Merida, Colonial Jewel of Yucatán

Our 4 day stay in Merida. This colonial city nestled in the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula literally bewitched us with its authentic charm and festive atmosphere. Here is the story of our escapade in this Mexican pearl.


Stéphane Leblanc

3/16/20243 min read

Day 1: A Smooth Arrival at the Hotel Caribe

After an uneventful flight, we arrived in Merida under a blazing sun. The Hotel Caribe, where we had booked, stands proudly in the historic center with its typical blond stone facade. What was our surprise when we entered this refreshing setting! A superb interior garden welcomes us, a true shaded and flowery oasis.

Our room, decorated in a chic colonial style, overlooks this magnificent central courtyard where a stone fountain sits surrounded by lush vegetation. From the first evening, we began to soak up the local atmosphere by strolling to the bustling Plaza Grande.

After admiring the splendid traditional dances of the Yucatan ballerinas dressed in their sumptuous shimmering costumes, we let ourselves be carried away by the colorful village-like streets. A first day of exploration full of discoveries!

Day 2: In the footsteps of the Mayans and the Conquistadors

The next day, we continued our cultural immersion by entering the doors of the Regional Museum of Anthropology. This renowned institution reveals to visitors the treasures of ancient Mayan civilizations through a vast collection of objects, sculptures and ceramics of breathtaking beauty.

I was particularly amazed by the discovery of the famous Dresden Codex, one of the rare Mayan books still in existence. A true window on the beliefs, calendar and rites of this mysterious civilization, this exceptional document plunged us back into the fascinating world of the ancient peoples of Yucatán.

At the end of the afternoon, we visited another important heritage site, the Monumento a la Patria. This imposing bronze equestrian statue pays tribute to the glorious victors of the Battle of Puebla against French troops in 1862. A must-see to understand the importance of this event in the history of Mexico.

The day ended in style with a lively evening at La Negrita Cantina, a trendy establishment where tradition and modernity combine. Installed in a warm decor with rustic accents, we enjoyed a delicious Mezcalita, a signature cocktail made with mezcal and passion fruit. Wild live music then set the track alight until late at night!

Day 3: Seaside Escape to Progreso

On the third day, we decided to escape the busy streets of Merida for a getaway to the coast. The local bus ride to Progreso, a seaside resort on the Gulf of Mexico, only takes half an hour.

Upon arrival, the atmosphere becomes more relaxed and the salty air puts us in a happy mood. After strolling along the malecón (coastal promenade) to admire the contemporary sculptures, we found an idyllic beach spot to relax.

What's better than a good swim in the turquoise waters to cool off? Then, under the gentle sun, we enjoyed a succulent seafood meal in a restaurant with our feet in the sand, lulled by the gentle lapping of the waves. A refreshing break!

Day 4: One Last Nature Trip to Parque Zoologico

To end this stay in style, the Parque Zoologico de Merida was the next essential stop. This immense open-air animal park allowed us to observe many emblematic species of Mexican fauna in an almost wild natural setting.

We were able to approach the famous jaguars, these powerful felines with spotted coats so characteristic of the region. The enclosures of howler monkeys, sloths and colorful parrots also delighted our amazed eyes.

A refreshing haven of greenery in the heart of the city, the Merida Zoo was a last bubble of pure air before taking the bus with a light heart but a mind full of unforgettable memories, for our next stop, Chichén-Itzá and the small village of Pisté.

Our short stay in Merida was a true immersion in Mayan culture, Spanish colonial heritage and the simple joys of local life. Between sumptuous architectural heritage, enriching museum discoveries and sweet moments of relaxation, this destination with multiple faces has met our expectations.

The “white city” as it is nicknamed has conquered our hearts with its warm authenticity, its picturesque charm and its festive atmosphere. Whether strolling through its lively streets, admiring its monumental squares, marveling at the traditional dances or tasting its delicious cocktails, we were captivated.

Merida is definitely one of those rare gems that leaves an indelible mark on you forever. I hope that this story will have succeeded in conveying to you some of the magic that emerges from it. Long live Mexico!

Cathedrale Saint-Ildefonse Merida
Cathedrale Saint-Ildefonse Merida
Hotel Caribe MeridaHotel Caribe Merida
Monumento a la patria
Monumento a la patria
Anthropology and History Museum Merida
Anthropology and History Museum Merida

Monumento a la patria

Anthropology and History Museum