Mérida is one of the most colorful, vibrant and lively cities in Mexico. The capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán is larger than many visitors expect and there is accordingly much to discover. The colonial charm of the city centre will quickly captivate you. In addition to the market criers on the 'Mercado Lucas de Galvez' and the dance performances on the 'Plaza Grande', which was already used as a venue in Mayan times, you can get lost in the cosy corners and alleys of the metropolis and experience the flair of Mexico at first hand.
Dzibilchaltún - Mayan Ruin Site.
Museo Fernando García Ponce - MACAY
Casa de los Montejo
Cathedral of Mérida
Dzibilchaltún gives you a unique and fascinating insight into the history, arts, architecture, language, clothing and religion of the Maya. Approximately 20,000 inhabitants once lived in Dzibilchaltún, which means "where inscriptions are in the stones". With 8,400 objects, Dzibilchaltún is one of the largest excavation sites in Mexico. In addition to the meticulously decorated temples and small pyramids, Dzibilchaltún also contains a beautiful cenote - a natural pit where the collapse of the limestone ceiling has exposed the groundwater below.
The Fernando García Ponce Museum of Contemporary Art shows you works by various modern artists who are unfortunately still largely unknown in the northern hemisphere. The museum's namesake 'Ponce' for example, was an abstract painter who is considered a pioneer of the 'Generación de la Ruptura' era through his collages and paintings. However, the sprawling museum is not only known for its frequently changing exhibits, but also for its great building and palm-filled courtyard, which serves as a cool oasis in Mérida's warm climate.
Nothing reflects the charm of the city better than the historic center. This is where the lively present meets history. You will always find a quiet place to linger here, unless of course you come to the Plaza Grande on Sunday. On weekends, there are often city festivals with lots of live music and delicious food on offer. You can also admire the light shows that take place every evening, during which motifs are beamed onto the old walls of the houses. Very atmospheric!
If you want to get a feel for the life of the Spanish colonial masters, the Casa de los Montejo Museum is the place to go. Originally, the building was constructed to house soldiers who fought the Mayans in the 16th century. It then became the official residence of the Montejo family in Merida. The mansion has been restored to its original splendor and the curators have done an amazing job of showing the transformation of the building through the different eras.
This double-domed cathedral is the stuff of many myths. For example, it is said to be the first church in the Americas. It is also said to have been built from stones from a Mayan pyramid that previously stood on the same site. What is undisputed, however, is that it is the tallest cathedral in Yucatán and that you will find a beautiful Catholic church that captivates with its paintings, sacred art and massive pipe organ. Less