Merida – A Great Mexican Destination

October 12, 2014
Michael Ryan
University of Yucatan-Merida

University of Yucatan-Merida

Merida is the capital of Yucatan and is situated in the northwest section of the state.  This colonial city has a distinctly different feel to the rest of the country because it is isolated geographically and has a strong Mayan culture.  The city is often called the ‘White City’ because it is so clean and its buildings are constructed in white stone.

Merida’s History

Merida was discovered in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo.  The city was built on top of the Mayan city of T’ho.  The Mayan buildings that were in existence at the time were taken apart and the stones used as foundations for the cathedral and several other buildings.

After the Mayan rebellion which took place during the 1840s, the city went through a prosperous period when it was the global leader in sisal production.  In today’s world, Merida is one of Mexico’s cosmopolitan cities which boast a rich cultural heritage and beautiful architecture.


There are many things to do in Merida, such as:

  • Visiting the Anthropology Museum
  • Learning about the Yucatecan cuisine by taking a cooking class
  • Visiting one of the remaining sisal haciendas
  • Obtaining a complete view of the city by tour bus

Day Trips

There are very interesting day trips you can go on from Merida.  Fifty-six miles west of the city is the Celestun Biosphere Reserve where you can view sea turtles, monkeys, deer, jaguars, crocodiles and a range of migratory birds.  Most people visit this area to see the flamingos.

There are several Mayan archaeological sites within driving distance of Merida.

Mexican Insurance

Mexican Insurance

The one consideration you should be sure to make if you intend visiting these interesting destinations is that you need to have current Mexican car insurance.  Mexican car insurance is a legal requirement in Mexico.  If you do not have at least a liability only policy, you could find yourself spending part of your holiday in a jail cell.  The law in Mexico states that the police authorities have to detain you if you are involved in an accident.  This is done while the investigation into guilt is done.

To ensure that you do not find yourself in this precarious position, you should ensure that your Mexican auto insurance offers you adequate coverage in the event that you are involved in a vehicle accident.  It is normally best to buy full coverage if you intend doing a bit of travelling in the country.  This will ensure that you have suitable coverage for both your costs and those of third parties. You can purchase your Mexican insurance policy from this URL.

Merida is an exciting city to visit, and offers interesting day trips.  It also offers tourists an exciting nightlife, good food and excellent accommodation.

You can reach this region by both land and air.