top of page

travel with us

Explore the different ways we can work with you. Whether it’s a signature month, group adventure or a dream destination, Travec has the expertise and knowledge to lead you on the adventure of a lifetime.

TRAVEC-ImmersiveTravel-BrandShoot-Oct2023-LEO+LAINE-GrandRapidsMI-66.jpg

"we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

signature month

THE MOST IMMERSIVE WAY TO TRAVEL

Settle in to a new city for a month or more in one of our signature destinations. You will find opportunities to connect with others, a new culture and a new language.

These trips are perfect for remote workers, gap years, educators, retirees, or anyone looking to immerse themselves in a new culture. 

Traveling Abroad
  • accommodations
    Centrally located Private apartment Wifi Functioning kitchen Air conditioning
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport
  • personal guidance
    We do the heavy lifting of travel research, planning, and booking so you can focus on the excitement of the adventure. Fulfill your dreams for travel or living abroad Customize your experience
  • itinerary
    Activities catered to your preferences and interests based on our research. A great balance of activity and free time to explore.
  • guidance & travel planning
    Take away the overwhelming side of planning travel abroad. Help discover your goals in living abroad Customize your experience
  • itinerary + 3 adventures
    A great balance of activity together and free time to explore. Get to know our signature destination in a meaningful way— and off the beaten path. Choose 3 culturally immersive experiences planned by Travec based on your preferences and interests.
  • city host & city friends
    Your first friend in your new city. There to help you: Settle in Make recommendations Show you around town Serve as an emergency contact
  • accommodations
    Safe neighborhood Local feel Customized to your preferences Host family or private accommodations
  • insider information
    A collection of information about your city based on our personal experience and in-depth research. Local activities Remote work support Common phrases Classes Restaurants Travel insurance Cell phone plans Customs Travel tips Visa reference information and more!
  • optional
    Kids' schooling and coworking spaces can be arranged upon request.
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport.
  • community
    A built in community of like-minded individuals who value culture and seeing the world just as much as you!
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport
  • insider information
    A collection of information about your city based on our personal experience and in-depth research. Local activities Remote work support Common phrases Classes Restaurants Travel insurance Cell phone plans Customs Travel tips Visa reference information and more!
  • itinerary
    Culturally immersive experiences planned by Travec to pave the way of living like a local and experiencing the best each city has to offer. A great balance of activity together and free time to explore. Get to know our signature destination in a meaningful way— and off the beaten path.
  • city hosts & city friends
    Your first friend in your new city. There to help you: Settle in Make recommendations Show you around town Serve as an emergency contact
  • accommodations
    Safe neighborhood Centrally located Private apartment Wifi Functioning kitchen Air conditioning
  • money matters
    Mexico uses the Peso (MX$) An easy way to estimate costs is to divide by 20 (although exact numbers fluctuate between 17-20). (MX$20 ≈ $1, MX$200 ≈ $10). Up-to-date Currency Converter. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted; keep MX$200-500 in cash on you for street stands and small shops, as they often only take efectivo. Just like the US has Black Friday, Mexico has El Buen Fin, which kicks off Christmas shopping with major discounts. However, this often falls on a different week than Black Friday. Just like the US, there is a tipping culture in Mexico. However, the amount that is tipped is often less. Rides: Around MX$20 per ride, or MX$50 for long trips Restaurants: 10-20% depending on the service (15% is considered a good tip in Mexico) Bar: MX$10-20 per round of drinks, or 10-20% if you are paying for everything together at the end Delivery services: 10-20%
  • phone facts
    One to two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Mexico. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $5/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Mexico – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Mexican phone number and data plan for Mexico while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $5/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • fun activities
    Merida City Tour Bus - hop on/hop off open-air or enclosed bus with audio guides Tours are available everyday from 9:00am to 9:00pm usually leaving from the cathedral. Tickets: MX$120 for adults and MX$50 for kids Padel courts - If you want to enjoy a couple of hours of fun exercise while being able to knock back a few cervezas or maybe even try a michelada, Merida offers many courts of Mexico’s fastest growing sport; Padel! Padel is a racquet sport that falls somewhere in between pickleball and tennis, Palas (racquet used to play padel) are available for rent at most clubs. We recommend checking out “Épica Padel Club” since it is the biggest club and has a really nice atmosphere and selection of food and drinks. They even offer Starbucks. Court prices are about MX$800 for two hours. Padel balls and Palas are not included with the price. Baseball Game - Despite the popularity of soccer in other parts of Mexico, Merida is a baseball city. Yucatecos love their local team, Los Leones. The games are great for both fans of baseball and anyone who enjoys a lively atmosphere. Vendors sell ballpark favorites like hot dogs, pizza, and burgers. However, going to the park is a great way to sample Merida’s street food, as vendors walk around the park selling local favorites. A ticket will likely set you back less than your local team and can be caught on the team’s website or at the park. Progreso: This lively beach town is located about 30 minutes north of the city. The pedestrian walkway known as El Malecón is great to stroll down and is lined with various restaurants, boasting delicious seafood. Many of these restaurants offer seating on the beach, so you can enjoy your meal and drinks while taking in some sun. Beach Towns: In addition to Progreso, there are various other beach towns located on the coast north of Merida, though much less touristy than Progreso (they do not offer their own malecón and restaurants options are much more limited), they are the perfect option for a laid-back beach getaway! Some of the most beloved ones for tourists and locals alike are: Chixchulub, Sisal and San Crisanto. Walking Routes Merida is beautiful to simply pasear (walk around) and admire! Paseo de Montejo, as mentioned before, is one of the best areas to just walk around and enjoy the view, maybe even get some marquesitas from the many street vendors in the area. The stunning architecture, warm weather, variety of restaurants and friendly atmosphere makes Paseo de Montejo a perfect option for a relaxed day with the family.
  • sights to see
    Mexico’s culture is “on the street”! Families and friends go out together to pasear (walk around). Great spots downtown include: Plaza Grande, Parque de Santa Lucia, Parque de Santa Ana and Remate de Paseo de Montejo Free, weekly cultural events - Many families are out and about after the sun goes down! Mondays @ 9pm - Vaquería traditional dance in La Plaza Grande Tuesdays @ 8pm - Trovador (serenade group) trio at Olimpo Auditorium Tuesdays @ 8:30pm - Live music and dancing in Parque de Santiago Wednesdays @ 8pm - A video projection about Merida’s history on the exterior of Casa Montejo Thursdays @ 9pm - Fantastic show featuring traditional dance, music and poetry in Parque de Santa Lucía Fridays @ 8pm - Another historical video projection on the exterior of Catedral San Ildefonso Saturdays @8pm–11pm - Noche mexicana offers food, handicrafts, music, and dancing at Remate Paseo de Montejo Gran Museo del Mundo Maya - Museum showcasing Mayan artifacts from ancient times until the present day. Great starting point to better understand the culture that has thrived in the Yucatan Peninsula for thousands of years. Open Monday–Sunday: 9am–5pm Tickets: MX$150 and can be bought at the museum Located in the north of the city off of the main drag, Calle 60 Catedral de Mérida - This impressive cathedral is the oldest in all of the Americas. Built from the ruins of a Mayan temple destroyed by the Spanish, it is well over 400 years old. Mass is said every day and multiple times on Sunday Free to enter, but a donation to the Church is recommended Located in downtown Merida facing the city’s main plaza Paseo de Montejo - The most famous street in Merida boasts beautiful 19th century homes. Every Sunday morning (8:30am to noon), the main street is closed off for the biciruta, a weekly event where tourists and locals alike gather to bike around Paseo de Montejo and enjoy the view and morning air. Bikes are available for rent on the spot for MX$20 an hour! It’s a great way to start off your day and get some exercise done while traveling! Cenotes - Because Merida is located just miles away from where the famous meteor that destroyed dinosaurs landed, the area is full of cenotes (sinkholes) that offer some of the most beautiful sights in the Americas. These sinkholes are located all throughout the peninsula but some of the most famous ones because of their natural beauty are the following: Mucuyche: this hacienda offers two beautiful semi-open cenotes and a tour of the old henequen plantation that used to operate there. Located just about an hour away from the city, these beautiful cenotes are a must-see for anyone visiting Merida. Prices: 650 pesos for adults and 390 pesos for children younger than 12 The hacienda has a private parking lot, as well as lockers for rent, a pool and a restaurant It’s important to note that you must book a tour to visit, as they don’t allow walk-in visitors. Cenote Xooch: This cenote is very different than Mucuyche, since it has been preserved in a more natural state. This semi-open cenote is located 2 hours away from the city of Merida, and has been enabled for visitors to easily access by adding an iron staircase. The Xooch cenote looks magnificent both from the outside and the inside thanks to the open dome that lets light in. Prices: MX$90 for foreign visitors, this price includes the rental of a lifevest but does not include snorkeling supplies such as visors. Payment is cash only You can book a tour for this cenote on their facebook page! Cuzama Cenotes: located about an hour away from Merida, the Cuzama cenotes are a great way to really immerse yourself in Yucatan culture. This tour offers 3 different cenotes, as well as a unique form of transportation from one cenote to another; mule-drawn carts known as trucks (pronounced truuk). The Cuzama cenotes are definitely not for the faint of heart, be prepared for a day full of adventure if you do decide to visit these cenotes, especially the second one in the tour which features a steep drop from a wooden staircase directly to the cenote waters, also, to get to the staircase, you need to be comfortable with some amateur cave diving. Prices: MX$300 for adults and children; these prices don’t include snorkeling supplies so we strongly suggest bringing at least a visor to be able to see the rock formations underwater. You can also book a tour to these cenotes via Airbnb, which includes transportation, food, and the tickets for the cenotes for a price of around MX$1,800 per person. Haciendas - For a romantic dinner and stroll around the grounds, check out an hacienda on the outskirts of the city. These are former plantations restored as restaurants, fancy hotels, and event venues. A couple of our favorites are Hacienda Santa Cruz and Hacienda Xcanatun. Uxmal - Though the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza are famous throughout the world, the great pyramid at Uxmal is actually larger than the one at Chichen Itza, and less busy! The city’s ruins are also as much as 400 years older than the ones at Chitzen. This location offers an amazing opportunity to learn about ancient (and still thriving) culture that tremendously influences Yucatecan culture. Tickets are about MX$500. It is located a little over an hour outside Merida but is definitely with the trip.
  • fun for kids
    Museo del Meteorito - Located in Progreso, this new museum offers information about the famous meteor that killed the dinosaurs (which landed in the waters north of Progreso). Ponylandia - Located outside of the city, this petting zoo has all the farm favorites as well as pony rides. Australian cattle dogs also run free throughout, so it is a great opportunity for your kids to meet real-life Blueys and Bingos. Ready? Next Level - At this Mario-themed restaurant, every table comes equipped with a Nintendo switch that the little ones can play while munching on food from the video game themed menu. Drinks for the parents are also offered (some of which are also Mario-themed).
