- Ancient Mayan ruins are easily accessible from Merida.chichen itza image by KALISTE A from Fotolia.com
The capital city of Yucatan, Merida is a mix of old and new. Its nickname, the White City, refers to the city's ubiquitous limestone and white-painted buildings. Merida is centrally located in the Yucatan peninsula, providing travelers opportunities for day trips to such sites as the Mayan ruins, the Caribbean Sea or a number of natural wonders.
- Merida is founded on the site of a Mayan city.history image by Ewe Degiampietro from Fotolia.com
Merida was discovered by Spanish explorer Francisco de Montejo "El Mozo" on January 6, 1542. The Mayans already had a city on the site known as T'ho. After conquering the city, the Spanish used the stones from the Mayan pyramids to build the Cathedral of San Idelfonso, which still stands today as the oldest cathedral in North America.
Attractions in Merida
- Merida is filled with historical treasures.Rinc?3n de los poetas en Merida image by anscario2005 from Fotolia.com
Many of Merida's best and historical sites are located in the center of town surrounding the Main Plaza. The Cathedral of San Idelfonso is located on the east side of the Main Plaza in downtown Merida. Merida's town hall, or the Palacio Municipal, was founded in 1735. El Mozo's former residence, Casa de Montejo, is viewable on the plaza's south side. The building was built in 1542. A striking memorial to the city's painful and violent history is located on the north side in the Palacio de Gobierno. Within the 19th century building are 27 murals created by Fernanco Castro Pacheco that illustrate the fall of the Mayans to the Spanish at Merida. Even if history isn't their thing, travelers will be rewarded for staying in the vibrant city. With nearly 800,000 people, cosmopolitan Merida has shopping, restaurants and museums.
Attractions Farther Afield
- The blue seas of the Caribbean are within easy reach from Merida.mexique-ponton aux mouettes image by foxytoul from Fotolia.com
As the capital of Yucatan, Merida is situated within easy reach of the area's most popular locales. Chichén Itzá, the most famous of the Mayan ruins is only 75 miles, or 120 km, from Merida. The port city of Progresso is about 18 miles, or 30 km, from Merida.
- Merida is accessible by plane or bus.plane parking image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
Merida has an international airport with flights from Houston, Atlanta and Miami. Domestic flights mostly originate in Mexico City. Cancun is a four-hour bus or car drive away. Merida is also connected to the eastern Yucatan city of Tulum, which provides a unique trip through the tropical forest.