After a few days in Valladolid, we decided to move on to Merida, and I can say this was my favourite place in the Yucatan. With its beautiful architecture and breath-taking cenotes, the backpacking vibe and salsa, it doesn’t take long to fall in love with this city!
Things to see and do in Merida:
- Walk through its beautiful streets and Plaza Mayor;
- Visit Cenotes Cuzama;
- Visit the Dzibilchatùn archaeological site and its cenote;
- Stay at Hostel Nomadas;
- Have a meal in Amaro and Mercado 60.
It is very hard not to like this city and you will realise it when you walk through its colourful and cute streets. We took a couple of days just to explore its streets and spend some time in Plaza Mayor, with its huge trees and musicians playing at every corner. If you are looking for free activities to kills some time, you can visit Casa de Montejo, on the South side of the square. There is also Parque Santa Lucia, a former stopping point for travellers in past that is now a restaurant area. While I wouldn’t recommend having dinner here if you are on a budget, it is worth paying a visit in the evenings, where you can listen to free weekly concerts.
Merida is also the perfect spot for day trips! From here, you can visit some of the most amazing cenotes of the Yucatan, including Cuzama and Xlacah, an open-air cenote located within the Dzibilchaltùn archaeological site. For more information on these cenotes and how to get there, take a look at my previous post!
One of the reasons why I liked Merida so much is probably because we met very nice people, who we ended up meeting again in other places during these nine months.
Hostel Nomadas is a great place to meet new people and explore the local culture. This is one of the best (and cleanest) hostels I have stayed in during the whole trip, and it gives you the possibility to take part to a lot of activities, like free salsa and yoga classes, but also traditional Yucatan cuisine cooking classes. For only 30 pesos, you can have fun taking part to the class, but also get your dinner. Not a bad deal!
Speaking of dinner, if you feel like treating yourself, you should have a meal at Amaro. Prices are a bit high compared to other restaurants in the city – although still cheaper than eating out in Europe – but the food is incredible and the staff is very nice. If you are looking for something more relaxed, you can head to Mercado 60, a food court with a very chilled atmosphere and full of backpackers. Live music almost every night!
Finally, although most of the nights you will happily sit next to the pool in the hostel if you decide to stay in Nomadas, there are a few bars and pubs nearby. One of our favourite was Mayan Pub, which has pool tables and live music at the weekend.