Destinations / Merida and Yucatan Maps

Merida and Yucatan Maps

Merida and Yucatan Maps

30 July 2008 Destinations 18

After many years of living on the planet, it's obvious to us that maps can both clarify and obfuscate. There's nothing more frustrating than an out of date map, but newcomers need them... we noticed when we first traveled here that we spent a lot of time with our maps. Now that we have lived here for a while, we use maps more as a "rule of thumb" when driving through the Yucatan countryside. The magic of traveling in the Yucatan is easier to find when the maps are left folded up in the back seat.

It used to be that there wasn't much in the way of maps here. When we left California to drive to the Yucatan (it took us ten days of driving from 8 am until dark), we took with us very detailed guides that had been given to us by the company that sold us Mexican car insurance. These guides laid out routes (Guanajuato to Mexico City, for instance, or San Miguel Allende to Puebla). And they told you every single turn you needed to make at every single tree or gas station. The guide told you where the signs were or were not. But while these guides were thorough, they were not always accurate because even then, things were changing rapidly.

When we finally arrived in Merida, we were given a large map with all the place names of every little pueblito in Yucatan. We were told this was a very precious document, and if we wanted another, we'd have to go to the INEGI office, something local Yucatecos seemed to know how to do but very few gringos had yet accomplished.

Then maps started showing up more often in the local Dante bookstores. Good maps, then better maps. We "discovered" the Guia Roji for driving anywhere in Mexico. Guia Roji is published yearly as an 8x10 book. It is only sold in Mexico, but it is sold in many places. We've seen them in Dante Bookstores, Sanborn's and WalMart. Guia Roji also has a comprehensive website, with both paper maps and maps on CD for sale. With the most recent Guia Roji, you can drive anywhere in Mexico with assurance. But don't think last year's Guia Roji will give you the same warm fuzzies. Mexican roads are being built at a rapid rate, and it helps to have the newest information. This is *especially* true in the Yucatan, where the local government has prided itself on the kilometers of new road it has laid down every year for the last few years, and has erected billboards to tell us about it.

When maps started showing up as useful tools on the Internet, those of us who lived here were disappointed to find that none of them included the Yucatan (or much of Mexico for that matter). It didn't surprise us and we wrote off the whole idea of Internet maps. When Google Earth was launched, Merida was a big white blur.

But in the last few years, Merida has started to show up very nicely, thank you very much. Google Earth now has high resolution photos with street overlays of Merida. And just like that out of the blue, MapQuest had all of Merida completely mapped! What a find! No longer does anyone have to rely on outdated maps of this area. We now have the same tools available to us as anyone in New York City or Paris.

So when it comes to the Internet, we can say Merida is finally on the map!


  • Working Gringos 8 years ago

    Kim, if you are driving, when you get into Merida, continue straight south on the Prolongacion Paseo Montejo until you get to the Burger King Circle (the one with the big fountain in the middle).

    Turn right and continue to the end. Turn left at that stoplight, which puts you on Calle 60. Keep to the right and you will then be on Avenida Itzaes.

    Continue on Avenida Itzaes until you get to the big roundabout (glorieta, in Spanish). You enter the glorieta at 6 o'clock and want to leave it at 9 o'clock, if you get our drift. That puts you on Avenida Colon, which is a one way street. You will be turning left on Calle 26... at the big tree, apparently.

  • Kim 8 years ago

    I live in Chelem and have an appt on Tuesday at this address: "AVE. COLON JUST IN THE CORNER WITH 26 st. 2 blocks before you get to Parque de las Americas. There is a big tree at the corner on your left side." Can you help me find it? I can't locate it on map. Thanks, Kim

  • Working Gringos 8 years ago

    The streets in Merida that have even numbers run parallel to each other and are crossed by streets with odd numbers. Are you sure the house isn't at Calle 61 and 82? Or Calle 62 and 81?

    And yes, it is probably in the Centro.

