What to do in Merida – Things to do in Merida – Yucatan – Mexico
Merida, a city of about 1 million people, is a wonderful mixture of colonial city and cosmopolitan destination. With Merida as your base, you can visit cathedrals and churches, Mayan ruins, museums, haciendas and cenotes. You’ll also find movies, theaters, important hospitals, public and private schools, four universities, shopping malls with such stores as Sear’s, and chain stores such as Sam’s, Costco and WalMart as well as the Mexican chains of Liverpool, Comercial Mexicana/MEGA, Soriana and Sanborn’s.
The Spaniard Francisco de Montejo founded Merida on January 6, 1542. When the Spaniards arrived, Merida was a large Mayan city known as T’ho, situated on what is now the Main Plaza. It was conquered by the Spaniards, who dismantled all the pyramids and used the huge stones as the foundation for the Cathedral of San Idelfonso (1556-1599), the oldest cathedral on the American continent.
The city of Merida offers its visitors a wealth of things to see and is an excellent base for travelers who wish to explore the surrounding villages, Maya pyramids, haciendas and beaches.
The following schedule has been designed to help you organize your time efficiently so as to make the best of your stay here in Merida. These activities and events can, of course, be mixed and matched. Read your Yucatan Today for more detailed information.
Take the tourist bus at 10:00, 1:00, 4:00, or 7:00 in Santa Lucia
Park. In the evening, enjoy an outdoor concert with traditional Yucatecan
dancing and dress at the Palacio Municipal on the main Plaza at 9 pm.
Take the free walking tour of the Plaza, visit the Casa de Artesanias (Handcraft House).
Take one of the City Tour buses (Carnavalito or Turibus) to get a feel for the city.
Evening: Free outdoor concert with traditional Yucatecan dancing and dress. Palacio Municipal on the Main Plaza. 9 p.m.
Travel to the Mayan ruins at Chichen-Itza and the Caves of Balankanche. In the evening, dance to big band music of the 40´s in Santiago
Park on the corner of Calle 59 and 72 at 9:00 pm. Or watch the University´s Mexican show at the Peon Contreras
Theatre, calle 60 between 57. Don’t forget
Trova Night at the Olimpo at 9:00 pm
Chichen-Itza and Balankanche caves with a late lunch at Hacienda Teya on the way back to Merida – closes at 6 p.m.
Evening: Dance to and enjoy big band music of the 40’s. Santiago Park on the corner of Calle 59 and 72, 8:30 p.m. Free.
Visit Hacienda Teya on the way to the City of Izamal, or take the Convent Route of Acanceh, Tecoh, Telchaquillo, Tekit, Mama, Chumayel, Mani,and Oxcutzcab. If you stay in town, enjoy shows at the Olimpo at 9:00 pm.
Start a day excursion to the Convent and Puuc Routes: Convent Route: Acanceh, Tecoh, Telchaquillo, Tekit, Mama, Chumayel, Mani and Oxcutzcab with lunch in Mani. Sleep in Oxkutzcab.
Take a horse and buggy ride.
Visit the Mayan ruins at Dzibilchantun on your way to the beaches of Progreso, Chelem, Chicxulub,
Telchac and X-Tampu ruins. Visit the co´op next to the church in Dzilbilchaltun. Perhaps you might like dinner at Hacienda Xcanatun on your way back. Or there is also an open-air concert in downtown Merida featuring Yucatecan dress, dance, music and folklore.
Excurtion to Puuc Route – Lol Tun Caves, Kabah, Labna,Sayil, Xlapak and Uxmal with Light & Sound option. Stop at Hacienda Yaxcopoil visit their museum.
Evening: Free Serenade at Sta. Lucia Park C. 60 by 55 – open-air concert featuring Yucatecan dress, dance, music and folklore, 9 p.m.
Go shopping at the markets, Pasaje Picheta or the best in the city, Casa de las Artesanias on Calle 63, with handcrafts from Yucatan made by Yucatecans with the best prices in the city. In the evening, enjoy the University serenade in the Main University building on the corner of Calle 60 and 57 at 9:00 pm
Shopping, visit the native markets, Pasaje Picheta or the best in the city Casa de las Artesanias with handcrafts from Yucatan made by Yucatecan artesans. Check out Merida’s malls.
Evening: University serenade, main University building on the corner of Calle 60 and 57, 9 p.m.
Dzibilchantun pyramids, museum and cenote. Beaches: Progreso, Chelem, Chicxulub, Telchac and X-Cambo ruins. Flamingo lookout tower in Uaymitun.
Evening: 8 pm Free Noche Mexicana Paseo de Montejo & Calle 47. Free “Heart of Merida” festival – Plaza & Calle 60 up to Calle 53. 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Don’t forget to visit the handcraft market Lucas de Gálvez, it has everything. Visit Merida on Sunday – an outdoor handcraft market and food festival on the Main Plaza, and up Calle 60 to Hidalgo Park and Santa Lucia Park – streets are closed, live music 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Explore the caves in Loltun and travel the Puuc Route: Kabah, Labna, Sayil, Xlapak and Uxmal. Stop by Hacienda Ochil or Yaxcopoil as you return for the Fiesta Mexicana on Paseo Montejo & Calle 47 at 7:00 pm.