George’s Guide to Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

This is my guide to Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico that will appear in VIVA Travel Guide’s 2010 book about Mexico and on the website, vivatravelguides.com.

But you get a sneak peak!

17 hotels, 14 sights, 12 restaurants, 7 shops, 6 haciendas, 5 tour operators, and 3 nightspots. Plus How to Get There and How To Get Around, Communications, Money, Medical Assistance, Services and much more.

The narrative is on the top, with complete contact and logistical information below.

Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

Mérida is the largest city on the the Yucatán Peninsula and the capital of Yucatán state – its cultural and business hub, and an international gateway to the archeological and natural beauty of the Mundo Maya. While travelers to the peninsula have been focusing on the glitter of Cancún or the restored brilliance of Chichén Itzá, Mérida has been creatively positioning itself as a premier vacation destination.

At its heart and under it streets, Mérida is first a Mayan city. It is built on the ruins of the ancient town of T’ho, also known as Ichcaanzihó, the “city of the five hills,” for the five pyramids that once dominated what is now Mérida’s Main Square. Above this Mayan base, Spanish colonists placed their most important edifices and plotted a street grid aligned with the north, south, east and west directions so important to Mayan astronomers. The founders called their new town Mérida, after the Spanish city, because T’ho’s impressive buildings reminded the newcomers of the Roman architecture for which the first Mérida is still famous.

Mérida is nicknamed “The White City,” which might refer to formerly white-painted buildings or the city’s cleanliness. As you walk the narrow streets, you will pass decaying colonial homes but many are newly restored and brightly painted now, housing hotels, shops and restaurants.

Mérida is located in the northwest corner of Yucatán state, 36 km (22 miles) from Progreso’s Gulf of Mexico beaches, where Méridanos head to on weekends to escape the city’s heat. It’s a flat, straight shot, passing by abandoned henequén fields, the crop that fueled Mérida’s 19th century economic boom. The world’s rope was made from Yucatán’s henequen, also known as sisal, until nylon came along and the “green gold” market collapsed. But, before it did Mérida’s millionaires built lavish mansions along the Paseo de Montejo, the Parisian-style boulevard that heads north from the Historic Center.

Culturally speaking, Mérida is one of Mexico’s most sophisticated cities, presenting Mayan and European performance and visual art, handicrafts, and cuisine. The cultures often fuse and create experiences that are uniquely Mérida. Shopaholics can choose from bartering in public markets or slipping into finely woven linen fashions. Foodies can chow down on tacos from street vendors or sample tapas spiced with the region’s reddish seasoning paste, called recado rojo.  Visitors also drive out of town and climb 1,500 year-old pyramids, kayak coastal waters, or lounge poolside at 17th century haciendas.

Today, Mérida is a modern city, boasting professional soccer, baseball and basketball teams and 18 institutes of higher learning. American-style shopping malls abound, and Mérida’s excellent hospitals now attract tourists on a new kind of trip: the medical vacation, with cosmetic surgery and dental care available at a fraction of North American and European prices.

Three Spanish conquistadors named Francisco de Montejo – El Adelante, The Son and The Nephew – thought that they had destroyed the Maya. Fortunately, for all of us who visit Mérida today the Montejos actually only began the fusion of two strong, luminous cultures that has made Mérida one of North America’s most fascinating cities.

Things to See and Do

Mérida offers visitors a hearty buffet of things to see and do. Travelers should at least visit these sights: Cathedral de San Ildefonso, Casa de Montejo, Palacio de Gobierno, Plaza Grande, the Lucas de Galvez and García Rejón markets, Museo de Antropologia and Paseo de Montejo. Excellent museums, athletic events and historic churches beckon. Free concerts abound and shops are filled with handicrafts. And, that’s just in the city itself! Within a two-hour drive are beaches, Mayan ruins, abandoned haciendas and exquisite flora and fauna.

Plaza Grande/Zócalo (Independence or Main Square) For more than 450 years the Plaza Grande, or Independence Square as it is officially known, has drawn Méridanos to this shady and spacious park, which is surrounded by the city’s most important civic and religious institutions. Sundays are an especially fine time to visit because the surrounding streets are closed to vehicles. The park is filled with families strolling, lovers kissing, performing and visual artists, vendors of all sorts, and students typing away at laptops using the Plaza Grande’s free Wifi.

Catedral de San Ildefonso (Cathedral of St. Ildephonse) The Door of Forgiveness leads into the first cathedral completed in the Americas, which is dedicated to San Ildefonso of Toledo. Construction began in 1562 on this sober, Renaissance-style house of worship. If the interior seems sparsely decorated it is because anti-church vigilantes ransacked the cathedral in 1915, destroying its 18th century gilded altar and the chapels dedicated to St. Joseph and the Rosary. You can still visit the chapels on the north side, including the one containing the much-beloved Christ of the Blisters.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Contemporary Art Museum of the Yucatán) Opened in 1994, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MACAY) stands proudly next door to the cathedral on the Main Square, occupying the former Peninsular Athenaeum, which began life as the archbishop’s palace. Temporary exhibits by national and international artists fill the salons and a cavernous, covered patio. Among the permanent exhibits is one celebrating the life and work of Yucatecan mural painter Fernando García Ponte. Alongside MACAY, the Pasaje de la Revolucion is an open-air gallery for contemporary, large-scale sculpture.

Casa de Montejo (House of Montejo) Highlighting the Calle 63 side of the Main Square, the Casa de Montejo was built in 1569 by Mérida’s founder, Francisco de Montejo and remained the family home until 1831. The house is a masterpiece of Spain’s Plateresque style. A monumental façade features carved images of conquistador and indigenous figures, with the natives one-third the size of the Spanish. Above the doorway a man hunches over bearing the weight of the upper tier, perhaps representing Montejo’s dominance over the Maya. As of January 2010 Banamex was in the process of fully restoring Casa de Montejo to its original condition and opening the building as a museum.

Centro Cultural Olimpio (Olimpio Cultural Center) The city of Mérida celebrated its 457th birthday in 1999 by inaugurating a gleaming white cultural center located next door to the Palacio Municipal. Centro Cultural Olimpio is a beehive of activities ranging from theater, dance, and visual art to science, workshops and conferences. Families and science buffs will enjoy the many presentations at the planetarium, including Stars of the Night. On Tuesday evenings, aficionados of traditional Mexican song and visitors alike stop by for the free concert called Noche de Trova.

Palacio de Gobierno (State Capitol Building) Yucatán’s 19th century state capitol building, the neoclassical Palacio de Gobierno, is a required stop on any visit to Mérida for two reasons: the excellent tourism office on the first floor corner of Calles 60 and 61 and the second floor Hall of History with its 17 impressive murals by Yucatán’s native son and most famous painter, Fernando Castro Pacheco. Installed in 1974 the massive paintings chronicle Yucatán’s often-painful history, demonstrated most movingly in “The Execution of Jacinto Canek.”

Palacio Municipal (City Hall) Facing the cathedral, Mérida’s city hall was built on the site of a Mayan pyramid called Bakluum-Chaam. Erected in 1735, the current façade was added in 1928. The clock tower displays the coat of arms of Mérida, granted by King Phillip III of Spain in 1618 and displaying a banner reading, “Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Mérida.” On Monday nights, Yucatecan folkloric groups perform the jarana, a lively regional folk dance on the street in front of City Hall.

Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum) The beautifully renovated 1908 post office building has housed the City Museum since 2007, a far more sophisticated and flexible space than the museum’s former home. Through excellently conceived and designed exhibitions the City Museum tells the long and complicated history of Mérida’s evolution as an important city. Mayan town, colonial outpost, capital of an almost-independent country, henequen boomtown and modern city – you will understand better all these important aspects of Mérida through a visit to Museo de la Ciudad.

Iglesia de Jesus (Church of Jesus of the Third Order) The Church of the Third Order (or Church of Jesus, as it is also called) stands one block from the Main Square on the corner of Calles 59 and 60. Built in the 17th century by the Jesuits the church was attached to the order’s College of St. Francis Xavier. Roughly finished stone walls – some containing shell fossils – contrast with a richly carved entrance. Inside, stained glass windows pierce the dome, illuminating many beautiful paintings and friezes.

Teatro Peón Contreras (Peón Contreras Theater) The Yucatán Symphony Orchestra and other local, national and international artists present performances of the highest quality at Teatro Peón Contreras. It was named for Yucatecan poet and playwright Jose Peón y Contreras and designed by the Italian architect Pio Piacentini and engineer Enrico Desserti. The theater opened its doors in 1908 and can hold its own with the finest European opera houses. A gleaming white marble staircase leads from the lobby to the elegant second floor loggia where crowds gather for intermission drinks.

Universidad de Yucatán (Autonomous University of Yucatán) The headquarters of the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) at the corner of Calles 57 and 60 is a fine, yellow painted Colonial structure, constructed in 1701 as the Seminary of St. Peter. Inside you will find a broad patio paved in stone and surrounded by a three-story cloister.  The University Cultural Center welcomes visitors to its gallery, bookstore and theater. On Friday nights talented university students serenade visitors in a free concert at 9:00 pm.

Paseo de Montejo (Montejo Avenue) Created in the late 19th century, the Paseo de Montejo showcased the enormous wealth and European tastes of Yucatán’s henequen barons. Many elegant mansions remain on the avenue, including the Peon de Regil and Vales Houses at Calle 35, the twin Cámara Houses at Calle 45 and the Palacio Canton at Calle 42. The Monument to the Flag in the traffic circle at Calle 27 is designed in the neo-Mayan style and features a mestizo woman in indigenous dress symbolizing Mexico.

Museo Regional de Antropología (Regional Anthropology Museum) No visit to Mérida is complete without a visit to the Museo Regional de Antropología, located on the Paseo de Montejo in the spectacular Palacio Canton. Here you will find some of the finest artifacts of Yucatán’s Mayan past. The exhibits are divided into thematic areas including the ways that the Maya interacted with the environment and how they organized their city-states. Palacio Canton itself is a stunning example of Italian Renaissance-style architecture, built in 1911 and the former home of Yucatán’s governors.

Parque Centenario (Centennial Park) If the kids are tired of looking at Mayan ruins and the Zócalo’s souvenir shops, take a bus or taxi to Centennial Park located 12 blocks west of the Main Square. Entrance is free to this shady retreat, which is filled with Mexican families, especially on Sundays. Children will find much to amuse themselves: a miniature train, boats and pony rides. The zoo has many big cats and primates but you may find yourself saddened by their small enclosures.

