LIVING / A Visitor's Experience of Merida

A Visitor's Experience of Merida

A Visitor's Experience of Merida

22 January 2007 LIVING 26

We recently returned to the mountains of western North Carolina after spending a short but lovely week in beautiful Merida. THANK YOU people of Merida for providing us with such an enormous amount of pleasure. We so enjoyed the sights and sounds of your beautiful city.

Here is a small sample of our pleasure...

One day we were told to explore the area around the old train station that is being converted to an arts center, and to check out the up and coming neighborhood around it. After walking around for several blocks we heard the sound of mariachis in the distance.

We followed the music and soon came to a home with the front door open. We were lucky enough to be invited in to watch the celebration of a 91-year-old woman's birthday. The event was attended by about 25 people sitting around a small dining room and living room, singing, clapping and enjoying the mariachis, who were in full dress and obviously having a ball entertaining the crowd and guest of honor. She was sitting right in front of the band waving her hands, singing along and grinning from ear to ear.

We were told that she was blind, but everyone there could see just how much she was enjoying the party. We felt honored to be invited in to their home and to witness the celebration. To us we were strangers. To them we were guests. What a beautiful sight it was. This was one of the most memorable events of our lives.

Salsa dancing on the street to the Cuban band, La Changa de Oro, with about 1,000 other people was something we will never forget. To think that this is a normal occurrence is unbelievable. Or... riding our rented bicycles on the Paseo de Montejo on Sunday morning where the streets are closed off, giving families an opportunity to spend some time together getting exercise.

The people of Merida do something that we didn't think existed anywhere. They celebrate LIFE like we've never seen and they do it regularly... not for tourists, for themselves.

Muchas Gracias, Merida, for your wonderful hospitality. Great food. Incredible music. Most of all, thank you for your people who are the real reason we will be returning as often as possible and some day we too will call Merida home.

Emily and Sid Heilbraun
Asheville, NC


  • Working Gringos 11 years ago

    Jim, we have an entire section devoted to Vacation Rentals that are available in Merida. You can find it in the listing on the right of every page or just by clicking here:

  • Jim T 11 years ago

    Would it be possible for writers to mention rental properties, and phone numbers. We could help each other this way. Thanks if you try.

  • Jose Aaron Herrera Villanueva 11 years ago

    A forty years California licensed real estate and insurance sales person I researched the central California area- the high desert-St George Utah- Arizona and just about every area of the Pacific coast of Mexico. I am so glad... so happy to have selected Merida in the Yucatan where, three years ago, finaly retired and made my permanent home. Totally resusciteted to trully enjoy this wonderful city. World class symphony orchestra...Universities, theaters,fine restaurants and shopping malls top of the line health care and just plain good quality of life. I am trying to learn the Maya language. I am so marveled about the simplicity, friendly and secure character of the inhabitants of this unique and lovely city.

  • Nelly 14 years ago

    I'm going to Merida for the first time next Friday for about 8 days. I will be traveling to Campeche and safe is public transportation?...what do you recommend? What sites do you recommend?...going to try to hit as many as i can in 8 days!

    Thank you!

  • Marie-Andrée 14 years ago

    I'm going to study in mérida in August and I was wondering if it's easy to find a apartment to rent for a couples of months or if someone knows if there is any kind of house or residence for student..

    Thank you!

  • Inge 14 years ago

    I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your articles
    and all the info you give us. We (my hubby and I) have been
    visiting the yucatan for about 7 years now and the last 2 years
    3 months at a time. We have nothing but the best to say about
    Merida and the surrounding area.
    The people are the most generous and welcoming people we have met on our

  • el_toloc 14 years ago

    To those worried about the "decapitated" in Merida, let me tell you that it was a one time occurrence (the exception to the rule so to speak) and Merida is still one of the safest cities in Mexico.

    Sometimes the drug violence found in cities/resorts such as Cancun, spill into other regions and the media makes it sound as if it is a daily occurrence (which is far from the truth).

