Merida was a logical stop from Palenque on our way to the Yucatan and Quintana-Roo regions and their amazing beaches. We only stayed 2 days, always prefering to avoid big cities, even though there is much to do and see in Merida.
Historically, Merida is a colonial town with a much stronger spanish influence in the architecture than in other regions we had been to so far, meaning that most of the main squares and historical buildings are grey, yellow or white! We only explored a little around the hostel, but not much further as we were much more interested in hanging out by the pool and hammacks in the hostel with our old and new-found friends: William (who we travelled with from Palenque by night bus), Laura from France, Giorgianna from Italy, Steph (or ‘Stiff’) and Anita from Oz, Timo and Ireen from Germany, and Lucie from France. We got to know eachother better after a few meals, drinks and even a salsa lesson, together. We also bonded over the tragic US presidential election evening, and consoled our poor travel buddy William (from Kansas -and probably 1 of only 3 people there who didn’t vote for Trump!-), who kept his mind busy by giving us live commentary throughout.
We also opted for a fun day trip with Timo, Ireen and Lucie to some secluded cenotes about an hour’s drive from Merida. Fortunately Timo had rented a car to get around and we ceized the opportunity! A cenote is a unique geolocial feature mainly found in Mexico, like a sunken lake inside a cave or outside surrounder by walls of rock and jungle. They are almost always bright blue in colour and people can swim in the freshwater and caves, which takes getting used to. We did 4 cenotes, all inside caves. The last 3 were in an area that could only be accesed by horse-driven carts, which was a fun experience in itself!
Onwards to Valladolid for more cenotes, and another archeological site, Chichen-Itza, one of the 7 Wonders of the World.