Merida is the capital city of the state of Yucatan. Known as "White City" because of the large use of white limestone and white paint this traditional city depicts much of the splendor of Colonial Mexico. This is by no means to say that Merida still exists in a time warp and the contrary could be said. There is old and new exhibited in everything from fashion to architecture.
The Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Montejo founded present day Merida in 1542. An insight into the horrendous pain and suffering of the people who were brutalized by the conquering conquistadors exists in magnificent paintings that are on display in the Governor's Palace located in downtown Merida.
Left in seclusion for many years because of the difficulty of traveling to Merida the people of this region have cultivated a distinct contemporary society that is unique in Mexico.
Merida is a safe place to visit and the people are warm and friendly. I asked a friend once about crime in Merida and he simply stated that there was no place to run there. Being such a close-knit society I took it to mean that violent acts of crime are simply not committed here that often because they are more or less one big family.
There is lots of traffic in Merida, especially downtown. Taking the local bus can be tricky if you do not speak Spanish. The majority of streets are one-way and the bus routes wind all over the place and if you are not on top of things you can end walking more than you expect.
Merida has everything you Want and You need to live and enjoy life, from Health Care to Schools, Churches, Excellent Food, Close the beach, Music, Daily Flights, Perfect telecommunications and a beautiful atmosphere.
Merida is nothing like Cancun or Playa del Carmen and if you want to experience Mexican culture while staying relatively close to the Caribbean Sea then Merida is a great place to go. There are lots of interesting shops to browse in, if you seek some familiarity, the Merida WalMart is well stocked and also has a food-court.
Outstanding regional dishes and traditional music and dances local to this region can be found in restaurants, theatres and shops housed both near the main plaza and in palatial mansions along Paseo de Montejo - a boulevard fashioned after Paris' Champs Elysée.
Progreso, Merida's port city, is 30 kilometers north and is an interesting area to visit to see the salt-flats and flamingos. Being centrally loated, Merida is a practical hub to explore numerous ruin sites and ecological wonders. Many charters fly into Merida or you can take a four hour bus ride from Cancun. There are also two highways connecting Cancun and Merida plus many roads winding their way through the jungle from Tulum.
INTERNATIONAL LIVING ALSO HAS AN INSIDER PICK FOR MERIDA AS A PREFERRED RETIREMENT DESTINATION
"Insider’s Pick: Gracious Merida Combines Old and New. Merida, capital of the Yucatan Peninsula, is a happy combination of old and new: a gracious, historic colonial city with modern conveniences like shopping malls, an international airport, and excellent hospitals. You can enjoy a relaxed life here, with friendly locals, music in the streets almost every night, and several thousand expats to make adjusting easy. You can still buy a colonial property here for under $200,000… and a couple can live comfortably on about $2,000 a month. —Glynna Prentice, IL’s Mexico Editor" internationalliving.com