Nicknamed the “White City” because of its white stone buildings and reputation for cleanliness, Merida is the capital of Mexico’s Yucatan state. Due to its geographical isolation near the northwestern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, the city has its own unique dialect, cuisine and culture shaped by Mayan, Caribbean and colonial influences.
Founded by Spanish Conquistadors in 1542 upon an ancient Mayan city, Merida features numerous colonial buildings including the palace of a former Conquistador leader. The city’s main plaza, “el Zocalo,” is the location of many historic structures such as a 16th century cathedral, the Governor’s Palace and Old City Hall.
The tree-lined street of El Pasea Montejo with its beautiful mansions reflects the city’s former glory days as the rope-making capital of the world. This street is a nice place to enjoy an evening walk after the heat of the day. Most locals here work in the mornings and take a lunch and siesta when the tropical weather is at its peak.
Tourists will find a variety of things to see and do in Merida like relaxing in public parks, browsing colorful markets for souvenirs and visiting nearby Mayan archaeological sites.