Mérida’s Defining Features: City Squares, Churches, Free Internet & More

Wonderful colonial architecture, a rich Mayan past, warm people, and a perfect climate – it’s easy to fall in love with Mérida.

A City of Plazas

Plaza Grande, without a doubt, is Mérida’s centerpiece. Located in Downtown Mérida, the plaza is surrounded by stucco buildings painted in delightful light colors. Instead of neat and trim lawns and gardens, the plants in Plaza Grande are allowed to grow the way nature intended them to: uninhibited and free. Large trees provide ample shade, adding to Plaza Grande’s cool and languid atmosphere. Méridanos often meet up with friends in the city plazas as it’s the perfect avenue to gather and catch up.

Other notable plazas include Plaza Bolivar, Plaza Mayor, Plaza Sucre, and Plaza Las Heroinas or Plaza of the Heroines. Snap a picture or two while enjoying the sights and sounds of Mérida’s city squares and upload it online; residents and tourists have access to free wireless internet in several parks and cafes throughout the city.

A Taste of Mérida

The best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and Mérida’s food vendors know this for a fact. Sample authentic Yucatecan fare in Pasaje Picheta, a shopping center where you can find several convenience food vendors as well as boutiques. Street food vendors are also found in city plazas as well as markets. Trust us, you won’t get hungry in Mérida.

One of the Americas’ Oldest Cathedrals

Churches are scattered throughout the city, but one reigns supreme. The Mérida Cathedral is considered to be one of the oldest cathedrals in the continent, and was said to have been completed at around 1598. Aside from being the embodiment of the region’s rich colonial history, the cathedral also has a piece of the ancient civilization of Maya in it – most of the stones used in its walls came from the ruins of T’hó, the Maya city on which Mérida was built. The Mérida Cathedral is definitely a wondrous sight and the fact that it’s never empty serves to illustrate the fact that the church still plays a large part in the lives of most Méridanos.