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This Incredibly Safe and Charming City Near Cancun Is Breaking Tourism Records This Year

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Whenever reporting the Mexican Caribbean’s huge tourism boom this year, the obvious locations highlighted are Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, which have seen record-breaking numbers of visitors in 2023. 

However, smaller, less well-known areas such as the charming city of Merida are also blowing all expectations out of the water, with passenger movement by air reported at 327,189 this August from Mérida International Airport “Manual Crescencia Rejón”.

View of building in Merida, Mexico

This represents a growth of 17.33%, which is a staggering increase when compared to the same time period in 2022, highlighting that tourists are expanding their options when coming to the Mexican Caribbean for vacation. 

The city is having a historic year and seems to be thriving on all accounts by reaching its highest figures in passenger movement by air ever, which in turn has a positive impact on the local economy and an increase in jobs both directly and indirectly. 

viva aerobus airplane

Its success can be attributed to many factors, one being that the city’s air connectivity is growing to allow more passengers to fly directly to the stunning location with popular airlines such as Polaris and Viva Aerobus.

While these flights connect passengers to other national routes such as Monterrey and Tijuana, it also has 8 international flights towards Toronto, in Canada and Houston, Miami, Dallas, and Oakland from the United States, making it extremely accessible to visitors looking for something a little different to the typical beach paradise holiday that Cancun and Tulum offer. 

With these record-breaking numbers, it can only be assumed that Merida International Airport will continue to expand and increase its passenger air connectivity so that it can continue to be a popular choice for tourism, as many Americans are already becoming aware of.

So why should Merida be next on your bucket list when visiting the Mexican Caribbean this year?

architecture in merida at sunset

The History 

Merida is one of the best-preserved colonial towns in Mexico and will appeal to any history buff looking to get their fix. 

The city has a strong connection to its Mayan heritage and culture, which in turn is also hugely important to the heritage of the entire world. 

The colonial architecture is truly something to behold, with grand mansions that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries – a time when Yucatan was thriving as one of the richest cities in the world. 

Perfect for any photographer, its cobbled streets and dazzling, colorful houses will transport you back in time to the fascinating era and will feel as though its history is bursting around every corner you turn.

stunning architecture in merida

The Food 

Mexican cuisine is infamous across the world and rightly so; taco’s, burritos and nachos are often the first things that spring to mind. 

Yucatecan cuisine is slightly different, however, and totally unique; perfect for any foodie who is looking to try something completely different on their travels. 

The dishes that you find in Merida are ones that you will not be able to taste in any other parts of the country, and you simply have to try them if you visit. 

Many of the recipes date back thousands of years and were originally created by the Ancient Maya, so if you’re looking for some homely and traditional cuisine that resembles what locals would have eaten centuries ago during the prominent period of Chichén Itzá and the like, Merida is the place you want to find yourself. 

local food in merida

A Base For Exploration 

Merida is located perfectly as a base for exploring everything Yucatan state has to offer. 

Day trips are in abundance here and will give you a chance to visit incredible ancient Mayan cities, stunning cenotes, beaches, and other charming villages in the area. 

Chichén Itzá is just over an hour and a half away from Merida, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Uxmal, and are two archaeological sites you simply do not want to miss. 

While Merida is not on the coast, there are plenty of lovely beaches nearby, with the closest being at the coastal town of Progresso, a mere 30 minutes away and another very popular area for tourists and locals alike. 


The Friendliness Of Its People 

The hospitality of locals in Merida is often highlighted by visitors to the charming city, as many are glad of the prosperity that the tourism sector brings with it. 

As you explore through the cobbled streets and marketplaces, locals are known to be extremely polite and welcoming, which can’t be said for all cities in Mexico. 

Merida also has been applauded for being one of the safest cities not only in Yucatan but in the entire world, which of course is another huge pull for tourists looking for peace of mind when exploring less-known areas. 

With fall now in full effect, Merida is the perfect place for any tourist looking for peace and quiet on their vacation, as well as to experience some culture and tradition as part of their trip!

Downtown Merida

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Monday 18th of September 2023

It's a shame that now tourism is going to ruin the beautiful city of Merida.