I Little About Me…And What Hooked Me on Merida

July 27, 2011

I am a fourth generation Californian, traveler based in the San Francisco, Bay Area. I’m fascinated by ancient advanced culture where from the oldest Sumerian writings that speak of other-worldly visitations, to Atlantian myths and the Mayan connection with lost treasures beyond—the Yucatan plays a world-class role. While visiting here for the first time in 2003, I discovered even more.

Merida is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that retains much of its French and Spanish colonial charm. While travelers whisking through the city will see it, others taking their time will feel it as they begin to sync to her rhythm. Underneath the hum of the city, Merida is subtle and elegant. Like peeling away the layers of an onion, Merida will reveal herself to you slowly. And like much of the city, the people here are gentle and warm.

Of course since the Mayans (and Aztecs) discovered chocolate over 3000 years ago, its only fitting that I have a home here. You’ll find that the chocolate crafted locally will delight.

And the food you will be happy to know, is as diverse as the people…from the Maya, Spanish and French fusions to Lebanon and beyond. While any review is worthy of separate posts I can tell you here that at least the local cuisine is subtle, textured and sophisticated. Just for starters you’ll taste local spices such as achiote paste made from annatto seeds that are earthy, savory and mouthwateringly delicious. From the freshest seafood to fire-pit roasted pork, it’s my new soul-food.

Evening comes alive in the Historic Centro and neighborhood parks are often the hub! Its the place to see-and-be-seen where something is always going on. You’ll hear a wide range of music genres from 4-part Cuban-influenced Trova bands with expert harmonies and acoustic guitars singing ballads and love songs, to modern Latin rhythms and jazz to the thumping, throbbing music of the discotechs. You’ll see artisans displaying their wares, street food carts and restaurants spilling into the streets. Mimes and story tellers too. It’s all here, and it’s just an evening stroll away.

Best of all, Casa La Barenda is right in the middle of it all in one of the most charming historic districts, Santiago. Casa La Barenda makes an excellent base to explore the many Archeological sites and natural wonders of the region. And if you are anything like me, you might be thinking Merida makes a terrific location to jump to other areas on the planet too. Think Cuba…

If you’d like to learn more about the many things to do here in Merida, check out the Activities page: http://casalabarenda.com/activities.html

Tell me what you think…

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2 Responses to “I Little About Me…And What Hooked Me on Merida”

  1. Shawn Says:

    Hi, we were planning to travel on to Havana from Merida. Any tips? Thanks!


    • Hi Shawn,
      The web is peppered with excellent advice I’m not sure I could improve upon. A search of “travel tips to Cuba’ finds hits that range from currency, to passport/visa issues to what to know hotels, tipping, health, what to see, local transportation, etc. A good, easy to read summary of info is here: http://www.usacubatravel.com/traveltips.htm

      Here is some specific info for you: You can find flights out of Cancun with ‘Cubana de Aviacion’, or ‘Maya Air’ out of Merida to Cancun, then Cuba. As of this writing, there are no direct flights from Merida to Cuba. The travel agency, ‘Diversy Viajes’ can hook you up!


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