  • shopping
    As opposed to the US, shopping malls are still a big hit in Merida. There are many malls around the city including Plaza Galerías Merida, which offers an ice rink perfect for a day of family fun, as well as many stores such as the department store Liverpool and some popular clothing brands in Mexico such as Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear, H&M, etc. Another great option for a day of shopping is La Isla Merida, a mall located in the northeast of Merida that even includes an arcade and a small carnival, great for kids to have some fun. La Isla also features a great food court and a nice outdoor area including various food options and a great view of their artificial lake. Some of the stores found here are: H&M, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bath & Body Works, among others. Also, check out the upscale store ¡Ay Guey! offering fun and trendy Mexican tees, bags, etc. If you’re looking to spot some bargains, Mexico offers an annual sale (similar to Black Friday) around the third weekend of November. Also, sales run twice a year–in late June and post-Christmas. Look for rebajas signs in the windows! If you’re looking to buy some souvenirs or unique items to the region, downton Merida is the way to go, there are many stores open especially around Calle 60 and Calle 62. You can also find artisan items at Mérida en Domingo, a market open only on Sundays in the Main Plaza downtown, this is an all day event where the main streets downtown are closed to allow pedestrians to walk around and shop from the many options local artisans have to offer. And, if this isn’t enough information, check out Yucatan Today!
  • living the local life
    If you want to get out and meet people, you need a plan for plugging in! Here are some ideas, but you can always check with your City Host or City Friends for more recommendations. Where to hang Though Merida is a large city, the best places for hanging out are the city’s downtown, Paseo de Montejo, and the northern part of the city. These areas have active nightlife scenes and lots of cantinas, where you are sure to meet new people. Another great place to meet new people is the Merida English Library. It serves as a de facto hub for Merida’s sizable population from the US and Canada. Though you do need a membership in order to check out books and attend events, membership fees are only MX$500 for an entire family and MX$400 for an individual, so it might even be a cheaper option than buying a book at the airport. Exercise and Gyms ~ El ejercicio y los gimnasios With so much sunshine and a lot of options, it’s easy to exercise in Merida. Paseo de Montejo is a great option on Sunday mornings. For other days, the city has recently installed bike and walking paths in the northwest of the city that start at Parque Henequenes. One particular park is the Parque de las Américas, which has a beautiful Mayan-inspired amphitheater as well as a column for every country in the Americas. After exercising, try the local street food, as there are various vendors in the area. As mentioned before, the various padel clubs are a great option for exercise in Merida as well as a way to meet new people. Gyms are located throughout the city and offer day passes. One great option is the Smart Fit gym located in the Galerias mall. The mall even offers an ice skating rink if you’re looking to throw some skates on! Supermarkets ~ Los supermercados (commonly known as ‘’supers’’) Be sure to check the hours of your local supermarkets. Stores in Mexico aren’t always open as early or as late as in the US. Bring bags as most stores have done away with them since COVID. Most stores also offer grocery delivery. Chedraui offers the widest selection, but it is a bit more expensive. Super Aki is a local favorite and has more economical prices. Mexico also offers Walmarts, though the selection is not as extensive as it is in the US. The city even boasts its very own Costco with a small cenote in the parking lot. Don’t worry, your US membership is also valid in Mexico! Don’t forget the convenient Oxxo stores! Places of Worship As Mexico is a majority Catholic country, most of the churches you will find are of that denomination and are located throughout the city. However, there is also a growing Protestant movement in the country and Merida is no exception. Here are a few options if you are looking to attend church. Cathedral de Merida - In addition to being a great historical monument, this cathedral offers masses daily. Shalom Presbyterian Church - This church offers Protestant services every Sunday.
  • street smarts
    Merida is an extremely safe city with lower crime rates than every major city in the US. However, be alert to petty crimes like pickpockets. Here are some pointers: Be very vigilant in tourist and crowded areas like the main plaza Keep your passport at home in your apartment; use a safe if one is available Don’t keep your phone or wallet in your back pocket Wear backpacks in front of you Use a crossbody purse with a closed zipper Secure your purse or backpack to a chair or your body in casual dining environments Carry cash and/or credit cards in an inside zipper pocket of your purse or pack When carrying a lot of cash (not recommended), keep it in different places (pocket, pack, divided among family or friends, etc.) Though less common than many major US cities, you may see some homeless people; they are generally harmless. If they approach you, either help them out or say No tengo nada (I don’t have anything). It is also common to see people waiting around street lights selling local candies and snacks, and various other items to the people stopping at a red light. Some people might not be selling anything, but instead asking for money or putting up a street performance for those waiting at a stoplight. Most people do not tip or buy from these people, however if you would like to tip them the usual would be around MX$10. Be alert of certain people trying to clean your windshields as they often don’t ask and will start cleaning. This might lead to your being held up at a green light while the person is still cleaning. It is best to simply avoid this situation by mouthing “no” or wagging your finger back and forth. When traveling around the city of Merida, you will often see little stores called ‘’Oxxo." These are convenience stores, similar to a Seven-Eleven in the US. These stores usually have everything you need, from phone chargers to painkillers to snacks or beer! Oxxo stores are on just about every other corner in Merida! Most Oxxo stores are open 24 hours but keep in mind that Merida has a dry law every day starting at 10:00 pm and on Sundays starting at 5:00 pm.
  • cultural cues
    Affection! Mexicans are very affectionate, and they meet and greet with kisses and hugs! When you meet a new friend or get together with old friends, remember these general rules: Females kiss Females and males kiss Males shake hands One kiss - usually right cheeks Don’t actually kiss their cheek, just touch cheeks and air kiss ¡Te invito! If you go out with locals, you may hear them say te invito or “I invite you.” This means that coffee or lunch is their treat. Conversely, you may want to insist te invito. Splitting the bill is not common practice among friends.
  • recommended restaurants
    La Chaya Maya - Voted best restaurant in Merida, serving typical Yucatecan food in a beautiful atmosphere Mastache - Outdoor microbrewery that offers extremely affordable beers and delicious bar food. La Terraza Amarilla - Situated next to many of Merida’s most famous hotels, this casual joint serves up some of the best cochinita in the city. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday. Paseo 60 - If you decide to take the bus to Merida, one of the stops is right at the entrance of this food hall/hotel combo. In addition to food stalls, there are numerous sit-down restaurants located here, including Crabster. La Pigua - Being so close to the sea, there are many great seafood options in Merida. This includes La Pigua, which offers some delicious catches. Puruxon Cauich - A gas station might not be where you’d expect to find delicious food, but once you step inside here, your mind will surely change. This place serves up the region's favorites and has beautiful Mayan murals painted on the walls. Maya de Asia - This swanky joint combines regional favorites with Asian food for a delicious fusion experience. Be sure to try the cochinita buns, which offer a tasty twist on the local favorite! Crabster - Located in Paseo 60, this upscale seafood restaurant offers free beer while you eat. There is also a location in Progreso, though this one does not include free beer. Taquitos PM - As the name suggests, if you are having a late night out, you can get some tacos here until late at night. This chain has locations throughout the city Hacienda Teya - A great upscale option for dining one the regional food, this restaurant is located in a beautiful hacienda and even offers a soccer field for the kids! Sanbravo - For a fancy option, Sanbravo serves up premium cortes/cuts for much less than you would expect to pay at home. Similarly to Crabster, free beer is also offered here while you eat. Oliva - Merida has many great options when it comes to Italian food and Oliva has various locations throughout the city. It offers delicious hand-made pasta if you are looking to mix things up.
  • night life
    Mexico is known worldwide for its loud and fun fiestas! Merida boasts many different bars and even old fashioned cantinas to enjoy a great variety of drinks and dance the night away. Bars close at around 2:00 am, but if you want to party till dawn there are many nightclubs that stay open until sunrise! McCarthys Irish Pub & Absenta Pub - These are two of the most famous pubs in the city, offering live rock music during the weekends and have great deals such as wings for MX$6.9 and liters sized mugs of beer for MX$69 throughout the week. Mercado 60 - Located in downtown’s famous calle 60, Mercado 60 (not to be confused with Paseo 60) is an open food court with lots of options for snacking as well as drinking. They offer live music every night and the crowd never shies away from dancing! This is a great place to get a taste of latin nightlife and meet new people thanks to its friendly atmosphere. Whiskylucan - This bar is perfect if you’re looking to party it up while staying on a budget since (mostly) everything costs only MX$24.9! Great to knock back a few cervezas while enjoying their many appetizers such as tacos cantineros, esquites or maybe even a good old fashioned cheeseburger. Classico Peninsula - Arguably the most popular nightclub in Merida, Classico Peninsula is the perfect option for a night packed with dancing! One of the most frequented places by college students, Classico is always packed and it’s a fun way to get to know new people! Dix - LGBTQ+, featuring drag shows on a regular basis, this nightclub is located right by Parque de Santa Lucía in the heart of downtown Merida. Be sure to check out their social media since they have a different program every week! Bonus: if you’re visiting Merida during spring break or summer break, keep in mind a lot of the most popular bars and nightclubs temporarily open locations in what’s known as the “zona de antros“ in Chicxulub.
  • packing pointers
    Merida is generally very humid, sunny, and warm. As Merida is located in the jungle, rain is very common, especially during the months of June-September. It’s important to remember that mosquito-borne illnesses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika are endemic to the region, therefore it is extremely advisable for you to carry bug spray, especially on rainy or humid days. Because of its tropical climate, Merida is warm year round. Even in the winter, the lowest temps are arond 60ºF. However, if you plan on visiting the beaches nearby, keep in mind the wind makes the temperature feel a little more chilly. In addition to you clothes and footwear, plan to bring these practical items: A backpack and/or crossbody purse that zips Consider a portable cell phone charger if your phone tends to lose charge quickly. Don’t forget your favorite sunglasses and hats; you will need them in Merida!
  • transportation tips
