Out and About in Mexico: Best day trips from Merida
One of Merida’s greatest characteristics is its centralized location in the Yucatan. There are so many wonderful day trips from Merida to tour the entire Yucatan region. You will discover an abundance of some of the Yucatan’s best beaches, Mayan ruins, cities, cenotes and other attractions all scattered around but within close proximity to Merida.
Visit the Mayan Ruins
There are many Mayan ruin sites all throughout the Yucatan peninsula. Chichen Itza is the most famous Mayan ruins near Merida. It boasts several accolades such as being the largest Mayan archaeological site in the Yucatan, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Being that Chichen Itza is so famous, expect it to also be very busy.
Another great Mayan ruin is Uxmal. The Mayan ruins of Uxmal is the other major Mayan ruin site within easy reach of Merida. This ancient Mayan site, built between 700 – 1,000 AD, was a massive city of 25, 000 people living there in the dry jungle of the Yucatan. Today the well-preserved ruins give a glimpse deep into Mayan history, allowing visitors to immerse themselves throughout the intricate complex. And unlike Chichen Itza, you can actually climb the ruins at Uxmal. These ruins are much less visited than Chichen Itza but it’s always best to go early to beat the heat.
Beaches near Merida
The beaches near Merida are not quite as large as the white sands of Cancun or Riviera Maya but they are very beautiful beaches in their own right. The best part is that you will be able to enjoy a much more local beach experience near Merida where there are fewer tourists or sprawling resorts.
A short 27 miles from Merida is the tranquil beach town of Progreso. This makes it the closest beach near Merida. It will take you less than an hour from the center of Merida to get there. Go here to escape the city heat and have some fun in the sun. In Progreso, you can take a swim in the warm Gulf of Mexico waters and visit the longest pier in the world.
Another great beach is Celestun. This is a sleepy fishing town on the western side of the Yucatan peninsula. The beaches are nice and you will likely have them all to yourself. The real draw to Celestun beach is the eco-tour boat trip through the Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Celestun. This is where you will find thousands of wild flamingoes that flock there.
Cenotes around the Yucatan
A very necessary experience in the Yucatan is to visit one of the many cenotes throughout the peninsula. Taking a dip in these natural underground swimming holes can be a refreshing and magical experience. There are hundreds of cenotes close to Merida. One of the best cenotes to visit is Cuzama cenotes. There are many more great cenotes all around Merida, some are well known and others are located on private property. Visiting a cenote is one of the best day trips you can take from Merida.
There is so much more you can do in and around Merida. Some are day trips and others may require an overnight stay. Interested in only Merida? Don’t worry, there are thousands of fun things to see and do right within the city limits. You are only limited by your imagination!