blue-house-merida-yucatanLooking for an ideal Mexican getaway that is a little unique and off the beaten track. The smaller towns along the Yucatan Peninsula are drawing travelers who are looking for something a little more interesting and quaint that what the seething Cancun coastline has to offer. The beaches are still lovely but the culture is truer and less touristy. Long regarded as the cultural capital of the entire peninsula, Mayan and colonial history wait to be explored in Merida, the capital of the stage. So rent a beat up convertible or zippy motorbike and weave your way through brightly coloured streets, oozing with history and life. Merida will certainly offer insight into a different side of Mexico.

Mexico poncho sombrero backgroundFree of large tourists buses and hawkers selling plastic sombrero hats, Merida is a town with a thriving foodie scene. Tons of hot new restaurants and bars with amazing dishes to enjoy are taking over the quiet streets. Live music can be found nightly in Parque Santa Lucia, one of multiple squares found in the centre of Merida. Grab a park-side table at one of the many up and coming dining hot spots such as Apoala to savor incredible Mexican cuisine with some electric live music on the side.

The well-preserved downtown core of Merida is lively and vibrant. Juliet balconies dot the mix matched painted stucco row homes along the city streets. Don’t let all the architectural beauty distract from what is behind many of the doors. There is a real contemporary vibe in Merida with the community expanding and growing to become a hip centre in the country. Stop in at LA68 a favorite with local artists for the laid-back yoga studio and cinema, where patron can chill back on a hammock watching the latest indie film. LA68 is a little bit of a collective experience with patio cafes serving cool beverages and boutiques selling beautiful and thoughtful hand made items. This is the ideal place to purchase a fabulous and out of the box souvenir of your adventures away from the beach.

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Spend some time shopping in El Centro, known for bohemian pieces after finding breakfast at Mercado Lucas de Galvex, the local morning market. What you will find all over Merida and the surrounding towns is nothing but unique and interesting, an aspect of Mexico not often found. Too many tourists flock to the big hot spots like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta and miss out on what the true culture and soul of the country is all about. In Merida, you will find the real beauty of the Mexican people and the heart of the country.

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Created by Lynn May Gosselin

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