Best of Merida

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Merida
The cultural capital of the Yucatan since the Spanish conquest, Merida is a delightful city of leafy plazas and narrow streets lined with pastel-hued mansions of centuries past. Locals are rightfully proud of both their vibrant colonial center and their Mayan heritage — in fact, Merida is home to the highest percentage of indigenous people (50%) of any city in Mexico. There’s much to experience in and around Merida, from thriving markets and innovative restaurants to concerts and folkloric performances happening nearly every night of the week. 

After getting your fill of Merida’s lovely center, you can experience the less-visited side of the Yucatan. Previous kimkim travelers have made a one-day tour to the fishing village of Celestun for a boat ride amid mangroves, where you can often spot flamingos foraging for a meal. Learn the ins and outs of Yucatecan cuisine during a cooking class inside the home of a local family. Or, join an embroidery experience: a workshop that illuminates Merida’s exceptional craft traditions, illustrating the unique and colorful techniques used by different indigenous groups.
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Chichen Itza
The Archaeological Mayan Journey - 5 Days

Take a step back in time to explore ancient Mayan cities shrouded in mystery—some of which were inhabited since around 1800 BCE—on this five-day adventure. You'll visit Chichén Itzá, one of the New Wonders of the World, as well as Izamal and Mérida, which will offer insight into the transition from ancient Mayan civilization to contemporary Mayan ways of life.

A cenote on the Yucatán Peninsula
Map of Culture & the Great Outdoors on the Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days
Culture & the Great Outdoors on the Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days

On this colorful trip plan, you'll experience Mexican culture in an authentic way. See the highlights of the Yucatán Peninsula, visit the archaeological sites of Chichen Itzá, Cobá, and  Xcambó, and view flamingos at Río Lagartos before finishing up in Mérida, where you'll go on a kayak tour and relax on the beach.

The pyramids at Teotihuacán, Mexico
Cultural Tour of Mexico - 7 Days

The largest pyramid in the world is in Mexico, as are some of the world's mysterious pyramids—at Cholula and Teotihuacán, respectively—and you'll visit both places on this wide-ranging cultural tour. Learn about pre-Hispanic, Mayan, and Aztec cultures as you explore Mexico City, Mérida, Puebla, and Chichén Itzá, and take a break for a refreshing dip in a cenote. And a taco or two, of course.

Visit  the Francisco Canton Park in Valladolid to explore the many Spanish colonial buildings
Map of Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Valladolid & Mérida - 11 Days
Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Valladolid & Mérida - 11 Days

Spend 11 days immersing yourself in the culture, history, cuisine, and beauty of Mexico. You'll start in Mexico City, where you'll experience all the highlights, from visiting the historic center and the Frida Kahlo Museum to enjoying the city's famous street food. Then you're off to the Yucatán Peninsula, home to incredible Maya ruins, thousands of cenote lagoons, and some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the Caribbean.

Enjoying the views
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 16 Days

Explore the best of Mexico's offerings on this comprehensive 16-day trip. Swim in crystal clear cenotes and go sailing in the Bacalar Lagoon. Continue to Chunhuhub for a mystical bonfire experience, then spend a few days exploring the historical sites of Merida and Chichen Itza. End the trip on Holbox Island for several days of sun, beach, and surf.

Yokdzonot Cenote
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 15 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 15 Days

15-days in Mexico's Yucatán region is enough time to visit famous archaeological sites while also enjoying its famous white-sand beaches. Explore the ruins at Chichén Itzá, experience indigenous cultural traditions, and float in the turquoise waters of the Chemuyil cenotes—these are just a few of the highlights. You'll also venture to Holbox Island and enjoy its famous golden sunsets.

Tulum, Mexico
Map of Mayan Discovery:  Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days
Mayan Discovery: Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days

Get a full dose of sun and sea while learning about Mexico's rich Mayan history as you travel from the beaches of Tulum to the wonders of Chichén Itzá pyramid. This journey through a few regions of Mexico will give you ample time to relax while experiencing the country's mystical, handicraft, and culinary traditions, and seeing its significant architectural monuments.

Relax in sun-kissedBacalar in the Yucatán
Map of Yucatán Road Trip: Tulum, Bacalar, Valladolid, Mérida, Holbox & Puerto Morelos - 12 Days
Yucatán Road Trip: Tulum, Bacalar, Valladolid, Mérida, Holbox & Puerto Morelos - 12 Days

Get ready for a 12-day road-trip adventure across Mexico's famed Yucatán Peninsula, known for its Caribbean beaches, underground cenotes, and ancient Maya ruins. You'll see all of it, starting at the fortress ruins in Tulum and then visiting biosphere reserves and exotic turquoise lakes. Next, you'll venture north to enjoy cultural exchanges in indigenous communities, visit Spanish-colonial heritage cities, and descend into underground caves sacred to the Maya people.

