The Zocalo : The city center is known as the Plaza
Mayor. As much
of the history of Merida began here, it is an appropriate place to
start your orientation.
The Catedral de San Ildefonso is the first Cathedral built
on the continent (1561 to 1598). In typical Spanish fashion, the
stones were taken from the city (Tiho) which was conquered. Easy
to spot on the east side of the Plaza.
The Bishop's Palace (next to the Cathedral) is now the "Museo
de Arte Contemporaneo Ateneo de Yucatan" and houses contemporary art
from the Yucatan.
On the south side of the Plaza Mayor is the Palacio
Montejo Sr. & Jr. conquered the area). Originally built by Francisco
Montejo Jr. in 1552, the Palace was home to the Montejo family's
descendants until the 1970's. The building was restored by a banker
who also converted it into a bank.
On the west side of the Plaza, you will find the Town Hall (Palacio
The building was originally built with stones from the city of Tiho,
then rebuilt in 1735 and rebuilt again in 1928.
The New Olympus (Nuevo Olimpo) is the newest building
in the Plaza Mayor, but the builders did a good job of keeping the
flavor of the old. The building houses concerts, conferences, theatrical
performances, a gallery, a cafe and bookstore.
Progreso : A nice little beach escape just an hour north of Merida.
Busses leave from the station on Calle 62 between Calle 65 and 67.
The cost is only abut $3 USD and they leave every 15 minutes during
Campeche : A beautiful colonial town on the Gulf Coast. See link
for more details.
Izamal : A quaint little town 50 miles east of Merida was constructed
in the midst of four large pyramids (one has been partially restored).