  • mary in ct 8 years ago

    Can someone tell me what neighborhood a house on Calle 62 y 82 is located in? Is it far from the centro?
    Thank you,

  • Chris M 9 years ago

    Perhaps one of the long term-Merida devotees can help me here? For a very cozy and fabulous IDS course back in my college days, I went and spent 3 weeks studying the different Mayan styles of archeticure (Puuc, Rio Bec, and Chenes for all who care, hah!). Anyhow, home base for the first week was a wounderful little hotel that faced a small town square - partially bricked, partially gardened. This was in 94 and at the time the hotel had no air conditioning - they may have since upgraded. If you walked out of the hotels front and the bricked area to the intersecting streets, you could cross to the left and find the world best pizza within a half block - Vito Corleone's was the mid-90s name, and they servec the 16oz chilled Coca-Colas out of a large Red / Coke-themed oil drum full of ice. If you left Vito's and went back to the hotel and turned right down the street, we were within something like two-to-four blocks from a beautiful mid-to-small sized old Cathedral. I unfortunatley neglected to write down any of the hotel, cathedral or calles names / numbers as I was totally focused on the wonderful restaurants and daytrips to Chichen, Dzibilchaltun, Uxmal, et al. I am fairly certian the Vito's "Godfather" nombre was likely changed before the millenium even hit, but perhaps the small pizza joint with the slide-down streetfront garage-style metal door is still there under a new moniker. Do the Cathedral, the historical Casa-Manor hotel (probably 5-15 rooms, max, or the old Vito Corleones ring any fellow traveler's bells? I want to visit there again soon, and I definitely would like to stay at least a few nights in that same hotel & possibly eat some more "Brando's" crispy-crusted veggie pizzas ... :) The Yuc is absolutely fab ...

  • Peregrina 9 years ago

    Hi Grace,
    I can tell you Chicxulub is very nice and close to Progreso great for the young ones with fine Restaurants and clubs, if you want some quite time check Chelem, I have a home posted in this web site, under Vacation Rentals, look for Peregrina and check it out the weather is very mild, occasionally rains in that month, have a great time in Yucatan, hope to see you, I plan to be there too.

  • Ron Smith 10 years ago

    The Guia Roji can indeed be bought outside of Mexico. I bought a copy in 2006 at the Powell book store in Portland, Oregon

  • Grace 10 years ago

    I am thinking of visiting Merida this fall. I wanted to find out how the weather is in beginning of November. I checked out and it does not look that you get much rain that month but I was not sure if that is hurricane season. In addition, I was wondering if you can give me some information on the town of Chicxulub. I stumbled upon some vacation rentals there and would like your opinion of the area, etc.

    Thanks for any information you can provide.

    Grace from the Windy City (chicago, if you could not guess)

  • Carlos Daniel Gallegos 10 years ago

    Trying to find directions at 1st is hard in Merida. You have to know the Colonia. The street number. the cross streets. For example. My wife lives in San Francisco Chuburna. Some may know where it is, some may not. Many taxi drivers know where calle 21 and the old church is. Then there is the address. Calle 28 C2 #234 X 19 Y 19a (fake - don't want someone looking up 'Working Yucatecas' home). There may be a calle 28 in San Francisco Chuburna and a calle 28 in Colonia Mexico Oriente and a calle 28 in Jesus Carranza. It can be confusing. :-/ If you are new, fine a good taxi driver. Be careful, some cab drivers may give you a good ride to run up the meter.

  • Manuel Berlanga 11 years ago

    My family is from Mérida, but I am not. During my holidays we used to go there, and it always amuse me how people gave -and still gives- directions. "Take the parque de las americas Avenue (that is a park, not a street name) and go towards the Cine(ma) "Colón", turn left in Josefa's house and, when you reach the retirement house, make a left. I live next to the bread shop". Not a single street name, not a single number, but people found its ways, and long-time residents still do, in this city of 800,000 people, like they do in a small town.

  • Joseph 11 years ago

    Yeah, right... the Cessna at the city zoo. The problem is I can't get near it, since it always seems to be full of... kids.

    Mmmm, fruitcake!

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