Merida's Centro comes alive at night. (PHOTO: Visit Mexico)

Travel Weekly writer Meagan Drillinger came up with this travelogue on her five recent days in and around Merida…

The bus rolled into Merida about 6:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. I had spent the last two weeks in Playa del Carmen (I had planned on two days). I knew nothing about where I was going, except for the fact that I knew I had always wanted to go there.

Once again the siren call of Mexico’s cities proved stronger than my itinerary, and what was meant to be a two-day stint quickly turned into five, because when you finally discover Merida you won’t ever want to leave.

Merida is the capital of Yucatan state. Built on the site of the ancient Mayan city T’ho, it was founded by Francisco de Montejo in 1542 and took its name from a town in western Spain. What used to be the epicenter of Mayan culture was quickly destroyed, including the city’s five main pyramids, which were used to construct the important buildings of the Spanish settlers. Merida has the second largest historical city center in Mexico, after Mexico City.


Merida's Centro comes alive at night. (PHOTO: Visit Mexico)
Merida’s Centro comes alive at night. (PHOTO: Visit Mexico)

What to do
The main artery of Merida’s Centro is Calle 60, a long, straight road that sails past the major historical sites of the city, from the Plaza de Independencia, with its St. Ildephonsus Cathedral and Government Palace, to the smaller Parque de Santa Lucia, with its live, traditional music every Thursday night.

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