Merida is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatan and the Yucatan Peninsula. It is located in the northwest part of the state, about 35 km (22 miles) from the Gulf of Mexico coast. The city is also the municipal seat of the Municipality of Merida, which includes the city and the areas around it.
As the state and regional capital, Merida is a cultural center, featuring multiple museums, art galleries, restaurants, movie theatres and shops. Merida retains an abundance of beautiful colonial buildings and is a vibrant cultural center with music and dancing playing an important part in day-to-day life. At the same it is a modern city boasting a comprehensive range of shopping malls, auto dealerships, top quality hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities. The famous avenue, Paseo de Montejo, is lined with original sculpture.
Merida and the state of Yucatan have traditionally been isolated from the rest of the country by geography, creating a unique culture. The conquistadors found the Mayan culture to be incredibly resilient, and their attempts to eradicate Mayan tradition, religion and culture had only moderate success. The surviving remnants of the Mayan culture can be seen every day, in speech, dress, and in both written and oral histories. It is especially apparent in holidays like Hanal Pixan, a Mayan/Catholic Day of the Dead celebration. It falls on November 1 and 2 (one day for adults, and one for children) and is commemorated by elaborate altars dedicated to dead relatives. It is a compromise between the two religions with crucifixes mingled with skull decorations and food sacrifices/offerings. Mukbil pollo is the Mayan tamal pie offered to the dead on All Saints' Day, traditionally accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate. Many Yucatecans enjoying eating this on and around the Day of Dead. And, while complicated to make, they can be purchased and even shipped via air. (Muk-bil literally means "to put in the ground" or to cook in a pib, an underground oven).
For English speakers or would-be speakers, Merida has the Merida English Library,a lending library with an extensive collection of English books, videos, tapes and children's books. The library is also the site for expatriate meetings, children's storytelling hours and other cultural events.
Merida is also home to the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra, which plays regular seasons at the Jose Peon Contreras Theatre on Calle 60 and features classical music, jazz and opera.
Hacienda Xcanatun was built in the 18th century to cultivate corn, ....
Hyatt Regency Merida is a modern and elegant hotel located at the c....