Discover Merida: Things to Do, Places to See and More

Alvaro Rosado, Unsplash
January 1
Written by Carlos Rivera

Looking for a destination filled with history and charm? Discover Merida and enjoy its incredible sights to see. Here you will find a complete Merida guide, the best tourist spots, and the most fascinating experiences.

Things to do in Merida:

Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, offers a wealth of attractions. Don't miss the majesty of the San Ildefonso Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the Americas. We also recommend visiting Paseo de Montejo, an avenue filled with colonial palaces and mansions. If you're a history lover, the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya is a must-visit. And of course, you can't miss out on enjoying delicious Yucatecan cuisine.

1. San Ildefonso Cathedral

Historical Monuments and Architecture

San Ildefonso Cathedral, located in the heart of Merida, is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Its impressive Gothic architecture and rich history make it a must-see place in Merida.

Built in the 13th century, the cathedral has witnessed numerous historical and religious events over the years. Its main facade, adorned with intricate details and sculptures, is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture in the region.

Inside the cathedral, you can admire paintings, sculptures, and stained glass windows that tell the story of the region. Don't miss the opportunity to climb the towers and enjoy a panoramic view of Merida.

2. Paseo de Montejo

Historical Monuments and Architecture
pink and brown domed building
Paseo de Montejo / Jess Torre, Unsplash

Paseo de Montejo is an impressive boulevard located in Mérida, Mexico. It is known for its stunning colonial mansions and rich history.

Built in the late 19th century, Paseo de Montejo is a testament to Mérida's golden age. In its heyday, this avenue was home to the city's wealthiest families, who built majestic mansions inspired by European architecture.

Today, Paseo de Montejo is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, who enjoy a relaxed stroll along its streets, admiring the beauty of the buildings and indulging in the numerous cafes and restaurants lining the avenue.

3. Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Merida

Museums and Art Galleries
black metal frame under white sky during daytime
Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Merida / Jorge Zapata, Unsplash

The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Merida is a must-visit for all history and culture lovers. Located in the city of Merida, in the Mexican state of Yucatan, this museum offers a unique experience that transports us to the fascinating world of the ancient Mayan civilization.

In its halls, magnificent archaeological pieces are exhibited, such as sculptures, ceramics, and utensils, which allow us to better understand the worldview and legacy of the ancient Maya.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore this incredible museum and discover everything that Mayan culture has to offer.

4. Yucatecan Cuisine in Merida

Food and Markets$$$

Explore the exquisite Yucatecan cuisine in Merida, the cultural capital of Yucatan. The cuisine of this region is a fusion of traditional Mayan flavors and European influences, resulting in unique dishes filled with history.

Yucatecan food is characterized by the use of local ingredients such as achiote, chilies, citrus fruits, and various spices that give each dish a special flavor. Don't miss the cochinita pibil, panuchos, salbutes, and the delicious poc chuc.

In Merida, you'll find a wide variety of restaurants and street stalls where you can indulge in this delightful cuisine. Don't miss the opportunity to taste typical Yucatecan dishes – they will captivate you with their explosion of flavors!

5. Progreso Beach

Natural Spaces and Parks

Progreso Beach, also known as Playa Progreso, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Merida. Located on the northern coast of the state of Yucatan, this beach with white sand and crystal clear waters invites you to relax and enjoy your vacation.

Stretching for kilometers, Progreso Beach offers a perfect setting for water sports such as diving, fishing, and kayaking. In addition, its calm waters are ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

If you're looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy nature, Progreso Beach is the perfect choice. Don't miss the opportunity to admire the beautiful sunsets while walking along the seashore.

6. Uxmal Ruins in Merida

Historical Monuments and Architecture

The Uxmal Ruins are a must-visit for anyone in Merida. This ancient Mayan city is located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and is part of UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Built between 600 and 1000 A.D., Uxmal is known for its impressive architectural structures that showcase the splendor and skill of the Maya civilization. The Temple of the Magician, the Pyramid of the Magician, and the Nunnery Quadrangle are just a few of the highlights you can admire at this historical site.

Explore the intricate stone carvings, admire the geometric patterns, and marvel at the panoramic views from the top of the pyramids. The Uxmal Ruins are a historical treasure that will transport you to a fascinating past.

7. Hacienda Sotuta de Peón

Historical Monuments and Architecture$$$

Hacienda Sotuta de Peón is one of the most impressive tourist destinations you can find in Merida. Located in the Yucatan region, this former henequen plantation has transformed into a fascinating place to explore and enjoy.

Built in the 19th century, the colonial architecture of Hacienda Sotuta de Peón is truly stunning. Visitors can stroll through its beautiful gardens and admire the historical details of its buildings.

In addition to its historical significance, the hacienda offers visitors the opportunity to learn about henequen production, a plant fiber used in the manufacturing of ropes and textiles. You can explore the agave fields and enjoy a guided tour to learn about the entire production process.

8. Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Natural Spaces and Parks

The Celestun Biosphere Reserve is a natural gem near Merida, Mexico. Here you will find a unique ecosystem of mangroves, beaches, and wetlands that are home to an incredible diversity of wildlife.

One of the main highlights of the reserve is the pink flamingos, which find in Celestun the perfect place to nest. You can observe these elegant birds in their natural habitat, flying in impressive formations and feeding in the nearby waters.

But the reserve offers much more than flamingos. Explore the mangroves on a boat tour and discover the flora and fauna that inhabit them. You can also enjoy the tranquil pristine beaches of Celestun, ideal for sunbathing and escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.

9. Lucas de Galvez Market

Food and Markets$$$

Discover the authentic flavor of Merida at Lucas de Galvez Market. This colorful and bustling market is a must-visit for food and local culture lovers. Here you will find a wide variety of fresh products, from fruits and vegetables to meats and fish, all sourced from the surroundings of Merida.

Immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and discover the authentic culinary culture of the region. The small shops and traditional stalls offer a wide variety of local products, such as the famous Yucatecan cheese, black recado, and papaya sweets. Additionally, you can enjoy delicious street food and typical dishes at the market's various food stalls.

Experience something unique in Merida. Lucas de Galvez Market is not only a place to buy fresh products, but also a meeting point for the community and a place to enjoy local life. Take a stroll through its aisles, admire the architecture of the historic building, and savor the authentic hospitality and warmth of the people of Merida.

10. Cenote Suytun

Natural Spaces and Parks

Discover the fascinating Cenote Suytun

Visiting Cenote Suytun is an impressive experience you can't miss during your visit to Merida. This incredible cenote is located just a few minutes from the city and offers a natural and mystical environment to explore.

Dive into crystal-clear waters and admire the beauty of rock formations

Upon arrival at the cenote, you will be amazed by the clarity and transparency of its waters. You can swim and refresh yourself in this underground oasis while admiring the majesty of the stalactites and stalagmites that decorate its walls.

A unique experience in Merida

Cenote Suytun is a place that will allow you to connect with nature and experience the magic of cenotes. Whether you immerse yourself in its waters, explore its surroundings, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the environment, this cenote will captivate you with its beauty and charm.