December 23, 2013 9:32 PM   Subscribe

We are visiting Merida, Mexico next week and have questions

We are visiting Merida for a week and will stay around the zocalo and have the following questions/ask around recommendations.

1) Places to visit around that are not more than 1.5 hours away
2) recommendations on shopping vegetables and fresh fruits (markets)
3) recommendations on dishes we absolutely should try especially for vegetarians
3) Shopping original Mayan works-ceramics, clothing etc
4) Bike shops (especially in Progress which we will be travelling to by bus)

Thank you
posted by ladoo to Travel & Transportation around Mexico (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1) Uxmal, definitely. Perhaps also Izamal or the CelestĂșn Biosphere Reserve (flamingos!), depending on what you're interested in.
2) The Frommer's guide has a pretty good summary of the markets in downtown MĂ©rida.
3) Panuchos. You can get vegetarian ones, too.
3b) See #2 for craft markets, too.
posted by pitrified at 6:01 AM on December 24, 2013

I loved Dzibilchaltun, which is a small archaeological site outside Merida. I've spent a little bit of time in Mexico, and one of my favorite things ever was skinny-dipping* in the crystal-clear Cenote Xlakah in Dzibilchaltun. There's a nice visual tour here.

(We took a bus from Merida, but were picked up by a nice lady who saw us waiting for the return bus; we didn't realize there were no more buses that day so plan accordingly if you go that route!)

One of the little things I like to do in Mexico is order tortilla soup any time I can because it is so simple, yet every recipe is unique.

FWIW, I found Chitzen Itza to be a little "park-like" and touristy, but still worth seeing. Uxmal definitely had a wilder feel to it with places to wander off and get lost in, which is more my style.

*We didn't see anyone at all for the few hours we were there. I don't know if skinny-dipping is actually appropriate but we were unprepared and couldn't resist.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:20 AM on December 24, 2013

I also liked Uxmal more than Chichen Itza. The classic Mayan dish not to miss is sopa de lima (lime soup). It is not vegetarian, but very very good and quite different from tortilla soup in other parts of Mexico.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:25 AM on December 24, 2013

If anyone is any kind of meat/poultry eater then go to La Chaya and have Pollo Pibil (chicken in banana leaves), yum! Lots of good dishes there that use turkey as well. There are a few dishes there that are or could probably be meatless if you asked. They should have Papadzul, a traditional Yucatecan dish which is vegetarian if you eat eggs.

Straw/Panama hats and hammocks are some of the things you can shop for in Merida.

And Uxmal, a million times Uxmal. We actually stayed overnight there. We also went to Sayil when we went to Uxmal.
posted by gudrun at 10:27 AM on December 24, 2013

There is a fantastic Mexican/Lebanese fusion restaurant in downtown Merida. Try to sit out on the patio if you can.
posted by forkisbetter at 9:10 AM on December 30, 2013

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