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To visit Merida or Not

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Perth
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To visit Merida or Not

Hi everyone

we are tossing up now whether to go from Palenque- TUlum (overnight bus), 3 nights, 2 nights Valladolid (with chichen iza early on the second day)- Playa - 2 nights. from here we would visit tulum ruins, xcaret, many cenotes in the area and obviously the wonderful coastline. before this we are visiting san cristobal de las casas and mexico city. this is in late november and if the weather is likely to be overl windy, rainy, stormy etc then we will skip this option as wont be spending much time on the beach if its like that! we would hire a car in tulum and drop it off at Playa costin around $30 per day including drop off fee

option number 2 is PAlenque- Merida 3 nights- chichen iza 1 night- playa del carmen - 3 nights. this would cove more road distance and to pick up a car in Merida and drop it in Playa incurs an extra $250 AUD in drop off fees. everyone raves about merida on the weekend but considering where we are going before and the fact we are going to valladolid will we experience the music, street food, nightlife and atmosphere of a colonial mexican town without going to Merida

thanks in advance

Cape Cod
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1. Re: To visit Merida or Not

"Will we experience the music, street food, nightlife and atmosphere of a colonial mexican town without going to Merida."

In Valladolid? No. Nice enough town, but pretty sleepy.

Merida, Mexico
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for Merida, Chichen Itza
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2. Re: To visit Merida or Not

I agree with my esteemed colleague, above. Valladolid is much smaller than Merida. You will have experienced a colonial town in San Cristobal but Merida has a special vibe all its own. Valladolid is like Merida was perhaps 30 years ago.

Merida, Yucatan
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3. Re: To visit Merida or Not

I'd say include Merida and Bill is perhaps erring on the kind side in his comparison as I'd change that 30 years to something more like 50-60. There is much more to do here.

Have you looked at the ADO buses to get from Merida to Valladolid and then on to Playa? Alternatively, do CI as a day trip from Merida and take the bus Merida-Playa. You could save a lot of money.

Cozumel, Mexico
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4. Re: To visit Merida or Not

Agree with all the above. I lived in Valladolid for some time but ran out of things to do. A nice town but compared to Merida, little to do.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: To visit Merida or Not

We visited Valladolid one afternoon and we are in Merida now. I agree with the other posters. Valladolid is a nice, small town very worth seeing. But Merida is big, vibrant, modern. Alive with art, history, culture, shops, etc. While the weekend activities are often publicized there is lots to do during the week, too. Tonight (Wedneday) we're going to the free classical music concert at the Yucatan University and Friday night we're going to see Grease at the opera house for about $10. We might go to the free folk music series at Parc St. Lucia on Thursday night or me might just rest in our hotel and eat a take-out pizza.

Perth
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6. Re: To visit Merida or Not

Ok so What do you think of this plan?!

Palenque to Merida- overnight bus- 3 nights Merida.

Leave early on Sunday morning 6.30am ADO bus arrive at Chichen just after opening.

leave luggage in lockers. spend the day at Chichen, if have time visit Ek Balam or other attractions with taxis or collectivos.

Leave for PLaya del Carmen with ADO at 16.30 the same day, 3.5 hour trip. Arrive in Playa where we will pick up a car and drive to Akumal where we will spend 4 nights exploring the coast then leave from Cancun. not costing as much in car hire, still get to see Merida and Tulum/Riviera Maya. it will be a LONG day on the sunday but after that we can take it at a slower pace. Is 3 nights, 3 days in Merida too long??

thanks

Cozumel, Mexico
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7. Re: To visit Merida or Not

I responded to one of your several posts but on the Tulum forum.

Merida, Yucatan
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8. Re: To visit Merida or Not

Looks like a good plan, but including Ek Balam would be very ambitious. What about going into Valladolid for a nice lunch before travelling on to PDC?

Perth
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9. Re: To visit Merida or Not

That would be lovely but we will have to catch three Busses then and eat lunch with our luggage. I've tried looking at tours from Mérida to playa with stops in chichen so our luggage can stay on board but I don't think they exist!

San Francisco, CA
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10. Re: To visit Merida or Not

I went through a similar set of questions before my visit, which I just returned from today.

Let me say this: Valladolid, while a nice town, was nothing at all like Merida. Not even remotely. Actually, I preferred Izamal, to which it is a bit more similar.

Merida, however, I had some doubts about, so I only booked four nights, and really only three days. Biggest trip mistake ever. I fell so completely in love with Merida that my partner and I are strongly considering spending a month or two there next summer when we are on vacation. It is now one of my favorite cities in the world. I cannot promise it will be yours, obviously. My taste is particular. But Merida is not a "colonial Mexican city." It's more like a European town filled with Mayan-Yucatecan flair and is hard to put into words. But what a city!

I regret bothering going to Valladolid, not because it's a poor town; it's not. It's a nice town. It's just not a mini-Merida. The two have very little in common at all and don't have the same feeling. Valladolid definitely does feel like a little Mexican colonial town. When we went, it was filled with tourists from Cancun all day. We loved going to the Samula cenote. But I immediately regretted leaving Merida.

I also went to Palenque, and I didn't regret that one bit. It was outstanding even though we took several days to get there. It really blew my mind. The ruins really upped the ante on Chichen Itza, which we had seen from Valladolid.

But indeed, three days in Merida, and we're trying to figure out how to rent an apartment there for a month next summer already if the stars align properly. I loved it like I love Paris or New Orleans; it's just very distinct.