Spotlight on Merida
The sun-kissed town of Mérida has certainly joined the ranks of Mexico’s most desired destinations lately. The capital of the state of Yucatán, Mérida features Mayan culture, rustic architecture, a relaxed vibe, proximity to the white sands of Progreso beach and iconic ruins like Chichen Itza, a progressive mindset, safety, and contemporary comforts at fantastic prices—all of which seduce many tourists into becoming repeat visitors and, in some cases, permanent residents.
The Spanish founded Merida in 1542 on the ruins of the old Maya city of T’ho. They even used the original Maya stone as the foundation for many buildings. In place of the Maya buildings, they constructed whitewashed mansions in the old walled town. Over the years, these buildings were painted with bright colours, creating the vibrant look that exists to this day. However, Merida is still nicknamed ciudad blanca (white city) in reference to the colonial buildings’ original palette. Merida easily accommodates both cultural exploration and beachside relaxation. The city lies only 35km from the Gulf of Mexico, which means it’s a short drive from the city to the beach. It’s the perfect base for an exploration of the peninsula and its many pleasures, whether colonial avenues, Maya ruins, or world-famous beaches.