    Granted, the are regions in Mexico (specially along the Mexico/USA border towns) where drug killings/violence is a way of life but there are other parts of Mexico where such violence is the exception to the rule and nothing more, and Merida is one such region/place.

    I am sure that if Merida was an icon of drug cartels/violence most posters would let other people know to stay away from Merida but as most of you can tell is just the opposite, most people rave about our city.

    As a yucateco (Merida born) and extremely proud of it, I can tell you without reservations that for the most part people from other parts of the world can come into Merida and have a great time and find the Yucatecan hospitality we are famous for.

    This is not to say that Merida is crime free, no city in the whole world is crime free, but for the most part my city is still to this time an oasis waiting for visitors to come and enjoy everything it does offer.

  • Jan 14 years ago

    For Doreen, M and L, Grace or other visitor's of Merida,

    We (my yucateca esposa and I) have some very nice accomodation for rent on different locations. The prices are low and the quality level is high to very high.

    I started as a visitor/tourist some 4 years ago now. On fiesta Mexicana (every saturday night at the end of Paseo de Montejo) I met my yucateca lady and now I'm living 3 years happily in Merida. One year after we met I quited my job at a banc in Holland and moved to Merida after spending another holiday here. Very soon we started to look for a business opportunity and found a big house in downtown area to start a B&B. We also start to live there and started to rent our old house in the north to foreign people. I also helped to make promotion for a nice holiday house in Motul. It's running well and i think it's because we are not charging the jackpot..

    I know the area very good, I know much about construction now, as a vegetarian I know what restaurants are good for them even if you want to find a house i can help you find a honest broker in what i consider the real estate shark pond... If you want to find a good constructor can bring you in contact with Don Humberto, he constructed for me and give you some advice what to do and what not. I have learned my lessons which you can profitize.

    See you all in Merida, Jan

  • Kathy Sikorski 14 years ago

    We too are returning for our second visit to the beautiful Merida. Last year was our first vacation in 35 years, and our second vacation is taking us back to your wonderful city. Living in MT and leaving -40 chill factor makes it even more awesome.

    We were wondering of there are any get togethers just before or during the inauguration?

    Looking forward to January 14th, our arrival day. Kathy

  • CasiYucateco 14 years ago


    Are you working for a drug cartel? Does your current drug cartel have a dispute with other drug cartels that operate throughout the known world? Do you plan to become involved with drug cartel operations while vacationing in Yucatan? Do you plan to travel to the far corners of Yucatan and interfere with drug cartel operations in isolated pueblitos?

    If you answer "no" to these questions, then you have the answer to "Am I worried about violence in Merida?"

  • Mark 14 years ago

    My wife and I are planning to visit Merida because of your Site.
    However I would like to know what your thoughts are on this article on

    Please let me know,

    Mark & Michelle

    12 decapitated bodies found in Mexico

    * Story Highlights
    * The heads have not been found, a local official says
    * Report: Headless corpses stacked on top of one another in a field
    * The tactic has become more frequent in gangland-style killings

    (CNN) -- Nine of the 12 men whose decapitated bodies were found
    Thursday in the state of Yucatan have criminal records, Jose Alonso
    Guzman, attorney for the state, said Friday.

    Yucatan's governor, Ivonne Ortega Pacheco, said the killings appeared
    to be the result of disputes between drug cartels.

    Police were alerted to the bodies -- 11 in Chichi Suarez and one in
    Buctzotz -- late Thursday afternoon by an anonymous caller, Guzman

    The heads have not been found, said Yetel Castillo of the department
    of communication for Yucatan.

    According to The Associated Press, photos of the crime scene showed
    headless corpses stacked on top of one another in a field outside the
    city of Merida. Some of the bodies had tattoos and were jumbled amid
    blankets and tarps.

    It appeared to be the largest single group of beheadings in recent
    years in Mexico, AP said.

    The tactic has become more frequent in gangland-style killings, and
    the largest previous instance of decapitations occurred in 2006, when
    gunmen tossed five human heads into a bar in central Mexico, the
    agency added.

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