A city near Cancun that’s rapidly growing in popularity with tourists is undergoing a dramatic redevelopment, which will make it a future must-see destination for travelers.
The city of Merida just debuted phase one of changing the historic center of the town into what will become the Great Tourist-Gastronomic Corridor of the city.
Phase One Complete
Phase one of the multiphase project was inaugurated Friday on 47th Street in Merida after a delay of a couple of months, much to the chagrin of local merchants and restaurant owners.
Ultimately, the ambitious project will connect the Plaza Grande with Santa Lucia, Santa Ana, and the Great Parque de la Plancha in a new tourist corridor.
The construction is being prepared for the year-end launch of the new Maya Train project, which will seamlessly connect Cancun and the Riviera Maya to Merida and other tourist areas across the Yucatan.
It will also connect to the launch of the new IE-TRAM service, which will start in Merida in December.
The next phase of the project is focused on the area around 60th Street and Paseo de Montejo. A completion date has not yet been determined for the opening of this phase of the Great Tourist-Gastronomic Corridor project.
Yucatan Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal also recently announced that a remodeling of the Plaza Grande in Merida will also be part of the project and will be complete by January next year. More than $100 million pesos will be spent on this project alone.
What is the Corridor?
The Great Tourist-Gastronomic Corridor of Merida will convert some of the busiest streets in the area into a more pedestrian-friendly walkable area with brick roadways and elegant traditional-style Yucatan architecture.
Tree-lined sidewalks and colorful flowers in planters will highlight the walkway and provide a sense of natural beauty to the new tourist corridor.
Merida officials are working to bring some of the best bars and restaurants to set up shop in the area to provide a destination for fine dining lovers and foodies from around the world to come enjoy the finest in Yucatan cuisine.
There were already 11 restaurants serving guests in the corridor area, and recently another eight have started operations. Local officials are confident that several more restaurants will be open soon, including some influenced by the best chefs Mexico has to offer.
The effort is oriented towards having Merida declared a “Creative Gastronomic City” by UNESCO. That designation would definitely put the Mexican Caribbean town of Merida on the global foodie destination scene.
The Great Tourist-Gastronomic Corridor is also being designed as a cultural and traditional entertainment area where local musicians and artists can come together and showcase the local culture for tourists to come and enjoy.
Local officials anticipate the new cultural heart of the city of Merida will soon be home to special events like Noche Blanca and even Merida Fest.
What Visitors Need to Know
The start of the Maya Train service will make it easy for tourists visiting cities like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum to easily connect to Merida and extend their vacation getaway to other areas of the Mexican Caribbean.
Merida is definitely on its way to becoming the foodie destination in the region and will offer some unique fine dining options that are not available elsewhere in the region.
It’s a dramatic redevelopment of a town that has been overshadowed by Cancun and its nearby cities for quite a long time. But travelers are learning more about the area, and Merida is finally coming into its own.
It should be exciting for visitors to check out the city known as being a “safe” place to visit and discover many exciting and new tourist attractions.
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