As we had very limited time for this part of this trip I only managed a couple of hours sightseeing in Merida and, while I did fit a lot in, this town really deserves more love and attention as there is so much to see and the atmosphere is so vibrant and yet relaxed at the same time.
Luckily for me, given the limited time, a lot of the top spots are located right off Plaza Grande. I started in the Museo Arte Contemporaneo – a wonderful gallery showcasing both local artists such as Fernando Garcia Ponce
I then stopped off in the Casa de Montejo. The palace is now home to Banamex but several of the rooms of the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo’s old palace have been converted into a museum – it was so interesting to see how a rich colonial family used to live. The preserved rooms were incredibly sumptuous, with some beautiful furniture
Next on my whistle stop tour was the Palacio Gobierno, famous for its murals by Fernando Castro Pacheco. The murals on the staircase (such as that above) and the Salon de Historia depict the history of the Maya, colonization and revolution. These murals were both beautiful and educational and are definitely a must-see.
It may be controversial, but I think I preferred these to the Rivera murals we saw in Mexico City.
I then headed off for the perfect end to my hectic day – a massage at Rosas y Xocolate.
Although we didn’t stay at this beautiful boutique hotel we decided that it was worth splashing out on the spa which uses local products made from chocolate – the massage even started with a herbal tea and some melted chocolate with almonds as a snack! The whole experience was pretty heavenly.
We stayed at the Hotel Merida Santiago – a small hotel set around a courtyard with a bar and a pool and just a short walk from the historical centre. While it’s not as luxurious as Rosas y Xocolate, the hotel is really comfortable and clean. But the owners are the real selling point. Jan and Rita were so helpful and kind and gave us the best tips for things to do and eat and even helped us with our trip onwards and car hire. The breakfast was also delicious and enough to keep us going through all our hectic sightseeing so this is definitely one to book.