Haciendas Yucatán’s expansive country houses, called haciendas, date back to Spanish land grants and grew to their greatest splendor as 19th century henequen plantations. Long abandoned in the 20th century these country homes have come back to life, finding new lives as museums, hotels and restaurants. Hacienda Sotuta de Peon: Ride around the property on the same donkey rail carts that used to transport henequen fiber to the processing plants. Hacienda Yaxcopoil: The descendants of 19th century owner Don Donaciano Garcia Rejon operate Hacienda Yaxcopoil as a house-museum, which remains furnished with Mayan artifacts and European furniture. An elaborate Moorish double arch crowns the entry to the property, which retains its antique ambience. Hacienda Ochil: Among its many delights, Hacienda Ochil displays works from the Great Masters of Popular Art Banamex Collection. Hacienda Santo Domingo de Yunku: This privately owned estate, its swimming pool, fruit orchard and cenote are available for rental.

Accommodations

Mérida offers accommodations to suit every budget and taste. Main Square options present an urban experience and proximity to local attractions. Or, visitors can explore Mérida’s charming neighborhood churches and markets while staying in converted colonial homes near Santa Lucia and Santiago parks. International hotel chains, like Hyatt, Intercontinental and Fiesta Americana, provide top-quality service in high-rise buildings on the fashionable Paseo de Montejo. Remember Mérida’s 18% hotel room tax and ask if it is included in the room rate.

Budget: Hostal Las Nomadas Popular with budget-minded travelers of all ages, Hostal Las Nomadas has perfected its accommodations, services and ambience since opening in 1999. Nomadas is located on a quiet street five blocks from the Main Square. A big plus on hot days is a large, clean swimming pool behind the circa-1790 main house. The hostel gives all guests an excellent and concise printed guide to Mérida with a useful page devoted to transportation and bus service, cost and schedules.

Budget: Hostal Santa Lucia Staying at Hostal Santa Lucia makes it easy to enjoy the Thursday evening folklore concert and Sunday market in the park across the street. A member of Hostelling International Mexico, the friendly staff at Santa Lucia works hard to create a fun community for its guests, with free activities including a barbecue on Fridays and Saturday nights and salsa lessons on Wednesday and Friday. Well-priced website promotions can include accommodations and a tour with lunch to Chichén Itzá or Uxmal.

Budget: Casa de Tio Dach More than just a place to stay, Casa de Tio Dach connects guests with a real Mérida family and its personal history. Who was Tio Dach? He was the uncle of owner and manager Edwin Gongora Medina. Casa de Tio Dach is located steps away from the picturesque Arch of the Dragoons, and is decorated with an impressive collection of paintings and family heirlooms. Rooms named after family members are simple and homey, with two to eight beds each.

Budget: Hotel del Parque For convenience and location it is hard to beat Hotel del Parque but there’s a tradeoff: rooms with pretty views of Iglesia de Jesus also face noisy Calle 60. Rooms in the back are quieter but look out onto the hotel’s parking lot. The 1950s modern façade is a bit jarring in this colonial neighborhood, but the large frosted glass windows do allow in plenty of light while maintaining privacy. The rooms are very clean but the beds are hard.

Budget: Hotel San Juan Located one half block away from the activities of Calle 60’s Santa Lucia Park, Hotel San Juan is a quiet, lower-priced courtyard hotel. It has clean rooms and public areas and is positioned three blocks from both the Main Square and Paseo de Montejo. The AC might rumble each time it kicks in and the beds can be hard or soft, so check out both when choosing your room. A poolside café sells a simple breakfast from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Budget: Hotel del Peregrino Canadian owner Jim Steffler deserves much credit for hiring and training a friendly and service-oriented staff, which is fluent in English, and also speaks Italian and French. Near the Paseo de Montejo, the Peregrino is a relaxed, tranquil small hotel, with a lovely courtyard and breezy roof terrace to enjoy at the end of a busy day. Jim has great taste and the comfortable rooms are decorated with carved wood furniture and traditional, colorful tile work in newly renovated bathrooms.

Budget: Hostal Zocalo Hostelers could not ask for a more convenient accommodation in Mérida: Hostal Zocalo sits right on the Main Square, next to the Casa de Montejo. The hostel occupies an historic building and features a second-floor balcony with an entertaining view of Méridanos enjoying their downtown. Guests give high marks to the hostel’s cleanliness and extensive breakfast buffet, served daily from 7:00 to 10:00 am. Three-meter tall windows provide cooling breezes along the pasillo, a lounge where visitors gather day and night.

Mid: Luz en Yucatán The winner of the 2010 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Award, Luz en Yucatán is almost always that website’s #1 rated accommodation in Mérida. And, it deserves it! Owners Tom Williams and Donard O’Neil, both former tour guides, have set up this 15-room inn next to Santa Lucia Church with an understanding of all that travelers love, or love to complain about. Comfortable beds, great design, top-notch service and complimentary Mexican liquors in the lobby are just a few of the many reasons guests return again and again.

Mid: Hotel Espanol Hotel Espanol is the closest hotel of quality to the first class CAME and second-class TAME bus stations, making it a fine choice if you’ve got an early morning bus departure. Light sleepers beware: this convenience also brings considerable street noise from a very busy intersection. Upper level accommodations may be a bit quieter. Not all rooms have windows to the outside so check first before accepting your room. Hotel Espanol is about a 15-minute walk to the Main Square.

Mid: Hotel Colonial Hotel Colonial is best known for its extremely popular daily breakfast buffet, but it is also a good value, mid-range Mérida hotel. And that breakfast is a great one complete with omelets made to order. Other amenities include a roof terrace with views of cathedral and a small outdoor pool with a splashing waterfall that is fun for kids but better for wading than for swimming laps. Some guests complain that the rooms are musty, so give them the smell test.

Mid: Hotel Medio Mundo Situated two blocks west of Santa Lucia Park and four blocks from the Main Square, Hotel Medio Mundo offers spacious rooms lining a wide arcade, which surrounds a jungle-like courtyard. The friendly and gracious owners Nicole and Nelson Laprebendere, an Uruguayan-Lebanese couple, paid great attention to detail in designing the hotel, which has been featured in architectural magazines. A stay at Hotel Medio Mundo is tranquil and peaceful, reflecting the hotel’s unofficial motto: “To be in a hurry is not elegant.”

Mid: Gran Hotel The Gran Hotel is an aging beauty of the Belle Epoque era, and as one guest said, is “a gorgeous, retro relic.” Opened in 1901 and recently restored, the Gran was for decades Mérida’s finest hotel – even Fidel Castro stayed here! The elaborate marble lobby could be the set of a Humphrey Bogart movie. Rooms vary in desirability, some with louvered wooden panels instead of windows. Others, with charming French doors, open to tiny balconies, which unfortunately face several very loud outdoor restaurants.

Mid: Casa Santiago Staying at Casa Santiago is like being invited into the home of a treasured friend – one who has impeccable taste and has decorated his home with art gathered during world travels. Tucked into three connected homes are seven guest rooms where imported American mattresses await you and guarantee a good night’s sleep. These luxurious accommodations come at reasonable prices and include impeccable service by Casa Santiago’s helpful staff. Nearby are a lively public market and a parish church dating from 1637.

High: Hotel Casa San Angel The Paseo de Montejo starts right at the front door of family-owned Hotel Casa San Angel. This is a graceful boutique hotel with an interesting history: it was the home of the scientist who calculated the path of Halley’s comet in 1910. Lavish murals decorate the walls of the central courtyard, where a squawking parrot greets visitors. Rooms have high ceilings, flat screen TVs, deluxe Sealy mattresses, and whisper-quiet  “Minisplit” AC. The hotel promises guests “an angel in every room.”

High: Hotel Casa del Balam A stay at Hotel Casa del Balam brings the visitor face to face with an important Yucatán family: the hotel is the former home of Fernando Barbachano Peon, who pioneered tourism in Mexico and whose descendents own the land under the ruins at Chichén Itzá. Public areas feature pre-Colombian and Colonial art, interior patios and lush poolside gardens. Comfortable beds and modern bathrooms await guests in the traditionally decorated rooms, overlooking Teatro Peon Contreras. The master suite was Barbachano’s own bedroom.

High: Hotel Hacienda Mérida Understated luxury describes the atmosphere when you walk into the lobby of Hotel Hacienda Mérida, selected in 2008 as one of Traveler Magazine’s Best New Hotels in the World. Peace and quiet rule at Hacienda Mérida, with the calm of a country home transferred to this 1849 town house. A spacious arcade sits alongside the palm tree shaded swimming pool. Chic rooms pamper guests with king sized canopy beds, 600-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, and satellite flat screen TVs

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High: Hotel Rosas and Xocolate With the November 2009 opening of Hotel Rosas and Xocolate, super-deluxe, state of the art accommodations arrived in Mérida. Seventeen sleekly appointed rooms and suites are spread comfortably throughout two conjoined 19th century mansions on Paseo de Montejo. No expense was spared in creating this unique hotel, which was a labor of love by owner Carol Kolozs and famous Mexican architect-designers Salvador Reyes and Josefina Larrain. For a sybaritic delight, luxuriate in your room’s outdoor stone soaking tub, open to the sky.

Restaurants

Mérida is a major destination for serious foodies, with a distinct cuisine heavily influenced by Mayan cooking traditions. Any visit should include tasting some of Yucatán’s famous dishes, including Cochinita Pibil – pork roasted in an underground oven, or Papadzule – a taco filed with hard-boiled egg and drenched in pumpkin seed sauce. Locals gather in the afternoon for “botanas” at Eladio’s, Lucero del Alba and Colonos for the free, hearty snacks that arrive nonstop at your table as long as you keep drinking.

Budget: Marlin Azul Delicious, inexpensive seafood makes up the bill of fare at Marlin Azul – the Blue Marlin. It’s a tiny restaurant – only 4 tables and 8 counter stools – on the first block off the Main Square. Marlin Azul is crowded with savvy locals and visitors who stumble upon it. Make sure you start your meal with either a seafood cocktail or tangy ceviche: choose from shrimp, octopus and oyster or a combination. Filleted fish is a main course specialty.

Budget: El Trapiche If you need a break from visiting the sites of the Main Square walk just one-half block up Calle 62, almost to Teatro Mérida, and enjoy a meal at El Trapiche. It serves typical Yucatecan cuisine as well as salads, pizza and omelettes. This restaurant is a good place to try some regional specialties: the salbute, a soft, cooked tortilla filled with veggies and meat, or a panucho, a crispy, fried corn empanada filled with black beans covered with pickled red onions.

