The Main Square - Merida’s Zocalo

The Main Square – Merida’s Zocalo

The tropical colonial city of Mérida is the capital and largest city in Yucatan state and the cultural and financial capital of the region. Along with its historical center, Mérida is a modern, cosmopolitan city with museums, art galleries, restaurants, shops and boutiques and is considered the crossroads of the region and one of the most important places to experience the Mayan archaeological sites of Chichen Itza and Uxmal. The remarkably affordable cost of living and peaceful lifestyle provide the ideal holiday or retirement destination.

Mérida was built as a walled city and several of the old Spanish city gates remain. The city boasts the second-largest historic center in Mexico; only Mexico City’s historic center is larger. Many of the buildings in the historic center of Mérida, including those on and around the Plaza Grande, were built during the colonial period through the 18th and 19th centuries. As one of the most beautiful and safest cities in Mexico, Mérida has become a haven for foreign property investors looking to find a tranquil retreat to call home. From the grandeur of European style mansions, to the charming Spanish colonial homes , few places rival Mérida in architectural variety and charm. All of our properties are located within the historical center and within easy walking distance of the various sites and attractions.

Due to its unique geographic location, strong Spanish colonial influence and isolation from other parts of Mexico, Mérida has developed a distinct cultural identity that is overwhelmingly apparent in the local dress, language, cuisine as well as colonial architecture and has become one of the most attractive places for foreign property investment. The city is well situated for holiday tours to world heritage sites such as Chichen Itza,  Celestun nature reserve, the beaches of North Yucatan and a few hours from holiday destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Palacio Cantón

Palacio Cantón, Paseo de Montejo, Mérida
CC licensed ( BY ND ) Flickr photo by szerbijn

Over the past decade Mérida has become a new oasis for foreign expatriates and retirees. Healthcare in Mérida is on par with the USA, Canada and Europe and many of the doctors are US trained. Many facilities are state of the art but costs are about 30% of those elsewhere.

Mérida is one of the richest provincial cities in Mexico, and is an ideal option for settling down to live, due to its excellent infrastructure, climate, affordable life style, amenities and major air connections to the United States and Mexico City.

Currently, there are numerous residences that have been restored by foreigners in the historical center and as the city grows in popularity the city is seeing a renaissance through the restoration of the entire historical center. Mérida is listed by Forbes Magazine, the Kiplinger Report  & CBS MoneyWatch as one of the best places in the Americas  for foreign property investment and to retire due its wonderful lifestyle, excellent infrastructure  and services.

Here, in this sophisticated, safe cosmopolitan city you can rent or purchase a beautiful historic home with garden and pool for a fraction of the cost you would be paying back home and enjoy a higher standard of living.

If you are looking for a wonderful lifestyle, a safe and welcoming environment, and year round blue skies then Mérida may be the place for you.

Things to Do and See:

Chichen Itza by Celso Flores

Chichen Itza
CC licensed ( BY ) Flickr photo by Celso FLORES

In recent years, Mérida has seen its streets explode with art and culture. Something is always happening in Mérida, such as concerts, festivities, parades and celebrations, which are a common sight in this vibrant city. You can also join groups engaged in rescuing dogs and

cats, and help to make Mérida a more attractive destination. Foreign expatriates also meet in reading workshops, such as the Mérida English Language Library; as well as in art workshops, travel groups, wine tasting groups, biking groups, dancing and language classes. There is no better way to learn Spanish than enrolling in a language school, and there are a large number of these institutions in Mérida.

Mérida’s elegant tree-lined Paseo de Montejo is the city’s main boulevard and most fashionable district. Once a primarily residential area, the Paseo de Montejo is architecturally reminiscent of Havana, Cuba, and was developed during the henequen boom of the late 19th and early 20th . It has since been commercialized and many of the historic 19th century mansions that line the boulevard have been converted into restaurants, nightclubs, boutique hotels, shops, office buildings and museums.

Uxmal by Adam Bakerer

Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal
CC licensed ( BY ) Flickr photo by Adam Baker

The Mérida Carnival takes place over the course of eight days, and includes several cultural and entertainment activities, such as the coronation of the king and queen and the burning of the bad mood. The latter event is held in the city’s main square; it begins by reading aloud the conviction of the bad mood, setting fire to a figure representing it, followed by a colorful fireworks display. Loud music , dancing and food are all essential elements to this extremely popular festival.

Visit the best known and well-restored of Yucatan Maya archaeological sites, Chichen Itza a UNESCO World Heritage Site named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” The ruins at Chichen Itza cover an area of 6.5 sq km (2.5 sq miles) and can be toured in a day.

Another nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uxmal was one of the most important Maya settlements in Yucatán and flourished during the late-Classical period. It’s majestic layout, spectacular jungle setting and pink-hued limestone pyramids and temples make Uxmal one of the most picturesque ancient cities.

Celestun, meaning “painted stone” in Yucatec Maya, is a tranquil fishing village located west of Mérida along the coast of Yucatan state. Celestun is home to secluded stretches of beautiful beachfront and palapas (thatched-roof restaurants) serving up some of the best seafood in the state. However the main attraction in Celestun is the Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Celestun (Celestun Biosphere Reserve), a large coastal wetland reserve and wildlife refuge filled with Flamingos.

Celestun Flamingos by Mindaugas Danys

Flamingoes in Celestun
CC licensed ( BY ) Flickr photo by Mindaugas Danys

East of Mérida is Izamal, a colonial town with a distinct small town feel. Izamal is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos (Magic Towns), a designation given by the Mexican secretary of Tourism to towns that have an important historical or cultural significance. Houses, shops and churches throughout Izamal are all painted the same shade of golden-yellow and the town has been nicknamed La Ciudad Armarillo (The Yellow City).

Located mid-way between Mérida and Cancun, colonial Valladolid is the third-largest city in Yucatan and a good base from which to explore the surrounding region. Visit Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza and Ek’ Balam, the Balankanche caves and Rio Lagartos, a coastal fishing village and flamingo colony located within the Reserva de la Biosfera Rio Lagartos (Lagartos Biosphere Reserve).

Progreso Beach - cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by Razi Marysol Machay

Progreso Beach
CC licensed ( BY SA ) Flickr photo by Razi Marysol Machay

Mérida residents flock to the port and beach city of Progreso to stroll along the malecón (waterfront promenade) and take a dip in the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Progreso’s lovely waterfront promenade is always bustling with food and craft vendors, local residents and beach-goers, and the waters just off the coast are calm, clean and good for swimming.

Throughout the countryside surrounding Mérida you can visit a series of historical Haciendas. As a result of the fortunes made from henequen processing and export during the late 19th and 20th centuries, the Haciendas in Yucatán became a symbol of wealth and culture in the region and agave sisal was dubbed “green gold.”