Yucatan — and Merida in particular — won accolades recently in prestigious U.S. publication Vogue. Here is writer Mary Holland’s take on our region:
Far from the maddening crowds of Riviera Maya—but the same distance from New York City—lies the Yucatán, a tranquil part of Mexico that hasn’t been trodden by tourists. Rather than mega-resorts offering timeshares and unlimited cocktails, the Yucatán has attractions that make this Mayan region truly unique: the ancient city of Mérida, cenotes, archaeological sites, and haciendas. They’re the kind of attractions you want to see when in Mexico, because you don’t travel all this way to just sit at an overcrowded beach, do you?
See the cities:
Going on vacation to a city doesn’t always feel like a vacation. One of Mérida’s biggest attractions is that it doesn’t really feel like a city. Despite being the capital of Yucatán state, it’s wonderfully sleepy and moves at the pace of a donkey. Spend a day wandering the ancient streets lined with pastel-colored buildings and you might think you’ve been transported to the early 1900s, when Mérida was in its prime. You’ll be tempted to spend lazy afternoons drifting from one cantina to the next drinking mezcal margaritas, but don’t miss out on the city’s other attractions, like Mercado Lucas de Gálvez, the city’s impressive cathedral, and the Governor’s Palace. Then, check into the hotel Casa Azul, a refurbished mansion that dates back to the 19th century. This bright blue building is centered around a serene courtyard, with restored tiles and vintage furniture that was handpicked from all over Mexico.
East of Mérida is the tiny city of Valladolid, which is considered the “mini Mérida.” It’s even sleepier than its sister city, with pretty buildings and a whole lot of locals hanging out in palm-filled plazas doing a whole lot of chilling. Take a walk through the city past the cathedral, drop by Coqui Coqui and pick up some perfumes, then join the locals in the square for some chill time. When it’s time for bed, book yourself into Coqui Coqui’s one-room retreat.
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