Budget: Co’oten Hana Co’oten Hana means “Let’s go eat” in Maya. This small, family-run restaurant is a “comida corrida” – a fast food joint that serves a set lunch menu of simple, wholesome food. You get a first course of soup, plus tortillas, rice, beans and a choice of main course. It’s usually some kind of guisado – meat in a sauce, maybe chicken in enchilada sauce or turkey in mole. The menu changes daily and there are usually three or four main course options.

Budget: La Habana Since 1952, La Habana has been downtown Mérida’s 24-hour coffee shop, as crowded with colorful characters in the middle of the night as it is at lunch. You never know what entertaining thing will happen while you are at La Habana – you may find yourself eating off of placemats advertising Pepto Bismol, an odd but endearing choice. At breakfast try the chaya omelette, filled with Yucatán’s dark green super spinach, whose medicinal properties are touted all over the peninsula.

Budget: Cafeteria Pop What’s not to like at Cafeteria Pop? It’s a straightforward café – you don’t come here for a gourmet meal, but you won’t be disappointed with what you order. The entire menu is written on the placemats! Breakfast combinations include juice and coffee, or that rarity at Mexican restaurant breakfasts: oatmeal. Sandwiches and desserts (including ice cream sodas) are served all day. Evenings offer a choice of fajitas. Cafeteria Pop is associated with the Restaurante Portico del Peregrino next door.

Mid: Café Chocolate It’s hard to characterize Café Chocolate: it is equal parts coffee house, full-service restaurant, art gallery and antique store. Even the vintage chandeliers are for sale! Extensive, all-you-can-eat buffets are the only option for breakfast and lunch, and they are a smart choice, offering great value for MX$49/US$4.90. In the evenings couples linger at the cast iron café tables in the pretty garden courtyard and groups of friends chat over dinner or elaborate coffee drinks. Pastas and bread are made in-house.

Mid: Pane e Vino Italian food is as popular in Mérida as it is in the rest of the world and Pane e Vino is one of the city’s best choices for fresh, house-made pastas and sauces. Italian natives operate this unpretentious trattoria and while some diners have complained heartily about slow service, you probably won’t mind if you are not in a hurry. Past visitors to Pane e Vino should note that the restaurant has moved to the corner of Calles 59 and 64.

Mid: Restaurante & Artesania La Choperia In 2007 Mexican brewer Modelo launched a line of fresh, unpasteurized beer by the barrel, which is available only in company-affiliated bar/restaurants like La Choperia. Large, airy and open, this sophisticated restaurant is highlighted by a sleek and contemporary wooden bar. La Choperia has both Mexican and Brazilian owners, which is reflected in the food served: it leans heavily toward Brazilian-style meats and seafood. Appetizers include Pastelzinho Mixto, savory filled pastries served with a sauce made from Brazil’s fiery cachaca liquor.

Mid: Amaro Restaurante-Bar All roads lead to Amaro, or at least all tourist guidebooks do, which makes the restaurant popular with travelers, who make up the majority of the clientele. This is Mérida’s best-known vegetarian restaurant, although it also serves meat-based “international” dishes. Main course vegetarian options include curries and fajitas, with stuffed peppers or squash among the most popular choices. Amaro occupies a fine 18th century mansion in which the hero Andrés Quintana Roo was born in 1787, the namesake of the nearby Mexican state.

Mid: Pancho’s Don’t be scared away from this good restaurant, although you might be after seeing the waiters’ costumes, the t-shirts for sale and entrance wall of Andy Warhol-style images of Pancho Villa. Well-prepared steaks, chicken, salads and Yucatecan specialties like Poc Chuc are served in generous portions. It’s best to avoid the early crowd of tourists and head upstairs at sunset to the rooftop terrace. It is a hideaway unusual in downtown Mérida, candlelit with soft, live music and views of the Church of Jesus.

High: La Casa de Frida Gabriela Praget, a well-known chef, is the brilliant mind behind La Casa de Frida. This restaurant is a pillar of Mexican gastronomy, with the freshest ingredients served in new and interesting combinations. Chef Gabriela’s signature preparation is Chiles en Nogada, poblano peppers stuffed with ground beef, apple, pear and plantain, covered with pecan sauce, and garnished with pomegranate seeds (MX$170/US$17). The original version of this red, white and green dish was invented in the 19th century for Mexican Emperor Agustín de Iturbide.

High: Trotter’s After revitalizing his family’s first Mérida restaurant, Pancho’s, chef Paul Trotter conceived his own fine dining establishment, Trotter’s, which opened in 2005. It counts among its clientele the wealthiest families of Mérida’s north side.  A graduate of The Restaurant School of Philadelphia, Chef Paul and his well-trained staff offer impeccable service to guests seated in a lush, tropical patio. Fresh fish from Gulf and Caribbean waters and choice beef from the northern Yucatán plains are presented in classic and modern recipes.

Nightlife

Amarantus With 3,451 members on its Facebook page, it’s easy to understand why Amarantus is always crowded. Live music from local bands and a laid-back vibe attract Mérida’s young partying crowd to the “Up and Down” fiesta on Fridays and “Pop Bottle All Night” on Saturdays. These are all-inclusive nights, with admission and all you can drink for about 120 pesos if you’re a guy (and arrive before 11:00 pm). Ladies pay only 50 pesos, which tells you something about the male to female ration.

Slavia Bistro, Bar and Lounge There’s no other nightspot in Mérida like Slavia, and its neighboring sister establishments Tobago and Cúbaro. Slavia’s décor fuses Arabian Nights, French Boudoir, and Asian Temple into an over-the-top, candle-lit fantasy and feast for the eyes. Sophisticated young Méridanos sip martinis in the “Buddha Bar” then move into intimate dining rooms for elegant, international cuisine. Later at night, the crowd moves next door to Tobago for after dinner espresso and even later to Cúbaro, which serves snacks if you are still hungry.

Angeluz Mérida has three major gay clubs, all located on the outskirts of the city in industrial areas. Angeluz (Angel Light) is packed with the local GLBT community every weekend, dancing, drinking and watching a rotating cast of characters on stage. Dancing alternates with drag shows and male strippers. Groups of friends crowd around small tables sharing a bottle of tequila or a pail of icy beers. Angeluz brings in top national and international DJs. Take a taxi – it’s not the safest area.

Tour Operators

Mérida attracts thousands of international visitors every year. Among the city’s many tour operators there will be at least one who can plan your perfect excursion. A good way to start off your visit is to take the Turibus, which travels a loop visiting Mérida’s most important sites, and allows you to hop on and off all day long for MX$100/US$10 per day. Specialty tour operators cater to travelers wanting to experience Yucatán’s cuisine, history, outdoor activities, countryside and coast.

Turibus See 33 of the city’s sights from a red double-decker bus. Itinerary and stops: Plaza Grande/Cathedral, Anthropology Museum, Itzimna, Monument of the Flag, Park of the Americas, Hotel Zone (Paseo de Montejo), Gran Plaza shopping mall.

Turitransmérida Founded in 1990, Turitransmérida is one of the city’s best-respected tour operators. Operating daily, the company’s 25 bilingual and trilingual guides lead many interesting tours in Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian and Japanese. A two-hour Mérida city tour is a great bet for visitors with only a few hours to explore Yucatán’s capital. The Colonial Route tour visits the towns of Acanceh, Techo, Chumayel and Maní. Turitransmérida can plan destination weddings, conventions and transfers for Progreso’s cruise ship passengers.

Orbitur Orbitur first began offering guided tours in 1973 to the Maya world of México, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. A full-service agency, Orbitur can arrange single day and multi-day trips for individuals and groups to all of Yucatán’s most scenic destinations. Popular local excursions include the Rum & Exotic Liquors tasting tour in which you can learn how the traditional Mayan rum called xtabentún is distilled. The Tasting and Gastronomy tour features a four-course gourmet Yucatecan lunch at world-renowned Hacienda Teya.

Mayan Ecotours Adventurous travelers should contact Mayan Ecotours to get an adrenalin rush. Guided tours include rappelling 17 meters into the depths of a cave, or scuba diving in the Yucatán’s sub-aquatic caverns called cenotes. Milder, but no less rewarding excursions go to the nearby towns of Izamal and Celestún, and the Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Chichén Itzá. The Mayan Life tour includes cenote snorkeling, learning to make a Panama hat and lunch in the home of a Mayan family.

Los Dos Cooking School Well-known expatriate American chef David Sterling operates the first school in México devoted to Yucatecan cooking. From Chef David’s colonial mansion Los Dos offers guided tours that combine cooking lessons, delicious meals and travel to enchanting Yucatán destinations. “Culinary adventures” include: Street Eats, a walking tour to Chef David’s favorite street food vendors; Surf and Sun, a visit to sandy beaches while learning about and tasting seafood; and Slow Food Yucatán, with excursions to small local growers and artisanal producers.

House and Garden Tour/Mérida English Library Private homes of the Spanish colonial era reveal little of what lies behind their high walls. The House and Garden Tour, offered by the English Language Library, takes visitors on a walking tour through the Historic Center and into three to five houses not usually open to the public. Local resident Keith Heitke leads the tours, which ends at the Casa Catherwood house-museum, where a full set of artist Frederick Catherwood’s iconic 19th century hand-tinted lithographs of Mayan ruins are exhibited.

General Information

Former Mayan name: T’ho

Modern city founded: January 6, 1542

Motto: Orgullo de Todos (Pride of all)

Telephone Code: 999

Time: Central Standard Time or Central Daylight Time (UTC)

City Website: Mérida.gob.mx

Altitude: 10 m (33 ft)

Population: (2005) 734,153. 12th most populous Mexican city

Sister City: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Economy: Tourism, agriculture, fishing, commerce, construction, and assembly plants, with exports including honey, sisal rope, petroleum products, hammocks, fine jewelry, boats, handcrafts and clothing.

When to go

Climate: Hot and humid with a rainy season from June through October. May is the hottest month. Average temperature: January: Low: 17 Celsius/64 Fahrenheit; High: 28 Celsius/84 Fahrenheit. July: Low 22 Celsius/73 Fahrenheit. High: 33 Celsius/93 Fahrenheit. Holidays: January 6: Mérida’s birthday. November 1 and 2:Hanal Pixan, Mayan Day of the Dead. Festivals: Carnival: January or February. Yucatán Bird Festival: Fall months. http://www.Yucatánbirds.org.mx. Los Gremios: In September and October the statue of Christ of the Blisters is carried daily from the cathedral and through the streets.

Safety

Mérida’s Historic Center and Paseo de Montejo are very safe neighborhoods to walk in. Violence against visitors is uncommon. Watch your wallet when visiting public markets and on local buses – there are pickpockets.

