Cancun is an amazing vacation destination for beach lovers and gets millions of visitors every year who travel to the destination to enjoy the soft white sand beaches and turquoise Caribbean Sea.
Many of those visitors also travel beyond Cancun to explore the culture and history of the region, and one of the places that they visit is Merida.
Merida has become hugely popular in recent years, so it’s no surprise that travel experts from Travel & Leisure named this charming Magic Town near Cancun one of the best places to visit in 2024.
Merida – A Food Lover’s Paradise
The culinary scene in Merida is varied and extensive, with both casual and fine dining options available, in addition to the super casual street food that Mexico is known for.
The latter is popular in Merida, with multiple parks home to numerous food truck stalls where you can try the local staples like Sopa de Lima, and Salbutes.
There are plenty of great brick-and-mortar restaurants serving up local favorites too.
@iamjashley @Jash | Digital Nomad This exact location and A LOT more in my Mérida Travel Guide 🙌🏾 Over 60 pages of Mérida gems! #meridamx #mexicostreetfood #blacknomad #streetfoodmexico #mexicofoodies ♬ Whatcha Say (Sped Up Beat) – Mr Kleb Balasa
Merida’s Historic Beauty
Merida is filled with beautiful architecture that helps to tell the story of its history.
Many of the buildings are adorned with white limestone facades that are quite the sight to see when the sun is shining on them.
The buildings led to the city being given the nickname La Ciudad Blanca, or The White City. Additionally, you’ll find the streets lined with colorful colonial buildings that house shops and restaurants to explore.
@houmanrosie Follow for more! We will be spending the next two months exploring this beautiful region of Mexico 🇲🇽 #merida #yucatan #mexico #vivamexico ♬ Cancion Del Mariachi – Antonio Banderas/los Lobos
The Laid-Back Atmosphere
Merida is much quieter and more laid back than the destinations you’ll find on the Caribbean coast, offering a completely different experience.
Here, rather than partying on the beach, visitors come to explore the historic buildings and mansions, Mayan culture, and the rich history of the city.
Rest assured, though, if you need some excitement you can almost always find it in the Plaza Grande in the middle of town, where local events are often held.
@piesviajeros ¿Quien de Mérida? @Visit Mérida Mx ❤️✨ #meridayucatanmexico #pov ♬ Contigo – Los Panchos
You won’t find huge, modern all-inclusive resorts in Merida but rather smaller, charming boutique hotels and historic mansions turned into hotels.
Nightly hotel rates in Merida start at around $50 for highly-rated hotels but reach as high as $250 a night for the most luxurious options.
The good news is, there are plenty of options within that price range.
@drewmtillman Coqui Coqui Perfumeria in Mérida, Mexico transports you back in time to the height of the “White City” opulence #travelbucketlist #traveltiktok #hotelbucketlist #meridayucatanmexico #mexico ♬ Clair de lune/Debussy – もつ
Merida’s Natural Surroundings
Just because Merida is a rather large city doesn’t mean that there isn’t something nearby for nature lovers.
In addition to some beautiful parks, Merida is also surrounded by nature and even has its own nature reserve, Reserva Ecologica Cuxtal, and zoo, Parque Zoologico del Centenario. Additionally, a new “Central Park” is in the works as well.
There are also plenty of cenotes nearby to visit, some of which are right in Merida, and famous Maya ruins only minutes away.
@sabiscrh This is why you have to visit Mexico I swear #cenotes #yucatan #caves #travelinspo #nature #merida ♬ Wanderlust – AK
History Alongside Modernity
Although Merida is a historic city, it’s quite modern as well.
You’ll find historic buildings and mansions that still have their dated facades but updated interiors.
You’ll also find modern architecture alongside the historic buildings, giving visitors the perfect blend of modern and old.
@thirtywaves 📍Merida, Mexico🇲🇽 Part 2/3 “Mexico’s Chicest Weekend Getaway” #travelbucketlist #merida #mexico #bougie #traveldiaries #foodie #fyp ♬ Tuyo (Narcos Theme) – Rodrigo Amarante
Why It’s Easier Than Ever To Get To Merida
Up until now Cancun tourists wanting to visit Merida would have to rent a car or pay for expensive transportation to get to the city.
Now that the Maya Train has been inaugurated, though, it will be easier and cheaper than ever to get to Merida.
And it’s the perfect day trip destination for a little culture during your Cancun vacation.
Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
↓ Join the community ↓
The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean
Subscribe to our Latest Posts
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.