Things to do in
Mérida

Surrounded by cenotes and bordered by Chichén Itzá, this is the place to kickstart your Yucatán adventure.

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Our most recommended things to do in Mérida

From Mérida: Uxmal and Kabah Guided Tour with Lunch

1. From Mérida: Uxmal and Kabah Guided Tour with Lunch

Visit the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal and the Archaeological Zone of Kabah on this guided tour starting from Mérida. Spend the day getting to know Mayan culture at these historic sites and enjoy a traditional Mexican meal for lunch. Experience two of the most legendary archeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula and gain insight into the rich legacy left by the Mayan civilization with the help of an expert guide. Stop first in Uxmal, known to many by way of legend, myth, or anecdote. Visit the pyramid of the Magician and the Governer’s Palace before seeing the Kabah archeological site and its iconic arch.  After sightseeing, finish your cultural day recharging with a traditional Mexican lunch before drop-off back in Mérida.

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From Mérida: Uxmal, Hacienda Yaxcopoil and Cenote with Lunch

2. From Mérida: Uxmal, Hacienda Yaxcopoil and Cenote with Lunch

Explore the rich culture and heritage of Mexico on a day trip to Uxmal, Yaxcopoil, and Cenote Peba. Benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off in Mérida, and enjoy a delicious lunch during the tour. After pickup from selected hotels, head to Hacienda Yaxcopoil, a colonial estate. Admire the arched buildings of this country house, wander through the large halls, and see the original furnishings. Stroll in the lush gardens and learn about the hacienda’s history, from its origins to the henequen industry. Continue back in time to the pre-Hispanic era, with a guided tour of Uxmal. Discover the features and architectural style that make this Mayan archaeological site unique. Climb the Pyramid of the Fortune Teller, see the Quadrangle of the Nuns, and enter the Governor’s Palace. Stop to enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant, before continuing to Cenote Peba. Cool down with a swim in the beautiful cenote, soak in the natural beauty, and feel the benefits of this mineral-filled water on your skin. At the end of your tour, you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

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From Merida: Uxmal Light and Sound Night Experience Tour

3. From Merida: Uxmal Light and Sound Night Experience Tour

Watch the ancient city of Uxmal come back to life at night on this tour experience with lunch. Take off from Merida to discover the Uxmal archaeological zone through Echoes of Uxmal, a light and sound show that uses video mapping to give you a new perspective of Uxmal. Uxmal is undoubtedly one of the most important archaeological zones in the state of Yucatan. On this tour, meet majestic buildings such as the Great Ball Court, the Pyramid of the Fortune Teller, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, and many more. Come night, witness the story of Uxmal through a magical show of lights and sounds. See a play of light shadows projecting to illuminate the city ruins as the narrative of the ancient city comes to life right before your eyes.

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From Mérida: Hacienda Mucuyché and Cenotes Tour

4. From Mérida: Hacienda Mucuyché and Cenotes Tour

Discover the landscapes and cenotes of Hacienda Mucuyché, a former estate and plantation. Wander through the partially-restored buildings, and admire the Arabic and French-style architecture. Soak up the atmosphere in the dining room, the stables, the chapel, and the engine room. Change into your swimwear experience swimming in clear waters of this hacienda's cenotes. Jump into Cenote Carlota, surrounded by lush vegetation. Cool off in the Blue Cenote, a pool within a cave covered in stalactites. At the end of your tour, get dropped off back in Mérida.

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From Mérida: Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Tour

5. From Mérida: Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Tour

Start the tour with pickup from your hotel in Mérida, journey to the amazing Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve to discover a jewel of the Yucatán Peninsula declared a wildlife refuge in 1979. Explore the primary site for pink flamingos wintering in the northern hemisphere and get up close to the magnificent birds in their natural habitat. Look for some of the other 300 species of native and migratory birds, along with reptiles, mammals and different plants. See large colonies of brilliantly colored flamingos feeding in the estuary, and take a boat ride through the mangrove forest that provides food and shelter for shrimp and other creatures. End with a delicious meal at a beach before the return journey to Mérida to get dropped off at your hotel.

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Full-Day Cuzama Cenote Tour from Mérida

6. Full-Day Cuzama Cenote Tour from Mérida

Visit 3 cenotes on this 8-hour tour: Cascabel, Chaksikin and Pool Cocom. You’ll arrive at the cenotes on board a truck that is typically used to transport agave leaves. The first stop will be at the Cascabel cenote, where you’ll enjoy a swim and admire the natural formations around you. Next is the Chaksikin cenote, known for its deep waters. Enjoy some free time to swim in the underground cave pool. Continue on to the Pool Cocom cenote, which is an open pool that provides the opportunity to take in the beauty of the natural surroundings. The tour ends with lunch at a local restaurant.

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From Mérida: Day Trip to Valladolid and Izamal

7. From Mérida: Day Trip to Valladolid and Izamal

Discover the culture and heritage of Yucatecan on a day trip from Mérida to the cities of Izamal and Valladolid. Benefit from round-trip hotel transfers, and savor a delicious buffet meal during the tour. After pickup at your hotel, the experience begins with a panoramic visit to the colonial city of Valladolid. Pass through beautiful neighborhoods, and admire the architecture of monuments such as the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena, and the Cathedral of San Gervasio. Following the tour, you'll enjoy some free time to explore these sites at your own pace. Continue to a buffet restaurant for a delicious lunch of local Yucatecan dishes. After your meal, take a dip in the cool waters of a cenote by the restaurant. Head towards Izamal, and soak up the atmosphere of this picturesque place. Admire the yellow-painted houses, and learn why this city is known the city of the three cultures. See its pyramids and visit the Franciscan convent, before returning to your hotel in Mérida.