Services

The best English language source of up-to-date local information is the magazine Yucatán Today, available at most hotels, travel agencies and tourism offices. Or, peruse their extremely helpful website at Yucatántoday.com.

The Yucatán state and the City of Mérida governments maintain conveniently located tourism offices in the Historic Center. Free maps and brochures are available, along with information about attractions outside the city. The staff is eager to share its knowledge. All speak some English and a few can converse in other languages as well.

Tourist information kiosks are maintained in other locations throughout the city, including Paseo de Montejo, Convention Center, City Museum and Peón Contreras Theater.

One of the best services Mérida provides to travelers is an excellent Audioguide, Along the Roads of Mérida. This recorded self-guided tour allows you to visit the city’s main attractions at your own speed while listening to expert commentary on headphones. More than 70 explanations are offered in English, Spanish, Italian, French and Maya.

Shopping

Hammocks, panama hats, men’s guayabera shirts, and women’s huipiles – the native blouse beautifully embroidered around the shoulders, are the souvenirs most travelers seek out. The best prices for locally made crafts are found in the two mercados, the Lucas de Galvez Market and the García Rejón Bazaar, where you can bargain hard for maqueches, which are live beetles decorated with sparkling stones.

The Casa de Artesanías is a government-run gallery with fixed prices on Mayan crafts, including handmade paper, purchased directly from indigenous artists. Artesanaria, a shop across from Santa Lucia Park, sells unique items from communities across Mexico. Amate is one of the finest sources of English language books about México in the entire country. Miniaturas offers hand-carved Day of the Dead figurines. Hamacas Mérida produces high-quality hammocks while Guayaberas Jack and El Sombrero Popular are respected sources for shirts and hats. Ki’Xocolatl features fine Mayan organic chocolates and chocolate beverages created by L’Amandine’s Belgian master chocolatier Mathieu Brees.

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Mérida – Contact and Logistical Information

Getting to and away (regional transportation),

Airport: Manuel Crescencio Rejón Mérida International Airport (MID), which is served by Aeromexico, American Airlines, Aviacsa, Click, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Martinair Holland, Mexicana, Northwest/KLM, and United Airlines. +52 (999) 946-1530.

Car: North: Federal Highway 261 between Mérida and Progreso (33 km/22 miles, one half hour)

South: Federal Highway 180 between Mérida and Campeche (185 km/115 miles, 2 hours), leading to Tabasco, Veracruz, Puebla and Mexico City

East: Federal Highway 180 between Mérida, Chichén Itzá (130 km/80 miles, 2 hours) Valladolid (180 km/110 miles, 2 1/2 hours) and Cancún (340 km/210 miles, 4 hours). The Mérida-Cancún toll road (cuota) is a faster but more expensive option than the two-lane highway that snakes through picturesque villages. Toll road Prices: Mérida-Chichén Itzá: MX$71/US$7. Mérida-Valladolid: MX$124/US$12. Mérida-Cancún: MX$338/US$34

Southwest: Mundo Maya Highway between Mérida, Teabo, Peto, Yucatán; Felipe Carrillo Puerto, and Chetumal, Quintana Roo (370 km/230 miles, 6 hours)

Northwest: Federal Highway 176 between Mérida and Tizimín (185 km/112 miles, 2 1/2 hours)

Bus: The most convenient source of information about all 1st class and some 2nd class buses is www.ticketbus.com.mx. Tickets can be purchased online by credit card. Credit cards can also be used at Mérida’s first class CAME station, but not at the TAME or other 2nd class stations. Buses from a variety of lines depart from and arrive at multiple stations so be sure you know which one you need.

First Class CAME Station

Address: Calle 70 No. 555, between Calles 69 and 71, Col. Centro

Tel: +52 (999) 924-8391

Toll-free (within Mexico): 01 (800) 702-8000

Web: http://www.ado.com.mx

Bus Lines: ADO, GL, UNO (+52 (999) 928-6230)

Destinations: Yucatán: Valladolid, Chichén Itzá (6:30 and 9:15 am, 12:40 pm; about 2 hours, MX$100/US$10)

Quintana Roo: Tulum, Chetumal, Cancún (many, 2:00 am to 12:00 midnight, about 4 hours, MX$268-364/US$27-36); Playa del Carmen (many, 2:00 am to 12:00 midnight, about 5 hours, MX$300-430/US$30-43)

Campeche: Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche (many, 1:35 am to 12:00 midnight, about 2 hours, MX$144-170/US$14-17)

Tabasco: Villahermosa (many, 12:10 am to 10:25 pm, about 8 hours, MX$446-684/US$45-68)

Chiapas: San Cristobal, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Palenque (8:30 am, 7:15, 10:00 and 11:50pm, 7-9 hours, MX$382/US$38)

National: Puebla, Veracruz, Mexico City (10:01 am, 2:00, 5:30, 7:16 and 9:15 pm, about 20 hours, MX$1,128-1,338/US$113-134)

Second Class TAME Station:

Address: Calle 69 No. 554, between Calles 68 and 70, Col. Centro

Tel: +52 (999) 920-4444, 924-8391

Lines: Ruta Puuc bus – Autotransporte del Sur (ATS): daily round trip service to Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak, Labná, and Uxmal. MX$141/US$14. Departs: 8:00am. Returns: 4:30pm

ADO: Tel: +52 (999) 928-6230. Cancún, Valladolid, Chichén Itzá, Playa del Carmen, Cobá and Tulum. Web: http://www.ado.com.mx

Lineas Unidas del Sur: Tel: +52 (999) 924-7865. Destinations: Maní, Oxkutzcab (about every hour, 2 hours, MX$40/US$4)

Autobuses de Occidente Tel: +52 (999) 928-6230. Destinations: Tizimín, Celestún, Izamal (MX$20/US$2)

Autobuses del Noreste: Tel: +52 (999) 924-6355. Destinations: Rio Lagartos, San Felipe

Economic Class:

Address: Calle 69 No. 544, between Calles 68 and 70.

Tel: +52 (999) 923-2287

Destinations: Ticúl, Uxmal, Umán, Escárcega and other destinations on the Yucatán Peninsula.

Progreso and Dzibilchaltun: Autotransportes Mérida-Progreso,

Address: Calle 62 No. 524, between Calles 65 and 67, Colonia Centro

Tel: +52 (999) 928-3965

Email: autoprogro@hotmail.com

Web: http://www.autoprogreso.com

Destinations: Progreso, Dzibilchaltun ruins

Departures: about every half hour. Monday to Thursday, 5:00 am to 10:00 pm.  Friday to Sunday, 5:00 am to 10:30 pm

Price: RT, MX$22/US$2.20. One-way, MX$13/US$1.30

Additional Information: also offers guided tours of regional sites

Hotel Fiesta Americana (Plaza Bonita) Station

Address: Calle 60 at Avenida Colón, Paseo de Montejo (Hotel Zone)

Tel: +52 (999) 920-5523

Web: http://www.ado.com.mx

Lines: Super Expresso, ADO-GL, Uno.

Destinations: nonstop service to Cancún and Playa del Carmen

Getting around – Local transportation

Walking: Even numbered streets run north/south and odd numbered streets run east/west. Free walking tour of Main Square: Monday to Saturday, 9:30 am. About 1 hour, 45 minutes. Meet at Palacio Municipal. Tel: +52 (999) 942-0000, ext. 80119. Includes City Hall, Main Square, Montejo’s House, Peninsular Athenaeum/MACAY, Government Palace, Saint Ildephonse Cathedral, Revolution Passage, City Museum

Bicycle: Bici-Ruta, streets closed on Sundays from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm between La Hermita de Santa Isabel to the Monument of the Flag on Paseo de Montejo, including Calle 60 in the Historic Center. Rent bikes at the Palacio Municipal for MX$10/US$1 per hour.

Buses: MX$6/US$.60 per trip. Cash only. Major hubs are at the corner of Calles 59 and 58, also at Parque San Juan. Signs with the route’s destinations are displayed in the front window. Four bus companies: Unión de Camioneros de Yucatán (UCY), Alianza  de Camioneros de Yucatán (ACY), Rápidos de Mérida, and Minis 2000.

City Bus Tour: Two-hour guided tour in Spanish and English. Departs corner of Calles 55 and 60. Price: MX$750/US$7.50. Departs 10:00 am and 1:00, 4:00 and 7:00 pm.

Taxis:

Taximetro: Tel: +52 (999) 982-7575. Taximetro vehicles use meters. Others do not, so negotiate the price before entering the taxi. White taxis at stands cost a little more than the various colored ones driving around.

Taxi from airport: MX$155/US$15 to Historic Center. Exit terminal and walk left to the taxi stand. Pay at the window and get a receipt. The driver comes and gets you and takes you to the taxi. 15 minutes to Historic Center. MX$200/US$20 or more to more distant locations.

Taxis within Historic Center: MX$40/US$4 flat rate.

Driver Roberto Lara: cell, +52 (999) 960-1746. Local and daylong trips to regional sights.

Shared vans: Colectivos, or combis, are mini-vans that travel a particular route, transporting passengers for a few pesos. The final destination should be on a sign in the front window, or wave one down and ask where it’s headed. Major hubs are at the corner of Calles 59 and 58, also at Parque San Juan.

Car rental: Many agencies at the airport and in the Hotel Zone: Payless, Europcar, National, Alamo, Executive.

Mexico Rent a Car: Calle 62 #483-A between Calles 57 and 59. Tel: +52 (999) 927-4916, 
Email: mexicorentacar@hotmail.com. Web: http://www.mexicocar.net

Carriage: The horse-drawn carriages called calesas offer rides through the Historic Center and Paseo de Montejo. About MX$250/US$25 for one hour. Negotiate the price before climbing in.

Parking: Street parking is limited in the Historic Center. Public paid lots are located off Calle 58 between Calles 53 and 55, and Calle 62 between Calles 59 and 61.

Safety

Tourist Police: +52 (999) 942-0060 or 930-3200, Ext. 40062. Look for their white and blue uniforms.

Police: +52 (999) 942-0060

Fire Department: +52 (999) 924-9242

Red Cross: +52 (999) 924-9813. Toll free number from Telcel mobile phones: 114

Green Angels (Road Service): +52 (999) 983-1184

Services

Tourism Offices:

State Tourism Office:

Palacio del Gobierno

Hours: Daily, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm

Address: First Floor, Corner of Calles 60 and 61. Historic Center

Tel: (999) 930-3101, ext. 10001

Fax: (999) 930-3760, ext. 22042

Email: informacionalturista@Yucatán.gob.mx

Website: http://www.Yucatán.travel

City Tourism Office:

Palacio Municipal

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Sunday, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Address: Calle 62 between Calles 61 and 63

Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 928-1966

Email: turismo@Mérida.gob.mx

Additional information: Audioguide rental available

Paseo de Montejo:

Hours: Daily, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Address: Paseo de Montejo at Calle 33-A, Justo Sierra traffic circle

Additional information: Audioguide rental available

City Museum:

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Address: Calle 56 529-A, between Calles 65 and 65-A. On Eulogio Rosado Park, Historic Center.

