Marveling at the beauty, splendor and sweetness in Mérida is an easy thing to do. You only need to walk a few steps to witness a city that is filled with parks, art galleries, torta bars, gelato shops, horses on carriages and love bugs. It’s a little hard to find a suitable comparison. All I can do is humbly confess that I have fallen in love with Mérida, Mexico.
My partner and I are both artists in our own right and on our own journeys. And the city is an absolutely beaut for the eyes of anyone trained to see, appreciate, create beauty. Tony, a serious yet easy-going sculptor of 23 years, prefers the more modern aesthetic: clean, honoring the past but representing a thoughtful lean towards the future. Whereas I, an intense and whimsical painter and photographer, feel more attracted to the rugged, vintage, “almost falling apart” look and feel to most buildings and art. The fun thing is, there is no right answer because there’s so much to enjoy.
It’s exciting to know that the charm of the city isn’t something that only strikes a couple of artists who are in love during the times of global pandemic, social justice uprising and economic tumult. The power and loveliness of this small city and the warmth in its community is something that has touched the hearts of digital nomads from all over. I was thrilled to find that Mérida has sustained a growing population of Black families. Plainly stated, Mérida is perfect for me and to over-articulate: I feel love.
Let’s Experience the Perfect Day
If I had to plan the perfect day without a car, with or without children, during COVID (November 2020) these would be my top #SixStops. If you live in Mérida or plan to visit, let me know what you think is missing or if we are aligned on any stops.
Move them bones! Go for a run or cute little walk in Paseo Montejo if you’re feeling up to it. The sidewalks are well-shaded and have several little benches if you want to cool off. You’ll typically find people skating, walking their dogs, generally enjoying themselves. Once we recover from the pandemic, we’re excited for the bikes to be welcomed back to the city every Sunday for BiciRuta! If none of that sounds good, you can always book a morning yoga session with me – virtual or 1:1 (my house or yours?)
Head to Plaza Carmesí! By this time, you’re ready for a late breakfast or early lunch. Perk up with their delicious caramel cappuccino. If you want something stronger, ask about mezcal. Don’t just ask for mezcal, really ask about the mezcal— its fun history and the legendary story about the rabbits and finally, go ahead and figure out which do you take first: orange, grasshopper, salt, peppers?! I highly recommend trying out their version of elote/esquite paired with tostaditos y ceviche.
Feast on Galleries + Gelato: On a full belly, we walk it off and we feast our eyes on some more beauty. Mérida is home to several galleries but here are 3 of my personal favourites which are all in reasonable walking distance.
- Galeria Le Cirque (ask for Jorge)
- SOHO Galleries
- NAHUALLI- Casa de los artistas (featuring Melva Medina– MUST SEE)
- Galeria 37
After feasting on the inspiration, you might want to treat yo self to some gelato because why not? Stop by Pola to try their, maybe you’ll want some sangre de artista (artist’s blood) which is interesting and delicious befitting its name.
Take a stroll in El Centro & get uncomfortable with an art and culture experience:
Hangout in the tree-lined Plaza Grande and enjoy the music or sounds of the people bustling around you. Notice the birds and maybe even buy something from the street vendors for something because the hustle is real. Peak into Museo Casa Montejo, Catedral de Mérida or Museo Fernando Ponce.
Take it a step further and two-step over to Olimpo Cultural Center where you can sit through a necessary yet uncomfortable demonstration on how to betray hegemonic masculinity or watch a film like Lady Sings the Blues for FREE.
Museo de la Gastronomia Yucateca – MUGY. Also known as Museum of Yucatecan’s culinary customs. Let’s just say they put the ‘Big G’ – gastronomy. Mixing a restaurant with a museum as one experience is genius. MUGY is an exquisite celebration of indigenous culture, feminine innovation, and craftsmanship. We ate some of the most delicious guacamole and bean dip underneath the beautiful moon. Visit for the food, education, ecstasy of the entire experience.
Finally, your belly is full with food, your eyes and heart are filled with art, all you need now is to dance or express that which you feel somehow! Visit Parque de Santa Lucia (especially Thursday nights) for live music and grab a partner or friend (with their consent) and dance the night away. Enjoy the lights and romance of a city that is meant for artists, lovers, friends. Feel that tender emotion that comes when you are present and filled to the brim with love. Be with it and carry it with you for however long. Then go out and share it. For this is the point of embracing the difference, this is the essence of having an auric experience.
Whenever you’re in the city and want an adventure guide or just general help making this experience come to life, let’s chat.
Thank you for reading.
*All pictures shot by me. If an image resonated with you, reach out for a custom print or postcards.