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Best Time To Go
Best time to visitDuring July and August, although very hot, Mérida is subject to heavy rains during the afternoon, it gets very humid in spring, but the winter months are usually clear and pleasant.
Dangers & Safety
SafetyMérida is a safe city, with its own tourist police (T999-942 0060) recognizable by their brown and white uniforms.
Getting aroundYou can see most of Mérida on foot. Although the city is big, there is not much to concern the visitor outside a few blocks radiating from the main plaza. The VW Beetle taxis are expensive, due to their scarcity; fares start at US$2.50 for a short journey. Colectivo buses are difficult to locate; they appear suddenly on the bigger roads in the city, you can flag them down anywhere. They terminate at the market; flat fare US$0.35.
All buses from outside Yucatán State arrive at the CAME terminal on Calle 70 between Calle 69 y 71, a few blocks from the centre. There is another bus terminal around the corner on Calle 69, where buses from local destinations such as Uxmal arrive. The airport is 8 km from the city, bus 79 takes you to the centre. Taxis to the centre from the airport charge US$6.50.
Aeropuerto Rejón (MID), 8 km from town. From Calle 67, 69 and 60, bus 79 goes to the airport, marked ‘Aviación’, US$0.35, roughly every 20 mins. Taxi-set price voucher system US$6.50; colectivo US$2.50. Good domestic flight connections. International flight connections with Belize City, Houston, Miami and Havana. Package tours Mérida-Havana-Mérida available (be sure to have a confirmed return flight). For return to Mexico ask for details at Secretaría de Migración, Av Colón and Calle 8.
AeroMéxico, Av Colón 451 and Calle 56A, T999-964 1781, http://www.aeromexico.com. Aviacsa, T999-925 6890, http://www.aviasca.com.mx. Continental, T999-926 3100, http://www.continental.com. Delta, T01800-123 410, http://www.delta.com. Mexicana and Click, T01800-502 200, http://www.mexicana.com.mx.
There are several bus terminals in Mérida.
Around the corner, for Yucatán destinations except Chichén Itzá, with fleets run by Mayab, ATS, Sur and Oriente. Also has left luggage open 24 hrs, bags charged by size. There are also 1st-class departures from the Hotel Fiesta Americana, Calle 60 and Colón, which are mostly luxury services to Cancún.
Buses to Progreso depart every 20 mins, 0800-2100, US$0.85, from their own terminal at Calle 62, No 524, between 65 and 67. Colectivos to Progreso leave from Calle 60, between Calle 65 and 67, same timings.
There is another 2nd-class terminal near the market at Calle 50 and 65. It deals with more obscure local destinations, including Tizimín, Cenotillo, Izamal and many Maya villages specializing in different crafts, including Tixkokob.
To Cancún, hourly 1st-class ADO services, 4 hrs, US$18, and frequent 2nd-class services, US$15; Campeche, frequent ADO and 2nd-class services, 2 hrs, US$7-10; Chichén Itzá (ruins and Pisté), ADO services at 0630, 0915, 1240, 2 hrs, US$7, and cheaper, frequent 2nd-class buses stop on their way to Cancún; To Celestún, frequent 2nd-class Oriente services, 2 hrs, US$3.50; Coatzacoalcos, ADO services at 1210, 1830, 1930 and 2130; 12 hrs, US$38; Palenque, ADO services at 0830, 1915, 2200, 8hrs, US$26; Ruta Puuc, 2nd-class ATS service, 0800, US$10; Tulum, ADO services at 0630, 1040, 1240, 1745, 1945 6 hrs, US$9-14; Uxmal, 2nd-class SUR services at 0600, 0905, 1040, 1205, 1705, 1½ hrs, US$3; Valladolid, hourly ADO services, 1 ½ hrs, US$9, and 5 2nd-class buses, all in the afternoon and evening, US$5.50; Villahermosa, frequent ADO services, 9 hrs, US$30.50 and several ADO GL services, US$36; Tuxtla Guitérrez, an OCC service at 1915, 15 hrs, US$40, and ADO GL services at 1900 and 2315, US$55; San Cristóbal de las Casas, an OCC service at 1915, 13 hrs, US$36; Tenosique, an ADO service at 2100, US$29.
Take a bus from Mérida to San Cristóbal and change there for Comitán, or to Tenosique for the route to Flores. Another alternative would be to take the bus from Mérida direct to Tuxtla Gutiérrez (times given above), then connect to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc or to Tapachula.