    ARRIVING The airport in Merida is located in the southwest part of the city. It won’t be more than a 30-minute car ride from where you are staying. The company you rent a car from will most likely have a kiosk in the airport and will take you to pick up your rental car (see below for more information about rental cars). If you plan on getting yours later or not using one, your best bet would be to get an Uber to your place. If you plan on flying into Cancun, the easiest way to get to Merida from the airport is by taking the ADO buses that leave directly from the airport’s terminals. ADO offers a few buses a day that usually leave in the afternoon and evening. If you have trouble finding where the bus will pick you up, just ask one of the numerous hawkers selling rental cars after you get your bags. Tickets usually cost about MX$1,000 and can be bought here (just make sure you buy a ticket leaving from the aeropuerto and not the centro). ADO offers stops in both the Altabrisa neighborhood in the northeast of the city and at Paseo 60, which is downtown. Though it is a long bus ride, the buses have very comfortable seats, entertainment, wifi and a bathroom for the four hour ride, which is mostly through the rural/jungle areas. If you plan on driving from the Cancun Airport to Merida, it is a good idea to rent your car ahead of time. The company from which you rent your car will most likely have a kiosk in the airport located in the hallway after baggage claim. It is not recommended to rent a car from the hawkers who will swarm you when you walk outside of the airport, as they will likely charge you more. Cars are also more expensive to rent in Cancun than if you rent one once you get to Merida. However, if you do plan on making the drive, make sure to have a bathroom break and to stock up on snacks before leaving Cancun, as there is only one real rest-stop (located about halfway between Cancun and Merida) until you hit the outskirts of Merida. Also keep in mind that if you plan on driving, there are two toll booths located on the route. These tolls can only be paid in cash and cost about MX$1,000 total, so make sure that you get enough from your local bank before you leave. Or, you can hit up a currency exchange kiosk in the airport, but they do not offer the best rates. GETTING AROUND TOWN Ubers are safe, easy, and inexpensive. Most rides throughout the city cost no more than MX$100 (US$5-6). To compare prices and wait times, you could also download DiDi. Another great option are the Va y Ven buses. They cost a few more pesos than the old yellow buses, but are much cleaner, newer, cooler, and less crowded. Va y Ven buses also include AC, WiFi and charging spots for your phone or other electronic devices. You can see this bus option on Google or download the Va y Ven app on your phone. There you can access schedules (though the app is in Spanish). It is important to note that in order to take these buses you must previously have purchased a Va y Ven card. These cards can be obtained and recharged at Oxxo (see ‘’Street Smarts’’). Simply tell the cashier ‘’me gustaría recargar mi tarjeta del Va y Ven’ and give her the amount of money plus the card. You can also purchase and recharge these cards at various kiosks located around the city. Lastly, you can always rent a car. It is a good idea to reserve your car BEFORE you leave in order to lock in your price and to secure your preferred ride (look for your car rental here). Be sure to choose an automatic transmission if you can’t drive a stick, as manuals are much more common in Mexico. As long as you have a license in the US, you are able to drive a car in Mexico. You will need to buy the insurance they offer as your US insurance will not be valid in the case of an accident. Like the rest of Mexico, drivers in Merida tend to be very aggressive, often treating road signs, such as speed limits, as more of a recommendation rather than actual law. So, the driving culture may take a little getting used to. Gas in Mexico tends to cost more than in the US. Though the price of gas is advertised in liters on the sign in front of the gas station, you can expect to pay what equates to about $4.50 a gallon. Unlike most of the US, gas stations in Mexico have attendants who fill up your tank for you. If you don’t know how many liters you want, you can just tell the worker ‘’un tanque lleno por favor’’ to ask for a full tank. After your gas has been pumped, they will hand you the credit card machine, and you pay right there. Make sure to give the worker a few pesos (10-20) as a propina (tip).
  • deets on the eats
    Mexico is well-known for having delicious food, and Merida is no exception. Yucatecan food is known throughout Mexico for its unique flavors. Merida has something to offer every pallet and mood: from hole-in-the-wall taco stands to American chains you will recognize from home to fine dining with premium cortes of steak and expensive bottles of wine. Like in the US, you will sit down and order at a restaurant. To order, simply say quiero ______. Some places will take reservations, but remember lunch may not be served until 2:00pm and dinner until 8:00 or 9:00pm. Remember to always tip once you get your bill! Speaking of lunch and dinner, remember that this is the typical meal schedule: El desayuno/Breakfast when you wake - a great time to have the iconic breakfast of nachos, chilaquiles, or the Mayan specialty pork dish, cochinita pibil. El almuerzo/Lunch (2:00-4:00pm) - the largest meal of the day; sit down, relax and enjoy una cerveza. La cena/Dinner (between 9:00–11:00pm) - tends to be lighter, but if you are used to eating a large dinner, you do you! Of course, you can always find a Starbucks or a McDonald’s, and while we recommend local joints sometimes it’s fun to stop at these familiar faves and see what cultural foods or drinks make the menu! We promise not to judge! Okay, let’s talk some bites that you need to try while in Merida: Cochinita Pibil- The aforementioned Mayan pork meat is served in tacos or in a torta (large sub-type sandwich). It is usually eaten as breakfast and a great way to start your day feeling like a real Yucateco. Panuchos- You can’t miss these for dinner! They are refried tortillas stuffed with refried black beans and topped with chicken or turkey. Add chopped cabbage, tomato, pickled red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeño pepper. Marquesitas- Think a thin waffle cone stuffed with a variety of delicious options such as bananas, jam, peanut butter, and cream cheese. The local favorite is Nutella with Edam cheese (queso de bola). Carts selling these can be found throughout the city in plazas, parks, and anywhere with lots of foot traffic. Camarones/shrimp- Although Merida isn’t a beach town, the ocean is close and there are often many affordable and delicious shrimp dishes on the menu. Piedritas- Spanish for “stones,” these are hard balls of dough usually filled with beans and make a great appetizer. These are traditionally eaten as a snack during baseball games. Kibis- Usually served with piedritas, these are longer and have wheat as a crust. The insides are filled with meat and sometimes cheese. Mucbipollo- Also known as “pib,” this dish is almost exclusively served during Dia de los muertos, so if you are in town then, make sure to give it a try. Las bebidas/Drinks: Café con leche- Coffee with milk; the proportion is 50/50. Horchata- This sweet drink made of rice is a great way to cool down. Jamaica- Known as hibiscus tea in English, this delicious drink is usually served cold in Merida. Michelada- Mexico is well-known for its love of spice. This also applies to beer, as micheladas combine beer with lime juice and spices. Ojo rojo- Similar in appearance to a michelada, but uses tomato juice and is less spicy. Tinto de verano- A refreshing summer drink; red wine mixed with Sprite. Bonus: xtabentún- This strong traditional Mayan drink is not for the faint of heart but is fun to try for those who are brave enough. The ice and water at restaurants are treated, but don’t drink tap water anywhere in Mexico. Wash any produce you buy thoroughly with soap (or special disinfectant for produce). It is also a good idea to avoid fruits and veggies from street vendors - if they don’t have a peel, they may not have been disinfected.
  • kid's corner
    Travel is a great way to expand your childrens’ education. Search for videos online and do these activities with your kids before packing your bags. We bet you’ll learn something, too! VIDEOS ABOUT MEXICO FOR KIDS Fun facts Mayan history Yucatecan culture for kids who are fluent in spanish WHERE I WILL LIVE Find Mexico on a world map - talk about how you will get there and how long it takes Explore Merida on Google Maps Go to “My Maps” and create a map with all of the places you’d like to visit Find out how to get from your apartment to the closest park, grocery store, ice cream shop, etc. Try walking maps, public transportation, etc. Tour your Merida neighborhood in Google Street View - how is it similar to or different from your neighborhood at home?
  • emergency info
    In case of an immediate emergency, Merida uses 911 as their emergency number. Operators speak English. If you are traveling with children, be sure they know a way to text or call you if they get lost. If your kids are very young, consider writing your number in their clothing or on a paper that they keep in their pocket. Teach them about 911. Talk to them ahead of time and make a plan. There are many hospitals (pronounced oh-spee-TAHL) with emergency departments. Look for Urgencias. Contact your City Host to go along and guide you through the process. There are many options, but here are two that are open 24-hours: Hospital Star Médica de Mérida: C. 26 199, Col. Altabrisa, 97130 Hospital Faro del Mayab Grupo Christus Muguerza Calle 24 S/N, Temozon Norte, Santa Gertrudis Copo, 97305 Centro Médico de las Americas (CMA) Calle 54 365, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, 97000 Farmacias or Pharmacies - If you’re not feeling well or need a prescription, a pharmacist can help. They can provide a diagnosis and prescription on the spot. Many drugs that require a prescription in the US are available over-the-counter in Mexico. You may even want to check if any of your medications are cheaper in Merida! Just know that they may have different names and/or doses; a basic example of this is that in Mexico, acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol), is known as paracetamol (commonly known as Tempra). There are many 24-hour pharmacies including: Farmacias Yza, Farmacias del Bazar, etc. located throughout the city. Payment - Cost will depend on the treatment needed. Present any proof of travel/medical insurance and contact your insurance provider immediately in case they need to deal directly with the hospital. Be sure to get a detailed bill.
  • yucatecan slang
    Merida and the state of Yucatan has a large Mayan population. It is not uncommon to hear Mayan instead of Spanish while walking down the street. Naturally, many Mayan words have made their way into the local Spanish vernacular. This can be confusing even for people from other parts of Mexico who aren’t acquainted with the Mayan language. Here are some basic words that might be useful to know, if nothing else to impress the locals: Chop-calle means a dead-end street. This is important to know in case you ask for directions, for example “La siguiente calle es chop-calle, no se meta ahí” means “the next street is a dead-end, don’t go in there.” Xix, pronounced as ‘’sheesh,’’ means leftovers. This is usually used to say there is only a little bit left of something. For example ‘’solo queda un xix’’ means ‘’there is barely any left.’’ ¡Fo! means ‘’Ew!’’ Escarpa (pronounced es-scar-pah) means sidewalk. Miriñaque (pronounced mee-ree-nyah-keh) means screen door, and most houses have them to keep mosquitoes away while allowing some much needed breeze inside. Zatz means stale. For example “no comas esas papas; están bien zatz” means “Don’t eat those chips; they’re very stale.” Chihuó (chee-woh) means tarantula so beware if someone yells out ‘’Hay una chihuó!’’ Perech means tight. Knowing this can be helpful, especially considering most places in Mérida have ‘’viene vienes’’ in their parking lots who will try to help you park. If you hear someone say ‘’No se estacione ahí, va a quedar muy perech,’’ it means ‘’Don’t park there, the space is too tight.’’ Tolok (pronounced toh-look) means iguana; you will probably never hear a local say the word ‘’iguana’’ since tolok is very widely used. If you’re interested in the topic of Mayan slang and Yucatecan culture, the book Pasaporte Yucateco is strongly recommended. It is available for around $5 dollars in most local bookstores or souvenir shops. It talks about cultural cues, some history and major landmarks. You can also get it from the creator’s website here!
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Spain. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $10/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Spain – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Spanish phone number and data plan for Spain while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $10/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Costa Rica. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $10/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Costa Rica – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Costa Rican phone number and data plan for Costa Rica while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $10/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Medellín. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone.

