The city of Mérida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, has been twice appointed the Cultural Capital of the Americas, the first time in 2000 and then again in 2017, due to the large support given to educative and cultural activities. In the recent years, Mérida has hosted many of the most important meetings in science and culture, like the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2005, The International Physics Olympiad in 2009, and the Sixth Summit meeting of the Association of the Caribbean States in 2014.

The Yucatán peninsula covers a large portion of the southeastern section of México, including the states of Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo. Along with the states of Tabasco and Chiapas, as well as some parts of the neighboring countries of Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, it housed the original lands of the ancient Mayan culture, one of the most important pre-Columbian civilizations and the direct ancestors of the present day population.





Beginning in 2000 B.C, the start of pre-classic period, up to the arrival of the Spanish explorers and conquerors in the early years of the sixteenth century, the Mayan culture flourished throughout the region. Several ancient cities and religious centers can be visited, associated with different moments of splendor of this enigmatic and powerful civilization of prominent astronomers and mathematicians. Their hieroglyphic writing, the concept of zero and their complex calendar system are some of the cultural features have captured our imagination to this date.

Among the most important archeological sites, lie El Caracol, Joya de Cerén, Copán and Tikal, in the Central American portion of the Mayan region. Some of the most important sites are located in the states of southern México, like Palenque, Xel-Há, Calakmul, Edzná, Comalcalco, Yaxchilán, Tulúm. Within the State of Yucatán, are Chichén-Itzá, Ek-Balam, Uxmal, Kabáh, and Labná.

The peninsula is a singular place for a variety of reasons. The humid, warm weather promotes its special flora and fauna. The geology with characteristic calcareous soils and groundwater form a unique kind of natural wells, called cenotes, magical places of exceptional beauty. Along with the numerous archeological sites preserved from the Mayan ages, these constitute a must-see for any visitor. Another unique feature of the region is the exceptionally rich cultural heritage that resulted from the Mayan legacy mixed with influences of the colonial times. It is perceived in the language as well as in the famous cuisine of Yucatán, which stands out even in the greater universe of Mexican Cuisine, declared as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO.

Tourist attractions
Mérida and the state of Yucatán are one of the most popular destinations for international travelers in México. Some of the main reasons have been previously stated. Here are some useful resources to find out more about Mérida and its surroundings:

Here are some useful resources to find out about Mérida and its surroundings:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico/yucatan-peninsula/merida
https://travelyucatan.com/mayan-ruins/

 

Traveling to Mérida
Mérida's International Airport Manuel Crescencio Rejón (MID) is located southeast from the city center. Domestic flights arrive from México City, Guadalajara, Villahermosa, Cancún, Monterrey, Veracruz and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. International flights arrive from cities such as Miami, Houston, Atlanta and Dallas, in the USA; Milán and Roma, in Italy; Toronto, Canada; La Habana, Cuba, and Belize City, Belize.

In addition to Mérida's airport, the well-known Cancún tourist center on the Caribbean coast is another important aerial destination. Located some 300 km away, Cancún International Airport (CUN) receives frequent flights from the following airlines:

Aeromexico

Interjet

Spirit Airlines

WestJet

Air New Zealand

JetBlue Airways

Sun Country Airlines

Sunwing

Alitalia

KLM

Sunwing

Tropic Air

American Airlines

LATAM Airlines

Tropic Air

United Airlines

AVIANCA

LATAM Airlines Brasil

United Airlines

Virgin Atlantic

British Airways

Lufthansa

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Australia

Copa Airlines

MAYAir

Virgin Australia

VivaAerobus

Delta Air Lines

Qantas

VivaAerobus

Volaris

Iberia

Southwest Airlines

Volaris

Volaris Costa Rica