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This Stunning City In Mexico Is One Of The Safest For Tourists In North America

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Ever since four Americans were kidnapped in Mexico, two of which brutally murdered, the media has embarked on a defamation campaign against the country, painting it as an ‘unsafe' destination despite the rare nature of violent incidents involving tourists.

Aerial View Of Plaza Grande In Merida, Capital Of The State Of Yucatan, In The Yucatan Peninsula Of Mexico, Latin America

When the Texas Government issued a warning against travel to Mexico, and U.S. Congresspeople denounced the country's apparent leniency in handling crime, the Mexican President himself felt coerced to step in and claimed Mexico is ‘safer' than the United States.

Now, even the most staunch of critics are being forced to reconsider their remarks as Mexico reasserts its status as a low-risk country.

A stunning city in the state of Yucatan has just been named the second safest in all of North America:

Merida Is Safer Than Most Major Cities In The U.S.

Santa Ana Church In Merida, Capital Of The State Of Yucatan, Mexico, Latin America

Merida has been named the second safest city in North America by Ceoworld Magazine, one of the leading business publications in the States, beaten to the number one spot by Quebec City in the Canadian French-speaking province of Quebec.

The magazine assessed 334 cities worldwide based on their safety indices and crime level indicators, and the capital of the Yucatan ranked as the 21st safest destination globally, charting higher than every major U.S. destination.

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Colorful City Hall In Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

In fact, the highest-peaking U.S. city on the list is Salt Lake City.

Merida also outperforms destinations perceived as not risky by American audiences, such as The Hague in the Netherlands, where the International Court of Justice is located, and Geneva, Switzerland, the European headquarters of the UN.

Its high peak on the chart tells of how tourist-friendly Merida is, considering any traditionally ‘safe' place you may have visited in the United States, Canada, or Mexico would still not reach the safety levels locals and visitors alike enjoy in the Yucatan gem – with the exception of the Quebecois capital, of course.

Very Low Crime Levels

colorful buildings in merida mexico

As The Cancun Sun reports, crime levels in Merida range from ‘low' to ‘very low' on every single metric available for consultation, setting the small city apart from the far more dangerous border areas between the States and Mexico, or parts of Quintana Roo where the consumption of illicit drugs had fueled a rise in gang activity recently.

In addition, the state of Yucatan is one of only two regions in Mexico the United States Government lists under its Level 1 Travel Advisory, meaning it is as safe as can be.

Mexican Police Officers Riding A Motorbike

Yucatan shares this status with extremely peaceful nations such as Iceland, Portugal, and Denmark.

In sum, Merida is the closest to European standards you would get in North America, excluding Quebec City, and not only when it comes to safety: its Iberian-inspired cityscape is a sight to behold.

One Of The Prettiest Historical Cities In Mexico

Yellow Colonial Era House In Merida, Mexico, Latin America

Merida is often portrayed as one of the prettiest post-Columbian settlements in Mexico, housing an extensive list of Spanish Catholic shrines, Baroque cathedrals, and traditional 18th and 19th-century colonial mansions.

Aesthetically, one could argue it belongs in the Iberian Peninsula, where the Spanish motherland is located, but beyond its obvious European essence, Merida has retained much of its Mayan character: after all, the indigenous people of the Yucatan Peninsula were the original settlers.

Yellow Colonial Arch In Merida, A Colonial Era City In The Yucatan Peninsula Of Mexico

Many European-built monuments in the city were built from disassembled parts of far more ancient Mayan structures, including the landmark Cathedral of Merida, and the multi-ethnic character of the population is evidence of centuries of cultural clashes between Spaniards and natives.

Some of the ruins and archaeological zones in the Mayan World are found near Merida also: the iconic Chichen Itza is a short 1hr 45min drive from the city, while Uxmal is only an hour away.

Dzibilchaltun, a lesser-known Mayan outpost famous for its well-preserved Temple of the Seven Dolls, sits only 17 miles North of downtown Merida.

Mexican Flag Flying Atop A Historic Fort In Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

A Laid-Back Cultural Destination

If you're looking for an active nightlife and the lively party scene commonly associated with Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and the like, perhaps Merida wouldn't be your cup of tea: it is an inland, surprisingly quaint capital, and cultural activities are the main tourist offer.

However, if you're keen on escaping the overtouristed coast, raving in the jungle isn't your idea of fun, and experiencing a more authentic side of Mexico where tourists are treated as actual guests rather than mere cash dispensers, then Merida is definitely where you should be headed.

merida central square

There are a limited number of international flights landing at Merida International Airport, but once the Tren Maya launches on December 1, getting from Cancun to Merida will be easier than ever before, with the scenic train to complete the journey in under four hours.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Rita Torlen

Thursday 20th of April 2023

Mérida is fantastic but unfortunately it's hotter than hell


Wednesday 19th of April 2023

I was fortunate to spend over a month in Merida. The beautiful beaches of Progreso are only 45 minutes away with buses running there all day long. It's a must-see while in Mexico.