up around the city, so keep your eyes peeled for fresh masterpieces.

And don’t forget to visit galleries like FONART for contemporary Mexican art pieces. Shopping and people-watching? Don’t miss San Juan’s Sunday Market!

The Sunday Market in San Juan

In Merida, a weekly Sunday market in the San Juan district is a must-stop for travelers. Here are five reasons why:

  • Check out local handcrafts and products like tortillas, woven baskets, and ceramics.
  • Taste regional delicacies like tacos al pastor, tamales, and aguas frescas.
  • Enjoy traditional Yucatan performances such as jarana dancing and live music.
  • Meet locals and experience everyday life in Merida.
  • Have an affordable day out with friends and family while supporting the economy.

This Sunday market is an old, well-known tradition in San Juan district. It draws vendors from all over the state. Visitors can get an inside look into Mexican culture. One visitor described her experience as a full day of delicious street food, with souvenirs for home. Merida’s food scene will fill you up and deplete your wallet, but it’s worth it for the lasting memories and extra pounds!

Merida’s Food Scene

Merida’s Gastronomical Delights!

Discover Merida’s culinary culture for a unique bilingual experience. Try these six must-try dishes:

  1. Venison tacos with salsa de arbol.
  2. Huevos motulenos for breakfast.
  3. Escabeche oriental, pickled vegetables.
  4. Poc chuc, marinated pork loin with black beans & rice.
  5. Cochinita pibil, slow-roasted pulled pork with annatto spices & lime.
  6. Xtabentun liqueur, an indigenous local favorite.

Papatzules is another regional specialty. It comes with pumpkin-seed sauce and pairs well with boiled eggs in tortillas.

Visit Mercado Santa Ana market to find more than 100 budget-friendly dining options with a Mayan twist.

Don’t forget to explore the cenotes near Merida – just bring your waterproof sunscreen!

Cenotes Near Merida

Merida is surrounded by the wonders of nature – one of the best being the cenotes. These natural freshwater pools offer an amazing swimming experience! The Yucatan Peninsula is scattered with these unique geological formations, like Xlacah, Samula and Dzitnup. Don’t miss the nearby town of Homun – home to dozens of cenotes with an exclusive swimming experience. When visiting, remember to bring biodegradable sunscreen – to take care of the environment! Make a day trip to Merida and experience the beauty of the Yucatan.

Day Trips from Merida

To explore more of Yucatan, consider taking a day trip from Merida with our guide “10 Best Things To Do Around Merida”. In this section, let’s focus on some top-ranked destinations like Izamal and Valladolid that you can visit with ease.


Discover Izamal! Its cathedral is painted egg-yolk yellow and its streets boast stunning streetlights. Explore the Kinich Kakmo Pyramids nearby. Did you know this town was a pilgrimage center before the Spanish arrived? The Franciscan convent is made of former Mayan structures.

Stroll through bustling markets filled with local arts and crafts. While there, I chatted with an elderly lady who shared her love story. It began decades ago when she sold handmade baskets in the main square. Her captivating tale enhanced my experience in this historic town.

Head to Valladolid and find out why it’s called the ‘Sultan of the East.’ Don’t take our word for it! See it for yourself!


Take a leisurely walk through Calzada de los Frailes and enjoy the vibrant facades of 17th-century mansions. These were converted into fashionable cafes and boutique hotels. Locals wearing traditional clothes add to the captivating atmosphere.

Don’t forget to visit Casa de los Venados, a museum that holds one of Mexico’s biggest collections of folk art. Valladolid is also the centre of multiple cenotes such as Samula and Ik-Kil, perfect for swimming and exploring.

Experience Mayan culture and journey to Chichen Itza, one of the world’s latest Wonders. Behold the marvellous Kukulkan Pyramid, a Mayan astronomical masterpiece.

Q: What are the 10 best things to do in Merida?

A: Some of the best things to do in Merida include visiting the historic Centro Historico, taking a bike ride around the city, exploring the Paseo de Montejo, visiting the Mayan Culture Museum, taking a free walking tour of Merida, visiting the Merida Cathedral, day trips to Chichen Itza, trying out the delicious local cuisine, visiting the traditional Mayan villages and attending cultural events in the city.

Q: Why is Merida Mexico a great travel destination?

A: Merida Mexico is a great travel destination because it has a rich cultural history and architecture, friendly locals, great food, and is a great base for exploring the Mayan world.

Q: What is the Centro Historico in Merida?

A: The Centro Historico is a historic district in the center of Merida, Mexico, and is home to many colonial-era buildings, museums, shops, and restaurants.

Q: Where is Paseo de Montejo and why is it worth visiting?

A: Paseo de Montejo is a grand boulevard in Merida, Mexico, lined with beautiful mansions and is worth visiting because it is a great place to observe the French influence in the architecture of the city.

Q: Where is the Mayan Culture Museum and what can visitors expect to see there?

A: The Mayan Culture Museum is located in Merida, Mexico, and visitors can expect to see an extensive collection of Mayan artifacts, traditional clothing, and learn about the history and traditions of the Maya people.

Q: What is the best time to visit Merida?

A: The best time to visit Merida is from November to April when the weather is cooler and there are many cultural events taking place in the city.

Q: What are some of the best day trips from Merida?

A: Some of the best day trips from Merida include visiting the ancient Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, exploring the Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, visiting the colonial town of Valladolid, and visiting the local Mayan villages where visitors can witness traditional artisanal practices and culinary traditions.

Q: Is it easy to get around Merida?

A: Yes, it is easy to get around Merida as the city has a well-established transportation system, including buses, taxis, bicycles, and rental cars.

Q: What are some of the best restaurants in Merida?

A: Merida is renowned for its cuisine, and some of the best restaurants in the city include the Casa de Frida, La Chaya Maya, Los Taquitos de Puebla, and El Venado.

Q: What is the Merida 2023 project?

A: The Merida 2023 project is a plan to develop Merida, Mexico, as a cultural capital of the Americas, with a focus on preserving the city’s cultural heritage, promoting tourism, and creating jobs through the development of cultural and creative industries.