Worth getting out of bed for
Sample vintage nectars in Rosas & Xocolate’s wine-tasting room. Take advantage of the fact that you’re surrounded by art and culture on Avenue Paseo de Montejo and strike out a tour of the some of the city’s most beautiful buildings, just steps away. Stop by Mérida's Museum of Anthropology, housed in a gorgeous Baroque-style building, to see pre-Columbian artefacts. Visits are free to the Mérida City Museum on Calle 56, and the building itself is a piece of history (+52 999 923 6869). Study the stars at the Mérida Planetarium located in the Olimpo Cultural Center in downtown, open Tuesday to Sunday (www.merida.gob.mx/municipio/sitios/planetario). The famous archaeological site Chichén Itzá is worth the two-hour drive (www.chichenitza.com). Craving a day by the sea? Head to Progresso beach, just 25 minutes outside of Mérida.
Start the day with a trip to Wayan’e in Itzimna on Calle 4 for authentic tacos. Once they’ve sold out, that’s it for the day – they close at 2pm during the week (+52 999 938 0676). Since opening in 1972, Los Almendros has been a local favourite serving traditional Yucatecan meals. Next door, Gran Almendros offers the same menu in a less casual setting (+52 999 923 8135). Watch your meal come together in the open-plan kitchen at Nectar on Avenue 1 in Col Diaz Ordaz. Attentive service, Continental cuisine and the party-centric atmosphere keep people coming back for more (+52 999 938 0838). Buy a shirt, sip a margarita and try tasty tacos at family-run Pancho’s on Calle 59 near the Plaza Grande. After dinner on the multi-level patio, take a turn on the dance door (+52 999 923 0942; www.panchosmerida.com).
Located between Avenue Paseo de Montejo and Calle 58A, a short taxi ride from the hotel, Slavia is one of the city’s favourite after-dark hotspots. End your evening on a tufted seat with a puff or two on a hookah in this red-hued restaurant and lounge with Middle Eastern mood (+52 999 926 6587).
Grab breakfast and coffee made from beans roasted in-house at Café la Habana on Calle 59. Looking to get wired? There’s free WiFi, too (+52 999 928 6502).
The white stone façade of El Cielo, on Prolongacion Montejo, is illuminated with futuristic pops of neon, inside it’s a sleek and minimal white-out. Sway to beats mixed by a rotating roster of DJs in this hipsters’ magnet. You may want to book your table to avoid the queue (+52 999 944 5127).
2 February Candlelit celebrations keep Mexico aglow during the Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas) festival. Late February Carnaval, which takes place in the week prior to Ash Wednesday, is especially festive in Mérida and Campeche. 5 May The Mexican victory in the Battle of Puebla is commemorated with food and drink laden fiestas on Cinco de Mayo. 16 September Mexicans celebrate their hard won freedom on Independence Day. October 31–2 November Faces are painted, chocolate skulls are eaten and relatives celebrate the memory of their dearly departed on the Day of the Dead, which blends pre-Columbian ancestor worship with elements of Halloween.
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A bottle of wine