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“I Want To Go Back Already”
Review of Merida

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Water Mill, New York
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
“I Want To Go Back Already”
Reviewed 20 February 2011

People are so nice and although there are many street vendors trying to sell you things, it never got annoying as it did in other parts of the peninsula. There is so much to do including shops, restaurants, parks and even a zoo. There are also monuments and museums right in the city. You can find a bus to almost any ruin or interesting town in the nearby area. I always felt safe walking around, even at night or alone. The markets at Sunday are great and at night they have dancing an music in larger parks. Great place to visit. I would absolutely recommend it!

Helpful?
1 Thank TaraBerkoski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nanaimo
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
33 helpful votes
“Great base for exploring the Yucatan”
Reviewed 3 January 2011

Returned to Merida and the Yucatan for two weeks in a rented house. We have been in the Yucatan several times over the past twenty years. Recommend the city and surrounding area for anyone (including families) who wants to enjoy a relaxing time and get acquainted with one of the friendliest parts of Mexico. Especially good for all those who like to avoid resorts, timeshares, and canned experiences. We paid $400/week for a house with room for two couples and a small pool in the garden. We usually hire a guide and let them do the driving to the sites such as Uxmal, and Ek Balam (highly recommended). Great food, always something new to do/see/visit, good people. In Merida itself you can take a local bus (50 cents) to get around, or a taxi ($4-5 to most anywhere). Practice you Spanish and learn a bit of Maya, look for great crafts and folk art (check out the Banamex center in Casa Montejo on the principal zocalo.

Helpful?
3 Thank brenda002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wash DC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
“Memories from Merida, Mexico”
Reviewed 1 May 2010

Merida is a lovely city, steep in history and traditions. There are activities daily and nightly AND many are free. They range from tradtional dancing and singing on various squares to music performances in one of the many concert or music halls. You could easily spend a week of more in Merida with numerous side trips. As you navigate the city, watch out for the incredible number of holes in the sidewalks; many are in a sad state of dis-repair. One member of our party tripped and injured his shoulder- no, he was NOT drunk, lol. The sidewalk got the best of him. Also, if driving, be careful, the streets tend to be narrow and filled with speeding cars and busses. If ever involved in an auto accident, you can encounter big problems, as we did. The police were not friendly, but were rather beligerent. They kept asking me if I was American. Am not certain as to why, one person who lived in the town commented on how difficult the police were. There is more to the story, but not enough space to write about it. Also, there is a US Consulate in Merida, should you need it, but do not count on them helping you out, as they did not respond to us.

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1 Thank soujorner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
12 helpful votes
“Merida: Cosmopolitan yet still Cultural”
Reviewed 5 March 2010

The first time I visited Merida, Yucatan, Mexico as a teenager twenty years ago. Merida was a large Mexican city. It only boasted a handful of movie theaters, malls, hospitals, and big city amenities such as restaurants, night clubs, and hotels. A 2009 visit to Merida proved to be a surprise. Merida no longer appears as it once was--Mexian in all forms. Now, you could mistake its main road "Prolongación Montejo" for any main avenue of a U.S. city. Sam's Club, McDonald's, Home Depot, Office Max, among others are all common place in Merida. There are even two Sam's Clubs and twoOffice Max...and I can't even start to count the McDonalds--although I notably saw more Burger Kings. The number of malls has risen to eight--almost all with their own "megaplex" movie cinemas--, and one even has an ice skating rink! Two new hospitals opened recently which moved Merida to the "Mayo Clinic of Southeastern Merida." One would think that all Mexican culture is lost....

But, look closer. I stayed with a local host family selected by my Spanish school (Institute of Modern Spanish) and was wow'ed by their open hospitality and kindness toward me. Their essence of who they are and where their roots are firmly grounded has not been altered by the "U.S. invasion." They send their children to traditional (usually Catholic) schools, they eat "frijol con puerco" on Mondays, and for dinner go out to restaurants that served "panuchos" and "salbutes" way before I first visited 20 years ago.

Don't get me wrong...they still shop at Sam's and go ice skating on a Sunday afternoon after seeing the newest U.S. Hollywood movie. But, their notorious Mexican hospitality "Mi casa, es su casa" is still available for visitors to enjoy.

My recommendation...if you plan a trip to Merida, Yucatan--stay with a local host family in the residential areas. Spanish schools (such as the Institute of Modern Spanish) will set you up with a "homestay" even if you don't take Spanish classes at their school.

Helpful?
1 Thank ModernYucatan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgewater, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
149 helpful votes
“Beautiful Merida, The City of Smiles”
Reviewed 25 February 2010

The City of Merida in the Yucatan is known as the "White City" but after spending a week there I could easily refer to it as the "City of Smiles".
The people of the Yucatan are very friendly and always have an instant smile. They are so helpful and respectful towards their visitors.
I was in Merida for the 2010 Carnaval and took part in a great many festivities, events and the wonderful parades. The city was alive with music, laughter and joyful activities. It was such a pleasure to be with so many happy people.
I flew into Cancun and travelled on the ADO bus (a four hour ride) over to Merida. It was a very comfortable experience and also very reasonable. I stayed at a wonderful hotel, Luz En Yucatan only a few short blocks from the parade route. The hotel, a former convent, is next door to a beautiful church built in 1575 and therefore we figured the convent must have been constructed around the same time.
Just up the street from the hotel is a great park where families enjoy music, dancing and lots of great food from vendors who are everywhere.
Merida has many parks and areas where you can sit and relax and people watch or read a book or enjoy a snack.
The parades are every night and they are out of this world. The costumes, the music, the lighting are all first class. Everyone is in the Carnaval spirit and families line the streets to enjoy the entertainment. The biggest parade of the week is held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. This is a must see.
What a wonderful time for the participants in the parades and the thousands who line the streets. It is all carried off very orderly and tickets can be purchased so that everyone has a seat. Work crews work throughout many nights organizing the seating.
The parade floats are worked on throughout the year and they are spectacular. The beautiful girls and boys, men and women are dressed in outstanding costumes. The parades are first class. There is a huge participation by the businesses of Merida and of Mexico.
The city is filled with tourists, residents from outlying areas and visitors from around the world.
The events for Carnaval last a full week and it all comes to an end on Ash Wednesday evening with the wake and funeral of Juan Carnaval. He is put to rest until the next year. Planning has already begun for 2011.
Going to Merida for Carnaval should be on everyone's list of things to do. It is a marvellous experience and one you will not soon forget.
Plan now for March 2011 I know I am.

Helpful?
1 Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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