Additional information: Audioguide rental available

Jose Peon Contreras Theater:

Hours: Daily, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm

Address: Calle 60 at Calle 57.

Tel: +52 (999) 924-9290.

Email: informacionalturista@Yucatán.gob.mx

21st Century Convention Center:

Address: Calle 60 Norte No. 299-E, Col. Revolucion.

Tel: +52 (999) 942-1953.

Email: convenciones@mayaYucatán.com.mx

Audioguide Information:

Fees

1. MX$80/US$8 foreign tourists

2. MX$60/US$6 national and local tourist

3. MX$40/US4 students and senior citizens

4. MX$20/US$2 per extra-hour, all tourists

Available at city tourist information centers located at Palacio Municipal, Paseo de Montejo and City Museum

Money

Banks: Many branches and ATMs. Banamex and Santander at corner of Calles 58 and 59, Historic Center. Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Some branches open Saturdays.

Money Exchange:

Centro Cambiario del Sureste

Address: Calle 59 No. 509 Apt. 1, between Calles 60 and 62, Historic Center.

Tel: +52 (999) 923-5046.

Hours: Daily, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm

Travelers’ checks: accepted at some hotels, restaurants and shops, or cashed at banks and money exchanges with proper identification.

Communications

Post Office: Calle 53, between Calles52 and 54. Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Phone: Caseta Larga Distancia, across bus station at the corner of Calles 69 and 70. Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Local, national and international calls. In the Main Square and on many street corners there are telephones that accept either coins or phone cards, which can be purchased at OXXO and other convenience stores.

Internet: Cibercafe Santa Lucia, Calle 62 No. 467, at the corner of Calle 55

Laundry

Lavanderia Industrial (Aquaclean). Calle 59 #527, between Calles 62 and 64. Tel: +52 (999) 928-8866. Laundry and dry cleaning

Lavanderia La Fe, Calle 64, between Calles 55 and 57. Same day service

Medical

Hospitals:

Centro Médico de las Américas: Tel: +52 (999) 927-3199. Calle 54 No. 365, between Ave. Pérez Ponte and Calle 33A. Website:  Centromedicodelasamericas.com.mx

Clínica de Mérida: Tel: +52 (999) 920 0411, Av. Itzáes No. 242, Col. García Ginerés

Doctors:

Dr. Pablo Ribas Wedge: +52 044 (999) 172-4772. Makes house calls.

Dr. Fortuny: +52 (999) 923-2509. Calle 55 between Calles 60 and 62. Hours: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. No appointment needed.

Pharmacies:

Yza Farmacia: Calle 63 between Calles 64 and 66. Tel: +52 (999) 926-6666. Open 24 hours. Delivery service

Dentists:

Dr. Javier Cámara Patrón: +52 (999) 925-3399, Calle 17 #170 between Calles 8 and 10. Email: drjaviercamara@hotmail.com. Website: Yucatán-dentist.com

Dr. Jesus Sanchez Ruz: Calle 53 between Calles 64 and 66. Tel: +52 (999) 924-9895

Consulates

Belgium, Belize, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United States

United States of America consulate

Address: Calle 60 No. 338-K, Colonia Alcalá Martín

Tel: From US: +52 (999) 942-5700

From within Mexico: (01)(999) 942-5700

From Mérida: 942-5700

Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 4:30.  Visa appointments, Monday to Wednesday, 7:30 to 11:00 am

Phone:  +52 01 (900) 849-3737

Fax: from US: +52 (999) 942-5759. From within Mexico: (01) (999) 942-5759

Email: Méridacons@state.gov

Web: http://Mérida.usconsulate.gov/

Belize consulate

Address Calle 53 No. 498 A between 56 and 58 Centro

Phone: +52 (999) 928-6152. USA: +52 (999) 942-5700.

Fax: +52 (999) 928-3962

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Email: dutton@sureste.com

Web: http://www.embassyofbelize.org/

Other Information

Mexican Immigration: Avenida Colon at Calle 8, Col. Garcia Gineres, +52 (999) 925-4553. Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Gas Station: Pemex stations located throughout the city, including in the Historic Center at Calle 59, No. 519, between Calles 60 and 62

Luggage Storage: On side of TAME bus station facing CAME on Calle 70, between Calles 69 and 71. Hours: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. Pay by the hour: MX$5/US$0.50 to MX$12/US$1.20, depending on size of luggage.

Shopping

Lucas de Galvez Market

Address: Calle 56A, between Calles 67 and 69, Historic Center

Hours: Daily, approximately 5:00 am to 6:00 pm

Payment: Cash

Additional information: This is the city’s main market. The craft market is located next door at Calle 67, between Calles 58 and 56 on the second floor. Open approximately 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

García Rejón Bazaar

Address: Calles 65 and 60, one block south of the Main Square, Historic Center

Hours: Daily, approximately 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Payment: Cash

Additional information:

Casa de Artesanías

Address: Calle 63 No. 503-A, between Calles 64 and 66

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Sundays,
9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express

Tel: +52 (999) 928-6676

Email: artes@prodigy.net.mx

Web: casadelasrtesaniasdeyucatán.com

Additional information: second location across from the Anthropology Museum on Paseo de Montejo, between Calles 41 and 43. Hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 9:00pm. Saturday, 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Sunday, 10:00am to 2:00 pm.

Artesanaria

Address: Calle 60 No. 480 on the corner of Calle 55, Historic Center

Hours: Daily, 11:00 am to 10:30 pm

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Tel: +52 (999) 252-3736

Email: artesanaria@hotmail.com

Web: artesanaria.com

Additional information: owned by cousins Claudia Gómez Peniche and Raquel Jacobo Borge

Amate Books

Address: Calle 60, #453A, between Calles 49 and 51, Historic Center

Hours: Daily

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Tel: +52 (999) 924-2222

Email: huunnah@amatebooks.com

Web: amatebooks.com

Additional information: Books can also be ordered at the website, but shipped only to addresses within Mexico. The original Amate store is in Oaxaca.

Miniaturas

Address: Calle 59 No. 507A, between 60 and 62

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Closed Sunday

Payment: Cash

Tel: +52 (999) 928-6503

Additional information:

Hamacas Mérida

Address: Calle 65 No. 510, between Calles 62 and 64, Historic Center

Hours: Daily

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Tel: +52 (999) 924-0440

Fax: +52 (999) 924-0440

Cell: +52 (999) 949-4109

Email: info@Méridahammocks.com

Web: www.Méridahammocks.com

Additional information: Toll free from USA or Canada: 1-866-473-5490. Also available by ordering on the website.

Guayaberas Jack

Address: Calle 59 No. 507-A, between Calles 60 and 62, Historic Center

Hours: Daily

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal

Tel: +52 (999) 928-6002

Email: jackayuso@hotmail.com

Web: www.guayaberasjack.com.mx

Additional information: Also available by ordering on the website.

El Sombrero Popular

Address: Calle 65 No. 15, between Calles 58 and 60

Hours: Monday to Saturday

Payment: Cash

Tel: +52 (999) 923-9501

Additional information:

Ki’Xocolatl/L’Amandine

Address: Calle 55 No. 513, between Calles 60 and 62, Historic Center

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 10:30 pm. Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Tel: +52 (999) 920-5869

Email: Contact through website

Web:  ki-xocolatl.com

Additional information: associated with L’Amandine, which has a factory store at Calle 5-D No. 315, between Calles 38 and 38A, Col. Pensiones. Owners: Mathieu Brees and Stephanie Verbrugge.

Things to See and Do

City events calendar, searchable by date

http://www.Mérida.gob.mx/turismo/contenido/cultura_in/eventos.htm

Plaza Grande/Zócalo (Independence or Main Square)

Location: at the intersection of Calles 60, 61, 62 and 63, Historic Center

Hours of Operation: Always open

Admission: Free

Services: Free Wifi, no password needed

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Catedral de San Ildefonso

Hours of Operation: Daily

Admission: Free

Location: On the Zocalo at Calles 60, between Calles 60 and 61, Historic Center

Services: worship services

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Contemporary Art Museum of the Yucatán)

Hours of Operation: Sunday to Thursday, 10:00am to 6:00pm. Friday/Saturday: 10:00am to 10:00pm. Closed Tuesdays.

Admission: Free

Location: On the Main Square at Calles 60 and 61, next to the cathedral, Historic Center

Services: restrooms, café, gift shop

Tel: +52 (999) 928-3258

Email: amigos@macay.org

Website: macay.org

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Casa de Montejo (House of Montejo)

Hours of Operation: Daily

Admission: Free

Location: On the Main Square at Calle 63, between Calles 60 and 62, Historic Center

Services: ATM

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Additional information: As of January 2010 Banamex was in the process of fully restoring Casa de Montejo to its original condition and opening the building as a museum.

Centro Cultural Olimpio (Olimpio Cultural Center)

Hours of Operation: Daily

Admission: varies depending on activity

Location: On the Main Square next to the Palacio Municipal at Calles 61 and 62, Historic Center

Services: performances, exhibitions, planetarium

Tel: +52 (999) 942-0000, Ext. 477, 263 and 262

Email: cultura@Mérida.gob.mx

Website: http://www.Mérida.gob.mx/capitalcult

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Additional information:

Palacio de Gobierno (State Capitol Building)

Hours of Operation: Daily, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm

Admission: Free

Location: On the Main Square at the corner of Calles 60 and 61, Historic Center Services: art museum, state government services

Tel: +52 (999) 930-3101

Website: http://www.Yucatán.gob.mx/gobierno/historia/index.htm

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Additional information: The state tourism office is located on the first floor and open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Palacio Municipal (City Hall)

Hours of Operation: Daily

Admission: free

Location: On the Main Square at Calle 62 between Calles 61 and 63

Services: restrooms. Stores and restaurants on street front

Tel: +52 (999) 942-0000

Email: opinion@Mérida.gob.mx

Website: http://www.Mérida.gob.mx

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Museo de la Ciudad            (City Museum)

Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Friday, 9:00am to 8:00 pm. Saturday/Sunday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Closed Monday.