Ancient Uxmal Ruins
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 13 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 13 Days

Spend 13 days enjoying the best of the Yucatán Peninsula on this whirlwind itinerary. Tour the famous ruins at Uxmal, Tulum, and Chichén Itzá, plus visit Spanish-colonial heritage towns like Izamal and Valladolid. Throughout the adventure, you'll also dive into turquoise cenote lagoons, immerse yourself in local Maya culture, and enjoy some "me" time on the white-sand beaches of Puerto Morelos and Holbox Island.

Bacalar Lagoon
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 14 Days

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to see some of Mexico's best archaeological sites — including Chichen Itza — while also leaving plenty of time for relaxation. You'll swim in beautiful cenotes, explore the colonial city of Merida, and experience indigenous culture. End with a couple days on Holbox Island, where sand, surf, and beautiful sunshine await.

The archaeological site of Palenque in the state of Chiapas
Map of Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days
Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days

Discover Mexico, a country home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites (35) than any other nation in the Americas. Over 15 days you'll tour many of these archeological marvels, like the ancient cities of Teotihuacán, Palenque, Chichén Itzá, and more. Beyond that, you'll visit natural highlights like the majestic Sumidero Canyon, the waterfalls at Agua Azul, and the marine reserve at Puerto Morelos.

Exploring the Cenotes
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 18 Days

Take eighteen relaxing days to drive through the Yucatan Peninsula as you explore the best that Mexico has to offer: colonial cities, indigenous communities, white-sand beaches, and ancient Mayan ruins. Start the trip in Tulum for a dip into a turquoise cenote, then head to Bacalar for a sail on the lagoon. End in Valladolid and Holbox Island for sunrise at Chichen Itza and a couple days on the beach.

Puerto Morelos
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 19 Days

Drive from city to beach on this nineteen-day immersive trip through the Yucatan Peninsula. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, you'll explore the best that the region has to offer. Tour historic sites, sample local fare, relax on beaches, and more as you make your way through the jungles and roads of the area.

Scuba diving in the Yucatan
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 21 Days

Fully immerse yourself into Mexican history and culture on this comprehensive three-week trip. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, this trip covers millennia of history and leaves room for relaxation and food. End the trip on Holbox Island for some of Mexico's loveliest beaches and plenty of sunshine

Discover the vast Mayan city of Uxmal on the Puuc Route
Map of Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera  - 14 Days
Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera - 14 Days

Step back in time on this two-week itinerary featuring ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins of Morelos and the Yucatán Peninsula. Along the way, you will explore Mexico City, the colonial towns of Valladolid and Mérida, and the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya. You will snorkel in freshwater cenotes, climb stone steps of Aztec pyramids, and meet with indigenous locals to learn about Maya history and culture firsthand.

Join a boat tour through captivating Sumidero Canyon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days
Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days

This 13-day adventure covers the highlights of two of southern Mexico's most historic and naturally beautiful states: Chiapas & Yucatán. In the former, you'll tour natural wonders like Sumidero Canyon and the Agua Azul waterfalls. In the latter, you'll visit its most famous archeological sites, like Palenque and Uxmal, while also enjoying the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island and Playa del Carmen.

The Church of San Servacio in the city of Valladolid
Map of Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days
Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days

This off-the-beaten-track adventure kicks off in Mexico City where you'll learn the area's pre-Colombian history and visit mysterious temples built by the Aztecs and Mayans. From here, fly to the Riviera Maya to ramble in the colonial streets of Valladolid, dine on fresh cuisine, and chill out on the Caribbean Sea. Expect private guides and transportation throughout (except for your free day in Tulum).

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Yucatan Peninsula · Mexico City · Tulum · Valladolid · Oaxaca · Holbox · Puerto Morelos · Chiapas · Cancun · San Cristobal de las Casas · Cholula · Palenque · Bacalar · Campeche · Playa del Carmen · Chunhuhub · Uxmal · Calakmul · Puebla · Guadalajara · Cabo San Lucas · San Miguel de Allende · Morelia · Pisté · Los Cabos · Guanajuato · Querétaro · La Paz