Merida, Yucatan

Regions and States

The beautiful colonial city of Mérida is the capital city of the state of Yucatán. It consistently ranks high on the list of the “most livable” cities in Mexico. Among Mérida’s latest attractions for visitors is a museum 40 kilometers away that explains the Chicxulub Crater – the crater resulting from an asteroid impact 65 million years ago that led to the demise of the dinosaurs.

Here are select MexConnect articles and recipes related to Mérida:


Folkloric Dance, Mérida © 2022 Jane Simon

The multi-faceted charms of the city of Merida

Despite two delayed flights and a later than expected check-in to Hotel La Nacional By Kavia, the colorful and charming place where I spent the night, I’m buzzed for my first day in Mérida after a breakfast of chilaquiles verdes o rojos and endless cups of coffee topped with warm cream at Casa Maya Restaurant. […]

Photo by David McCollam

The cuisine of the Yucatan: a gastronomical tour of the Maya heartland

The Mexican state of Yucatan, located on the peninsula of the same name, is the home of one of the most distinctive regional cuisines in the country. A long tradition of fine dining, going back to the ancient Maya and incorporating sophisticated European dishes, is very much in evidence in the cities, towns and villages […]

This unrenovated home on Paseo de Montejo is for sale -- a wonderful opportunity to live in a historic mansion. © John McClelland, 2007

Devil of a good time in Merida, Mexico’s white city

It is pushing midnight on a Thursday, but you’d never know it by the looks of Maternity Park in the central historic district of Merida, Mexico. Cafes on the square are jammed, shops bustling, the streets electric with energetic life. In this open-air setting, young sweethearts sip cocktails and entire families gather for late al […]

Ice cream carts have been a feature of Yucatecan life for at least a century. Photo by Eduardo Cervantes. An ice cream vendor in a Merida park

Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition

The Canadian author and Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro said that “The constant happiness is curiosity.” If this is the case, then chef and cookbook writer David Sterling must have taken great joy in putting this book together, for it reflects tireless research that was surely driven by an intense desire to learn as much […]

© John McClelland, 2007

Henequen and its role in the Yucatan’s shifting fortunes

There is a beautiful, tree-lined boulevard in Merida, Yucatan called Paseo de Montejo. It provides four lanes for traffic separated by a wide median planted with shrubs and flowers. The sidewalks are wide enough for two further lanes of traffic each way and are interspersed with statuary, benches, conversation chairs and trees. Notwithstanding its charm, […]


Touring Mexico’s Yucatan ruins

We took an early morning ferry from Cozumel to Playa Del Carmen. The warm wind and sea spray felt good on our frost bitten faces, fresh from Northern California. We had previously toured the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio on Cozumel. They are special in that Mayan girls came to the island as part of […]


Yucatan State, Mexico – Resource page

Principal articles for the State of Yucatan, Mexico – Touring Mexico’s Yucatan Ruins – Touring the Yucatán by motorcycle – Where the Sky is Born: Living in the Land of the Maya – Exploring the Yucatan – A Traveler’s Anthology – The Cuisine of the Yucatan: A Gastronomical Tour Of The Maya Heartland – Honey: A sweet Maya legacy – Cooking in […]


Yucatecan Salbutes: Salbutes Yucatecos

These delicious antojitos, sold in markets in Merida and other peninsula towns, are small, thick tortillas with a variety of toppings, including the local versions of moles, made with ground spice mixtures called called recados. The most popular topping of all is shredded, cooked turkey or chicken, a pure white, heat-resistant breed of which the yucatecos eat in abundance. Salbutes, like just about any other […]


Yucatecan Baked Fish: Tikin-Xic

This visually appealing dish calls for achiote paste, a classic Yucatan spice paste made from the hard, orange seed of the annatto tree, blended with cumin, cloves and pepper. The market in Merida has a huge section devoted to spice pastes, in colors ranging from bright orange to green to black. The women who sell […]


Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan

Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan By Rosy Hugener with Carl Hugener Create Space, 2011 Available from Amazon Books: Paperback and Kindle This is a beautiful story, well conceived and well crafted and satisfying. Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan begins in 1906, in those tense years just preceding the Mexican Revolution. A woman in Merida is giving birth […]

Merida, Yucatan

Merida: the white city of the Yucatan

The early inhabitants of Merida “discovered” a plant that had been a well-known staple to the indigenous Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula: henequen (Agave sisalana). A versatile, spiky, cactus-like bit of green that yielded valuable hemp, it soon earned the name “green gold” (verde de oro) because of the wealth it lavished upon the millionaire hacendados who farmed […]


Bound for Mexico, an original short story

Vanessa thought it would be the perfect vacation: a full week on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera, as the travel agent had called the Yucatan coast. The agent had suggested the small city of Campeche, stressing that it was a place not yet discovered by hordes of Americans, a pristine paradise a few hours south of Merida. […]

Living in Timucuy, Yucatan © John G. Gladstein, 2008

Living in Timucuy, Yucatan: birth, death and some in-between

The majority of people who visit the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico will visit Cancún, Cozumel or Mérida. All these places have an established tourist infrastructure, are modern and contain every convenience necessary for tourism. However, in close proximity to these well known tourist destinations, exist the villages of Yucatán. In the villages there is almost […]


Exploring the Yucatan, A Traveler’s Anthology

Exploring the Yucatan – A Traveler’s Anthology, By Richard D. Perry. A Review Indispensable for anyone heading for the Mayan world of the Yucatan and equally interesting for those who have been there, this Traveler’s Anthology gives a comprehensive overview of the exploration of the area. Although it not really a guide-book, it offers a […]

Restoring A Mexico Hacienda

Restoring a Mexican hacienda

In the late ’90s we became captivated by the richness of the Yucatan region’s hacienda architecture and the history of its multilayered civilizations. Trailing through myriad Maya villages and down overgrown dirt paths, we encountered many hacienda revivals in full force, as well as dormant treasures untouched by modern hands. While researching our second design […]

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The side streets off Paseo de Montejo are also lined with elegant old homes. © John McClelland, 2007

Where Canadians are buying real estate in Mexico

It is no secret that Canadians love Mexico; for years, thousands of Canadians have been fleeing the cold Canadian winters to the warm beaches and colonial towns of Mexico. Over the past few years, more and more Canadians looked to call Mexico their home away from home and over the last year, annual internet search […]

This unrenovated home on Paseo de Montejo is for sale -- a wonderful opportunity to live in a historic mansion. © John McClelland, 2007

Merida: fiery mistress, seductive city

They told us she could be a fiery mistress, this city of Merida, and we came to her uneasily. At first, she wooed us gently and seduced us with overcast skies, occasional warm drizzle and pleasing evening temperatures. We walked her beautiful boulevards; admired magnificent hundred year old mansions built for long-dead land barons and […]


The tragic love story of Alma Reed and Felipe Carrillo

One of the great romantic stories of Mexico concerns Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a Governor of Yucatan, and Alma Reed, an American newspaper columnist in San Francisco. Back in the early 1920’s, Alma Reed wrote a column under the byline “Mrs. Goodfellow” that was devoted to answering questions for people who sought legal advice but could […]

The cool patio of the main residence on a henequen hacienda in the Yucatan. © John McClelland, 2007


Much of the land comprising Mérida was once dotted with lavish haciendas where the henequen plant was grown. From henequen was produced a fiber called sisal, the main ingredient of twine. Today the picturesque, abandoned main hacienda buildings, recognized as architectural treasures, are being bought, restored and turned into luxury hotels and restaurants. Haciendas generally consisted of a main […]

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