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Destino Merida
Merida, Mexico, Yucatan
Discovering Colonial Merida
Zocalo (central park) of Merida with the cathedral San Ildefonso
Taking you into the heart of colonial Merida, this walking tour gives a fascinating introduction to the culture, history and cuisine of this beautiful city and its people.
We'll pick you up from your hotel or B & B and start our morning in the mercado Lucas de Galvez in downtown Merida, where you'll experience the true hustle and bustle of daily Yucatecan life.

This is Merida's largest traditional food market and it is colorful and chaotic, and a real feast for your senses! You'll find everything from juicy mangos and papayas, to religious candles and clothes. Native fruits such as mamey and huaya are piled high, and the aroma of cochinita pibil (marinated pork wrapped in banana leafs and slowly cooked on hot rocks underground) wafts temptingly from the rows of food stands.

From there we'll wander up to the colonial heart of the city and explore the beautiful Plaza Grande (central square) and the surrounding historic buildings and streets, including the cathedral of San Ildefonso, one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas, and the Casa de Montejo, built between 1542 and 1549 by the orders of Francisco de Montejo, conqueror of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Then it will be time to drive to the famous Paseo de Montejo, a majestic tree-lined boulevard which in the early 20th century was the home for numerous millionaires, who built their lavish mansions based on the fortunes they made in the henequen or sisal trade.

We'll stroll along the boulevard to view some of these magnificent homes, pop into the fascinating  Museo Palacio Canton (regional anthropology museum), housed in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, and stop in a street-side cafe to enjoy one of the best ice-creams in Merida in a sorbeteria that has been in business for over 110 years!

Optional: If by now you are feeling hungry and would like a late-morning snack, Yucatecan-style!, we can continue on to one of our favorite little places tucked away in one of the traditional, residential neighborhoods surrounding the colonial center, where you'll eat delicious tacos with the locals!

At the end of the tour, we'll drop you back at your hotel.

Length of tour: Around 4 to 5 hours

Further information

The tour includes a combination of gentle walking and private transportation in an air-conditioned mini-van.

If you enjoy exploring cities by foot and would like a more active version of this tour, just let us know and we'll make sure to include extra walking!

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Calesa (horse drawn carriage) in Paseo de Montejo
Early morning in the colonial center of Merida