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Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico – Hand Luggage Only

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico – Hand Luggage Only

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By our fourth day in Merida in Mexico, it felt like we’d pretty much seen most of the major sites to see in Merida (especially on this day and then on this day for the incredible cenotes and Mayan ruins just outside of Merida) but there was one place that we still hadn’t covered yet as that was Paseo de Montejo which is this street that’s famous for it’s grand homes and palaces.

Some of these grand palaces have been converted to buildings for private use or office but there are quite a few that you can actually visit.

Now seeing as this was our main major plan for the day, breakfast at our hotel – Casa Olivia was a long and leisurely affair.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

We were still at the breakfast table 3 hours after we started and only broke with proceedings to get some more tea on the sofa in the dining area. It was amazing.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

I was tempted to get into the pool but decided we had to go check out Paseo de Montejo first before relaxing for the rest of the day.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

With that, we hopped into a taxi and made our way over.

The first things we saw on Paseo de Montejo was actually a stand selling fresh ice-cold coconuts and so we started things off with that first before making our way over to Monumento a La Patria.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Monumento a La Patria is like the main start of the street and is described as a homage to Mexican history.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Leaving it, we made our way back on ourselves heading down Paseo de Montejo towards Quinta Montes Molina which is a museum now and a former stately home.

You can visit properly but we decided it wouldn’t make sense to visit every single one of these places so we saved our potential visiting for Montejo 495 which is a lot further down the street.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Before that though, we went past Museo Regional de Antropología, Palacio Cantón – which is typically just referred to as “Palacio Cantón” for short.

It’s such a grand building and again, is another one to visit if you have time but pick wisely otherwise you might end up with Palace fatigue after attempting to visit all of them.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Montejo 495 is quite literally named that because it’s the address on the street and it is one of the most gorgeous palaces on this street, inside and outside.

When we arrived there, we were told we would have to wait for the next English tour which would be starting soon but that we would have to spend about an hour in there.

Gorgeous as it is, from speaking to locals, you don’t really need an hour to explore the place.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Our only options to visit however were a guided tour.

We got a quick sneak peek inside and just before deciding to go on the tour, we were told that the upstairs is currently being renovated and can’t be visited so we just decided not to bother.

It would have meant for a shorter tour but you don’t get to see everything so it didn’t seem to make much sense to visit.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

With that, we popped over to Parroquia Santa Ana which was just a few doors away.

The entrance was beautifully draped with flowers which is absolutely gorgeous but those flowers were for a wedding that was being held in the church and unlike Merida Cathedral the other day which had some people in for a service, this seemed pretty full so we didn’t go inside and just instead appreciated it from the outside.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

We then hopped into a taxi to take us to our hotel but got out like a street or so away to check out Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol before walking back to Casa Olivia.

Back in Casa Olivia, Mexican wine and well-earned dips in the pool were the order of the day before heading over to Merida Cathedral to watch the ancient Mayan Ball Game that happens every Saturday at 8pm.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

It’s actually a really fascinating part of Mayan culture and at one point, the ball gets lit which takes things up a notch.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

The lighting of the ball reduces the amount of time the players can be in contact with the ball so that makes the game a little harder.

Actually saying that, I should probably give a quick summary of the rules.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

The rule is effectively for players on each side to try to get the ball through a hole in the middle of the field.

They can’t touch it with their hands or kick it. They have to use their sides to hit it which adds a totally understandable level of complexity to the proceedings.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

The game historically was done for more than just for fun.

There’s also a religious element to this for the Mayan people so it was a lot more serious than it looks.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

This game is free to watch by the way and there are even seats in some areas so you definitely should check it out if you can when you visit.

The advice we were given was to arrive before 7:30pm for a great view but we got there probably around 8:05pm and the view we had was still pretty fantastic.

The game is played properly so it could end 30 minutes after it starts or an hour after it starts. It all just depends on the players really.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

This one finished around 45 minutes after it started which was perfect because we had dinner booked for 9pm at Teya Santa Lucía.

It’s a nice enough place for dinner but it paled in comparison to some of the other places we’d been to for dinner before.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

There is live music here too so it might be a good spot to grab a drink in town and a few snacks.

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

On the walk back to the hotel after dinner, we stumbled upon Dzalbay Cantina which we’d seen before while walking through town but hadn’t popped into as it had been closed (it was in the middle of the afternoon).

This evening it was open and I’m not sure if they do food there (they probably do) but it’s got a really cool bar and judging from the stage, there’s also live music there.

The bar staff are really fun in here too and before long we found ourselves continuing in our journey to taste even more tequilas and mezcals and learn more about them while in Mexico.

It was a delicious experience.

Eventually, we bade them adieu and headed back to our hotel to pack and get ready to head back home the next day (after breakfast, of course).

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Exploring The Grand Palaces Of Merida, Mexico

Merida had turned out to be quite a highlight of Mexico for us and we absolutely recommend visiting whenever you get the chance to.


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