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The population of this area of Yucatan is around 700,000.
The national capital, Mexico City, is situated 630 miles west of Merida, while Xtepen lies 12 miles to the southwest.
You and your family can take heaps of photos of the exotic creatures at the Animaya and the Zoological Park of Centenario. Try to take in a zookeeper presentation at the Parque Zoológico del Centenario for the complete zoological adventure.
If you're feeling lucky, pay a visit to the Diamonds Casino and the Juega Juega Casino and have a spin on the roulette wheel. On another day, you could also try your luck at the Casino La Cima and Diamonds Casino.
Pack a picnic hamper and enjoy some time to yourself in the tranquil, green surroundings of Hidalgo Park and Cenote X'batun. Parque de La Mejorada and Chelentun Cenotes are two more pleasant spots to while away a lazy afternoon over a good book.
A visit to Merida Tourism Office is a handy way of getting some information about the area.
Enjoy the fresh salty air, meander along the water's edge and watch as the birds wheel overhead at Progreso Beach.
Turn your phone off and have a rest from the stresses of the modern world at Calcehtok Caves and Grutas de Calcehtok. Nature lovers will also have a great time at Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún and Grutas de Loltún.
Grab a friend and explore some of the varied cultural spaces in the area. The Macay Museum and the Casa Frederick Catherwood offer a range of displays and collections that are sure to capture your interest. The Great Museum of the Maya World and the Popular Art Museum are also worthwhile.
Some think of natural museums as a place to take the children, but the captivating specimens at the Anthropology and History Museum and the Museo del Pueblo Maya show that there's a good deal to keep the grown-ups captivated too. You should also explore the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya and the Museo Regional de Antropología.
Are you an art aficionado? You'll be spoiled with galleries of all varieties here. Start your tour of this creative destination by stopping in at the Casa Montes Molina Museum and the Centro Cultural y Artesanal. If these leave you feeling energized, wrap up the day at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo and the Museo Casa Montejo.
The Museum of the City of Merida and the Museo de la Ciudad offer you a look back at the past through their illuminating displays.
To learn about the area's rich and colorful past, consider visiting at least one of its many historic structures and monuments. Begin your local history tour at Dzibilchaltun Ruins and Mayapan Mayan Ruins. You might also like to get out the camera and snap some photos at the Teatro Peon Contreras and Montejo House.
Once the private domain of this region's elite, today the gates to these most stately homes are open to visitors from all over the world. If you can find one, a guided tour will allow you to get more out of your trip to Palacio del Gobernador and Palacio de Gobierno.
Whether you consider yourself spiritual or not, you're sure to enjoy a visit to Merida Cathedral and the Governors Palace. If you'd be interested to look at some more religious sites, keep your eyes peeled for tours at Tixcocob Church and Iglesia de Dzidzantún.
Ticked everything off your itinerary? Don't forget the Yucatan Country Club and the Merida English Library.
The Expedia Merida hotels page features 80 upmarket and more affordable overnight stay options, so you should have no trouble finding a great place in this popular destination.
The Hotel Casa Azul, situated at Calle 60, 343, Centro, and the Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel, at Paseo de Montejo 480, are great examples of upmarket Merida accommodation options. If those don't match your requirements, be sure to check out the Art Apart Hostel, at Calle 60 No. 456A x 53 y 51, and the Hostal Casa Nico, at Street 63 N 517 crosses 68 7 66 A dtwn, two places where you'll be sure to find a bargain.
Travel is about so much more than just seeing different places. It's all about the things you can do while you're away!
Merida has a range of things to do. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Got some time up your sleeve? Head to our Merida things to do page for a full list of activities.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.