Favorite thing: Merida is defintely a place to visit just for the sake of being there, walking around, enjoying the atmosphere... but at the same time it's a great base for trips and excursions. Lots of bus connections in all directions, day and night, connections to maya ruins like chichen itza or uzmal, organised tours to lesser known ruins. I loved the tour to the Ruta Puuc, with stops at Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak, Labna and Uxmal. Great opportunity to meet fellow travelers.
... is sitting at the zócalo, the main square, for hours and hours.
I spent a lot of time just people watching or talking to some who was sitting beside me for a while, there are kids running around playing, all kinds of stuff is offered and sold to you, especially hammocs are popular here!
There was wonderful Christmas decoration, very colorful, beautiful buildings everywhere.
Also some nice restaurants and bars, but the best food was sold by street vendors and in the wonderful market. The best market I saw in all Mexico :-)
This has nothing to do with my favorite thing but it is important to know.
All streets are numbered in Mérida. even numbers run north-south, increasing by twos from east to west. Odd numbers run in east - west direction with numbers increasing by twos going from north to south.
Makes it very easy to find your way, but sometimes you get really disappointed - you might have found the calle 60 you are looking for example, but you might have to follow it for 20 minutes til you get to your destination :-)
People are very friendly in Merida. They will make you feel so comfortable. This is the best place to stay if you want to visit several Mayan ruins.
Good information site for Merida and all Yucatan:
Fondest memory: Warm and friendly people, relaxed city, traditional Yucatan dance and music at the plaza.
Fondest memory: We had just finished seeing Chichen Itza and were eating at a restaurant in a small town. We asked the locals if there were any other ruin sites around, and the guy mentioned Ek Balam. So he drew us out a map on a napkin. As we were driving to the site, I was thinking to myself how crazy we were because 1. No one knew where we were, 2. We took the directions from a local and were following a map on a napkin ,3. The road was only about as wide as the car, so if we broke down, we were history! It was GREAT! NOTHING LIKE AN ADVENTURE!!!!
Try to be there on a Sunday. They have multiple street activities including Trova and public dancing and the market along the closed main streets.
Fondest memory: Sitting at the Plaza on a warm july evening with a close friend of mine from Germany talking into the wee hours of the morning.
Fondest memory: Norma Y Beatriz and their 94 years old father...: there is a sort of food court on the right side of the main square, if you look at the town hall and as I was just looking for a snack it seemed perfect, only I couldn't understand which kind of meats the tacos stall was offering nor the young lady attending it could understand English and this time the usual mixture of Italian and Mexican didn't work... but the lady on the right in the pic began to mime to me the animals of the meats on the list and showed very thrilled when answering her question I said I came from Italy, not to mention that she was so nice to invite me to sit at her table in that overcrowded place. At the end of the meal we exchanged the addresses and in spite she apologized not to be able to overnight me by her, which I had never thought of asking, said that if I had needed any help, I should have just to ring her...
Favorite thing: When visiting Ek Balam, you must hike to the top of the 'Castle' as the main building is called. From here, you can see off in the distance the ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal! It was AWESOME!