As a traveller, when you hear the word México is almost impossible not to think about Cancun and its Caribbean beaches, but the country has many more magical destinations that are definitely worth the visit.
A really cool spot you can’t miss is Mérida, a city full of history, capital of the Yucatán Península and where the Spaniards established during the Mayan period. Now is a mix of cultural experiences where locals and visitors chill together and have fun at the same bars and restaurants. A great place to understand and experience Mexican culture. If you aren’t sure of coming yet, we give you 5 reasons to visit Mérida.
If you are counting the days to visit Mérida but still not sure how to get to the city, we’ve got your back! We just wrote an article about how to get from Mérida to Cancún in the most efficient and fastest way. But in this article, we are gonna give you some real insights and travel advice so you can think twice about your travelling transport.
HOW MUCH TIME IT WILL TAKE ME TO GET TO MÉRIDA?
The Mérida-Cancún highway is less than 300 kilometers long so it usually takes around three and a half hours of non-stop driving to get to Mérida. The road is pretty easy and safe, literally a straight and plain line from one city to the other.
There are two toll fee stops on the way making a total payment of 600 MXN. Without taking any extra exits, there are a few restaurants, snack stores and coffee shops where you can stop to refill your energy.
BUT WHY SHOULD I DRIVE TO MÉRIDA?
Easy, because there are great spots to explore on the way! The highway doesn’t only connect the two cities but it also takes you to amazing places such as cenotes, Mayan ruins and little “magic towns” full of history and culture.
Here is a list of places you will find on the way:
I’m pretty sure you have heard of this place many times. In case you haven’t, Chichen-Itzá is a complex of Mayan ruins and it’s classified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Once you start driving on the Mérida-Cancún highway, Chichén Itzà will be only an hour and a half away. Here you can walk around ancient buildings through the jungle, see a cenote where sacrifices were made and stand right next to the most famous Mayan pyramid of the world: El Castillo de Kukulkán.
The price of the general admission ticket increased a little in recent years, right now the entrance fee is about 30 USD. The complex is open from 8:00 to 17:00 hours (16:00 last entry). We recommend you to arrive very early to avoid the crowd and have plenty of time to explore every corner of this amazing Mayan city. At night there’s a mapping show displayed on the main pyramid that gives a detailed explanation about the history of the Chichen-Itzá civilization.
This city is absolutely worth the visit: colonial buildings everywhere, colorful houses, cobblestone little streets and real Yucatán culture. Food, park snacks, churches, traditional clothes, cenotes and more. This little town has so much to offer! There are plenty of hotels and hostel options for you to stay for at least one day.
Valladolid is right halfway between Mérida and Cancún and just a few minutes away from Chichen-Itzá. If you want to learn more about this town check out this article.
Also known as “the yellow town”, because all the buildings are painted in yellow. Get ready to take pictures because this place is super picturesque and photogenic! You should definitely visit the beautiful ex-convent located right in the middle of the town. Many important moments of the Yucatán history happened here. Izamál has also one of the most delicious restaurants of the whole province and a Mayan ruin right next to it. Yes, in the middle of the city!
This city is halfway between Mérida and Valladolid. You’ll get there by taking the main Mérida-Cancún highway before taking the exit to Izamál. If you want to learn more about this town have a look at this article.
PLENTY OF CENOTES
The highway Mérida-Cancùn is surrounded by cenotes. There are so many that we have decided to write another article about it, you can check it out here. We still don’t have a favorite cenote because every cenote has its own magic and beauty.
Of course, driving to Mérida is not a cheap option as you have to rent a car. But trust me, if you can split the cost with a group of friends it will be definitely worth it! You get the chance to explore beautiful places by yourself and you will save money on having to visit them later with a tour.
So, if you like the idea you should check out this tour guide we made with plenty of information about cenotes, Mayan ruins and activities you can do in Mérida and around the whole Yucatán province.