Mérida is a Spanish-colonial city. But Mérida is very different from all other Mexican cities.
Mérida is a metropolis of almost a million people, with universities, major corporations, museums, and its own international airport with direct flights to the U.S. In addition, Mérida is in the semitropical Yucatán Peninsula, in Southeast Mexico.
It’s just a half-hour by car from the Gulf Coast, where the white-sand beaches are punctuated by little beach towns and you can still find beach homes for around $100,000.
Mérida is one of the safest cities in Mexico. Depending on how many suburbs are included, the population of metropolitan Mérida is approaching 1 million.
But when you walk down the tree-lined streets, some paved with hand-laid tiles, you feel as though you are in a city that is much smaller.
Mérida’s expat community numbers about 4,000, but that’s a drop in the bucket for a city this size. As a result, you’ll have more need — as well as opportunity — to learn Spanish here than in Puerto Vallarta or San Miguel de Allende. Or learn to sing it — this is a very musical city.
You’ll find bands performing in some plaza or other almost every day of the week. And if you think you know Mexican cooking, think again — Yucatán cuisine is distinct, and on display here in Mérida.