Admission: Free

Location: Calle 56, between Calles 65 and 65-A, next to the Lucas de Galvez Market, Historic Center

Services: Restrooms, exhibitions

Tel: +52 (999) 923-6869

Email: museodelaciudad@Mérida.gob.mx

Website: http://www.Mérida.gob.mx/capitalcultural/museos/museociudad.htm

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Additional information:

Iglesia de Jesus (Church of Jesus of the Third Order)

Hours of Operation: Daily

Admission: Free

Location: at the intersection of Calles 60 and 59, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-9712

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Teatro Peón Contreras (Peón Contreras Theater)

Hours of Operation: Lobby open daily

Admission: varies

Location: Calle 60 No. 490, between Calles 57 and 59, Historic Center

Services: performances, café, restrooms, exhibitions

Tel: +52 (999) 924-3843

Fax: +52 (999) 924-3954

Email: teatro.peoncontreras@Yucatán.gob.mx

Website: http://www.culturaYucatán.com

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Additional information:

Universidad de Yucatán (Autonomous University of Yucatán)

Hours of Operation: Daily

Admission: Free

Location: Calle 60 No. 491-A, at Calle 57, Historic Center

Services: restrooms, gallery, bookstore, theater

Tel: +52 (999) 930-0900

Website: http://www.uady.mx/

Parking: none, very limited street parking

Paseo de Montejo (Montejo Avenue)

Hours of Operation: Daily

Admission: free

Location: North of the Historic Center, beginning at Calle 49

Parking: Street parking, parking lots

Museo Regional de Antropología            (Regional Anthropology Museum)

Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Admission: MX$41/US$4.10. Free to Mexicans under 13 and over 60, students and teachers with ID. Sunday free for Mexicans

Location: Palacio Canton, Paseo de Montejo at Calle 43

Services: bookstore, restrooms

Tel: +52 (999) 923-0557

Email: palacio.canton@inah.gob.mx

Website: inah.gob.mx

Parking: street parking

Additional information:

Parque Centenario (Centennial Park)

Hours of Operation: Daily. Zoo, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Recreation area, 6:00 am to 5:00 pm

Admission: Free. Miniature train, MX$1/US$.10. Boats, MX$3/US$0.15. Funicular, MX$3/US$0.15

Location: Between Avenida Itzáes and Calle 84, and Calles 59 and 65, west of the Main Square

Services: recreation area, zoo, carnival rides, food, restrooms, dancing for senior citizens, guided zoo tours.

Website: http://www.Mérida.gob.mx/centenario/

Parking: street parking and lots

Additional information: Take the bus on Calle 65 to Parque Centenario.

Haciendas

Hacienda Sotuta de Peon

Location: Municipio de Tecoh, Forty-five minutes from Mérida, half hour to Uxmal

Admission: See Services.

Tel: +52 (999) 941-8639, 941-7190

Email: ventas@haciendatour.com

Website: haciendatour.com

Services and additional Information:

Tour Rates:

Adults: MX$300/US$30

Children 3-12 years of age: MX$150/US$15

Children under 3 years of age: Free of charge

Adult Combo MX$620/US$62 (Transportation, tour and lunch Included).

Transportation Rates:

Adults: MX$200/US$20

Children 3-12 years of age: MX$100/US$10

Children under 3 years of age: Free of charge.

Hacienda Yaxcopoil

Location: Highway 261 (Mérida-Uxmal) at 186 KM marker. Approximately 33 km (20 miles) south of Mérida

Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. Sunday 9:00 am – 1:00

Admission: MX$50/US$5

Mailing Address: Apartado Postal No. 1, Administracion No. 4, Mérida, Yucatán, 97101

Tel: +52 (999) 900-1193, 910-4334

Email: hacienda@yaxcopoil.com, yaxcopoil@prodigy.net

Website: http://www.yaxcopoil.com

Services and additional Information: Hacienda Tours, Maya Museum, Accommodations, Event Hosting, Refreshments, Handcrafts, Gifts, Memorabilia, Parking

Hacienda Ochil

Hours: Daily, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Dinner available by prior reservation.

Location: Highway 261 (Mérida-Uxmal/Umán-Muna) at 176.5 KM marker. 38 km miles south of Mérida

Mailing Address: Abalá, Yucatán, Mexico 97825

Tel: +52 (999) 924-7465

Email: through website

Website: http://www.haciendaochil.com

Services and additional information: Event hosting, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, handcraft workshops, rail car ride, museum, accommodations

Hacienda Santo Domingo de Yunku

Location: 45 minutes south of Mérida, exact directions upon reservation.

Admission: open to overnight guests only

Tel: Guillermo Duran, Phone in Mérida: +52-999-943-7762. Cellular Phone in Mérida: 044-999-217-8103

Website: http://www.haciendayunku.com/

Services and additional Information:

Rental Rates:

Low Season:  1 April – 15 October

US$300  per night for casa principal, grounds and pool

US$150 per night for guest house

US$450 per night for entire hacienda

High Season:  16 October – 31 March

US$400 per night for casa principal

UX$150 per night for guest house

US$550 per night for entire hacienda

Tour Operators

Turibus

Schedule: Daily, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Plaza Grande/Cathedral: 9:05 am and 12:40, 2:30, 4:20 and 6:10 pm. Hotel Zone/Paseo de Montejo: 10:25 and 11:15 am, and 1:05, 2:30, 4:45 and 6:35 pm.

Prices: all day pass: MX$100/US$10, MX$140/US$14 for 2 days, MX$180/US$18 for 3 days.

Payment: Cash, buy ticket on board

Tel: +52 (999) 946-2424

Web: Mérida.gob.mx/Turismo/contenido/especiales/turibus/pop_turi.htm

Additional information: headphones with narration in Spanish, English, French, and Italian.

Turitransmérida

Prices: Various

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Address: Calle 55 No. 495-A at Calle 58, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-1199

Fax: +52 (999) 924-1199

Email: general@turistransMérida.com.mx

Web: turitransMérida.com.mx

Additional information: member, Association of Mexican Travel Agencies

Orbitur

Prices: Various, depending on tour.

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Address: Calle 6 #480-A, between Calles 19 and Colón, Co. García Ginerés

Tel: +52 (999) 920-3085 or 3086

Fax: +52 (999) 925-5684

Email: incoming@orbitur.com.mx

Web: http://www.orbitur.com.mx

Additional information:  Member of International Air Transportation Association (IATA), National Confederation of Travel Agencies, Chamber of Commerce of Mérida, Confederation of Employers of México, Greenpeace, Pronatura

Mayan Ecotours

Prices: MX$375/US$37.50 to MX$1,500/US$150

Payment: For tours, bank transfers and cash only. For local hotels, haciendas, and hotels in Cancún, Cozumel and Riviera Maya all credit cards accepted.

Address: Calle 80 No. 561 (6th Floor), at Calle 13-1, Col. Residencial Pensiones

Tel: +52 (999) 987-3710

Cell, +52 (999) 243-1489

Email: Info@mayanecotours.com

Web: http://www.mayanecotours.com

Chat: mayanecotours@hotmail.com

Additional information: Custom tours also available. Arrangements for travel and accommodations across Yucatán Peninsula.

Los Dos Cooking School

Tour Prices: Prices vary depending on tour.

Payment: PayPal, certified check or money order sent to a US bank

Address: Calle 68 No. 517, between Calles 65 and 67, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 928-1116

Email: chefsterling@los-dos.com

Web: http://www.los-dos.com

Additional information: Street Eats (9:00 am to 2:00 pm): US$150 per person. Surf and Sun (7 days/8 nights): US$3,795 per person. Slow Food Yucatán (5 days, 6 nights): US$2,450 per person. Daylong cooking classes and private dinners also offered. All classes and visits to Los Dos must be reserved at least 48 hours in advance.

House and Garden Tour/Mérida English Library

Tour dates: Wednesdays, October to March

Time: 9:45 am to approximately 12:30 pm

Price: MX$200/US$20

Payment: Cash

Location: Tour departs from the English Language Library

Address: Calle 53 No. 524, between 66 and 68, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-8401

Email: Méridaenglishlibrary@hotmail.com or kheitke@worldstudioinc.com

Web: Méridaenglishlibrary.com

Additional information: No reservations necessary, but best to contact the library or guide first. English Language Library hours of operation: Monday, 9:00am to 1:00PM and 6:30 to 9:00pm. Tuesday to Friday, 9:00am to 1:00pm. Thursday, 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Saturday, 10:00am to 1:00pm. Closed Sunday.

Accommodations

Budget: Hostal Las Nomadas

Address: Calle 62 No. 433, at Calle 51

Tel: +52 (999) 924-5223

Toll free (Mexico):

Toll free (US and Canada):

Email: nomadashostel@hotmail.com

Web: http://www.nomadastravel.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 42 dorm beds (mixed and women-only rooms), 16 private rooms.

Prices: Dorm bed, MX$109/US$11. Single private room w/o bath, MX$199/US$20. Double private room w/o bath, MX$268/US$27. Double private room w/bath, MX$328/US$33. Additional persons in private rooms: MX$90/US$9.

Payment: Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Cash

Services: safe in reception, travel agency, free parking, bed linens included, no smoking in rooms or lobby, community kitchen, continental breakfast included, 24 hour hot water, children above age 6 welcome, hand laundry area, free Wifi, two free computers in lobby, lounge/common area, outdoor pool, ceiling fan, front door key with deposit. lockers, lock deposit MX$10/US$1, filtered water, towels available for rent, luggage storage MX$20 until 6:00 pm, MX$30 until 11:00 pm. Check out: 12 noon, lights out: at 12: 00 midnight. Free Live Trova guitar music from 9:00 to 10:00 pm.

Budget: Hostal Santa Lucia

Address: Calle 55 No. 512, between Calles 62 and 64, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 928-9070

Email: hostalstalucia@gmail.com or infor@hostalstalucia.com

Web: hostalstalucia.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: men’s, women’s and mixed dormitories

Prices: Dorm: MX$95. Semi-private rooms: MX$240. Private Double Rooms: MX$300

Payment: Cash

Services: American breakfast included, AC, ceiling fan, Cable TV (Sky), two terraces, grill, tourist information, laundry service, hot water showers, kitchen, lockers, free filtered water, staffed reception 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, no curfew, street parking only, lockers, bed linens and towels included, AC in dorm rooms, community kitchen, hammocks in garden, Rafael is manager.

Budget: Casa de Tio Dach

Address: Calle 61 No. 446, between Calles 50 and 52, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-5931

Web: lacasadeltiodach.com.mx

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 5 bedrooms with 20 beds.

Prices: October to March, MX$150/US$15. April to September, MX$120/US$12.