Take a bus to Chetumal, ADO services at 0730 (except Wed and Sat), 1300, 1800, 2300, 6 hrs, US$21, and cross the Belizean border. Premier operate services from Chetumal to Belize City at 1145, 1445 and 1745, 3 hrs, US$8, schedules subject to change.
Car reservations should be booked well in advance if possible. Hire firms charge around US$45-50 a day although bargains can be found in low season. All agencies allow vehicles to be returned to Cancún for an extra charge, and most have an office at the airport where they share the same counter and negotiating usually takes place. Agencies include: Budget, at the airport, T999-946 1323; Easy Way Car Rental, Calle 60, No 484, between Calle 55 and 57, T999-930 9500, www.easywayrenta car-yucatan.com; Executive, Calle 56A, No 451, corner of Av Colón, at the Hotel Fiesta Americana, T999-920 3732, http://www.executive.com.mx; Mexico Rent a Car, Calle 57A, No 491, between Calle 58 and 60, T999-923 3637, http://www.mexico-rent-acar.com.
Servicios de Mérida Goodyear, Calle 59, near corner of Av 68. Very helpful, competent, owner speaks English, good coffee while you wait for your vehicle. Honest car servicing or quick oil change.
TaxiThere are 2 types: the Volkswagens, which you can flag down, prices range from US$3.50-7; cheaper are the 24-hr radio taxis, T999-928 5328, or catch one from their kiosk on Parque Hidalgo. In both types of taxi, establish fare before journey; there are set prices depending on the distance, the minimum is an expensive US$2.50 even for a few blocks.
Stay In Touch
Banamex, at Calle 56 and 59 (Mon-Fri 0900-1300, 1600-1700), ATM cash machine. Many banks on Calle 65, off the plaza. Most have ATM cash machines, open 24 hrs. The Casa de Montejo, on the main plaza is also a Banamex branch. Open 0900-1600, Mon-Fri. HSBC usually changes TCs and stays open late, 0900-1900, Mon-Fri and Sat 0900-1500.
Embassies and consulates
Austria, Av Colón, No 501, with Calle 60 and 62, T999-925 6386. Belize, Calle 58, No 498, corner of 58, T999-928 6152. Cuba, Calle 1, No 320, with Calle 42, T999-944 4216. France, Calle 60, No 385, between Calle 41 and 43, T999-930 1542. Germany, Calle 49, No 212, between Calle 30 and 32, T999-944 3252. Honduras, Instituto Monte Libano, Calle 54, No 483, between Calle 57 and 59, T999-926 1962. Netherlands, Calle 64, No 418, between Calle 47 and 49, T999-924 3122. USA, Calle 60, No 338, between Calle 29 and 31, T999-942 5700.
Many internet cafés, most charging US$1-1.50.
Lavandería, Calle 69, No 541, 2 blocks from bus station, about US$4.50 a load, 3-hr service. La Fe, Calle 61, No 518, between Calle 62 and 64. US$4.50 for 3 kg. Highly recommended (shoe repair next door). Self service is hard to find.
Mérida English Library at Calle 53, No 524, between Calle 66 and 68, T999- 924 8401, http://www.meridaenglishlibrary.com. Many books on Mexico, used books for sale, bulletin board, magazines. Mon-Fri 0900-1300; Mon 1830-2100, Thu 1600-1900, Sat 1000-1300;.
Hospitals: Centro Médico de las Américas (CEMA), Calle 54, No 365, between 33A and Av Pérez Ponce, T999- 926 2111, emergencies T999-927 3199, http://www.cmasureste.com, affiliated with Mercy Hospital, Miami, Florida, US. Red Cross, T999- 924 9813. Dentists Dr Javier Cámara Patrón, Calle 17, No 170, between Calle 8 and 10, T999-925 3399, http://www.dentistyucatan.com.
Calle 53, between Calle 52 and 54. Will accept parcels for surface mail to US only, but don’t seal parcels destined overseas; they have to be inspected. For surface mail to Europe try Belize, or mail package to US, Poste Restante, for collection later if you are heading that way.
TelephoneInternational calls are possible from caseta telefonicas. You’ll find them all over town, but especially on Calle 62 and 60, north of the plaza. Calls to Europe cost around 4 pesos a minute, 2-3 pesos to the USA.
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