Merida, Mexico

Mérida (map) is the biggest city in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. It is also the state capital of Yucatán.

More on Mérida

Mérida is located some 35 km (22 mi) from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and has a population of 970,000 people (2011 estimate). It is the 12th largest metropolitan area in Mesico. There are also cities in Spain, Venezuela and the Philippines holding the name Mérida, but this is the largest of them.

Mérida experiences a tropical wet and dry climate. The temperature here is quite uniformly high. Warmest month is May, when the high temperature of the day touches 36°C (97°F). Coldest month is January, when the low temperature of the day drops to 18°C (64°F). The wet season in Mérida runs from June through October.

Mérida was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo y León “el Mozo” – one of a family of Spanish conquistadors. There was an existing Maya site in the area, and the Spanish colonial town was built over it. As the Maya city at the Mérida site was occupied when the city was established, historians believe that Mérida is today the oldest continuously occupied city in the Americas.

Being in the Yucatán, Mérida has its own unique culture and cuisine that is distinct from what would be considered Mexican food. This is due to the influence of Mayan culture as well as infusion from the Caribbean and other cultures.

Visiting Mérida

Mérida’s Crescencio Rejón International Airport receives flights from major cities in Mexico, the United States and Europe.

Sights & Attractions to visit in Mérida

  1. Altar a la Patria (Altar to the Fatherland)
    A patriotic monument on the northern end of Paseo Montejo in Mérida.

  2. Arco de San Juan
    The finest of the eight medieval entrance arches built by the Spanish.

  3. Casa de Montejo
    Built between 1543 and 1549, this was the former residence of the Spanish colonial governor in Mérida.

  4. Hacienda Yaxcopoil
    Former residence turned museum to showcase the life in a hacienda of a henequen plantation.

  5. Iglesia de Santa Lucía
    One of the earliest churches in Mérida where the native Maya Indians were welcome in to worship.

  6. Mérida Cathedral
    The oldest cathedral in the Americas, started in the early 1560s.

  7. Museo Regional de Antropologia
    Museum devoted to celebrating the pre-Columbian history of the region.

  8. Palacio de Gobierno
    Civic building next to Mérida Cathedral. It houses the state authorities.

  9. Palacio Municipal
    The Mérida City Hall, built in an eclectic mix of styles in the 1920s.

  10. Parque Cepeda Peraza
    A bustling square with street musicians and vendors.

  11. Paseo Montejo
    Elegant avenue in Mérida lined with some of the homes of some of the wealthiest in Mérida.

  12. Plaza Mayor
    The main square of Mérida surrounded by its most important public buildings.

  13. Teatro José Peón Contreras
    A Neo-Classical cultural gem built at the turn of the 20th century with funds earned through the sisal trade.

  14. Templo de la Tercera Orden (Temple of the Third Order)
    17th century church on the northern side of Parque Cepeda Peraza.

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