The Yucatan peninsula is an amazing mixture of ancient Maya civilization, customs and languages. And now Bayside Real Estate is also located in the Yucatan to help you find the perfect home or vacation property from which to enjoy and explore this rich culture.
Expats from Canada, the United States and Europe are attracted to this natural and unique coastline with its low cost of living, affordable housing and luxury lifestyle. Pesos go further here than many other destinations further south along the Riviera Maya.
The weather is nearly ideal with an average high temperature in January of 30C (87 F) and the average low of 17C (63 F). As in most tropical climates, there are sunny blue skies from November through May. June through October can see some refreshing rain.
Merida and Yucatan state have stunning, emerald beaches with long stretches of white sand, ancient Mayan ruins, cool blue cenotes, wild flamingo reserves, and old haciendas. The Mayan towns are rich with cafe-lined streets, an incredible food scene, vibrant markets, and outdoor events.
Located on the northern side of the Yucatán peninsula, Merida is not only the capital but also the cultural heart of the Yucatan. It has been rated as the Best Small City in the World for several years, and the safest city in Mexico. Merida has most recently been named the 3rd friendliest city in the world!
Besides inexpensive public transportation, the local infrastructure includes high-speed internet, a modern international airport, and great shopping experiences from small markets to boutique shops to big box stores.
Vibrant Expat Community
This active expat community has opportunities to participate in Rotary, Lyons, Red Cross, English Library, Alliance Française and other local groups focused on conservation, literacy, sustainability, and culture.
World-Class Healthcare Services
The healthcare system in Merida offers many modern services. Many doctors are certified in both the United States and Mexico and most are bilingual. You will find a wide range of services and specialists.
Clínica Merida in el Centro has nearly any medical procedures and equipment you might find at home.
Merida Star Medical Hospital is a modern hospital, well equipped to provide up to date care.
Getting there: Flights
The Merida International airport is connected to other parts of Mexico, including Cancún. There are restaurants and shops in this beautiful modern airport. There are many direct flights per day from Mexico City and a few direct flights from the States: Miami and Oakland.
Here is a table of direct flights into Merida. The information was accurate in March 2021.
|Aeromar||Oaxaca, Poza Rica, Reynosa, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Villahermosa|
|Aeroméxico Connect||Ciudad de México, Guadalajara, Miami, Monterrey, Tampico, Tijuana, Veracruz, Villahermosa|
|Interjet||Ciudad de México, La Habana|
|TAR||Tampico, Toluca, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Veracruz, Villahermosa|
|VivaAerobus||Ciudad de México, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Veracruz|
|Volaris||Ciudad de México, Guadalajara, Monterrey. Oakland|
You can also fly into Cancun with more direct flight options from the States and then travel to Merida by rental car, private ride options, shuttle services or bus.
From Cancun, you have many options to get to Merida.
- If you decide to rent a car, it is a 3.5-hour easy drive on major highways.
- You can take an ADO bus with frequent daily departures. There are also 2nd class buses.
- You can hire a private driver. You’ll find several sites online providing this service.
Getting there: By car
Merida is easy to get to. If you would like to travel by car you have choices:
- LIBRE is a free road. It is a single-lane road each way thru many small villages. You have opportunities to stop and explore but you shouldn’t take the free roads after dark for the sake of visibility.
- CUOTA is the toll road. Follow the marked signs to the toll road for your destination. Highway numbers can be confusing so be sure you are on the right highway number and on the CUOTA road. Foreign dollars or credit/debit cards are not accepted at the toll booths. You must have cash.
- LIBRAMIENTO is a bypass similar to the toll road and often part of the toll road system. You might save some time and are less likely to get lost in your adventure. Be prepared to pay tolls with pesos.
Be sure you arrive in the city limits of Mérida an hour before dark. Many streets are one way and street parking is limited. Start with a full tank of gas if you are traveling between towns or visiting sites as there can be long stretches between gas stations.
In the event you are pulled over by the police, you will be asked to show your rental car agreement and your toll receipts. Toll receipts are your insurance document while you are on the tollway – keep these documents handy.
Besides driving there are other options available to you.
Getting there: By Bus
Bus service varies in quality and cost but there are several options.
ADO bus stations are located in and near Merida. You should always arrive at the station early and double check the schedule.
- ADO Merida at Calle 50 531A, Centro, and Calle 70 #155 between 69 and 71.
- ADO Valladolid at the corner of Calle 46 and Calle 39.
- ADO Progreso at Calle 82 and 80 and Calle 29.
You can reserve your ticket on the ADO website: https://www.ado.com.mx.
We recommend you reserve a seat in the first half of the bus (away from the bathrooms) and bring along a sweater or jacket. The air conditioning is usually very cold.
Servicio ordinario is ordinary service. These buses have about 50 seats, without any particular comfort and are often a bit old. They stop often on request.
Servicio ejecutivo is executive service. It has fewer seats, more space, better comfort with reclining seats, television, air conditioning or even wifi. This service is better for longer trips.
Servicio de lujo is the top-of-the-line service. It is the most expensive but offers individual screens, USB plugs, men’s and women’s toilets. The seats are very wide and comfortable since these buses have no more than 24 passengers.
You can also take local buses around town. These buses are not known for comfort, but they get you where you’re going and offer a local, colorful experience for just a few pesos.
The city of Merida, is divided into north (Zona Norte), south (Zona Sur), east (Zona Oriente) and west (Zona Poniente) zones. The cost is 6 pesos with reduced prices for children, students, elderly and the disabled. Here is the map of the city bus routes: http://www.merida.gob.mx/Municipio/sitiosphp/transporte/php/descargas/paraderos/zonas_reubicacion.pdf
Colectivos or combis are mini vans that travel short routes around the outskirts of cities. The destination route is displayed on the window. You pay a small fee on the way in and tell the driver when you want to get off. They are slow because they stop often.
Getting around: By Taxi
Cab prices in Merida can vary a lot. You must always confirm the price of the ride to your destination before getting into the car. Many people are surprised with a fee larger than expected.
Taxi cabs at the Airport to the city center of Merida will cost about $200 pesos for 4 people. You pay on the way out of the Arrivals gate.
From the airport to Progreso for 4 people, a taxi costs approximately $650 pesos. Again, pay on your way out of the Arrivals gate. Progreso: Tel. (999) 935 3934
Getting around: Private Ride Options
There are other ride options.
If you decide to hire a private driver, vet the private driver before hiring them for your trip. I recommend searching in the expat groups on Facebook then having a conversation about the person’s experience. You can write out a ‘contract’ to ensure there are no surprises.
And it is important to:
- Negotiate any fares, times, and details upfront.
- Not pay anything until you have a contract and specific details worked out.
- Make a nominal deposit which is normal practice.
Contact us if you need assistance with your travel plans. We are excited for you to get to know Merida and the surrounding areas. We love it for its quality of life, amazing coastline, culture and friendly, warm people. We know you’ll love it, too.