Payment: Cash

Services: 24 hour reception, luggage storage, lockers, linens included, street parking only, nonsmoking building, community kitchen, continental breakfast included, 24 hour hot water, child friendly, one room air conditioned, free Wifi, lounge/common area, book exchange, shared bathrooms, linens included, ceiling fans

Budget: Hotel del Parque

Address: Calle 60 No.495, between Calles 57 and 59, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-7844 or -7989

Toll free (Mexico): 01 (800) 714-0146

Toll free (US and Canada): 1 (888) 663-3182

Fax: +52 (999) 928-1429

Email: infohotel@prodigy.net.mx or contacto@hoteldelparque.com.mx

Web: hoteldelparque.com.mx

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 13 double, 5 triple, and 2 single rooms

Prices: Single MX$400/US$40 including taxes, double MX$450/US$45

Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Cash

Services: AC, ceiling fan, no elevator, cable TV, writing desk, some staff speak English, cold and warm water, room service, free Wifi, free parking, cable TV, telephone, attached to Bella Epoch restaurant, purified water in bottles on each floor, screened louvers opens to interior halls for air circulation.

Budget: Hotel San Juan

Address: Calle 55 No. 497-A, between Calles 60 and 58, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-1742 or 924-1688

Fax: +52 (999) 924-8976 or 923-9123

Email: reservations@hotelsanjuan.com.mx or info@hotelsanjuan.com.mx

Web: hotelsanjuan.com.mx

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 63.

Prices: Single, MX$380/US$38. Double, MX$450/US$45. Triple, MX$505/US$50. Quadruple, MX$550/US$55. All taxes included. No additional charge for two children under age 12 staying with two adults

Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Cash

Services: cable TV, swimming pool, telephone, free parking, meeting room, 24 hour reception, linens included, 24 hour hot water, child friendly, AC, lounge/common area, ceiling fan. No pets allowed. Special rates for companies, institutions, schools, government, associations, etc.

Budget: Hotel del Peregrino

Address: Calle 51 No. 488, between Calles 54 and 56, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-5492 or 924-3007

Toll free (US and Canada): 1 (888) 988-2633

Email: hoteldelperegrino@yahoo.com

Web: hoteldelperegrino.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms:

Prices: All rooms are MX$590/US$59 per night based on double occupancy.  Extra person cost is MX$120/US$12.

Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Cash

Services: private baths, hot and cold water, breakfast included served 8:00 to 9:30 am, on-site travel agency, terrace bar, community kitchen, telephone, laundry service, ATM two blocks away, in-room safes, luggage storage, street parking, off street parking MX$80/US$8 per day, nonsmoking rooms, smoking area on terrace, main floor rooms handicap accessible, free WifI, free computer in lobby, lounge/common area, book exchange, color cable television, AC, ceiling fan, special rates for longer stays, groups and corporate; no pets allowed

Budget: Hostal Zocalo

Address: Calle 53 No. 508, between Calles 60 and 62

Tel: +52 (999) 930-9562

Toll free (Mexico):

Toll free (US and Canada):

Fax: +52 (999) 930-9562

Email: hostal_zocalo@yahoo.com.mx

Web: No website, book at Hostel World: http://www.hostelworld.com/availability.php/Hostel-Zocalo/Mérida/10630

Prices: Dorm bed, MX$70/US$7. Private Rooms: Single, MX$150/US$15. Double, MX$250/US$25. Triple, MX$300/US$30

Payment: Cash only

Services: 24 hour reception, sheets, purified water, full breakfast included 7:00 to 10:00 am, tourist information, 24 hour hot water, color TV, DVD player, laundry, free Wifi, common area/lounge, kitchen, linens included, towel rental, luggage storage, currency exchange, lockers, washing machine/dryer, tours. Breakfast for non-guests: European, MX$85/US$8.50. Full breakfast, MX$100/US$10.

Mid: Luz en Yucatán

Address: Calle 55 #499, between Calles 60 and 58, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-0035

Tel USA: (503) 336-4082

Email: info@luzenYucatán.com

Web: http://luzenYucatán.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 15 (5 with full kitchens).

Prices: MX$500/US$$50 to MX$900/US$90

Payment: Travelers checks (US dollars) or cash (Mexican peso or US dollar), No credit cards accepted. (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Services: English spoken, community kitchen, spa services, pillow-top mattresses, high thread-count sheets, quality towels, private bathrooms, filtered drinking water, refrigerators, coffee makers, cable TV, AC, free Wifi, swimming pool, luggage storage, Parking US$5 per night in secure lot across street, children welcome, no pets

Mid: Hotel Espanol

Address: Calle 69 No. 543, at Calle 70, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 923-2854

Toll free (Mexico): 01 (800) 714-1607

Toll free (US and Canada): 1 (877) 833-3287

Fax: +52 (999) 923-4319

Email: hotelelespanol@hotmail.com or reservaciones@hotelelespanol.com.mx

Web: hotelelespanol.com.mx

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 46 Rooms and 1 suite.

Prices: Single and Double, MX$430/US$43. Triple, MX$500/US$50. Taxes not included

Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Cash

Services: AC, suite with Jacuzzi, restaurant, swimming pool, telephone, color TV, parking, bar, room service, laundry, meeting room, wake up call, luggage storage, safe, queen beds, bar

Mid: Hotel Colonial

Address: Calle 62 No. 476, at Calle 57

Tel: +52 (999) 923-6444

Toll free (Mexico): 1 (800) 712-0004

Toll free (US and Canada): 1 (888) 886 2982

Fax: +52 (999) 928-3961

Email: reservas@hotelcolonial.com.mx or colonial@prodigy.net.mx

Web: http://www.hotelcolonial.com.mx/

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 73. All rooms are Standard.

Prices: US$89. Frequent promotions on website. (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Payment: Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Cash

Services: English spoken, ATM two blocks away, 24 hour reception, safe in reception, travel agency, free parking, linens included, nonsmoking rooms in one section, two restaurants, bar, room service, wheelchair accessible, child-friendly, wake-up call, laundry service, AC, free Wifi, lounge/common area, no pets allowed, meeting facility, gym two doors away, elevators, swimming pool. Check-In, 2:00 pm. Check-out, 1:00 pm

Mid: Hotel Medio Mundo

Address: Calle 55 No. 533, between Calles 64 and 66, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-5472

Emergency cell: (52) (1) (999) 947-8838

Fax: +52 (999) 924-5472

Email: info@hotelmediomundo.com

Web: hotelmediomundo.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 12.

Prices: US$65 to US$90, depending on room and season (High, Low, Shoulder), taxes included, additional person per room $10.00 USD. (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Payment: VISA, MasterCard and cash

Services: check out 12:00 pm, no TVs or phones in rooms, by intention; English spoken, 24 hour reception, safe in reception, breakfast included, 8:00 to 10:00 am; children above age 8 welcome, laundry, free Wifi in public areas, no pets, book exchange, outdoor pool, king/queen beds, secure parking, US$10 per 24 hours; massage by appointment, tour arrangements, gift shop, smoking is permitted outdoors only.

Mid: Gran Hotel

Address: Calle 60 No. 496, at Calle 59, in front of Parque Cepeda Peraza

Tel: +52 (999) 923-6963 or -730

Fax: +52 (999) 924-7622

Email: granh@sureste.com

Web: granhoteldeMérida.com.mx

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 33

Prices: US$53 (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Payment: Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Cash

Services: some staff speak English, Gay friendly, rooms contain one to four beds, TV, telephone, AC, Mexicanissimo clothing boutique, antique store, travel agency, laundry service, free parking (but confirm its availability), safe in reception, pets allowed, restaurant, bar, check in, 4:00 pm. Check out, 1:00 pm

Mid: Casa Santiago

Address: Calle 63 No. 562, between Calles 70 and 72

Tel: +52 (999) 928-9375

Skype: 1 (314) 266-1888

Manager’s cell: +52 (999) 162-9528

Fax:

Email: casasantiagobandb@yahoo.net

Web: casasantiago.net

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 7.

Prices: US$64-US$125 (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange) rate.) Taxes included. $10 additional charge for one-night stays

Payment: Deposit via Paypal. Balance on arrival by MX$ or credit card

Services: English spoken, Gay friendly, free Wifi, common/lounge area, breakfast included, full community kitchen including ice maker; children under 14 no allowed, smoking permitted outdoors, two swimming pools, AC, parking available (confirm before arrival), airport pickup arrangements, linens included, 24 hour hot water, laundry service available. Check out time, 12:00 pm.  Check in time, 1:00 pm.

High: Hotel Casa San Angel

Address: Remate (Paseo) de Montejo No. 1, at Calle 49, Colonia Centro

Tel: +52 (999) 928-1800 or -1144

Fax: +52 (999) 928-0800

Email: info@hotelcasasanangel.com

Web: hotelcasasanangel.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 15.

Prices: Standard, US$140. Special, US$160. Superior, $210. Special promotions on web site. Taxes not included (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Cash.

Services: Free Wifi, non-smoking premises, Tala Bistro restaurant, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. swimming pool, free parking, no guests under the age of 15, two boutiques, filtered water, AC, ceiling fan, in-room safe, flat screen TV, some handicap accessible rooms, no pets, 24 hour reception, luggage storage, room service, wakeup call, lounge/common area, English spoken, check out 12 noon, hammocks in most rooms,

Additional Information: Mérida’s Saturday night Fiesta Noche Mexicana takes place in front of the hotel from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Mariachis, folk dance, crafts and food booths.

High: Hotel Casa del Balam

Address: Calle 60 No. 488, at Calle 57, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-8844

Toll free (US and Canada): 1 (800) 624-8451

Fax: +52 (999) 924-5011

Email: hotelbalam@prodigy.net.mx or info@casadelbalam.com

Web: hotelcasadelbalam.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 51 Rooms (42 standard, 6 honeymooners and 3 master suites)

Prices: Double: US$117. Triple: US$132. Master Suite: US$146. Honeymoon Suite: US$187 (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Payment: Visa, MC, Amex, Diners, Cash

Services: English spoken, 24 hour reception, luggage storage, free parking, linens included, restaurant, bar, room service, laundry service, AC, free Wifi, lounge/common area, gift shop, meeting facilities, outdoor pool, complimentary membership to the private “La Ceiba” Golf Club and Spa, elevators, handicap accessible, spa services upon request, children allowed, babysitting upon request, 24 hr accessible medical service, room service, safe deposit box, newspaper delivery upon request, wake up calls. No pets allowed

High: Hotel Hacienda Mérida

Address: Calle 62 No. 439, between Calles 49 and 53, Historic Center

Tel: +52 (999) 924-4363

Fax: +52 (999) 924-4477

Email: reservation@hotelhaciendaMérida.com or info@hotelhaciendaMérida.com

Web: hotelhaciendaMérida.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 8

Prices: Standard Double, US$129. Executive Room: US$149, taxes not included (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Payment: Visa, MC, Cash

Services: English spoken, free parking, free Wifi, massage, 24 hour reception, in-room safe, linens included, luggage storage, 24 hour hot water, AC, free Wifi, lounge common area, outdoor pool, indoor/outdoor showers, bar, parking, spa

High: Hotel Rosas and Xocolate

With the November 2009 opening of Hotel Rosas and Xocolate, super-deluxe, state of the art accommodations arrived in Mérida. Seventeen sleekly appointed rooms and suites are spread comfortably throughout two conjoined 19th century mansions on Paseo de Montejo. No expense was spared in creating this unique hotel, which was a labor of love by owner Carol Kolozs and famous Mexican architect-designers Salvador Reyes and Josefina Larrain. For a sybaritic delight, luxuriate in your room’s outdoor stone soaking tub, open to the sky.

