Mérida is the capital of the Yucatan state of Mexico and also its largest city, with a population approaching one million.
This is a city that beckons us back for multiple visits, as there is always something to see or do -- or eat! We originally visited Mérida in 2012 while living in Belize and were enchanted by this colonial city, her architecture, her food, and her people, many of Mayan descent.
This second visit, in December 2015, while living in Playa del Carmen, gave us a chance to re-experience many of the places we enjoyed the first time around -- and to discover some new favorite spots.
To get to Mérida, we walked to the ADO bus station, then took a comfortable first-class bus, an approximately five-hour ride. Once in the city, we followed the map we'd drawn and found our hotel. Of course we could have taken a taxi, but as you probably guessed, that's really not our style!
We stayed at the Hotel del Peregrino, which I found on Tripadvisor. We had stayed at a bed & breakfast the first time around but decided to try something different this time. Although a hotel, it was a small one, and did serve a nice buffet breakfast each morning.
The floor in the lobby was gorgeous. Tiles were laid to look like a floral carpet.
Our room on the second floor had two very comfortable double beds and a nice tile bathroom. Despite being in a busy city, the hotel was super quiet and provided a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle right outside its doors. Rates were very reasonable as well.
I love these Mexican sinks!
Our room was the door on the right.
The residential streets of the city have homes hidden behind impervious facades and often painted in vibrant colors. I wish I had x-ray vision to see what is behind some of these doors!
The old colonial doors are tall and very beautiful to me.
One of our favorite things to do on both our trips to Mérida was strolling along the beautiful Paseo de Montejo. Unlike many of the other streets in the city, where the sidewalks can be busy and narrow, the sidewalks on this divided, tree-lined boulevard are wide, with plenty of space to walk. The 19th-century mansions on either side were previously residential, but most have been commercialized and are now restaurants, museums, hotels, and shops.
I especially enjoyed checking out this new, modern pavilion, an addition to the Montes Molina museum. The project, designed by Mexico City studio Materia Arquitectonica, was awarded the silver medal at the Architecture Biennale 2015 in the Culture category. For more information about the pavilion, check out this article in Yucatan Expat Life.
To give you an idea of the scope of this structure, here I am, looking small!
The famous Monumento a la Bandera (Flag Monument, also known as Homeland Monument) lies along the Paseo at a busy roundabout.
And at night the Paseo was all lit up in Christmas lights. Enchanting!
Mérida is especially beautiful during the holidays,
Stay tuned for more from Mérida, including some of the great food we enjoyed during our visit.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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