Merida’s cobblestone trails echo the joyful sounds of spectators waiting for the carnival to begin.  It is a time to laugh, dance, and sing as the city’s main square overflows with such a royal Mexican celebration, lasting for eight days.   The carnival commences with the traditional reading and burning of the bad mood.  Soon after, fireworks brighten the sky causing a ripple effect of cheers.  Over the next few days, the air fills with laughter as the gleeful viewers watch the Battle of the Flowers; as well as Salsa and Mambo to the hypnotizing beats of Spanish music. As the audience shifts its attention to the brightly colored floats, dancers dressed in vibrant costumes make their way down the streets.  The carnival of Merida, Mexico gives tourists the opportunity to become one with the city’s locals.  It is also one of the reasons why Merida is such a rich destination, uniquely set apart from its neighboring Mexican relatives. 

Founded in the 1500s, Merida remains the largest city and capital of the Yucatan State in Mexico.  Before achieving its current name, the city was called T’ho because it was situated on five hills.  However, after the Spanish entered many new buildings were established, causing the city to maintain its reign as an important commercial hub. 

Merida stands out among the other destinations in the country because of its position as well as the strong Mayan influence prevailing throughout its entire landscape.  One of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” and a UNESCO Heritage Site, the archeological ruins of the Chichen Itza provides an insightful journey into the Yucatan’s primeval era with exhibitions of the Pyramid of Kukulkan, Sacred Cenote, Toltec warrior carvings, as well as many other historical findings.  Merida’s historic center serves as an open history book, inviting you on a tour of its exquisite beautifications of iconic landmarks.  Feast your eyes on The Cathedral de San Ildefonso, a remarkable display of architecture preserving the Christ of Blisters in addition to other significant artifacts.

Adorned with a façade glowing in architectural magnificence, Paseo de Montejo is a vibrant district of Merida.  From boutiques to shops, there is an array of treasures lurking behind every door.  So grab your wallets and nourish your memories on authentic Mexican souvenirs, fit for every pocket.  After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, the boulevard also lights up at night with a variety of nightclubs, offering the perfect atmosphere to let loose and dance under the stars.

For a taste of the Mayan culture, the gastronomic experience overflows with traditional cuisines influenced by Yucatan’s multicultural natives.  Cooked with achiote, pipian, and a mixture of tropical fruits, its delicacies offer an authentic flavor specifically pertaining to Merida.  Chicken (pollo pibil), roasted pig, turkey, tortilla soup, and Edam cheese with meat are among the many choices of Mexican specialties prepared uniquely by the talented chefs.  Whether you choose a casual or fine dining setting, the culinary temptations of Merida will delight any appetite.

Merida experiences a hot steppe climate.  In the warmest season (April to June) the weather fluctuates between a daily high in the mid-90s to a low within the 70s.  The coldest season (November to February) the temperatures average from an everyday high between the 80s and low in the mid-60s.

There are various ways to explore Merida’s surroundings.  Public buses are inexpensive and provide transportation between the city’s suburbs and the plaza.   Taxis can be flagged down or dialed; however, prices are set at a specific rate and not metered.  Much of Merida’s highlights can be discovered on foot, which is a great way to meet its friendly people and bask in the city’s pleasant weather.