By Joslyn Erickson
Merida
Mexico
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The capital of the state of Yucatán, Mérida is a hot city filled with myths, history and fine yucateca food. Vacationers can travel to this traditional Mexican City by flying directly into the Mérida-Rejón Airport and catching a taxi to the city center, or Plaza de Armas. When booking your flight to Mérida click on this link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php) to book with EscapeWizard.com. Also, when booking hotel accommodations, vacationers can book through EscapeWizard.com today by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl). There are excellent selections like the Holiday Inn or InterContinental which are two we highly recommend in the city.

The best way to kick-off your visit to Mérida is by grabbing an ice cold horchata drink from a local shop and finding your way three blocks off the main plaza to Santa Lucia Church where, four times a day (10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm) you will find a white and rainbow painted open-air bus, ready to take you on a 2 hour city tour! This tour costs less than US$10 and is the easiest way to get your bearings and see what you’ll be visiting next!

Once you have finished your city tour and have a better grasp on it’s founding and history, EscapeWizard.com suggests travelers dig deeper to learn about what makes this area tick. Starting in the Plaza de Armas, feel free to start your self-guided tour in the Governmental Palace, decorated with murals depicting the struggle of the local Mayan people against the Spanish conquistadores. Here you can also rent audio devices that come with a map, leading all around the main historical center of town and pointing out places of interest.

EscapeWizard.com then suggests traveling across the Plaza where you will find a building currently housing a bank, but take a closer look at the façade. Here you will see Francisco Montejo, the founder of Mérida, standing on the heads of local Mayan slaves. This building was once his residence, and inside you can still find traces of the opulent lifestyle he led, including multiple fountains and beautiful stairways. The largest cathedral in the Americas (reputedly) is to your right as you exit the Montejo building, and after quiet admiration you can follow the small alleyway to the left and enter the modern art museum for a free and peaceful way to unwind and escape the heat.

EscapeWizard.com knows you didn’t come all this way just to see a town’s center, so why not book a trip with a local tour operator to visit the unique Mayan ruins at Uxmal (pronounced Oosh-mahl)? Believed to be a school, a worshipping center and a village market all in one, a trip to Uxmal is unforgettable! With places to stop along the way and observe views over the city of Mérida and beyond, this visit is paired with a stop at another site, Kabah, adding more insight into the heritage of the Maya.

The city of Mérida is very patriotic and the local government has worked hard to promote and share their culture and traditions. In keeping with this, every night of the week you will find a different free, local activity. From parades in the main square to salsa in some of the smaller plazas, you will be amazed to find this city proudly celebrating into the wee hours of the morning! Ask around and find your local hot spot!

EscapeWzard.com encourages you to take the time and wander the streets of Mérida. Look above head height for the early names of the street, depicting what was once there and how people gave directions – you’ll be surprised to find “Two Bulls”, “Droplet”, “Bronze Arm”, “Crocodile” and “Dutchess” streets, among many others! You will be impressed with the ease of traveling by foot and the friendliness of the locals in this down-to-earth Mexican city!

From important history to beautiful parks; from delicious food in outdoor cafes to sizzling salsa clubs at night, Mérida is a city that encompasses the vibrancy and tradition of Mexican life. Plan on staying for a few days – you won’t be disappointed!
Hotels in Merida
By Tekisha Slack
InterContinental Merida
Av. Colon: 500, Colonia Centro, Merida, Mexico
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Once a stately mansion, InterContinental Presidente Merida blends original Art Nouveau style and thoroughly modern conveniences. The hotel is a short distance from the Siglo XXI Convention Centre, the Governor’s Palace and the Cathedral.

Premium services are available to each and every guest, including free morning newspaper delivery, turndown service and valet service. In room entertainment including cable / satellite TV, DVD player, in room movies, stereo, in room video and video games are also available. For business travelers each guestroom also has workspace desk and internet data services. The luxurious bathrooms contain the basics plus a private toilet area and dressing room. 

The hotel itself offers an awesome array of amenities such as: free Wi-Fi internet, business center, barber/beauty shop, laundry/dry cleaning services, 24 hour front desk service, travel services, day-care and children’s activities, rooms/facilities for disabled guests, and express check-in/check¦just to name a few.

With a reputation for mixing the best cocktails and martinis in town, El Consulado Bar is a favorite gathering place for Meridans as well as hotel guests. Fine Tequila, Montejo (the local beer), a nice variety of wines and premium cigars round out the classic bar menu. The atmosphere is cozy but elegant, and on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, the sounds of live saxophone music fill the air.

The surrounding area of the hotel is rich with culture and history and offers wondrous sights to explore. For example, The Mayan site at Chichen Itza; was nominated as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This site is located only 90 minutes from Merida and is well worth the drive. The Kukulcan pyramid is the most famous building in this UNESCO archaeological site, followed by the ball court and the Mayan observatory.

Ancient and contemporary magic await you in the Yucatan Capital! The InterContinental Presidente Merida are the perfect accommodations for all of the surprises that await you. Use EscapeWizard.com to book your stay today. Just click on the link to get started (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Merida
By Tekisha Slack
Holiday Inn Express
Av. Colon 498 Entre Paseo Montejo y Calle 60, Merida, Mexico
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Whether you're visiting Merida to explore the city’s captivating mix of Mayan heritage and contemporary style or you're involved in a 21st-century business deal, the Holiday Inn Express® Hotel Merida is an ideal place to stay.

Minimalist style and soothing colors welcome you to this Merida hotel room. Modern amenities like free Wi-Fi access and a 37-inch plasma TV with 55 channels and HBO add a touch of home. After working at the desk, you can slip into the comfort of a triple-sheeted bed with both soft and firm pillows. Many standard room amenities like:  hairdryer, coffee maker, iron and board and bath amenities are also available Check-in times are at 3:00 PM and check-out times are at 12:00 PM.

This business-class Merida hotel will make your Yucatan trip more productive. From the free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel to the 24-hour Business Center and meeting facilities, the Holiday Inn Express wants to ensure that your trip is a rewarding one. In addition to a location that's a one-minute walk from the SIGLO XXI Convention Center, this property is near local laboratories, companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Banamex, and area universities. Leisure travelers will enjoy modern amenities that include a sparkling outdoor pool and a well-equipped Fitness Center. Why not combine business with pleasure when you're a guest of this Merida hotel? Yucatan attractions are easy to reach, thanks to the hotel’s convenient location and easy access to Mexico-261 and Mexico-281 highways. Or, you can spend an afternoon visiting the major historic destinations around Plaza Mayor in downtown Merida.

The Holiday Inn Express knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The free, hot Express Start Breakfast Bar serves a mouthwatering array of hot favorites like eggs, biscuits and gravy, beans, tortillas with red and green sauce and other items each morning. The hotel is also located near many of Yucatan’s area restaurants.

Whether traveling to Yucatan for business or pleasure, the Holiday Inn Express® Hotel Merida can offer you the best accommodations for your dollars. EscapeWizard.com invites you to book your stay at the Holiday Inn Express® Hotel Merida today. Just use the following link to get started (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl)!