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, Izamal, Valladolid, & Cenote Trip

1. From Mérida: Chichén Itzá, Izamal, Valladolid, & Cenote Trip

Spend a day full of culture, history, and cuisine on a multi-stop guided tour from Mérida to Izamal, Valladolid, Cenote Ik Kil, and Chichén Itzá, one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Discover traditional cooking during a live demonstration. Enjoy breakfast, a buffet lunch, and entry tickets. After meeting your guide in Mérida, head to the archeological site of Chichén Itzá. Walk through the center of this thousand-year-old place and see highlights like the Temple of the Warriors. For breakfast, enjoy a packed meal. Later, transport your senses to the root of regional cuisine, one of the greatest legacies of the Mayan culture, during a demonstration of the region’s unique gastronomy. Learn about tradition and innovation in the use of plants, vegetables, and wild fauna. Enjoy a buffet lunch of local products, then let yourself be enchanted by the story and cultural richness of two magical towns of Yucatan during the next stops in Valladolid and Izamal. Valladolid is located in the Yucatan state of Mexico, which is known for its natural beauty,cobbled streets, cute coffee shops, restaurants and delicious food! We will stop at the main plaza with a unique atmosphere to spend free time and explore the surroundings Next we have Izamal town. You will learn why is better known as the yellow city of Mexico. You’ll fall in love with its colourful colonial architecture going back to the 16th century. We will have free time at the most famous building: Convento de Sant Antonio de Padua. One of the first monasteries in the Western Hemisphere. In between, you can also take a dip in the cool waters of the Ik Kil Cenote. 

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

2. 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.

Merida: Hop-On Hop-Off Panoramic Bus Ticket with 2 Routes

3. Merida: Hop-On Hop-Off Panoramic Bus Ticket with 2 Routes

Discover Merida and in a flexible and relaxing way with this hop-on, hop-off bus ticket. Enjoy 2 routes taking you to the city's main avenues, its Cathedral, the historic center, its beautiful parks, and much more, with the ability to join and leave the bus as you wish. Board one of the distinctive red double-decker buses to uncover the city's Mayan and Colonial heritage. Absorb the atmosphere of a place where colonial residences and beautiful architecture rub up against the vibes and movement of a modern city. Hit the top deck and take in the great views throughout your journey. Learn about the the city's ancient past, its traditions, and the ongoing Mayan influence on the present from your audio guide as you go. Board the North Circuit to see sights like the Cathedral, Peon Contreras Theater, Santa Ana Park, G. Canton Palace, Flag Monument, Itzimna Church, Las Americas Park, and Plaza Paseo 60. Alternatively, hop on board the Barrios Circuit to see the Cathedral, the San Juan neighborhood, Ermita, San Sebastian, the Merida Zoo, the Santiago neighborhood, Paseo Montejo Avenue, and the Flag Monument.

From Mérida: Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Tour

4. 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, Hacienda Yaxcopoi, Cenote Tour

5. From Mérida: Uxmal, Hacienda Yaxcopoi, Cenote Tour

Discover the ancient mysteries of Uxmal, one of the most legendary archeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula, on a full-day tour from Merida; as you gain insight from your knowledgeable guide, and discover the rich legacy left by the Mayan civilization. Your first stop will be Yaxcopoil Hacienda where you can visit the interior of the hacienda, it has its origin in the parcels on the arrival of the Spaniards, it is usually included houses of important value architecture and other minor buildings focused on the works of the field, built in the age of splendor of green gold. Next visit Uxmal, known to many by way of legend, myth, or anecdote, and visit the pyramid of the Magician, and the Governer’s Palace. Afterward, you will visit a cenote which is an underground type of water deposit, where you can enjoy its crystalline waters.

From Mérida: Uxmal and Sotuta de Peon Hacienda Trip w/Lunch

6. From Mérida: Uxmal and Sotuta de Peon Hacienda Trip w/Lunch

We will begin our trip along the Puuc Route, in the ancient city of Uxmal, declared World Heritage. It is one of the most important cities of the Mayan world together with Chichen Itza. Next, we'll take a virtual tour of the classic Mayan cities in the planetarium, and let us pamper you with an exquisite food. We will move to Sotuta de Peón, where we will tour the hacienda, you can swim in its underground cenote and you will learn about the soda production process based on Henequen.

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.

Mérida Cooking Class, taste of Yucatan

9. 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: Hacienda Mucuyché and Cenotes Tour

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Mérida

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Chichén Itzá

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Other Sightseeing Options in Mérida

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What people are saying about Mérida

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 130 reviews

It was my favourite day so far travelling Mexico. Our guide Rodrigo was a fountain of knowledge on this trip. He was attentive, knew so much about chichen Izta, answered all our questions and was just a very sound bloke. I was the only English person amongst a trip of Mexican people and he took the time to relay everything he said to the Mexicans but in English. If you’re thinking ‘I’m not sure’ questioning if it is worth it… it is! The trip is jaw dropping and gorgeous, so so so cool! Thank you Rodrigo! Legend!

It was a great day with many impressions. The tour guide himself was Maya and was able to explain a lot to us about the culture, history and language. Uxmal is beautiful and should definitely be at the top of your Mexico itinerary.

Alex was a fantastic guide. Loved the tour, and his knowledge of the culture and cuisine was superb. He took us to places we would never have gone otherwise. Highly Recommend!

Incredible tour with a really knowledgeable guide who made the trip a ton of fun!

Very good guide. The attention and the service. The amazing place!!!!