what's included?

group adventure

MAKE MEMORIES WITH LIKE-MINDED TRAVELERS

If you’re looking for the adventure of a lifetime with a built-in community, our group adventures are calling your name. These 7-10 day group adventures are enticing to all types of travelers, as they come in family style or adult-only format.

These trips are ideal for those who enjoy traveling with others, are interested in improving their language skills, and families with children in Spanish Immersion. 

Hike
  • accommodations
    Centrally located Private apartment Wifi Functioning kitchen Air conditioning
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport
  • personal guidance
    We do the heavy lifting of travel research, planning, and booking so you can focus on the excitement of the adventure. Fulfill your dreams for travel or living abroad Customize your experience
  • itinerary
    Activities catered to your preferences and interests based on our research. A great balance of activity and free time to explore.
  • guidance & travel planning
    Take away the overwhelming side of planning travel abroad. Help discover your goals in living abroad Customize your experience
  • itinerary + 3 adventures
    A great balance of activity together and free time to explore. Get to know our signature destination in a meaningful way— and off the beaten path. Choose 3 culturally immersive experiences planned by Travec based on your preferences and interests.
  • city host & city friends
    Your first friend in your new city. There to help you: Settle in Make recommendations Show you around town Serve as an emergency contact
  • accommodations
    Safe neighborhood Local feel Customized to your preferences Host family or private accommodations
  • insider information
    A collection of information about your city based on our personal experience and in-depth research. Local activities Remote work support Common phrases Classes Restaurants Travel insurance Cell phone plans Customs Travel tips Visa reference information and more!
  • optional
    Kids' schooling and coworking spaces can be arranged upon request.
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport.
  • community
    A built in community of like-minded individuals who value culture and seeing the world just as much as you!
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport
  • insider information
    A collection of information about your city based on our personal experience and in-depth research. Local activities Remote work support Common phrases Classes Restaurants Travel insurance Cell phone plans Customs Travel tips Visa reference information and more!
  • itinerary
    Culturally immersive experiences planned by Travec to pave the way of living like a local and experiencing the best each city has to offer. A great balance of activity together and free time to explore. Get to know our signature destination in a meaningful way— and off the beaten path.
  • city hosts & city friends
    Your first friend in your new city. There to help you: Settle in Make recommendations Show you around town Serve as an emergency contact
  • accommodations
    Safe neighborhood Centrally located Private apartment Wifi Functioning kitchen Air conditioning
  • money matters
    Mexico uses the Peso (MX$) An easy way to estimate costs is to divide by 20 (although exact numbers fluctuate between 17-20). (MX$20 ≈ $1, MX$200 ≈ $10). Up-to-date Currency Converter. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted; keep MX$200-500 in cash on you for street stands and small shops, as they often only take efectivo. Just like the US has Black Friday, Mexico has El Buen Fin, which kicks off Christmas shopping with major discounts. However, this often falls on a different week than Black Friday. Just like the US, there is a tipping culture in Mexico. However, the amount that is tipped is often less. Rides: Around MX$20 per ride, or MX$50 for long trips Restaurants: 10-20% depending on the service (15% is considered a good tip in Mexico) Bar: MX$10-20 per round of drinks, or 10-20% if you are paying for everything together at the end Delivery services: 10-20%
  • phone facts
    One to two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Mexico. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $5/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Mexico – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Mexican phone number and data plan for Mexico while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $5/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • fun activities
    Merida City Tour Bus - hop on/hop off open-air or enclosed bus with audio guides Tours are available everyday from 9:00am to 9:00pm usually leaving from the cathedral. Tickets: MX$120 for adults and MX$50 for kids Padel courts - If you want to enjoy a couple of hours of fun exercise while being able to knock back a few cervezas or maybe even try a michelada, Merida offers many courts of Mexico’s fastest growing sport; Padel! Padel is a racquet sport that falls somewhere in between pickleball and tennis, Palas (racquet used to play padel) are available for rent at most clubs. We recommend checking out “Épica Padel Club” since it is the biggest club and has a really nice atmosphere and selection of food and drinks. They even offer Starbucks. Court prices are about MX$800 for two hours. Padel balls and Palas are not included with the price. Baseball Game - Despite the popularity of soccer in other parts of Mexico, Merida is a baseball city. Yucatecos love their local team, Los Leones. The games are great for both fans of baseball and anyone who enjoys a lively atmosphere. Vendors sell ballpark favorites like hot dogs, pizza, and burgers. However, going to the park is a great way to sample Merida’s street food, as vendors walk around the park selling local favorites. A ticket will likely set you back less than your local team and can be caught on the team’s website or at the park. Progreso: This lively beach town is located about 30 minutes north of the city. The pedestrian walkway known as El Malecón is great to stroll down and is lined with various restaurants, boasting delicious seafood. Many of these restaurants offer seating on the beach, so you can enjoy your meal and drinks while taking in some sun. Beach Towns: In addition to Progreso, there are various other beach towns located on the coast north of Merida, though much less touristy than Progreso (they do not offer their own malecón and restaurants options are much more limited), they are the perfect option for a laid-back beach getaway! Some of the most beloved ones for tourists and locals alike are: Chixchulub, Sisal and San Crisanto. Walking Routes Merida is beautiful to simply pasear (walk around) and admire! Paseo de Montejo, as mentioned before, is one of the best areas to just walk around and enjoy the view, maybe even get some marquesitas from the many street vendors in the area. The stunning architecture, warm weather, variety of restaurants and friendly atmosphere makes Paseo de Montejo a perfect option for a relaxed day with the family.
  • sights to see
    Mexico’s culture is “on the street”! Families and friends go out together to pasear (walk around). Great spots downtown include: Plaza Grande, Parque de Santa Lucia, Parque de Santa Ana and Remate de Paseo de Montejo Free, weekly cultural events - Many families are out and about after the sun goes down! Mondays @ 9pm - Vaquería traditional dance in La Plaza Grande Tuesdays @ 8pm - Trovador (serenade group) trio at Olimpo Auditorium Tuesdays @ 8:30pm - Live music and dancing in Parque de Santiago Wednesdays @ 8pm - A video projection about Merida’s history on the exterior of Casa Montejo Thursdays @ 9pm - Fantastic show featuring traditional dance, music and poetry in Parque de Santa Lucía Fridays @ 8pm - Another historical video projection on the exterior of Catedral San Ildefonso Saturdays @8pm–11pm - Noche mexicana offers food, handicrafts, music, and dancing at Remate Paseo de Montejo Gran Museo del Mundo Maya - Museum showcasing Mayan artifacts from ancient times until the present day. Great starting point to better understand the culture that has thrived in the Yucatan Peninsula for thousands of years. Open Monday–Sunday: 9am–5pm Tickets: MX$150 and can be bought at the museum Located in the north of the city off of the main drag, Calle 60 Catedral de Mérida - This impressive cathedral is the oldest in all of the Americas. Built from the ruins of a Mayan temple destroyed by the Spanish, it is well over 400 years old. Mass is said every day and multiple times on Sunday Free to enter, but a donation to the Church is recommended Located in downtown Merida facing the city’s main plaza Paseo de Montejo - The most famous street in Merida boasts beautiful 19th century homes. Every Sunday morning (8:30am to noon), the main street is closed off for the biciruta, a weekly event where tourists and locals alike gather to bike around Paseo de Montejo and enjoy the view and morning air. Bikes are available for rent on the spot for MX$20 an hour! It’s a great way to start off your day and get some exercise done while traveling! Cenotes - Because Merida is located just miles away from where the famous meteor that destroyed dinosaurs landed, the area is full of cenotes (sinkholes) that offer some of the most beautiful sights in the Americas. These sinkholes are located all throughout the peninsula but some of the most famous ones because of their natural beauty are the following: Mucuyche: this hacienda offers two beautiful semi-open cenotes and a tour of the old henequen plantation that used to operate there. Located just about an hour away from the city, these beautiful cenotes are a must-see for anyone visiting Merida. Prices: 650 pesos for adults and 390 pesos for children younger than 12 The hacienda has a private parking lot, as well as lockers for rent, a pool and a restaurant It’s important to note that you must book a tour to visit, as they don’t allow walk-in visitors. Cenote Xooch: This cenote is very different than Mucuyche, since it has been preserved in a more natural state. This semi-open cenote is located 2 hours away from the city of Merida, and has been enabled for visitors to easily access by adding an iron staircase. The Xooch cenote looks magnificent both from the outside and the inside thanks to the open dome that lets light in. Prices: MX$90 for foreign visitors, this price includes the rental of a lifevest but does not include snorkeling supplies such as visors. Payment is cash only You can book a tour for this cenote on their facebook page! Cuzama Cenotes: located about an hour away from Merida, the Cuzama cenotes are a great way to really immerse yourself in Yucatan culture. This tour offers 3 different cenotes, as well as a unique form of transportation from one cenote to another; mule-drawn carts known as trucks (pronounced truuk). The Cuzama cenotes are definitely not for the faint of heart, be prepared for a day full of adventure if you do decide to visit these cenotes, especially the second one in the tour which features a steep drop from a wooden staircase directly to the cenote waters, also, to get to the staircase, you need to be comfortable with some amateur cave diving. Prices: MX$300 for adults and children; these prices don’t include snorkeling supplies so we strongly suggest bringing at least a visor to be able to see the rock formations underwater. You can also book a tour to these cenotes via Airbnb, which includes transportation, food, and the tickets for the cenotes for a price of around MX$1,800 per person. Haciendas - For a romantic dinner and stroll around the grounds, check out an hacienda on the outskirts of the city. These are former plantations restored as restaurants, fancy hotels, and event venues. A couple of our favorites are Hacienda Santa Cruz and Hacienda Xcanatun. Uxmal - Though the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza are famous throughout the world, the great pyramid at Uxmal is actually larger than the one at Chichen Itza, and less busy! The city’s ruins are also as much as 400 years older than the ones at Chitzen. This location offers an amazing opportunity to learn about ancient (and still thriving) culture that tremendously influences Yucatecan culture. Tickets are about MX$500. It is located a little over an hour outside Merida but is definitely with the trip.
  • fun for kids
    Museo del Meteorito - Located in Progreso, this new museum offers information about the famous meteor that killed the dinosaurs (which landed in the waters north of Progreso). Ponylandia - Located outside of the city, this petting zoo has all the farm favorites as well as pony rides. Australian cattle dogs also run free throughout, so it is a great opportunity for your kids to meet real-life Blueys and Bingos. Ready? Next Level - At this Mario-themed restaurant, every table comes equipped with a Nintendo switch that the little ones can play while munching on food from the video game themed menu. Drinks for the parents are also offered (some of which are also Mario-themed).
  • shopping
    As opposed to the US, shopping malls are still a big hit in Merida. There are many malls around the city including Plaza Galerías Merida, which offers an ice rink perfect for a day of family fun, as well as many stores such as the department store Liverpool and some popular clothing brands in Mexico such as Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear, H&M, etc. Another great option for a day of shopping is La Isla Merida, a mall located in the northeast of Merida that even includes an arcade and a small carnival, great for kids to have some fun. La Isla also features a great food court and a nice outdoor area including various food options and a great view of their artificial lake. Some of the stores found here are: H&M, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bath & Body Works, among others. Also, check out the upscale store ¡Ay Guey! offering fun and trendy Mexican tees, bags, etc. If you’re looking to spot some bargains, Mexico offers an annual sale (similar to Black Friday) around the third weekend of November. Also, sales run twice a year–in late June and post-Christmas. Look for rebajas signs in the windows! If you’re looking to buy some souvenirs or unique items to the region, downton Merida is the way to go, there are many stores open especially around Calle 60 and Calle 62. You can also find artisan items at Mérida en Domingo, a market open only on Sundays in the Main Plaza downtown, this is an all day event where the main streets downtown are closed to allow pedestrians to walk around and shop from the many options local artisans have to offer. And, if this isn’t enough information, check out Yucatan Today!
  • living the local life
    If you want to get out and meet people, you need a plan for plugging in! Here are some ideas, but you can always check with your City Host or City Friends for more recommendations. Where to hang Though Merida is a large city, the best places for hanging out are the city’s downtown, Paseo de Montejo, and the northern part of the city. These areas have active nightlife scenes and lots of cantinas, where you are sure to meet new people. Another great place to meet new people is the Merida English Library. It serves as a de facto hub for Merida’s sizable population from the US and Canada. Though you do need a membership in order to check out books and attend events, membership fees are only MX$500 for an entire family and MX$400 for an individual, so it might even be a cheaper option than buying a book at the airport. Exercise and Gyms ~ El ejercicio y los gimnasios With so much sunshine and a lot of options, it’s easy to exercise in Merida. Paseo de Montejo is a great option on Sunday mornings. For other days, the city has recently installed bike and walking paths in the northwest of the city that start at Parque Henequenes. One particular park is the Parque de las Américas, which has a beautiful Mayan-inspired amphitheater as well as a column for every country in the Americas. After exercising, try the local street food, as there are various vendors in the area. As mentioned before, the various padel clubs are a great option for exercise in Merida as well as a way to meet new people. Gyms are located throughout the city and offer day passes. One great option is the Smart Fit gym located in the Galerias mall. The mall even offers an ice skating rink if you’re looking to throw some skates on! Supermarkets ~ Los supermercados (commonly known as ‘’supers’’) Be sure to check the hours of your local supermarkets. Stores in Mexico aren’t always open as early or as late as in the US. Bring bags as most stores have done away with them since COVID. Most stores also offer grocery delivery. Chedraui offers the widest selection, but it is a bit more expensive. Super Aki is a local favorite and has more economical prices. Mexico also offers Walmarts, though the selection is not as extensive as it is in the US. The city even boasts its very own Costco with a small cenote in the parking lot. Don’t worry, your US membership is also valid in Mexico! Don’t forget the convenient Oxxo stores! Places of Worship As Mexico is a majority Catholic country, most of the churches you will find are of that denomination and are located throughout the city. However, there is also a growing Protestant movement in the country and Merida is no exception. Here are a few options if you are looking to attend church. Cathedral de Merida - In addition to being a great historical monument, this cathedral offers masses daily. Shalom Presbyterian Church - This church offers Protestant services every Sunday.
  • street smarts
    Merida is an extremely safe city with lower crime rates than every major city in the US. However, be alert to petty crimes like pickpockets. Here are some pointers: Be very vigilant in tourist and crowded areas like the main plaza Keep your passport at home in your apartment; use a safe if one is available Don’t keep your phone or wallet in your back pocket Wear backpacks in front of you Use a crossbody purse with a closed zipper Secure your purse or backpack to a chair or your body in casual dining environments Carry cash and/or credit cards in an inside zipper pocket of your purse or pack When carrying a lot of cash (not recommended), keep it in different places (pocket, pack, divided among family or friends, etc.) Though less common than many major US cities, you may see some homeless people; they are generally harmless. If they approach you, either help them out or say No tengo nada (I don’t have anything). It is also common to see people waiting around street lights selling local candies and snacks, and various other items to the people stopping at a red light. Some people might not be selling anything, but instead asking for money or putting up a street performance for those waiting at a stoplight. Most people do not tip or buy from these people, however if you would like to tip them the usual would be around MX$10. Be alert of certain people trying to clean your windshields as they often don’t ask and will start cleaning. This might lead to your being held up at a green light while the person is still cleaning. It is best to simply avoid this situation by mouthing “no” or wagging your finger back and forth. When traveling around the city of Merida, you will often see little stores called ‘’Oxxo." These are convenience stores, similar to a Seven-Eleven in the US. These stores usually have everything you need, from phone chargers to painkillers to snacks or beer! Oxxo stores are on just about every other corner in Merida! Most Oxxo stores are open 24 hours but keep in mind that Merida has a dry law every day starting at 10:00 pm and on Sundays starting at 5:00 pm.
