Plaza Principal From the Main Plaza (also called Plaza Principal) you can see The Cathedral, on the east side of the Plaza, Palacio Municipal which is Merida’s town hall built in 1735, Casa de Montejo, former home of the conquerer of Yucatan and Palacio de Govierno. Horse and buggy rides can be picked up from the Plaza which will take you sightseeing or back to your hotel.
Casa Montejo is an excellent sample of Spanish Colonial architecture. Construction on this grandious home of the founding fathers of Merida started in 1549.
This magnificent cathedral is known for the murals depicting the meeting between Montejo and the Mayan King Tutl Xiu. Construction of this cathedral began in 1561.
Palacio de Govierno
The Governor’s Palace houses 27 wall size murals illustrating the somewhat violent bloody history of the Yucatan. The artist spent his entire life working on these paintings.
La Ermita de Santa Isabela
A quiet relaxing place with beautiful gardens and statues. It is located just outside of the city wall.
Paseo de Montejo Boulevard
Historical boulevard fashioned after those found in Paris, France. Stately homes, shops and quaint restaurants. The Merida WalMart is located at the north end of the boulevard, which is quite surprising.
Regional Anthropology Museum
Home to many original stone carvings from nearby Mayan sights. This museum also contains rare objects made of brass and copper [who says the Mayans did not use metal].
The University of Yucatan offers folkloric regional dancing on Friday nights at calle 60 by 57.
Sunday is the day of the outdoor handicraft market and food festival in Merida. Happening at Main Plaza, Hidalgo Park and Santa Lucia Park from 9-9 and Casa de las Artesanias from 9-1:30.
Thursday the Santa Lucia Park hosts the Yucatan Serenade, an open air concert featuring Yucatan dress, dance, music and folklore starting at 9:00. Santa Lucia Park is located at calle 60 and 57.
ATTRACTIONS NEAR MERIDA
Located 80 km west of Merida on Highway 281. Celestï¿½n is a small fishing village and bird sanctuary on the Gulf of Mexico in the Western Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Inland waterways provide a natural habitat for flamingoes, herons and other tropical birds. If you are lucky you may see a flock of flamingos flying over you which is quite an experience.
Hacienda San Pedro Ochil
Located about 50 km south of Merida on the road to Campeche. Convenient for visitors to Uxmal and other nearby Mayan ruins. Contains Museum of Yucatan Peninsula Haciendas and shops with local artisans working on different typical folk-art and clothing.
Komchï¿½n de los Pajaros
Located 35 km northeast of Merida – 50 km from Rio Lagartos.
The Komchï¿½n Bird Sanctuary is a private non-profit organization created at Hacienda Henequenera. This sanctuary provides facilities for the practice of ecotourism. Its mission is “to sustainably develop and conserve a nature reserve and at the same time improve the living conditions of local people”.
Located about 85 km east to Tizimï¿½n and 30 km north. Declared a wildlife refuge in 1979, the Rio Lagartos Reserve covers over 100,000 acres of a wide variety of habitats including flamingoes, howler monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars, pheasants and white tail deer.
Flamingos can also be seen at Uaymitun, just north east of Progreso. Visit the lookout tower that is right next to the road. Entrance is free and the caretakers will even lend you binoculars.
Izamal is located 45 minutes northwest of Merida via car, a bit more by bus or van. Upon arrival head to the Government Palace to see the large model of the entire town and the tremendous amount of Mayan pyramids that sprinkled about. Pope John Paul visited the Franciscan Convent in 1993. The Museums of the Community is located under the Convent in front of the 5 de Mayo Park.
Valladolid is located halfway between Merida and Cancun. It is a small, quaint town that still preserves a colonial flavor. The majority of the townspeople still wear typical dress of the Maya. Cenote Dzitnup is great for swimming. The San Roque Museum has huge murals depicting Mexican history.
Cenote Ik Kil
Ik Kil is a favorite cenote near Chichen Itza.