Merida, Mexico Expedition
Since the Spanish conquest, Mérida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatán Peninsula. At times provincial, at others ‘muy cosmopolitano,’ it is a town steeped in colonial history, with narrow streets, broad central plazas and the region’s best museums. It’s also a perfect place from which to kick off your adventure into the rest of Yucatan state. There are cheap eats, good hostels and hotels, thriving markets and events happening just about every night somewhere in the downtown area. Long popular with European travelers looking to go beyond the hubbub of Quintana Roo’s resort towns, Mérida is not an ‘undiscovered Mexican gem’ like some of the tourist brochures claim. Simply put, it’s a tourist town, but a tourist town too big to feel like a tourist trap. And as the capital of Yucatan state, Mérida is also the cultural crossroads of the region, and there’s something just a smidge elitist about Mérida: the people who live here have a beautiful town, and they know it.
Trip Summary: Merida, Mexico | 7 Days
Trip Dates: Year Round
Group Size: Max 16 Participants
Price From: $3600
Experience an authentic cooking class with a traditional market visit for fresh produce and spices
Tour Chichen Itza Ruins and the Mayan Ruins with an experienced guide to take you to hidden spots only the locals know
Explore Plaza de la Independencia and take a traditional Salsa class
Go shopping and tour the City Center and Paseo De Montejo
ITINERARY | 7 DAYS
Day 1 Merida, Mexico: Welcome to Merida, Mexico! Today you will check into your comfortable accommodation that awaits you in one of the most scenic and beautiful locations on earth. Start each day with a delicious breakfast buffet served by your hotel. Ranging from delicious Mexican specialties to Western Fare, each dish is made with fresh and local ingredients. From traditional breakfast items and Mexican omelets to grilled pork skewers, sweet breads and delicious buns, you'll sample a variety of exotic fruits and savory dishes before your day even begins. Each night, you will have a traditional dinner that you or the local chefs will be cooking. Accommodation: Mérida Hotel
Days 2-3, Traditional Yucatan Cooking Class: You will start your Merida Cooking Class by having a walk through Merida’s Downtown. Your Adventurous Mexico guide will give a quick briefing on the most important buildings overlooking the Main Square, and then walk with you to one of the main markets of Merida, Lucas de Galvez. Your guide will talk in depth about the regional fruits and vegetables, as well as the recados, the achiote, the peppers in general and especially the chile habanero and xcatic. You will bring your fresh produce back with you to cook a traditional meal.
While you cook, chop, fry, and get the dishes ready, your hostess and guide will explain some of the local traditions, the influence of other cultures in Yucatan and the differences between the yucatecos and the people from other parts of Mexico. You will also learn some Spanish and Mayan words while tasting the delicious dishes prepared by yourself! You will enjoy a three course meal, including appetizers, main course and dessert. We include beer and soft drinks like hibiscus flower tea, or chaya water. Accommodation: Mérida Hotel
Day 4-5 Valladolid City / Chichen Itza: Arrive at the cooking school, where you will meet local Mayan women who will instruct you in the fine art of making tortillas by hand; afterwards, snack on your creations. Your first cooking class to follow - Possible dishes include sopa de lima, pollo asado, tamales de x’pelón, and crema de cilantro. Mid afternoon, you will be seated in the colorful dining room for lunch, also known as the comida fuerte, main meal of the day.
Take a guided tour around the main square of the city: Plaza de la Independencia. Here you should visit the city’s cathedral, the government’s palace as well as the Casa de Montejo. You can enter all three sites for free. The Casa de Montejo is a museum which shows how the higher class of Mexico lived in the past. End the night with some traditional salsa dancing classes.
Take a day trip from Mérida is to Chichén Itzá, one of Yucatan's most important pre-Columbian sites. Chichén Itzá is Mexico's largest and best-restored archaeological site and for centuries served as the political and religious capital of the Maya empire. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the region's most-visited attractions and, given its size, can take the best part of a day to explore. Highlights include visiting the 30-meter-tall El Castillo - also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkán - the site's largest and most important building, as well as the majestic Temple of the Warriors with its columned halls.
Day 6 Merida City Experience: Enjoy your last day in the city centre and walk along this precious street. There are beautiful houses to admire on each side as well as some museums along the way. Go at least until the Monumento de la Patria on the northern end of the street. The “White City” title that Merida has derives from the stately homes and mansions that adorn the sides of Paseo Montejo, about 10 blocks north of the center, standing opulently in gleaming white stone. The Paseo de Montejo is a tree-lined boulevard, which was supposed to be as grand as Mexico City’s “Reforma Avenue”.
Day 7 Merida / Departure: Today we say goodbye to Merida as we board our flights from the local airport to our home destinations.
This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.
All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and meals as listed on the itinerary. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included.
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