Merida City Guide
OVERVIEW: White people love Merida. It has beautiful colonial buildings, it's safer than a limbless infant, and has perfect weather. The people are incredibly friendly and the food is good. Located a few hours from Cancun, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
WEATHER: Hot and humid (26-34 °C). Rainy season June-October.
SAFETY: Merida is outrageously safe. I haven't heard of any incidents involving tourists. The worst that is likely to happen to you is getting a bad deal on a hammock.
MUST DO: Many renovated mansions/buildings from the old days in neighbourhoods around the city. Pretty cool to see, but only if you're into such things. Campeche is a nice coastal city about 4 hours away that's worth checking out as well.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN MERIDA: $250.00 is possible, but a influx of expats has raised apartment and house prices in the centre of Merida. Outside the city centre will be significantly less for a decent pad ($150.00 ish).
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $9.00
NIGHTLIFE IN MERIDA: 6/10
Honestly, for me, nightlife in Merida is not great. A lot of OK bars and restaurants, but they're mostly geared towards an older crowd. I'll recommend The Mayan Pub and La Fundacion Mezcaleria; the former for something more chill, the latter for drinking and dancing.
I recommend: La Fundacion Mezcaleria
BOTTLE OF BEER: $2.00
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN MERIDA: 6.5/10
Tourists are a dime a dozen here, but don't let that discourage you; if you approach girls you will be well-received. Most tourists don't interact with the locals much. Girls seem a bit timid, but if you have basic Spanish or can find a lass that speaks English you won't have too hard a time. Folks in Merida can be a bit conservative, but that factor is more or less offset by the large university population. If you're able to read body language reasonably well you should be able to take something home.
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ARE GIRLS HOT IN MERIDA?: 5.5/10.
Merida is a city with a predominantly Mayan population, so the girls tend to be a bit shorter and darker-skinned than Northern and Central Mexicanas. You will come across the odd gal with a beautiful face and perfect skin, but by no means will you be overwhelmed by the number of 'em. Unfortunately, obesity seems to be a bit of an issue here too.
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GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.10 Tortillas (1kg)= $1.00 Eggs= $1.90 Water (1.5L)= $1.00 Cigarettes= $3.50
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Not excellent. You're better off heading east to Cancun where there's more of a demand for English teachers. People are generally quite poor in Merida, so know that if you seek under the table work, you may be taking a job away from a qualified local. Telecommuting is definitely the best option here, as the city is relaxing and doesn't have too many distractions.
TAXI: Should be around $2.00 for anywhere you'd care to go to in the city.
NOTES: In short, Merida is a charming city but not the best place for slaying. That being said, I if you pipelined this city beforehand, you could get some pretty mad results.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10
*More city guides from Mexico here!