  • cultural cues
    Affection! Mexicans are very affectionate, and they meet and greet with kisses and hugs! When you meet a new friend or get together with old friends, remember these general rules: Females kiss Females and males kiss Males shake hands One kiss - usually right cheeks Don’t actually kiss their cheek, just touch cheeks and air kiss ¡Te invito! If you go out with locals, you may hear them say te invito or “I invite you.” This means that coffee or lunch is their treat. Conversely, you may want to insist te invito. Splitting the bill is not common practice among friends.
  • recommended restaurants
    La Chaya Maya - Voted best restaurant in Merida, serving typical Yucatecan food in a beautiful atmosphere Mastache - Outdoor microbrewery that offers extremely affordable beers and delicious bar food. La Terraza Amarilla - Situated next to many of Merida’s most famous hotels, this casual joint serves up some of the best cochinita in the city. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday. Paseo 60 - If you decide to take the bus to Merida, one of the stops is right at the entrance of this food hall/hotel combo. In addition to food stalls, there are numerous sit-down restaurants located here, including Crabster. La Pigua - Being so close to the sea, there are many great seafood options in Merida. This includes La Pigua, which offers some delicious catches. Puruxon Cauich - A gas station might not be where you’d expect to find delicious food, but once you step inside here, your mind will surely change. This place serves up the region's favorites and has beautiful Mayan murals painted on the walls. Maya de Asia - This swanky joint combines regional favorites with Asian food for a delicious fusion experience. Be sure to try the cochinita buns, which offer a tasty twist on the local favorite! Crabster - Located in Paseo 60, this upscale seafood restaurant offers free beer while you eat. There is also a location in Progreso, though this one does not include free beer. Taquitos PM - As the name suggests, if you are having a late night out, you can get some tacos here until late at night. This chain has locations throughout the city Hacienda Teya - A great upscale option for dining one the regional food, this restaurant is located in a beautiful hacienda and even offers a soccer field for the kids! Sanbravo - For a fancy option, Sanbravo serves up premium cortes/cuts for much less than you would expect to pay at home. Similarly to Crabster, free beer is also offered here while you eat. Oliva - Merida has many great options when it comes to Italian food and Oliva has various locations throughout the city. It offers delicious hand-made pasta if you are looking to mix things up.
  • night life
    Mexico is known worldwide for its loud and fun fiestas! Merida boasts many different bars and even old fashioned cantinas to enjoy a great variety of drinks and dance the night away. Bars close at around 2:00 am, but if you want to party till dawn there are many nightclubs that stay open until sunrise! McCarthys Irish Pub & Absenta Pub - These are two of the most famous pubs in the city, offering live rock music during the weekends and have great deals such as wings for MX$6.9 and liters sized mugs of beer for MX$69 throughout the week. Mercado 60 - Located in downtown’s famous calle 60, Mercado 60 (not to be confused with Paseo 60) is an open food court with lots of options for snacking as well as drinking. They offer live music every night and the crowd never shies away from dancing! This is a great place to get a taste of latin nightlife and meet new people thanks to its friendly atmosphere. Whiskylucan - This bar is perfect if you’re looking to party it up while staying on a budget since (mostly) everything costs only MX$24.9! Great to knock back a few cervezas while enjoying their many appetizers such as tacos cantineros, esquites or maybe even a good old fashioned cheeseburger. Classico Peninsula - Arguably the most popular nightclub in Merida, Classico Peninsula is the perfect option for a night packed with dancing! One of the most frequented places by college students, Classico is always packed and it’s a fun way to get to know new people! Dix - LGBTQ+, featuring drag shows on a regular basis, this nightclub is located right by Parque de Santa Lucía in the heart of downtown Merida. Be sure to check out their social media since they have a different program every week! Bonus: if you’re visiting Merida during spring break or summer break, keep in mind a lot of the most popular bars and nightclubs temporarily open locations in what’s known as the “zona de antros“ in Chicxulub.
  • packing pointers
    Merida is generally very humid, sunny, and warm. As Merida is located in the jungle, rain is very common, especially during the months of June-September. It’s important to remember that mosquito-borne illnesses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika are endemic to the region, therefore it is extremely advisable for you to carry bug spray, especially on rainy or humid days. Because of its tropical climate, Merida is warm year round. Even in the winter, the lowest temps are arond 60ºF. However, if you plan on visiting the beaches nearby, keep in mind the wind makes the temperature feel a little more chilly. In addition to you clothes and footwear, plan to bring these practical items: A backpack and/or crossbody purse that zips Consider a portable cell phone charger if your phone tends to lose charge quickly. Don’t forget your favorite sunglasses and hats; you will need them in Merida!
  • transportation tips
    ARRIVING The airport in Merida is located in the southwest part of the city. It won’t be more than a 30-minute car ride from where you are staying. The company you rent a car from will most likely have a kiosk in the airport and will take you to pick up your rental car (see below for more information about rental cars). If you plan on getting yours later or not using one, your best bet would be to get an Uber to your place. If you plan on flying into Cancun, the easiest way to get to Merida from the airport is by taking the ADO buses that leave directly from the airport’s terminals. ADO offers a few buses a day that usually leave in the afternoon and evening. If you have trouble finding where the bus will pick you up, just ask one of the numerous hawkers selling rental cars after you get your bags. Tickets usually cost about MX$1,000 and can be bought here (just make sure you buy a ticket leaving from the aeropuerto and not the centro). ADO offers stops in both the Altabrisa neighborhood in the northeast of the city and at Paseo 60, which is downtown. Though it is a long bus ride, the buses have very comfortable seats, entertainment, wifi and a bathroom for the four hour ride, which is mostly through the rural/jungle areas. If you plan on driving from the Cancun Airport to Merida, it is a good idea to rent your car ahead of time. The company from which you rent your car will most likely have a kiosk in the airport located in the hallway after baggage claim. It is not recommended to rent a car from the hawkers who will swarm you when you walk outside of the airport, as they will likely charge you more. Cars are also more expensive to rent in Cancun than if you rent one once you get to Merida. However, if you do plan on making the drive, make sure to have a bathroom break and to stock up on snacks before leaving Cancun, as there is only one real rest-stop (located about halfway between Cancun and Merida) until you hit the outskirts of Merida. Also keep in mind that if you plan on driving, there are two toll booths located on the route. These tolls can only be paid in cash and cost about MX$1,000 total, so make sure that you get enough from your local bank before you leave. Or, you can hit up a currency exchange kiosk in the airport, but they do not offer the best rates. GETTING AROUND TOWN Ubers are safe, easy, and inexpensive. Most rides throughout the city cost no more than MX$100 (US$5-6). To compare prices and wait times, you could also download DiDi. Another great option are the Va y Ven buses. They cost a few more pesos than the old yellow buses, but are much cleaner, newer, cooler, and less crowded. Va y Ven buses also include AC, WiFi and charging spots for your phone or other electronic devices. You can see this bus option on Google or download the Va y Ven app on your phone. There you can access schedules (though the app is in Spanish). It is important to note that in order to take these buses you must previously have purchased a Va y Ven card. These cards can be obtained and recharged at Oxxo (see ‘’Street Smarts’’). Simply tell the cashier ‘’me gustaría recargar mi tarjeta del Va y Ven’ and give her the amount of money plus the card. You can also purchase and recharge these cards at various kiosks located around the city. Lastly, you can always rent a car. It is a good idea to reserve your car BEFORE you leave in order to lock in your price and to secure your preferred ride (look for your car rental here). Be sure to choose an automatic transmission if you can’t drive a stick, as manuals are much more common in Mexico. As long as you have a license in the US, you are able to drive a car in Mexico. You will need to buy the insurance they offer as your US insurance will not be valid in the case of an accident. Like the rest of Mexico, drivers in Merida tend to be very aggressive, often treating road signs, such as speed limits, as more of a recommendation rather than actual law. So, the driving culture may take a little getting used to. Gas in Mexico tends to cost more than in the US. Though the price of gas is advertised in liters on the sign in front of the gas station, you can expect to pay what equates to about $4.50 a gallon. Unlike most of the US, gas stations in Mexico have attendants who fill up your tank for you. If you don’t know how many liters you want, you can just tell the worker ‘’un tanque lleno por favor’’ to ask for a full tank. After your gas has been pumped, they will hand you the credit card machine, and you pay right there. Make sure to give the worker a few pesos (10-20) as a propina (tip).
  • deets on the eats
    Mexico is well-known for having delicious food, and Merida is no exception. Yucatecan food is known throughout Mexico for its unique flavors. Merida has something to offer every pallet and mood: from hole-in-the-wall taco stands to American chains you will recognize from home to fine dining with premium cortes of steak and expensive bottles of wine. Like in the US, you will sit down and order at a restaurant. To order, simply say quiero ______. Some places will take reservations, but remember lunch may not be served until 2:00pm and dinner until 8:00 or 9:00pm. Remember to always tip once you get your bill! Speaking of lunch and dinner, remember that this is the typical meal schedule: El desayuno/Breakfast when you wake - a great time to have the iconic breakfast of nachos, chilaquiles, or the Mayan specialty pork dish, cochinita pibil. El almuerzo/Lunch (2:00-4:00pm) - the largest meal of the day; sit down, relax and enjoy una cerveza. La cena/Dinner (between 9:00–11:00pm) - tends to be lighter, but if you are used to eating a large dinner, you do you! Of course, you can always find a Starbucks or a McDonald’s, and while we recommend local joints sometimes it’s fun to stop at these familiar faves and see what cultural foods or drinks make the menu! We promise not to judge! Okay, let’s talk some bites that you need to try while in Merida: Cochinita Pibil- The aforementioned Mayan pork meat is served in tacos or in a torta (large sub-type sandwich). It is usually eaten as breakfast and a great way to start your day feeling like a real Yucateco. Panuchos- You can’t miss these for dinner! They are refried tortillas stuffed with refried black beans and topped with chicken or turkey. Add chopped cabbage, tomato, pickled red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeño pepper. Marquesitas- Think a thin waffle cone stuffed with a variety of delicious options such as bananas, jam, peanut butter, and cream cheese. The local favorite is Nutella with Edam cheese (queso de bola). Carts selling these can be found throughout the city in plazas, parks, and anywhere with lots of foot traffic. Camarones/shrimp- Although Merida isn’t a beach town, the ocean is close and there are often many affordable and delicious shrimp dishes on the menu. Piedritas- Spanish for “stones,” these are hard balls of dough usually filled with beans and make a great appetizer. These are traditionally eaten as a snack during baseball games. Kibis- Usually served with piedritas, these are longer and have wheat as a crust. The insides are filled with meat and sometimes cheese. Mucbipollo- Also known as “pib,” this dish is almost exclusively served during Dia de los muertos, so if you are in town then, make sure to give it a try. Las bebidas/Drinks: Café con leche- Coffee with milk; the proportion is 50/50. Horchata- This sweet drink made of rice is a great way to cool down. Jamaica- Known as hibiscus tea in English, this delicious drink is usually served cold in Merida. Michelada- Mexico is well-known for its love of spice. This also applies to beer, as micheladas combine beer with lime juice and spices. Ojo rojo- Similar in appearance to a michelada, but uses tomato juice and is less spicy. Tinto de verano- A refreshing summer drink; red wine mixed with Sprite. Bonus: xtabentún- This strong traditional Mayan drink is not for the faint of heart but is fun to try for those who are brave enough. The ice and water at restaurants are treated, but don’t drink tap water anywhere in Mexico. Wash any produce you buy thoroughly with soap (or special disinfectant for produce). It is also a good idea to avoid fruits and veggies from street vendors - if they don’t have a peel, they may not have been disinfected.
  • kid's corner
    Travel is a great way to expand your childrens’ education. Search for videos online and do these activities with your kids before packing your bags. We bet you’ll learn something, too! VIDEOS ABOUT MEXICO FOR KIDS Fun facts Mayan history Yucatecan culture for kids who are fluent in spanish WHERE I WILL LIVE Find Mexico on a world map - talk about how you will get there and how long it takes Explore Merida on Google Maps Go to “My Maps” and create a map with all of the places you’d like to visit Find out how to get from your apartment to the closest park, grocery store, ice cream shop, etc. Try walking maps, public transportation, etc. Tour your Merida neighborhood in Google Street View - how is it similar to or different from your neighborhood at home?
  • emergency info
    In case of an immediate emergency, Merida uses 911 as their emergency number. Operators speak English. If you are traveling with children, be sure they know a way to text or call you if they get lost. If your kids are very young, consider writing your number in their clothing or on a paper that they keep in their pocket. Teach them about 911. Talk to them ahead of time and make a plan. There are many hospitals (pronounced oh-spee-TAHL) with emergency departments. Look for Urgencias. Contact your City Host to go along and guide you through the process. There are many options, but here are two that are open 24-hours: Hospital Star Médica de Mérida: C. 26 199, Col. Altabrisa, 97130 Hospital Faro del Mayab Grupo Christus Muguerza Calle 24 S/N, Temozon Norte, Santa Gertrudis Copo, 97305 Centro Médico de las Americas (CMA) Calle 54 365, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, 97000 Farmacias or Pharmacies - If you’re not feeling well or need a prescription, a pharmacist can help. They can provide a diagnosis and prescription on the spot. Many drugs that require a prescription in the US are available over-the-counter in Mexico. You may even want to check if any of your medications are cheaper in Merida! Just know that they may have different names and/or doses; a basic example of this is that in Mexico, acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol), is known as paracetamol (commonly known as Tempra). There are many 24-hour pharmacies including: Farmacias Yza, Farmacias del Bazar, etc. located throughout the city. Payment - Cost will depend on the treatment needed. Present any proof of travel/medical insurance and contact your insurance provider immediately in case they need to deal directly with the hospital. Be sure to get a detailed bill.
  • yucatecan slang
    Merida and the state of Yucatan has a large Mayan population. It is not uncommon to hear Mayan instead of Spanish while walking down the street. Naturally, many Mayan words have made their way into the local Spanish vernacular. This can be confusing even for people from other parts of Mexico who aren’t acquainted with the Mayan language. Here are some basic words that might be useful to know, if nothing else to impress the locals: Chop-calle means a dead-end street. This is important to know in case you ask for directions, for example “La siguiente calle es chop-calle, no se meta ahí” means “the next street is a dead-end, don’t go in there.” Xix, pronounced as ‘’sheesh,’’ means leftovers. This is usually used to say there is only a little bit left of something. For example ‘’solo queda un xix’’ means ‘’there is barely any left.’’ ¡Fo! means ‘’Ew!’’ Escarpa (pronounced es-scar-pah) means sidewalk. Miriñaque (pronounced mee-ree-nyah-keh) means screen door, and most houses have them to keep mosquitoes away while allowing some much needed breeze inside. Zatz means stale. For example “no comas esas papas; están bien zatz” means “Don’t eat those chips; they’re very stale.” Chihuó (chee-woh) means tarantula so beware if someone yells out ‘’Hay una chihuó!’’ Perech means tight. Knowing this can be helpful, especially considering most places in Mérida have ‘’viene vienes’’ in their parking lots who will try to help you park. If you hear someone say ‘’No se estacione ahí, va a quedar muy perech,’’ it means ‘’Don’t park there, the space is too tight.’’ Tolok (pronounced toh-look) means iguana; you will probably never hear a local say the word ‘’iguana’’ since tolok is very widely used. If you’re interested in the topic of Mayan slang and Yucatecan culture, the book Pasaporte Yucateco is strongly recommended. It is available for around $5 dollars in most local bookstores or souvenir shops. It talks about cultural cues, some history and major landmarks. You can also get it from the creator’s website here!
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Spain. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $10/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Spain – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Spanish phone number and data plan for Spain while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $10/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Costa Rica. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $10/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Costa Rica – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Costa Rican phone number and data plan for Costa Rica while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $10/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Medellín. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone.

