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Why This Destination Is The Next Big Tourism Hotspot In Mexico

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Mexico is the number one international destination for American travelers, and this underrated city is quickly growing in popularity.

While destinations like Cancun and Los Cabos remain the most-visited places in Mexico, there's another city that is having a tourist boom right now. It's one of Mexico's lesser-visited destinations that's set to become a new hotspot.

Merida church in Mexico

Merida has been an increasingly popular destination, and it's only going to get busier in the coming months. Last year, there was a 12% increase in visitors compared to the pre-pandemic highs of 2019.

Here's what makes this city on the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico's next hotspot:

Maya Train Connection

The long-awaited Maya Train is officially set to open this December, and it will connect destinations across five different states, including Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo.

Maya Train

Merida will be a stop along the Maya Train route, and it will be easier than ever to visit Quintana Roo beach destinations like Cancun from Merida. Currently, the two destinations are a 4-hour drive apart, but the new train should significantly shorten that travel time.

The Maya Train will also make it easy to visit other popular destinations nearby like the Chichen Itza ruins and the magic town of Valladolid.

Once the train opens, it will create a new tourism network making Merida even more accessible to visitors.

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House in Merida

City Life With Nature Nearby

Another reason that Merida is becoming so popular is because it offers the perfect blend of city life combined with easy access to nature.

Merida is known for its beautiful and historic architecture. The city has a long and rich history, and it's regularly rated as one of the most livable cities in Mexico. With a population of just under 900,000, it's a large city without being as big or overwhelming as Mexico City.

Colonial City Of Merida, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

This makes Merida the perfect destination for travelers who want a mixture of big city life and culture while still having nature close by.

Although Merida is not located on the beach, the nearest beach, Progreso, is only 40 minutes away. Numerous Mayan ruins, including Chichen Itza and Uxmal, are also nearby. And travelers can also discover hidden cenotes (natural swimming holes) in the jungle around Merida.

Female Tourist In Chichen Itza, Yucatan State, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Mexico's Safest City

Many travelers coming to Mexico are concerned about safety. Even with recent travel advisories from the U.S. State Department, most of the popular destinations in Mexico remain extremely safe for tourists.

However, Merida is widely considered to be the number one safest place in Mexico.

The state of Yucatan is one of only two Mexican states with a Level 1 travel rating from the U.S. State Department (the lowest on a scale of 1 to 4) and Merida, being the capital of Yucatan, enjoys a high level of safety and security.

Twin Towers And Part Of The Facade Of Merida Cathedral Seen From An Archway, Partially Covered By Trees, Merida, Yucatan State In Mexico

This makes it a great destination for solo female travelers in Mexico, as well as any other travelers who are concerned about safety.

New Hotels, Restaurants, And More

As Merida continues to grow in popularity and become a new hotspot in Mexico, it's bringing more hotels and restaurants to the city.

A profile from Vogue this year shows just how trendy Merida has become, citing numerous new boutique hotels, restaurants and bars, and local shops that have opened in the city. There is a lot going on in Merida, and you'll never be bored while visiting.

Young woman visiting the city of Merida in Yucatan, Mexico. Tourist destination with colorful houses and streets, typical of the country.

The city has a vibrant atmosphere with something going on at all times.

Right now, Merida is still underrated compared to the more popular destinations in Mexico, but it's clear that this Yucatan city is poised to become the next big tourist hotspot.

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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.


Wednesday 17th of April 2024

Bacalar has been around and one of the best kept secrets in the yucatan. shhh


Sunday 27th of August 2023

I won't travel to Mexico because it's NOT safe! A Filipina owner of my workplace said that she would be scared to travel to Mexico alone. I would be scared too.


Friday 1st of September 2023

@Sara, don’t, people like you don’t belong.


Tuesday 29th of August 2023

@Sara, I am 100% sure that wherever you live in the USA is not safe. Gunmen are killing innocent people in supermarkets, elementary schools, and churches. And the u.s. government refuses to do anything on gun control. Furthermore the USA has no problem snorting up all the illegal drugs it can get it's hands on. Mexico can't keep up with the damand. And lastly a few years ago, the most corrupt president the USA has ever had tried to violently overthrow the government. The USA is the country that is not safe.

Elizabeth Rosado

Sunday 27th of August 2023

Mérida is not one of the lesser visited spots in México, it is already crowded, 20,000 people come to live here every year, real state prices and general life cost is one of the highest in México already.