Home Traveling in Mexico Where to Spend Time Outdoors in Merida

Where to Spend Time Outdoors in Merida

by Brent May

 

If you’re coming in for a visit to Merida, you’ll be delighted to discover its outdoor parks and green spaces. Each park has its own personality and small, colorful vendors. Grab an authentic bite to eat, soak up the sun, look at some artisan crafts on a stop in these parks as you run errands in the city. Here are some of our favorites.

El Parque de Santa Lucia

It is in the historic center of the capital city of the state of Yucatan and is one of the oldest places in the city, dating back to the very foundation of the city in 1542. It is located at the intersection of 60th and 55th streets, three streets north of the San Ildefonso Cathedral. In 1542, when conquistadors founded the city, the use of this park space was dedicated to black servants brought by the Spanish. But many years later, in 1804, Governor Benito Pérez Valdelomar transformed the place into an attractive and pleasant park. In the 20th century the park welcomed all the musicians and composers of the Yucatecan trova. And Since 1965, almost every Thursday, at the corner of the colonial park, the Yucalpetén Typical Orchestra and other groups perform the most popular regional melodies and dances. There are also many restaurants surrounding this charming, park. It’s a great place to spend an evening soaking in the warm atmosphere.

 

Parques de la Americas

One of the best parks in Merida is located on Avenida Colón, a 10-minute walk from the Hotel Fiesta Americana. This park is perfect for a family outing and is accessible by bus or taxi. Built in 1943, it is divided into four, sections allowing you to practice your favorite hobbies. A huge fountain representing Kukulkán (Quetzalcoatl para los Aztecas), the Mayan god in the form of a feathered snake, can be found in the first section. In the second section is a Mayan dwelling, with a main room. Every month, visual art exhibits of local, Mexican and foreign artists are organized. There is also a library, open from 9am to 4pm. An outdoor theater is in the third section.  On Sundays, plays and dances are performed here. The fourth section is dedicated to children with a park and games. The park has scattered food stands, no need to worry about a picnic. What's more, if you're remote working and bored at home, the park has internet access, ideal for getting some fresh air and still being productive.

 

El Jardín Botánico Regional “Roger Orellana”

The Regional Botanical Garden was founded in 1983, in an old henequen plantation.  Over the years, urban growth has turned it into a green island contrasting with its surroundings. The garden spreads over 2.5 hectares. It is an oasis of vegetation and a refuge for fauna located north of the city of Merida. In 1999, it was declared a Living Museum of Plants by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources. In 2002 it was registered as a Management Unit for the Conservation of Wildlife. The garden is also part of the International Organization for Conservation in Botanical Gardens. The aim of the jardín botánico is to promote the knowledge, conservation and enjoyment of plants through the development of collections and exhibitions of living plants for research, education, conservation, entertainment and the promotion of an environmental culture.

 

Parque Ecologico Poniente

Only a twenty-minute drive from the center of Merida, the Ecological park was a former rock quarry. You can see many bird species along the tree-lined paths. It is a great nature with animals, fishponds and birds. There is also a swimming pool in the summertime and playgrounds for kids. Don’t forget to bring your snacks, as there are no food stands here.

 

Parque de la Madre

Previously the Colegio de San Francisco Javier, the Maternity Park also known as Parque Morelos was built in 1909. The name of the park comes from its statue, considered as the first statue in the country to honor mothers. The statue was made by André Lenoir, son of the sculptor Charles Alfred Lenoir who made the same statue in marble, but in Paris. There, in the park, you can relax, while reading your book, or just meet friends while sitting under the trees. On weekends, especially on Sundays, the park is alive with different concerts or dance shows. It is located on the 6th street, between the 57th and 59th.

 

Parque de Itzimna

Itzimna was the Mayan god of creation and was the name of a city close to Merida. As Merida expanded, the city became a neighborhood. There, a small park surrounded by architectural elements is the place where locals take their breaks. All around the park, neoclassical style mansions and small churches are proof of the era and history of the city. The peaceful atmosphere envelopes the park and makes you want to stay awhile.

There are many small parks or squares in each neighborhood of the capital of Yucatán. We have tried to share with you the ones we find the most interesting. And what about you? Which one do you like to visit? Share your opinion in the comments!

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