what's included?

dream destination

CHECK IT OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST

Anything, any time, anywhere. Whether it’s a family vacation, a destination wedding, honeymoon or anniversary trip, a bucket list item, or a just-because adventure, we have you covered.

Dream destinations are ideal for anyone with a BIG travel dream looking for an adventure without the stress of planning. 

Image by Elizeu Dias
  • accommodations
    Centrally located Private apartment Wifi Functioning kitchen Air conditioning
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport
  • personal guidance
    We do the heavy lifting of travel research, planning, and booking so you can focus on the excitement of the adventure. Fulfill your dreams for travel or living abroad Customize your experience
  • itinerary
    Activities catered to your preferences and interests based on our research. A great balance of activity and free time to explore.
  • guidance & travel planning
    Take away the overwhelming side of planning travel abroad. Help discover your goals in living abroad Customize your experience
  • itinerary + 3 adventures
    A great balance of activity together and free time to explore. Get to know our signature destination in a meaningful way— and off the beaten path. Choose 3 culturally immersive experiences planned by Travec based on your preferences and interests.
  • city host & city friends
    Your first friend in your new city. There to help you: Settle in Make recommendations Show you around town Serve as an emergency contact
  • accommodations
    Safe neighborhood Local feel Customized to your preferences Host family or private accommodations
  • insider information
    A collection of information about your city based on our personal experience and in-depth research. Local activities Remote work support Common phrases Classes Restaurants Travel insurance Cell phone plans Customs Travel tips Visa reference information and more!
  • optional
    Kids' schooling and coworking spaces can be arranged upon request.
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport.
  • community
    A built in community of like-minded individuals who value culture and seeing the world just as much as you!
  • airport transportation
    A trusted transportation service will take you to and from the airport
  • insider information
    A collection of information about your city based on our personal experience and in-depth research. Local activities Remote work support Common phrases Classes Restaurants Travel insurance Cell phone plans Customs Travel tips Visa reference information and more!
  • itinerary
    Culturally immersive experiences planned by Travec to pave the way of living like a local and experiencing the best each city has to offer. A great balance of activity together and free time to explore. Get to know our signature destination in a meaningful way— and off the beaten path.
  • city hosts & city friends
    Your first friend in your new city. There to help you: Settle in Make recommendations Show you around town Serve as an emergency contact
  • accommodations
    Safe neighborhood Centrally located Private apartment Wifi Functioning kitchen Air conditioning
  • money matters
    Mexico uses the Peso (MX$) An easy way to estimate costs is to divide by 20 (although exact numbers fluctuate between 17-20). (MX$20 ≈ $1, MX$200 ≈ $10). Up-to-date Currency Converter. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted; keep MX$200-500 in cash on you for street stands and small shops, as they often only take efectivo. Just like the US has Black Friday, Mexico has El Buen Fin, which kicks off Christmas shopping with major discounts. However, this often falls on a different week than Black Friday. Just like the US, there is a tipping culture in Mexico. However, the amount that is tipped is often less. Rides: Around MX$20 per ride, or MX$50 for long trips Restaurants: 10-20% depending on the service (15% is considered a good tip in Mexico) Bar: MX$10-20 per round of drinks, or 10-20% if you are paying for everything together at the end Delivery services: 10-20%
  • phone facts
    One to two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Mexico. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $5/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Mexico – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Mexican phone number and data plan for Mexico while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $5/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • fun activities
    Merida City Tour Bus - hop on/hop off open-air or enclosed bus with audio guides Tours are available everyday from 9:00am to 9:00pm usually leaving from the cathedral. Tickets: MX$120 for adults and MX$50 for kids Padel courts - If you want to enjoy a couple of hours of fun exercise while being able to knock back a few cervezas or maybe even try a michelada, Merida offers many courts of Mexico’s fastest growing sport; Padel! Padel is a racquet sport that falls somewhere in between pickleball and tennis, Palas (racquet used to play padel) are available for rent at most clubs. We recommend checking out “Épica Padel Club” since it is the biggest club and has a really nice atmosphere and selection of food and drinks. They even offer Starbucks. Court prices are about MX$800 for two hours. Padel balls and Palas are not included with the price. Baseball Game - Despite the popularity of soccer in other parts of Mexico, Merida is a baseball city. Yucatecos love their local team, Los Leones. The games are great for both fans of baseball and anyone who enjoys a lively atmosphere. Vendors sell ballpark favorites like hot dogs, pizza, and burgers. However, going to the park is a great way to sample Merida’s street food, as vendors walk around the park selling local favorites. A ticket will likely set you back less than your local team and can be caught on the team’s website or at the park. Progreso: This lively beach town is located about 30 minutes north of the city. The pedestrian walkway known as El Malecón is great to stroll down and is lined with various restaurants, boasting delicious seafood. Many of these restaurants offer seating on the beach, so you can enjoy your meal and drinks while taking in some sun. Beach Towns: In addition to Progreso, there are various other beach towns located on the coast north of Merida, though much less touristy than Progreso (they do not offer their own malecón and restaurants options are much more limited), they are the perfect option for a laid-back beach getaway! Some of the most beloved ones for tourists and locals alike are: Chixchulub, Sisal and San Crisanto. Walking Routes Merida is beautiful to simply pasear (walk around) and admire! Paseo de Montejo, as mentioned before, is one of the best areas to just walk around and enjoy the view, maybe even get some marquesitas from the many street vendors in the area. The stunning architecture, warm weather, variety of restaurants and friendly atmosphere makes Paseo de Montejo a perfect option for a relaxed day with the family.
  • sights to see
    Mexico’s culture is “on the street”! Families and friends go out together to pasear (walk around). Great spots downtown include: Plaza Grande, Parque de Santa Lucia, Parque de Santa Ana and Remate de Paseo de Montejo Free, weekly cultural events - Many families are out and about after the sun goes down! Mondays @ 9pm - Vaquería traditional dance in La Plaza Grande Tuesdays @ 8pm - Trovador (serenade group) trio at Olimpo Auditorium Tuesdays @ 8:30pm - Live music and dancing in Parque de Santiago Wednesdays @ 8pm - A video projection about Merida’s history on the exterior of Casa Montejo Thursdays @ 9pm - Fantastic show featuring traditional dance, music and poetry in Parque de Santa Lucía Fridays @ 8pm - Another historical video projection on the exterior of Catedral San Ildefonso Saturdays @8pm–11pm - Noche mexicana offers food, handicrafts, music, and dancing at Remate Paseo de Montejo Gran Museo del Mundo Maya - Museum showcasing Mayan artifacts from ancient times until the present day. Great starting point to better understand the culture that has thrived in the Yucatan Peninsula for thousands of years. Open Monday–Sunday: 9am–5pm Tickets: MX$150 and can be bought at the museum Located in the north of the city off of the main drag, Calle 60 Catedral de Mérida - This impressive cathedral is the oldest in all of the Americas. Built from the ruins of a Mayan temple destroyed by the Spanish, it is well over 400 years old. Mass is said every day and multiple times on Sunday Free to enter, but a donation to the Church is recommended Located in downtown Merida facing the city’s main plaza Paseo de Montejo - The most famous street in Merida boasts beautiful 19th century homes. Every Sunday morning (8:30am to noon), the main street is closed off for the biciruta, a weekly event where tourists and locals alike gather to bike around Paseo de Montejo and enjoy the view and morning air. Bikes are available for rent on the spot for MX$20 an hour! It’s a great way to start off your day and get some exercise done while traveling! Cenotes - Because Merida is located just miles away from where the famous meteor that destroyed dinosaurs landed, the area is full of cenotes (sinkholes) that offer some of the most beautiful sights in the Americas. These sinkholes are located all throughout the peninsula but some of the most famous ones because of their natural beauty are the following: Mucuyche: this hacienda offers two beautiful semi-open cenotes and a tour of the old henequen plantation that used to operate there. Located just about an hour away from the city, these beautiful cenotes are a must-see for anyone visiting Merida. Prices: 650 pesos for adults and 390 pesos for children younger than 12 The hacienda has a private parking lot, as well as lockers for rent, a pool and a restaurant It’s important to note that you must book a tour to visit, as they don’t allow walk-in visitors. Cenote Xooch: This cenote is very different than Mucuyche, since it has been preserved in a more natural state. This semi-open cenote is located 2 hours away from the city of Merida, and has been enabled for visitors to easily access by adding an iron staircase. The Xooch cenote looks magnificent both from the outside and the inside thanks to the open dome that lets light in. Prices: MX$90 for foreign visitors, this price includes the rental of a lifevest but does not include snorkeling supplies such as visors. Payment is cash only You can book a tour for this cenote on their facebook page! Cuzama Cenotes: located about an hour away from Merida, the Cuzama cenotes are a great way to really immerse yourself in Yucatan culture. This tour offers 3 different cenotes, as well as a unique form of transportation from one cenote to another; mule-drawn carts known as trucks (pronounced truuk). The Cuzama cenotes are definitely not for the faint of heart, be prepared for a day full of adventure if you do decide to visit these cenotes, especially the second one in the tour which features a steep drop from a wooden staircase directly to the cenote waters, also, to get to the staircase, you need to be comfortable with some amateur cave diving. Prices: MX$300 for adults and children; these prices don’t include snorkeling supplies so we strongly suggest bringing at least a visor to be able to see the rock formations underwater. You can also book a tour to these cenotes via Airbnb, which includes transportation, food, and the tickets for the cenotes for a price of around MX$1,800 per person. Haciendas - For a romantic dinner and stroll around the grounds, check out an hacienda on the outskirts of the city. These are former plantations restored as restaurants, fancy hotels, and event venues. A couple of our favorites are Hacienda Santa Cruz and Hacienda Xcanatun. Uxmal - Though the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza are famous throughout the world, the great pyramid at Uxmal is actually larger than the one at Chichen Itza, and less busy! The city’s ruins are also as much as 400 years older than the ones at Chitzen. This location offers an amazing opportunity to learn about ancient (and still thriving) culture that tremendously influences Yucatecan culture. Tickets are about MX$500. It is located a little over an hour outside Merida but is definitely with the trip.
  • fun for kids
    Museo del Meteorito - Located in Progreso, this new museum offers information about the famous meteor that killed the dinosaurs (which landed in the waters north of Progreso). Ponylandia - Located outside of the city, this petting zoo has all the farm favorites as well as pony rides. Australian cattle dogs also run free throughout, so it is a great opportunity for your kids to meet real-life Blueys and Bingos. Ready? Next Level - At this Mario-themed restaurant, every table comes equipped with a Nintendo switch that the little ones can play while munching on food from the video game themed menu. Drinks for the parents are also offered (some of which are also Mario-themed).
  • shopping
