Merida en Domingo
Cancun and the Riviera Maya may have their miles of white-sand beaches and year-round sunshine but venture inland to the state of Yucatan and you’ll see a different, more gracious side of Mexico. Capital city Merida is a fascinating city: chaotic yet laid-back, modern yet steeped in tradition, cosmopolitan yet surprisingly friendly. The threads of European colonialism and ancient Mayan civilizations are woven through the fabric of this region, from the colorful facades of the 19th-century colonial villas to the archeological ruins nearby.
Celebration is endemic in Merida. Something lively goes on every day in the city’s many squares or plazas. It is perhaps on Sundays that Merida really comes alive and shows its personality. Merida en Domingo is always booming with activity and fun things to see and do. It is an all-day event that takes place in Plaza Grande. Food stalls and pop-up restaurants congregate in the plaza. As night approaches, bands begin to play and people start to dance. It’s a beautiful Sunday tradition in Merida.
Below are some ideas to spend a lovely Sunday in Merida. Of course, you can create your own fun but we wanted to showcase just an idea of how wonderful Merida en Domingo really is.
Riding down the avenue
Go for a bike ride on Sunday morning. Merida is not a bike-friendly city. There are no bike lanes or paths. But all of this changes each Sunday morning when some of Merida’s most beautiful and popular streets are shut down for La Bici Ruta (Bike Route) to allow cyclists a chance to ride around town. Much of the city comes out on Sunday morning to partake in a bike ride.
You don’t have to look far to find a bike rental. Just walk p the Paseo and you’ll see stands that are renting bikes. There is no need to worry about traffic or cars at all on Sunday mornings. Vehicles are blocked from the Bici Ruta route that cuts right through the heart of Merida. Cruise up the beautiful wide streets of Paseo de Montejo, which were modeled to be like the Champs-Elysees.
Two-step back in time
Merida’s old-time dancers go to the temporary stage at Santa Lucia Park where they dance Mexican danzon and cha-cha-cha to live music under a canopy. The dancers’ moves recall a bygone time of smoky dance halls and they dress the part.
On weekend nights a few of the main streets in the city are closed to traffic and the city becomes abuzz. Sidewalk cafes begin setting up in the streets. Street performers come out to play. Street food vendors don’t hesitate to get into the mix as well, providing plenty of opportunities for a snack. The bars and cantinas get busy, the music becomes blaring and it all lasts well into the night.
There are many wonderful ways to enjoy a Sunday in Merida depending on your mood. The one thing to remember, however, is that there is ALWAYS something to do!