Merida: Mayan archeological ruins and underground Paradise

Merida is the most important city in Yucatan State in South Mexico. It is located 310 km (192 miles) from the beautiful beaches of Cancun and to 1,557Km (967 miles) from Mexico City so unless you're living or visiting somewhere in the Yucatan Peninsula, it is best to arrive by plane. As it is an important city in the country there are flights from all over the world to the Merida International Airport, located at 21 Street Col. International, near the junction of Highways 261 and 180 and it has 1 to 2 scales mainly on the Mexico City. Examples of fares may be leaving Madrid MXN$ 19,800 (USD $ 1,164), Paris MXN$ 20,400 (USD $ 1,200), New York MXN $ 14.500 (USD $ 853), Moscow MXN$ 27,200 (USD $ 1,600) or leaving Los Angeles MXN$ 10,600 (USD $623). It is advisable to rent a car and you can get online with Alamo or your rental car office because journeys must go are long. If you do not have a car to move, the taxi service is very expensive because they haven’t control rates and taxi drivers charge what they want; increasing their rates, especially for tourists. In this case to get the Uber application can be a very good choice but the best is definitely to rent a car.

Merida Cathedral is one of the main attractions of the city by the history and legend that surrounds it and can show you several tourist guides who have the necessary knowledge. It is simple but has a special charm because it is the oldest church in Mexico and the first to be built in America. Its pillars are beautiful carved gray stone and still have the original watch besides having the largest Christ world which is magnificently carved in wood. There is a very nice lights show and starts at 9 pm. It is located on 60th Street in front of the Zocalo.

On the same street of the Cathedral heading north, you will find the Paseo Montejo (Montejo Way). It is one of the most famous streets of Yucatan with exquisite architecture and very large and luxurious homes where lineage people lived. You can enjoy the museums that are on it or restaurants in the area such as Columbus Ice cream shop or Impala cafeteria. Sundays in the morning are closed to traffic and you can walk on a bike but can go several ways: the Turibus (bus for Tourists with a tour guide), walking, or in the named Calandra. This is a carriage drawn by a horse with beautiful ornaments, though it is best to do it in the morning of the intense heat that increases as the day progresses. When you take the Turibus tour or on Calandria, there are tourist guides that give a narrative of the mansions, theaters, history, and monuments of this wonderful place.

To 92km (57 miles) from the city of Merida is the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal and you will spend one to get there 1: 15hrs although you can take a little longer if you respect the speed limit because the high temperatures of the place sometimes can burst tires (therefore limits). It is a set of Mayan ruins which include the Pyramid of the Magician, the Governor's Palace, and the Square Field of Nuns. Open every day from 8 am to 5 pm and with high temperatures is recommended to visit them as early as possible. It is convenient to have eaten before you get there because there are not many places here to eat and few are expensive but very good quality with typical Mayan food, as well as having a tour guide that can help us better understand the majesty of this set of archaeological remains. At night there is a light show with a narrative of Mayan legends and the tour has a price of MXN$ 600 (USD $ 35). It is located at 261 Federal Highway Merida-Santa Elena. And being there you can also visit the Mayan city of Kabah in Uxmal Southeast because as sister cities, have much to offer regarding the learning culture and the place is 20 min and 23km (14 miles) from Uxmal.

40 km from Kabah are Loltun Caves. They are open every day from 9:30 am to 4 pm with tours every hour you should go with a tour guide who speaks English and you can give a tip of MXN$ 250 (USD $14)or MXN$ 300 (USD $15), not to enter alone. The entrance fee will cost USD$ 100 for foreigners. It should be mentioned that it is a journey that requires physical effort so we have to go with comfortable clothing, and shoes with nonskid surfaces preferably because you will get 70mts deep and the route is 2km. Here there are fossils and rock paintings from over 9000 years. It is also advisable to have eaten before because in the place no restaurants, only selling water and have its own parking. All this is in the named Ruta Puuc.

Continuing the archaeological sites, we can mention another no less important, the archaeological site of Mayan is located one hour from Merida near the village Telchaquillo. It is open from 8 am to 5 pm from Monday to Sunday. You can climb to several of their pyramids getting a wonderful view of the whole place and as it is not much visited, the tour can do helped by a tour guide who is very quiet and in fact, they put them greater attention since you can belong a group of only 10 people. Similarly, it is advisable to wear a hat and comfortable clothing. Here are several archaeological remains such as an observatory, temples, pyramids, and a cenote without access to the public but you can admire and take pictures.

North of Merida is another archaeological site with infinite beauty named Dzibilchaltún. It is just 17km (10 miles) and spend about 25 minutes to arrive. Here the wonder is that it has an underground river or cenote of crystal clear water, and you can swim with colorful fish without leaving aside also the museum visit here is so it is advisable to dedicate a day to this multifaceted ride. They offer the service of a tour guide giving a very good and extensive explanation of the place. In this appeal as in all others is advisable to visit as early as possible with high temperatures ranging from 35°C (95°F) even though you know you can cool off in the cenote and is open Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.

While Merida is an area of vast culture where we enjoyed its architecture, history, and gastronomy, we must mention it’s a place with underground paradises, underground rivers or cenotes with crystal clear water where you can easily see different species of fish and even swim with them in various water activities such as snorkeling, diving or just swim a bit. There are many around Merida, such as Cenote Mucuyché, Noh Mozon, the Kankirixche, the Cenote of Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, or the Cenote X'Batún. The latter is located near the town San Antonio Mulix came up from the "road cenotes" an hour from the city. In high season there are more visitors so it is advisable to go during the week or preferably non-holiday because it is a small but beautiful cenote equal to others.



Read our previous article Chrysler Building: Visit the Famous Skyscrapers Of New York

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