    As opposed to the US, shopping malls are still a big hit in Merida. There are many malls around the city including Plaza Galerías Merida, which offers an ice rink perfect for a day of family fun, as well as many stores such as the department store Liverpool and some popular clothing brands in Mexico such as Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear, H&M, etc. Another great option for a day of shopping is La Isla Merida, a mall located in the northeast of Merida that even includes an arcade and a small carnival, great for kids to have some fun. La Isla also features a great food court and a nice outdoor area including various food options and a great view of their artificial lake. Some of the stores found here are: H&M, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bath & Body Works, among others. Also, check out the upscale store ¡Ay Guey! offering fun and trendy Mexican tees, bags, etc. If you’re looking to spot some bargains, Mexico offers an annual sale (similar to Black Friday) around the third weekend of November. Also, sales run twice a year–in late June and post-Christmas. Look for rebajas signs in the windows! If you’re looking to buy some souvenirs or unique items to the region, downton Merida is the way to go, there are many stores open especially around Calle 60 and Calle 62. You can also find artisan items at Mérida en Domingo, a market open only on Sundays in the Main Plaza downtown, this is an all day event where the main streets downtown are closed to allow pedestrians to walk around and shop from the many options local artisans have to offer. And, if this isn’t enough information, check out Yucatan Today!
  • living the local life
    If you want to get out and meet people, you need a plan for plugging in! Here are some ideas, but you can always check with your City Host or City Friends for more recommendations. Where to hang Though Merida is a large city, the best places for hanging out are the city’s downtown, Paseo de Montejo, and the northern part of the city. These areas have active nightlife scenes and lots of cantinas, where you are sure to meet new people. Another great place to meet new people is the Merida English Library. It serves as a de facto hub for Merida’s sizable population from the US and Canada. Though you do need a membership in order to check out books and attend events, membership fees are only MX$500 for an entire family and MX$400 for an individual, so it might even be a cheaper option than buying a book at the airport. Exercise and Gyms ~ El ejercicio y los gimnasios With so much sunshine and a lot of options, it’s easy to exercise in Merida. Paseo de Montejo is a great option on Sunday mornings. For other days, the city has recently installed bike and walking paths in the northwest of the city that start at Parque Henequenes. One particular park is the Parque de las Américas, which has a beautiful Mayan-inspired amphitheater as well as a column for every country in the Americas. After exercising, try the local street food, as there are various vendors in the area. As mentioned before, the various padel clubs are a great option for exercise in Merida as well as a way to meet new people. Gyms are located throughout the city and offer day passes. One great option is the Smart Fit gym located in the Galerias mall. The mall even offers an ice skating rink if you’re looking to throw some skates on! Supermarkets ~ Los supermercados (commonly known as ‘’supers’’) Be sure to check the hours of your local supermarkets. Stores in Mexico aren’t always open as early or as late as in the US. Bring bags as most stores have done away with them since COVID. Most stores also offer grocery delivery. Chedraui offers the widest selection, but it is a bit more expensive. Super Aki is a local favorite and has more economical prices. Mexico also offers Walmarts, though the selection is not as extensive as it is in the US. The city even boasts its very own Costco with a small cenote in the parking lot. Don’t worry, your US membership is also valid in Mexico! Don’t forget the convenient Oxxo stores! Places of Worship As Mexico is a majority Catholic country, most of the churches you will find are of that denomination and are located throughout the city. However, there is also a growing Protestant movement in the country and Merida is no exception. Here are a few options if you are looking to attend church. Cathedral de Merida - In addition to being a great historical monument, this cathedral offers masses daily. Shalom Presbyterian Church - This church offers Protestant services every Sunday.
  • street smarts
    Merida is an extremely safe city with lower crime rates than every major city in the US. However, be alert to petty crimes like pickpockets. Here are some pointers: Be very vigilant in tourist and crowded areas like the main plaza Keep your passport at home in your apartment; use a safe if one is available Don’t keep your phone or wallet in your back pocket Wear backpacks in front of you Use a crossbody purse with a closed zipper Secure your purse or backpack to a chair or your body in casual dining environments Carry cash and/or credit cards in an inside zipper pocket of your purse or pack When carrying a lot of cash (not recommended), keep it in different places (pocket, pack, divided among family or friends, etc.) Though less common than many major US cities, you may see some homeless people; they are generally harmless. If they approach you, either help them out or say No tengo nada (I don’t have anything). It is also common to see people waiting around street lights selling local candies and snacks, and various other items to the people stopping at a red light. Some people might not be selling anything, but instead asking for money or putting up a street performance for those waiting at a stoplight. Most people do not tip or buy from these people, however if you would like to tip them the usual would be around MX$10. Be alert of certain people trying to clean your windshields as they often don’t ask and will start cleaning. This might lead to your being held up at a green light while the person is still cleaning. It is best to simply avoid this situation by mouthing “no” or wagging your finger back and forth. When traveling around the city of Merida, you will often see little stores called ‘’Oxxo." These are convenience stores, similar to a Seven-Eleven in the US. These stores usually have everything you need, from phone chargers to painkillers to snacks or beer! Oxxo stores are on just about every other corner in Merida! Most Oxxo stores are open 24 hours but keep in mind that Merida has a dry law every day starting at 10:00 pm and on Sundays starting at 5:00 pm.
  • cultural cues
    Affection! Mexicans are very affectionate, and they meet and greet with kisses and hugs! When you meet a new friend or get together with old friends, remember these general rules: Females kiss Females and males kiss Males shake hands One kiss - usually right cheeks Don’t actually kiss their cheek, just touch cheeks and air kiss ¡Te invito! If you go out with locals, you may hear them say te invito or “I invite you.” This means that coffee or lunch is their treat. Conversely, you may want to insist te invito. Splitting the bill is not common practice among friends.
  • recommended restaurants
    La Chaya Maya - Voted best restaurant in Merida, serving typical Yucatecan food in a beautiful atmosphere Mastache - Outdoor microbrewery that offers extremely affordable beers and delicious bar food. La Terraza Amarilla - Situated next to many of Merida’s most famous hotels, this casual joint serves up some of the best cochinita in the city. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday. Paseo 60 - If you decide to take the bus to Merida, one of the stops is right at the entrance of this food hall/hotel combo. In addition to food stalls, there are numerous sit-down restaurants located here, including Crabster. La Pigua - Being so close to the sea, there are many great seafood options in Merida. This includes La Pigua, which offers some delicious catches. Puruxon Cauich - A gas station might not be where you’d expect to find delicious food, but once you step inside here, your mind will surely change. This place serves up the region's favorites and has beautiful Mayan murals painted on the walls. Maya de Asia - This swanky joint combines regional favorites with Asian food for a delicious fusion experience. Be sure to try the cochinita buns, which offer a tasty twist on the local favorite! Crabster - Located in Paseo 60, this upscale seafood restaurant offers free beer while you eat. There is also a location in Progreso, though this one does not include free beer. Taquitos PM - As the name suggests, if you are having a late night out, you can get some tacos here until late at night. This chain has locations throughout the city Hacienda Teya - A great upscale option for dining one the regional food, this restaurant is located in a beautiful hacienda and even offers a soccer field for the kids! Sanbravo - For a fancy option, Sanbravo serves up premium cortes/cuts for much less than you would expect to pay at home. Similarly to Crabster, free beer is also offered here while you eat. Oliva - Merida has many great options when it comes to Italian food and Oliva has various locations throughout the city. It offers delicious hand-made pasta if you are looking to mix things up.
  • night life
    Mexico is known worldwide for its loud and fun fiestas! Merida boasts many different bars and even old fashioned cantinas to enjoy a great variety of drinks and dance the night away. Bars close at around 2:00 am, but if you want to party till dawn there are many nightclubs that stay open until sunrise! McCarthys Irish Pub & Absenta Pub - These are two of the most famous pubs in the city, offering live rock music during the weekends and have great deals such as wings for MX$6.9 and liters sized mugs of beer for MX$69 throughout the week. Mercado 60 - Located in downtown’s famous calle 60, Mercado 60 (not to be confused with Paseo 60) is an open food court with lots of options for snacking as well as drinking. They offer live music every night and the crowd never shies away from dancing! This is a great place to get a taste of latin nightlife and meet new people thanks to its friendly atmosphere. Whiskylucan - This bar is perfect if you’re looking to party it up while staying on a budget since (mostly) everything costs only MX$24.9! Great to knock back a few cervezas while enjoying their many appetizers such as tacos cantineros, esquites or maybe even a good old fashioned cheeseburger. Classico Peninsula - Arguably the most popular nightclub in Merida, Classico Peninsula is the perfect option for a night packed with dancing! One of the most frequented places by college students, Classico is always packed and it’s a fun way to get to know new people! Dix - LGBTQ+, featuring drag shows on a regular basis, this nightclub is located right by Parque de Santa Lucía in the heart of downtown Merida. Be sure to check out their social media since they have a different program every week! Bonus: if you’re visiting Merida during spring break or summer break, keep in mind a lot of the most popular bars and nightclubs temporarily open locations in what’s known as the “zona de antros“ in Chicxulub.
  • packing pointers
    Merida is generally very humid, sunny, and warm. As Merida is located in the jungle, rain is very common, especially during the months of June-September. It’s important to remember that mosquito-borne illnesses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika are endemic to the region, therefore it is extremely advisable for you to carry bug spray, especially on rainy or humid days. Because of its tropical climate, Merida is warm year round. Even in the winter, the lowest temps are arond 60ºF. However, if you plan on visiting the beaches nearby, keep in mind the wind makes the temperature feel a little more chilly. In addition to you clothes and footwear, plan to bring these practical items: A backpack and/or crossbody purse that zips Consider a portable cell phone charger if your phone tends to lose charge quickly. Don’t forget your favorite sunglasses and hats; you will need them in Merida!
  • transportation tips
