We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Alie, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Alie lives in the United States, and submitted the following report about Merida. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Spanish
Reasons to go to Merida
Merida is a great city to explore as a solo traveler. As the capital of the Yucatan state, Merida's culture, climate, and friendly inhabitants all contribute to a wonderful city that has great energy and is definitely friendly to the solo traveler.
There are all sorts of things that make Merida a great destination. If you love history, there are wonderful buildings that you can marvel at on the Paseo de Montejo, and the Mayan site of Uxmal, which is very close to the city, makes a great day trip. If you are into food, the traditional Yucatecan cuisine is delicious and there are a variety of places to test it out. If it is culture you're after, the city is full of it! Merida has many small plazas that often fill with music and cultural events in the evenings. There are a variety of museums to explore, and the city is large enough to have a lot to see, yet small enough to feel like you can really get to know it.
Merida is a great city to use as a base for exploring the Yucatan or a place to pause for a few days to break up a longer trip. It has solid transportation connections to the rest of Mexico. If you like Merida as much as I did, you might consider staying for a while. There are a lot of great Spanish schools that will help to immerse you in the culture even further, and there are many reasonably priced accommodations. (I studied with Calle55 and I had a wonderful experience.)
When you visit, I learned the hard way that it is best to try to get the “coordinates” for your hotel. Addresses in Merida are described by the calles (streets) that intersect, so you would have an address that had 3 numbers, the street your destination is on, along with the two blocks that it is between. For example the address would be written as Calle 50 #100 x 55 y 57, which translates to Calle 50, #100, between calle 55 and calle 57. This can be very helpful for taxis that might not know precisely where you are trying to go, and it could spare you some confusion!
I really enjoyed the time I spent in Merida. I walked everywhere and always felt very secure–and my wandering took me pretty far off of the tourist trail. I left with really sore legs and a happy heart, and I can't wait until my travels take me back to Merida again.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)