Mérida, the Capital of Yucatan

After a few days of relaxing on Isla Holbox, it was time to got back to the hustle and bustle of cities. My favorite city during my time in Mexico was without a doubt the capital of Yucatan, Mérida. The city was nice, the hostel was good and the people I met there were cool. All in all, I spent an amazing few days in this city.

What To Do

There are a lot of things to do in and around Mérida. You can certainly spend one day just walking around in the city and seeing the sights. The tourism board of Mérida also offers free walking tours which are really nice if you’d like to get some additional info on the city and its history.

A great day trip from Mérida are the Mayan ruins of Uxmal. It is considered one of the most important Mayan archaeological sites along with sites like Palenque, Tikal or Chichén Itza. I decided to not visit Chichén Itza because a lot of people recommended against it so I went to Uxmal. It takes about an hour to get there by bus. Make sure you bring enough water, it can be very hot and there is very little shade.

My favorite thing close to Mérida was the cenotes we visited. After about an hour long ride in a collectivo to Cuzamá these cenotes are only accessible with a train cart pulled by a horse. Yes, I am serious. You can visit all three cenotes with these carts and you get your own “driver”. And then you get rewarded with this:

Yes, the water was really that blue. You can see from the surface all the way to the bottom and it was more than 20 meters deep. We were a group of four people and we had this cenote all to ourselves for a while.

For one cenote you even have to climb through the trunk of a tree to gain access.

Where To Stay

There are a lot of choices for backpackers in Mérida. I stayed in the Nomadas Hostel (Affiliate Link) during my time there and it was one of the better hostels on this trip. It had a great location, the main square was only a few minutes away on foot. Anything you could need was within walking distance. Another big plus for me was the included breakfast. They had a buffet with fresh fruit, bread, jam and eggs and it was delicious! It’s also a very good way to save money on food if you can have a big breakfast in the morning and maybe skip lunch.

The rooms, on the other hand, weren’t the best I’ve ever seen. They weren’t bad, they were just ok I guess. Nothing fancy, just a few bunk beds and ceiling fans.

Another huge plus, if you stay in Mérida which can get really hot during the day, was the amazing pool they had. The hostel has a really nice garden with chairs and tables, hammocks and deck chairs around the pool.

The hostel offers so many more things like cooking and dance classes but I never took advantage of those.

What To Eat

Street food. What else? No, seriously Mérida has some amazing street food. The main square is a good bet if you are looking for good and cheap food but there are many food carts in other streets around too. Mérida also has a few squares and pretty much all of them have food after sunset.

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