    ARRIVING The airport in Merida is located in the southwest part of the city. It won’t be more than a 30-minute car ride from where you are staying. The company you rent a car from will most likely have a kiosk in the airport and will take you to pick up your rental car (see below for more information about rental cars). If you plan on getting yours later or not using one, your best bet would be to get an Uber to your place. If you plan on flying into Cancun, the easiest way to get to Merida from the airport is by taking the ADO buses that leave directly from the airport’s terminals. ADO offers a few buses a day that usually leave in the afternoon and evening. If you have trouble finding where the bus will pick you up, just ask one of the numerous hawkers selling rental cars after you get your bags. Tickets usually cost about MX$1,000 and can be bought here (just make sure you buy a ticket leaving from the aeropuerto and not the centro). ADO offers stops in both the Altabrisa neighborhood in the northeast of the city and at Paseo 60, which is downtown. Though it is a long bus ride, the buses have very comfortable seats, entertainment, wifi and a bathroom for the four hour ride, which is mostly through the rural/jungle areas. If you plan on driving from the Cancun Airport to Merida, it is a good idea to rent your car ahead of time. The company from which you rent your car will most likely have a kiosk in the airport located in the hallway after baggage claim. It is not recommended to rent a car from the hawkers who will swarm you when you walk outside of the airport, as they will likely charge you more. Cars are also more expensive to rent in Cancun than if you rent one once you get to Merida. However, if you do plan on making the drive, make sure to have a bathroom break and to stock up on snacks before leaving Cancun, as there is only one real rest-stop (located about halfway between Cancun and Merida) until you hit the outskirts of Merida. Also keep in mind that if you plan on driving, there are two toll booths located on the route. These tolls can only be paid in cash and cost about MX$1,000 total, so make sure that you get enough from your local bank before you leave. Or, you can hit up a currency exchange kiosk in the airport, but they do not offer the best rates. GETTING AROUND TOWN Ubers are safe, easy, and inexpensive. Most rides throughout the city cost no more than MX$100 (US$5-6). To compare prices and wait times, you could also download DiDi. Another great option are the Va y Ven buses. They cost a few more pesos than the old yellow buses, but are much cleaner, newer, cooler, and less crowded. Va y Ven buses also include AC, WiFi and charging spots for your phone or other electronic devices. You can see this bus option on Google or download the Va y Ven app on your phone. There you can access schedules (though the app is in Spanish). It is important to note that in order to take these buses you must previously have purchased a Va y Ven card. These cards can be obtained and recharged at Oxxo (see ‘’Street Smarts’’). Simply tell the cashier ‘’me gustaría recargar mi tarjeta del Va y Ven’ and give her the amount of money plus the card. You can also purchase and recharge these cards at various kiosks located around the city. Lastly, you can always rent a car. It is a good idea to reserve your car BEFORE you leave in order to lock in your price and to secure your preferred ride (look for your car rental here). Be sure to choose an automatic transmission if you can’t drive a stick, as manuals are much more common in Mexico. As long as you have a license in the US, you are able to drive a car in Mexico. You will need to buy the insurance they offer as your US insurance will not be valid in the case of an accident. Like the rest of Mexico, drivers in Merida tend to be very aggressive, often treating road signs, such as speed limits, as more of a recommendation rather than actual law. So, the driving culture may take a little getting used to. Gas in Mexico tends to cost more than in the US. Though the price of gas is advertised in liters on the sign in front of the gas station, you can expect to pay what equates to about $4.50 a gallon. Unlike most of the US, gas stations in Mexico have attendants who fill up your tank for you. If you don’t know how many liters you want, you can just tell the worker ‘’un tanque lleno por favor’’ to ask for a full tank. After your gas has been pumped, they will hand you the credit card machine, and you pay right there. Make sure to give the worker a few pesos (10-20) as a propina (tip).
  • deets on the eats
    Mexico is well-known for having delicious food, and Merida is no exception. Yucatecan food is known throughout Mexico for its unique flavors. Merida has something to offer every pallet and mood: from hole-in-the-wall taco stands to American chains you will recognize from home to fine dining with premium cortes of steak and expensive bottles of wine. Like in the US, you will sit down and order at a restaurant. To order, simply say quiero ______. Some places will take reservations, but remember lunch may not be served until 2:00pm and dinner until 8:00 or 9:00pm. Remember to always tip once you get your bill! Speaking of lunch and dinner, remember that this is the typical meal schedule: El desayuno/Breakfast when you wake - a great time to have the iconic breakfast of nachos, chilaquiles, or the Mayan specialty pork dish, cochinita pibil. El almuerzo/Lunch (2:00-4:00pm) - the largest meal of the day; sit down, relax and enjoy una cerveza. La cena/Dinner (between 9:00–11:00pm) - tends to be lighter, but if you are used to eating a large dinner, you do you! Of course, you can always find a Starbucks or a McDonald’s, and while we recommend local joints sometimes it’s fun to stop at these familiar faves and see what cultural foods or drinks make the menu! We promise not to judge! Okay, let’s talk some bites that you need to try while in Merida: Cochinita Pibil- The aforementioned Mayan pork meat is served in tacos or in a torta (large sub-type sandwich). It is usually eaten as breakfast and a great way to start your day feeling like a real Yucateco. Panuchos- You can’t miss these for dinner! They are refried tortillas stuffed with refried black beans and topped with chicken or turkey. Add chopped cabbage, tomato, pickled red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeño pepper. Marquesitas- Think a thin waffle cone stuffed with a variety of delicious options such as bananas, jam, peanut butter, and cream cheese. The local favorite is Nutella with Edam cheese (queso de bola). Carts selling these can be found throughout the city in plazas, parks, and anywhere with lots of foot traffic. Camarones/shrimp- Although Merida isn’t a beach town, the ocean is close and there are often many affordable and delicious shrimp dishes on the menu. Piedritas- Spanish for “stones,” these are hard balls of dough usually filled with beans and make a great appetizer. These are traditionally eaten as a snack during baseball games. Kibis- Usually served with piedritas, these are longer and have wheat as a crust. The insides are filled with meat and sometimes cheese. Mucbipollo- Also known as “pib,” this dish is almost exclusively served during Dia de los muertos, so if you are in town then, make sure to give it a try. Las bebidas/Drinks: Café con leche- Coffee with milk; the proportion is 50/50. Horchata- This sweet drink made of rice is a great way to cool down. Jamaica- Known as hibiscus tea in English, this delicious drink is usually served cold in Merida. Michelada- Mexico is well-known for its love of spice. This also applies to beer, as micheladas combine beer with lime juice and spices. Ojo rojo- Similar in appearance to a michelada, but uses tomato juice and is less spicy. Tinto de verano- A refreshing summer drink; red wine mixed with Sprite. Bonus: xtabentún- This strong traditional Mayan drink is not for the faint of heart but is fun to try for those who are brave enough. The ice and water at restaurants are treated, but don’t drink tap water anywhere in Mexico. Wash any produce you buy thoroughly with soap (or special disinfectant for produce). It is also a good idea to avoid fruits and veggies from street vendors - if they don’t have a peel, they may not have been disinfected.
  • kid's corner
    Travel is a great way to expand your childrens’ education. Search for videos online and do these activities with your kids before packing your bags. We bet you’ll learn something, too! VIDEOS ABOUT MEXICO FOR KIDS Fun facts Mayan history Yucatecan culture for kids who are fluent in spanish WHERE I WILL LIVE Find Mexico on a world map - talk about how you will get there and how long it takes Explore Merida on Google Maps Go to “My Maps” and create a map with all of the places you’d like to visit Find out how to get from your apartment to the closest park, grocery store, ice cream shop, etc. Try walking maps, public transportation, etc. Tour your Merida neighborhood in Google Street View - how is it similar to or different from your neighborhood at home?
  • emergency info
    In case of an immediate emergency, Merida uses 911 as their emergency number. Operators speak English. If you are traveling with children, be sure they know a way to text or call you if they get lost. If your kids are very young, consider writing your number in their clothing or on a paper that they keep in their pocket. Teach them about 911. Talk to them ahead of time and make a plan. There are many hospitals (pronounced oh-spee-TAHL) with emergency departments. Look for Urgencias. Contact your City Host to go along and guide you through the process. There are many options, but here are two that are open 24-hours: Hospital Star Médica de Mérida: C. 26 199, Col. Altabrisa, 97130 Hospital Faro del Mayab Grupo Christus Muguerza Calle 24 S/N, Temozon Norte, Santa Gertrudis Copo, 97305 Centro Médico de las Americas (CMA) Calle 54 365, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, 97000 Farmacias or Pharmacies - If you’re not feeling well or need a prescription, a pharmacist can help. They can provide a diagnosis and prescription on the spot. Many drugs that require a prescription in the US are available over-the-counter in Mexico. You may even want to check if any of your medications are cheaper in Merida! Just know that they may have different names and/or doses; a basic example of this is that in Mexico, acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol), is known as paracetamol (commonly known as Tempra). There are many 24-hour pharmacies including: Farmacias Yza, Farmacias del Bazar, etc. located throughout the city. Payment - Cost will depend on the treatment needed. Present any proof of travel/medical insurance and contact your insurance provider immediately in case they need to deal directly with the hospital. Be sure to get a detailed bill.
  • yucatecan slang
    Merida and the state of Yucatan has a large Mayan population. It is not uncommon to hear Mayan instead of Spanish while walking down the street. Naturally, many Mayan words have made their way into the local Spanish vernacular. This can be confusing even for people from other parts of Mexico who aren’t acquainted with the Mayan language. Here are some basic words that might be useful to know, if nothing else to impress the locals: Chop-calle means a dead-end street. This is important to know in case you ask for directions, for example “La siguiente calle es chop-calle, no se meta ahí” means “the next street is a dead-end, don’t go in there.” Xix, pronounced as ‘’sheesh,’’ means leftovers. This is usually used to say there is only a little bit left of something. For example ‘’solo queda un xix’’ means ‘’there is barely any left.’’ ¡Fo! means ‘’Ew!’’ Escarpa (pronounced es-scar-pah) means sidewalk. Miriñaque (pronounced mee-ree-nyah-keh) means screen door, and most houses have them to keep mosquitoes away while allowing some much needed breeze inside. Zatz means stale. For example “no comas esas papas; están bien zatz” means “Don’t eat those chips; they’re very stale.” Chihuó (chee-woh) means tarantula so beware if someone yells out ‘’Hay una chihuó!’’ Perech means tight. Knowing this can be helpful, especially considering most places in Mérida have ‘’viene vienes’’ in their parking lots who will try to help you park. If you hear someone say ‘’No se estacione ahí, va a quedar muy perech,’’ it means ‘’Don’t park there, the space is too tight.’’ Tolok (pronounced toh-look) means iguana; you will probably never hear a local say the word ‘’iguana’’ since tolok is very widely used. If you’re interested in the topic of Mayan slang and Yucatecan culture, the book Pasaporte Yucateco is strongly recommended. It is available for around $5 dollars in most local bookstores or souvenir shops. It talks about cultural cues, some history and major landmarks. You can also get it from the creator’s website here!
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Spain. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $10/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Spain – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Spanish phone number and data plan for Spain while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $10/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Costa Rica. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone. If your cell phone is locked, check with your cell phone provider about international plans and costs. Most providers offer a pass for $10/day that you can choose to activate each day, providing unlimited data for 24 hours. Or, if you don’t plan to use apps and simply want to text or call once in a while (without connecting to WiFi), you can pay your provider’s rate per text or call for Costa Rica – check this ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into! Or, if you have an unlocked phone and plan to use apps (think GPS!) or texting on the regular, a money-saving and stress-free option may be activating an eSIM. This provides dual SIM information so that you have a Costa Rican phone number and data plan for Costa Rica while keeping your American phone number. Often this is much cheaper than paying $10/day. Download the Airalo App or the Holafly App to activate your eSIM and shop international plans.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Medellín. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone.
  • phone facts
    One-two weeks before your trip, make a plan for using your phone in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you are traveling with your family, consider whether it’s necessary for you to use data on various phones or whether you will limit your use to one phone.

what's included?

bottom of page