We usually stay in Tulum for several days before heading inland to Merida. You can say we’re a bit brave because we didn’t mind taking the ADO bus from Tulum to Merida. Some of my customers, for example, opt to take the short flight.
Mérida is the perfect size for a leisure weekend, and an ideal jumping-off point to access the treasures of the region: restored haciendas, underground cenotes, Mayan ruins, and more. It’s easy to soak up the city’s colorful street culture, beautiful architecture, and the super chill pace.
Las Escaleras, http://www.lasescalerasmerida.com/. Our personal favorite bed and breakfast in Merida. This 165 year old house will charm you with its Instagramm-able 3 guest rooms, colonial design with beautiful tiles and decor, and a pool. Inquire us for rates.
Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel + SPA, https://www.rosasandxocolate.com/. Colorful Spanish Colonial–style mansion on the vibrant Paseo de Montejo, this sophisticated boutique hotel makes us happy with its spa facilities (chocolate massage, anyone), pink decor, and the pool. Don’t forget the pool. Inquire us for rates.
Chilakiller’s, https://www.yelp.com/biz/chilakillers-m%C3%A9rida. Had no idea what chilaquiles tasted like until I stopped here. They have a very simple menu with different varieties of sauces, toppings and protein. Beautiful texture of crunchy, yet saucy soft. I strongly recommend their fresh fruit juices as well. Love the small but cute ambiance here; clean, bright, and minimalist chic.
When + Where: Best for breakfast or lunch, address is entre y, Calle 57 & Calle 58, Centro, Mérida, Yuc., Mexico
Dulceria y Sorbeteria Colon, http://www.elcolon.mx/. This ice cream shop, founded in 1907, offers sorbets and ice creams regional tropical flavors like soursop, mamey, coconut, mango. Try the champola, a tall sundae glass filled with the sorbet of your choice and topped with cold milk.
La Chaya Maya, http://www.lachayamaya.com/. Nice place for awesome margaritas and their traditional Yucatecan food. Be sure to try the poc-chuc, lime soup or tikin xic, to accompany an order or panuchos salbutes. Oooh, those fresh tortillas!
When + Where: Good for lunch or dinner, favorite location is at Calle 62 por 57, Centro, 97000 Mérida, YUC, Mexico
Apoala, https://www.apoala.mx/. Apola is definitely considered one of the best restaurants in Merida. It’s a nice location in parque Santa Lucia with outdoor seating. Apoala gives a contemporary spin on Mexican cuisine rather than traditional Yucatecan, and actually seems to lean more towards Oaxacan style cooking. We love their cocktails and we had mezcal tastings here. Friendly service. Not cheap, but ideal for dates.
When + Where: Best for dinner time and in parque Santa Lucia, address is 97000, Calle 60 #471 x 55 Local 2, Portales de Santa Lucía, Centro, 97000 Centro, Mexico
La Lupita (food stall). One of the best versions of cochinita pibil (slow roasted pork) is at La Lupita, inside Mercado Santiago (The main municipal market in Santiago Park). The restaurant has blue table cloths, it’s right in the center of the market, about 50 meters from any entrance. Order the Lechon “Con Cuarrito” – which includes the dark roasted fat, rather than the re-fried chicharron. The meat is served in your choice of corn tortillas, panuchos or salbutes. Super delicious.
Where & When: La Lupita, Mercado Santiago. 7am – 1pm. Sunday morning is super busy and when the most stalls at the market are set up.
Ruins. Head into the rainforest to visit ruins – our personal favorite is Uxmal, considered by many to be the secret best Mayan archaeological site on the peninsula. Uxmal is much less crowded, and I would say much more impressive, than Chitzén Itzá. Other ruins to consider are the Mayapan, Ruta Puuc & Kabah, or Dzibilchaltun.
Cenotes. After seeing the ruins, go for a cool dip. The Yucatan is filled with cenotes, the natural sinkholes connected by underground rivers. Did you know that there are literally hundreds of them, including one below Merida’s Costco?
You can either rent a car is to get to the ruins or cenotes or hit up Nomoon to coordinate a private tour. It’s just an hour drive.
Walk Around. In the early evenings, meander to the Parque Francisco Canton, where a local band plays in the open square as OG couples dance. There are food courts and laughter. Beautiful way to end the day.
Contact Nomoon if you’d like for us to plan and design your trip to Merida! We partner with the best tour operators and hotel accommodations for the most memorable experiences.