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From Merida: Honey and Coconut Eco-Tour

8. From Merida: Honey and Coconut Eco-Tour

To start the day, try the delicious Huevos Motuleños at Doña Evelia in Motul's local market. Afterwards, travel to Sinanché Town to learn about beekeeping in Yucatan and the different types of species found in the region, as well as the importance of bees for the environment. You’ll also learn about the honey-production process, taste different varieties according to the type of pollinated plant, and participate in a workshop to create a handmade candle based on products derived from honey. Head then to San Crisanto, a coastal town where the ejido (community-based organization) produces salt and copra on common land, making it a unique tropical landscape primed for exploration. Hop aboard a boat that will take you through the mangrove swamp to an Ojo de Agua (freshwater source); during this beautiful experience, appreciate the diversity and richness of the local flora and fauna, which are essential to preserving the coasts from erosion. Stop then for lunch in a local restaurant. To finish the tour, relax at Sac-Há, a beach area facing the sea and surrounded by coconut palms and white sand. You'll have access to toilets, showers, and public palapas for your comfort during your time spent there.

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Merida Street Food Walking Tour

9. Merida Street Food Walking Tour

Discover the Yucatecan cuisine! Skip breakfast this morning and visit the main market of Merida as a local. Discover the original flavors of Yucatecan gastronomy. Among cumbia songs, colors and the kindness of their sellers, you will taste seasonal local fruits, spices, juices and the most popular art meals of Yucatan cuisine: panuchos, salbutes, cochinita pibil and much more. While you delight your palate, you will learn about local plants and herbs, the process of making tortillas and the importance of habanero pepper in the Yucatecan kitchen. Then, you will visit a seafood restaurant to try a ceviche, Shrimp or fish tacos and accompany them with a very cold beer. You will end your tour with a dessert at a local Gelato shop with unique flavors like sour orange, bean with pork, bitter chocolate, avocado and flan. The guide will fill you with stories about our customs, traditions, legends and local life in general.

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Merida: Chichen Itza, Yokdzonot Cenote, and Cooking Class

10. Merida: Chichen Itza, Yokdzonot Cenote, and Cooking Class

Depart Merida in the morning to visit the archaeological site of Chichen Itza. Admire the pyramid of Kukulcan and the surrounding buildings, such as the ball game court and the Observatory. Then, travel to the community of Yokdzonot, and discover it's amazing and unique cenote, which is operated by a cooperative made up of mostly local women. Take a refreshing swim in the blue waters of the cenote and opt to add on activities like zip-lining or rappelling between its vertical walls. After cooling down, participate in a cooking lesson with locals. Prepare delicious Yucatecan dishes like salbutes (deep fried tortillas) and panuchos (stuffed tortillas). Finish your visit with a delicious, traditional meal in the restaurant of the cooperative. Transfer from Yokdzonot back to Merida, arriving at around 5:00 PM.

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Frequently asked questions about Mérida

Other Sightseeing Options in Mérida

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What people are saying about Mérida

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 188 reviews

The experience was excellent in terms of the transportation and tour. Here is some information to make it even better. Call the company to get pick up confirmation time, I did not receive notification automatically. Be prepared to pay at least US $25 per person at the gate for entrance (2021) and it goes much quicker if you use pesos not card. Stop to buy water as soon as you get in the gate (yes, everything is more expensive than you may expect inside). The tour is extensive and covers a lot of ground in the heat, so be prepared. Our guide, Balam, was of Mayan heritage, and gave a uniquely Mayan perspective, including background facts on an iPad. He was more prepared compared to some of the other guides I overheard speaking in the same areas. I am grateful we got Balam as a guide. His explanations and detail on each area were far superior to others. You can leave at any time, and cold water is provided for the ride back to your start location, but not on the way to Chichen-Itza.

If I could give this ten stars, I would. Our guide, Alejandro, was excellent. I appreciate the cultural immersion this experience provides and the wonderful people we met; Marcos, Jose, and Lorenzo at the Bakery, Manuel and Ana at their house to learn Mayan life, balance with nature and bee keeping/honey tasting, Gloria at her house for an authentic lunch and great conversation, and Alonzo at the Guayabera Factory (you will know how the shirts are made and buy at a much better price than in the city). All of these people were kind, gracious, and genuinely interested in sharing their lives and culture. We are grateful for this incredible experience and the opportunity to learn more about life in this region of Mexico. The visit to Mayapan Archeological Site, in our opinion, was better than visiting Chichen-Itza. The site is well kept, well preserved, and less crowded, absolutely stunning.

Everything went like clockwork with the transportation. We waited a short amount of time to get a bilingual guided group. The tour was great and we learned a lot about Hacienda culture from Guil. This particular place has Cenotes that are connected (I was pleasantly surprised that it was more than a quick dip in the pool) and we traversed from the initial Cenote where we entered, through a cave passage, through a canal, into another Cenote which also had a very large, completely underground area with incredible stalactites and stalagmites. After spending some time in the underground area we returned to the second Cenote and went back to the start via a pathway. This was an incredible experience, much more than we initially expected. Our guide Guil was excellent, full of information about the Haciendas and Cenotes.

Ten stars! We had an amazing time and the food was simply delicious. Our guide Leo was great, he took us to places where as a tourist you would rarley wander to but boy would you miss out. The food was excellent at all the stops and by the end of our tour we were really full. Leo also knew a lot of stuff about the food, Merida or Mexico in general and we had a lot of fun

great guide, good food, a little more cantina feeling would have been great