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Things to do in

Mérida

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

Our most recommended things to do in Mérida

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

1. From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

Experience the mysticism of the historic city of Chichen Itzá with a visit to its archaeological site, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Take a detour during your trip to Yucatán and join an excursion from Mérida to learn about history, swim in a sacred cenote, and taste authentic food. Head directly to Chichén Itzá on a bus ride from Mérida. Make the most of your travel time by hearing about the Mayan civilization and its history from your expert guide. Reach Chichén Itzá while it's still early before the crowds arrive and the heat sets in. Admire the perfection of El Castillo, recognized as the masterpiece of the complex. Visit the old field where the pre-Hispanic ball game was played, the Mayan astronomical observatory known as El Caracol, and the Temple of the Warriors. Take some time to explore at your own pace. Up next, taste a delicious Mexican buffet lunch with vegetarian options and recharge energies before heading to your next stop. Discover a beautiful cenote, a natural freshwater pool, where you can swim in its cool waters, sacred to the Mayans. Hop back on the bus and return safely to Mérida.

From Mérida: Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Tour

2. 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.

From Mérida: Uxmal and Kabah Guided Tour with Lunch

3. 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.

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.

From Merida to Cancun: Chichen Itza, Valladolid & Cenote

5. From Merida to Cancun: Chichen Itza, Valladolid & Cenote

You will start the day tour from a convenient pickup from your hotel in Merida to journey to one of the most important Mayan monuments. The first stop will be at Chichén Itzá, where you will see the pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending, here, you will be accompanied by an expert certified bilingual guide, who will explain the historical significance of all the most important temples of this ancient city before leaving you to enjoy Chichen Itza at your own. After your walking tour, we set off at an ancient cenote, one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people; there same, you will enjoy a delicious Yucatecan buffet meal, then take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience; Valladolid is one of the most beautiful colonial cities of Yucatan and is known for the majesty of its temples and the ancestry of its old neighbourhoods; today, it is a peaceful city where you can admire beautiful old houses. Then we will proceed to drop you off at Cancun or Playa del Carmen city so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Mérida Cooking Class, taste of Yucatan

6. Mérida Cooking Class, taste of Yucatan

You start your activity by having a walk through Merida’s Downtown. Your guide will give a quick briefing on the most important buildings overlooking the Main Square, and then walk with you to one of the main markets of Merida, Lucas de Galvez. Your guide will talk in depth about the regional fruits and vegetables, as well as the recados, the achiote, the peppers in general and especially the chile habanero and xcatic. All of this while shopping for everything you need for your traditional family lunch. Once you have everything, take a public bus with your guide to the local hostess’s home for the cooking class. Yucatecan cuisine has one of the most varied arrays of delicious dishes amongst the 32 states of Mexico. Some of them are unique to the Yucatan and very hard to find outside of the peninsula, while others are eaten throughout the country. The influence of ancient Mayans, Spaniards, French and Lebanese are specially noted in the cuisine. While you cook, chop, fry, and get the dishes ready, your hostess and guide will explain some of the local traditions, the influence of other cultures in Yucatan and the differences between the Yucatecos and the people from other parts of Mexico. You will also learn some Spanish and Mayan words while tasting the delicious dishes prepared by yourself! You will enjoy a three course meal, including appetizers, main course and dessert. Beer and soft drinks like hibiscus flower tea, or chaya water are included. Please advise in advance if you are vegan or vegetarian, because there are many dishes you will enjoy! Your experience with Yucatecan cuisine comes to an end after a long chat with your host, and its time to say good bye to your new friends. Your guide will take you in a cab back to Downtown. 

From Mérida: Uxmal, Hacienda Yaxcopoil and Cenote with Lunch

7. 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.

Full-Day Cuzama Cenote Tour from Mérida

8. 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.

From Merida: Uxmal Light and Sound Night Experience Tour

9. 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.

Mérida: 3-Hour Walking Food Tour

10. Mérida: 3-Hour Walking Food Tour

Start the tour by meeting on Plaza Grande, the heart of the city of Mérida. Enjoy a small-group tour of no more than ten people with an expert local guide. Discover the traditional cuisine of the city away from the main tourism hotspots. Start by enjoying some traditional refreshing drinks with your first dish of the day, gorditas. Then, try some grilled poc chuc, a dish of grilled meats prepared in citrus marinade. Next, visit one of the main food markets in town. Taste salbutes, tamales and also try some local fruit. Finish the tour by trying some tacos al pastor and carnitas.

Frequently asked questions about Mérida

What top attractions are a must-see in Mérida?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Mérida?

The best day trips and excursions from Mérida are:

Celestún

Other Sightseeing Options in Mérida

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What people are saying about Mérida

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 96 reviews

Amazing experience <3!!! Highlight of our 16-day roundtrip in Mexico. We were the first to go into the Cenote and had it all to ourselves, so we could really enjoy the beauty of the Cenote to its fullest. Our guide Luis was very nice and funny. Would definitely recommend.

The guide and the driver were excelent we were 2 couples over 50,so the fact that was private tour the flexsibility of choseing ,places ,and fulfilment our needs ,i loved it ,Chicen Itza ,is very intersting ,

An unforgettable experience, the guide made the trip the best, we learned a lot. We will surely return, the food is very good, the cenote is a delight.

Very good tour, they include a lot of things for the price. The exceptional guide and the swim in a cenote a wonderful experience.

Excellent tour, the best guide we have had in a long time.