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The best way to explore Merida is for sure on foot.
But many people use horse carriages to see not only the centre but Merida's suburbs. Our hotel was 20 minutes walk from the Zocalo. I finished my excursion along the Historic Centre when it was already dark and decided to take a horse carriage to come back to the hotel. I enjoyed the ride and it cost me 40 MEX = $4.
You can watch my photo of Merida on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 20° 58' 3.58" N 89° 37' 22.95" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio Cathedral de San Ildefonso 3
Written Mar 10, 2013
Merida is situated in the northwest part of the state of Yucatan about 1500 km from Mexico City.
That’s why the best way to get there is by air.
But we traveled from Mexico City by bus via Puebla-Oaxaca-San Sebastian-Palenque-Campehe. And it was 2200km at our speedometer.
We came to Merida from Uxmal which is located about 80 km from Merida.
You can watch my 6 min 22 sec Video Mexico Merida by bus out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
You can watch my photo of Merida on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 20° 58' 1.45" N 89° 37' 25.77" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio Cathedral de San Ildefonso 2.
Written Mar 10, 2013
There are many ways to get to Chichen from Merida. If you'd like a tour once you get to the ruins, (otherwise how do you know what you're looking at?) It's a better deal to take an organized trip from Merida to Chichen. I've done this tour before and it was great, it includes transportation, lunch and a guided tour of the ruins in English. If you get to Chichen and book a tour in English it's going to cost you around $65USD, plus your entrance fee of $15, and lunch/snacks, bus fare, etc. If you're traveling alone or in a group of 2 or 3 its cheaper to do a pre arranged tour. This one is $50USD and includes everything I mentioned above.
Written Jan 4, 2011
There are a couple of reasons why Merida is so much more expensive to fly into than Cancun (almost twice to the cost last time I checked!). Someone on this site has already mentioned that it's because the taxes are higher. True, but that just raises another question: "Why are the taxes higher?" I'm afraid I'm not competent to answer that one except to say that Cancun is a HUGELY important project for the Mexican Federal Government, and I'm sure they do everything they can to keep those tourist dollars flowing! So it may be not so much that taxes are especially high in Merida, but that they are unusually low in Cancun.
Another answer, of course, is market dynamics. With all the traffic pouring into Cancun, especially now that they have doubled the size of the airport, there are big economies of scale. The terminal can spread its costs over a much larger number of incoming and outgoing flights and those savings eventually come down to the consumer.
As for violence in the area, the State of Yucatan has perhaps the best reputation in Mexico when it comes to public order. Corruption is lower here than almost anywhere else in the country, and drug related violence is almost non-existent. Sadly, this is less true in Cancun and the State of Quintana Roo.
Written Apr 8, 2010
Somepeople have asked in the forums about why the aiport in Cancun offers better air fares than the aiport in Merida. This is my observation:
If you look at both cities, the question feels a little like comparing PHX vs LAX, Or NYC vs BDL and so forth.
MID vs CUN:
Cancun is more well know destination compared to Merida. Cancun is settled down right in the caribbean and there are many businesses (resorts, tourism service providers, etc) who are very interested in attracting customers, price fare plays a critical role in this.
Also, Merida's airport, even if it's a full functional airport with many important connections, handles different customers, more national compared to the gross numbers of the exposure Cancun has. Cancun has been desgined that way, and you can notice it on the fares.
The area is fine, I used to live there and never had a problem. Many of my friends and many vt members reside there as well, all would tell you is that is a secure area.
As we commented here before, you could browse through the questions in the Mexico forum and look at how violence is noticed by the people living there compared to the visitors who get the reports from the media. There's a huge difference.
Finally, you can always get the best and lowest fare at flying to Cancun, then in a matter of 4 hours in a comfy bus, you would be in Merida.
Updated Mar 24, 2010
There's several buses to Palenque to Merida for about 350 pesos and it takes about 9 hours. The night bus with ADO to Palenque isn't all that great if you get a old crappy bus but because of the distance it would definitely save you time.
Written Mar 15, 2009
With Merida as base, my family and I decided that the best way to go around would be by car, and the advice I got from other VTers was it would be better to rent one once we're in Merida rather reserving one online before our arrival. Since I couldn't find a rental office nearby, I inquired at one of the tourist info offices around the zocalo and they gladly called the Montejo Car Rental company to arrange a rental. When I found that the daily rent was reasonable (US$ 45/day for a Nissan sedan stick-shift, inclusive of insurance) and they accepted credit cards, the rental car was delivered to my hotel the next day, papers were signed and off we went. They also collected the car from the hotel upon its return, their guy just checked the spare tire and fuel gauge, gave me the credit card receipt and it was over.
Driving around the Yucatan was quite easy, lots of clear signs and directions, very little traffic...many times we were the only ones on the road. As advised by others, fill up the tank before long trips as the next gas station can be as far as 80 kms. away. There are military checkpoints in some spots along the highways where you'll have to pull over when motioned to, but the soldiers were courteous if you identify yourselves as tourists. They usually ask what Mexican city you drove from and might request you to get off to inspect the car, as they may be searching for drugs or weapons. Don't be intimidated as they'll let you on your way as soon they're finished.
Updated May 15, 2008
Merida's two bus terminals are rather inconviently located on the southwest end of town. I would strongly recommend paying the 40 or so pesos for a taxi to your destination from the bus station; we took a very long walk to our hotel down busy streets with crowded sidewalks-- no fun.
A first class bus to and from Cancun takes about 4 hours; second class buses, which are cheaper but stop frequently, take 5 or 6 hours. Valladolid is about 2 hours away on a first class bus and 2 1/2 to 3 hours on a second class bus. We ended up on a second class bus to Valladolid because a first class bus wasn't coming for over an hour. The first class buses, which are clean and show movies along the way, are much nicer. These buses take major roads and make no stops, which makes for a speedy ride. The second class bus was smelly and dirty. It took local roads, which include endless speed bumps. The pluses to a second class bus are that they come more frequently, are cheaper, and provide lots of views of local towns.
Bus stations, in Merida and elsewhere, can be somewhat confusing. After buying your ticket (cash only), it's best to stay near the doors leading to the buses. When it gets near to your time to board, show your ticket to one of the agents, who can tell you (in Spanish, at least) whether your bus has arrived.
Written Mar 22, 2008
Almost everybody gets to Mérida by bus at the ADO station …
ADO is the first class bus company, their buses are great (comfortable, with A/C, TV) … but if you need to save some money there are cheaper options. Oriente is another company, their station is pretty much across the street from where ADO’s is … their buses are still okay and you pay much less.
Written Aug 30, 2007
A car is needed to truly explore Yucatan. That will allow you to visit the countryside, the jungles, and the small towns outside of Merida. All gasoline for the cars is pumped at stations owned by Pemex, Mexico's state owned oil company, which has a complete monopoly on gasoline and deisel.
You won't see any gas prices - you pay whatever is being charged. We estimated that it was somewhat more expensive than the US, but not as bad as Europe.
There are loads of Pemex gas stations all over Merida, and they are open 24/7. However, once you leave the city, the gas stations are few and far between. For example, we did not see a single station along the 90 minute route from Merida to Chichen Itza. Before starting out on any day trips, fill up your tank.
Another word of warning - our Hertz rental car came with an empty tank. We noticed that just as we were heading out of Merida the first morning. Do not assume that Hertz operates as they do in the US. Look at your gas tank! Luckily we did before we got out into the middle of the jungle!
Written Jan 11, 2007
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