Address: Paseo de Montejo No. 480, at Calle 41

Tel: +52 (999) 924-4304

Email: info@rosasandxocalate.com

Web: rosasandxocolate.com

Accommodations: # of Rooms: 17 (14 rooms, three suites)

Prices: US$200-US$600 (MX$ rates calculated daily based on dollar/peso exchange)

Payment: Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Cash

Services: English spoken, Ek Chuah restaurant, named after the Mayan god of travelers and cacao; 250-bottle lobby tequila bar, chocolate store, spa with four private treatment rooms offering Xocolatherapy, using 100% cacao paste; gym. Rooms feature flat screen TV, BOSE sound machine with DVD and CD player, iPod dock, wireless high speed internet connection, two IP telephones, hammock, a private bar and espresso machine and specially created 100% natural amenities, private terraces

Additional information: member, Design Hotels, http://www.designhotels.com

Restaurants

Budget: Marlin Azul

Address: Calle 62, between 57 and 59

Hours of Operation: lunches only, until about 4:00pm

Prices: MX$30/US$3 – MX$70/US$7

Payment: Cash only.

Services: Restroom, ceiling fan

Budget: El Trapiche

Address: Calle 62 No. 491, between Calles 59 and 61

Hours of Operation: 8:00 am to 12:00 midnight

Tel: +52 (999) 928-1231

Prices: MX$25/US$2.50 – MX$90/US$9

Payment: Cash only.

Services: restrooms, ceiling fan

Appetizers: MX$30-85/US$3-8.50

Soups: MX$25-35/US$2.50-3.50

Salads including fruit and yoghurt: MX$30-55/US$3-5.50

Omelettes: MX$35-40/US$3.50-4

Sandwiches: MX$20-36/US$2-3.60

Tacos (3): MX$26-54/US$2.60-5.40

Tacos with cheese (3): MX$24-64/US$2.40-6.40

Pizzas: MX$55-90/US$5.50-9

Beer: MX$22/US$2.20

Rum or tequila: MX$30/US$3

Bottled Water: MX$10/US$1

Budget: Co’oten Hana

Address: Calle 59, between Calles 66 and 68

Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00pmPrices: MX$35/US$3.50

Payment: Cash only.

Services: Restrooms, ceiling fan

Budget: La Habana

Address: Calle 59 No. 511 at Calle 62, Historic Center

Hours of Operation: Daily, 24 hours

Tel: +52 (999) 928-0608

Prices: MX$50/US$5 – MX$100/US$10. Breakfast combinations include an egg dish, tortillas or toast, juice or fruit, coffee or tea. MX$59/US$5.90

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash.

Services: Bar, restaurant, café, coffee to go, AC, indoor smoking section

Bbudget: Cafeteria Pop

Cafeteria Pop is associated with the Restaurante Portico del Peregrino next door.

Address: Calle 57 No. 501, between Calles 60 and 62, Historic Center

Hours of Operation: Breakfast, 7:00 am to 12:00 noon. Lunch and dinner, 12:00 noon to 11:00 pm

Tel: +52 (999) 928-6163/2341

Prices: MX$25/US$2.50 – MX$60/US$6

Email: reservaciones@cafeteriapop.com

Web: cafeteriapop.com

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash.

Services: Restrooms, AC

Mid: Café Chocolate

Address: Calle 60 No. 442 at Calle 49, Centro Historico

Hours of Operation: Daily, 7:00am to 12:00 midnight. Dinner menu served after 6pm

Tel: +52 (999) 928-5113

Prices: MX$49/US$5 – MX$100/US$10

Email: cafechocolate.Mérida@hotmail.com

Web: cafe-chocolate.com.mx

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash

Services: Restrooms, ceiling fans. Jalisco-style pozole on Thursday nights, MX$49/US$5. No alcoholic beverages.

Appetizers: MX$26/US$2.60 to MX$33/US$3.30

Main Courses: MX$56/US$5.60 to MX$69/US$7

Desserts: MX$33/US$3.30

Mid: Pane e Vino

Address: Calle 59 No. 490, at the corner of Calle 64

Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday, 6:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, also lunch buffet

Tel: +52 (999) 923-3929

Prices: MX$70/US$7 – MX$110/US$11

Payment: Cash only.

Services: Restrooms, AC, wine by the bottle to go

Mid: Restaurante & Artesania La Choperia

Address: Calle 56 No. 456, between Calles 51 and 53, Historic Center

Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Saturday, 1:00pm to 2:00am. Sunday, 1:00 to 7:00 pm

Tel: +52 (999) 924-4488

Prices: MX$85/US$8.50 – MX$450/US$45

Email: contacto@lachoperia.com.mx

Web: http://www.lachoperia.com.mx

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash.

Services: AC, restrooms, ample free parking, art gallery open until 8:00pm

Appetizers: MX$85/US$8.50

Main Courses: MX$90/US$9 to MX$450/US$45

Beer: MX$30/US$3

Wine: MX$40/US$4

Mixed Drinks: MX$65/US$6.50

Champagne (by the bottle): MX$1600/US$160 to MX$3500/US$350

Mid: Amaro Restaurante-Bar

Address: Calle 59 No. 507, between 60 and 62, Historic Center

Hours of Operation: Open Daily, 11:00 am to 2:00 am

Tel: +52 (999) 928-2451

Prices: MX$100/US$10 – MX$150/US$15

Web: restauranteamaro.com

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash.

Services: Restrooms, AC, live Trova music, patio dining

Mid: Pancho’s

Address: Calle 59 No. 509, between Calles 60 and 62, Historic Center

Hours of Operation: 6:00pm to 1:00am

Tel: Day: +52 (999) 927-4034. Evening: +52 (999) 923-0942

Prices: MX$50/US$5 – MX$150/US$15

Email: info@panchosMérida.com

Web: panchosMérida.com

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash.

Services: Restrooms, live music, full bar, garden patio dining

High: La Casa de Frida

Address: Calle 61 No. 526-A, between Calles 66 and 68, Historic Center

Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Saturdays 12:00 – 5:00 and 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Sundays, 12:00 to 5:00 pm

Prices: MX$50/US$5 – MX$200/US$20

Email: gabriela@lacasadefrida.com.mx

Web: lacasadefrida.com.mx

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash.

Services: Restrooms, AC, garden patio dining

Appetizers: MX$40-50/US$4-5, including Quesadillas con Huitlacoche, a corn fungus

Salads: MX$50/US$5, including the Trotsky, composes of lettuce, beets, avocado  and cheese in an orange vinaigrette

Soups: MX$40-45/US$4-5, including Sopa Azteca

Main Courses: MX$130/US$13, including Duck in Mole

Dessert: MX$40/US$4, including Almond Cake

Coffee: MX$18-24/US$1.80-2.40

Alcoholic Drinks: MX$20-160/US$2-16, including pitcher of Sangria

Liquors: MX$50-60/US$5-6, including tequilas

Beer: MX$25-30/US$2.50-3

Wine: MX$40-310/US$4-31

High: Trotter’s

Address: Circuito Colonias at Calle 31 No. 134, between Paseo de Montejo and Calle 60 North, next to the Renault car dealership

Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday, 1:00pm to 2:00am, Sunday, 1:00 to 6:00pm

Tel: +52 (999) 927-2310/2320

Prices: MX$140/US$14 – MX$250/US$25

Email: info@trottersMérida.com

Web: trottersMérida.com

Payment: Visa, Amex, MC, Cash.

Services: Restrooms, AC, garden patio dining, valet parking. Happy hour, 6:00-9:00 pm, with 50% off national and international alcoholic beverages. Monday and Tuesday wine discounts. Lunch specials, Monday to Saturday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm, starting at MX$155/US

Nightlife

Amarantus

Hours of Operation: Nightly

Admission: MX$50/US$5 to MX$120/US$12

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Address: Prolongacion Montejo No. 254 at Av. Campestre (Paseo de Montejo)

Tel: +52 (999) 944-2816

Email: info@amarantusMérida.com

Website: http://www.amarantusMérida.com (not working in March, 2010)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12437260287

Parking: street parking

Services: Live Music, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, restrooms

Additional information: Visit the Amarantus’ Facebook page for current DJs, special promotions and upcoming events.

Slavia Bistro, Bar and Lounge 80/82

Address: Calle 29 No. 490, between Paseo de Montejo and Calle 58A, across from the Monument to the flag

Hours of Operation: Daily, 6:00pm to 2:00am

Prices: MX$100/US$10 – MX$350/US$35

Payment: Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Cash

Tel: +52 (999) 926-6587

Email: slaviabar@hotmail.com

Web: http://www.slavia.com.mx/

Services: Food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, AC, live music, valet parking

Additional information: limited street parking

Angeluz

Hours of Operation: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Prices: MX$20/US$2 to MX$250/US$25. Thursday, no cover charge. Friday, MX$50/US$5 before 11:00 pm, MX$60/US$6 after 11:00 pm. Saturday, MX$60/US$6 before 11:00 pm, MX$80/US$8 after 11:00 pm.

Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard

Address: KM 7.5 on the highway between Mérida and Uman (Head south on Avenida Itzaes past the airport. Angeluz is located across from the Pemex gas station.)

Tel: +52 (999) 949-3198 or 163-3750

Email: angeluzMérida@hotmail.com

Web: http://angeluzclub.com.mx/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000430976749&ref=ts

Services: alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, food, dancing, male strippers, drag shows, visiting DJs, restrooms

Additional information: Other Mérida gay bars include: Pride, on the highway between Mérida and Uman 200 meters from the Uman bridge and near the Mérida airport, +52 (999) 947 9874, www.pridedisco.com. Scalibur, Calle 4B No. 39A, +52 (999) 108-2046

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