How to move around Merida, public and private transport
When arriving to a new city, the first thing you face while figuring out how everything works where you are, is understanding how to get to your first stop, usually your airbnb, hotel or accommodation site. Even if this is easily solvable, the dilemma doesn’t end there… you’ll still be challenged when heading to a restaurant, a tour, bus stations, museums, airport...
Of course, needless to say there is no worldwide standard, not even national nor city-wide, about how to plan and organize a city. Each place showcases its history and (unplanned) growth, leaving you first-comer in the middle of a street, with a map in a best-case scenario, and without knowing if you are pointing to the right direction. Here are some Merida tips to help you reach your destinations with ease.
1. Streets are numbered
Going from North to South street numbers are even, and odd from East to West. You will find most addresses by the main street and signaling its crossings; which use the conjuction “by = por”, and written as “x”.
For example, the Peón Contreras theater is at Calle 60, x 57 and 59.
This mechanism is used throughout the city; however some street numbers are repeated at different neighborhoods, so if you head outside the city center make sure to know the borough.
2. Public transport within the city
Pro: Public transport is safe and connects you to any point in the city. Con: Bus routes, especially bus stops, are almost unpredictable.
Make sure you know beforehand or ask where the bus stop is, where you’ll get off and what route will it follow. Although the routes and stops are defined, they are not necessarily visible and may seem like a hidden-treasure. Most routes start before 6am and end, on average, 11pm.
This is the official link with the bus stops of Merida’s lines.
These are the state transportation routes within Merida.
- Moovit is a useful app to identify buses’ alternatives by introducing your starting point and destination, it also gives you approximate schedules.
3. Bike (or walk) within the city
Mérida is a safe, quiet city and it’s easy to travel by bicycle or walking. With 2 exceptions: if you have to commute from one end to the other on the same day more than once, or if you are transiting at noon. Remember heat can be extreme, mainly from April to September.
If you can use a bike, I would say that’s your best option. Many times it is a better to bike than go by car, mainly in downtown since it is much more efficient with stop lights and traffic. To find routes, you can follow Google Maps recommendations. Also remember you can get the exact location of attractions, along with a technical file for each place in Yucatan peninsula: Yucatán, Quintana Roo (Cancún, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Chetumal) and Campeche.
4. Taxi and digital platforms
Taxi service in Merida is affordable, and there are several private transportation options. Some of the alternatives are:
didi - it has recently arrived, as every new platform it offers good service and better rates
cabify - legally constituted transportation platform in Yucatan, and which includes local taxis platform as well
taximeters - variable rate depending on distance and time
- taxis - fixed rate
- * note * outside of Merida, the most common transportation mechanism are moto-taxis (by motorcyles) or bici-taxis (by bicycles)... you must try it, at least once
5. Public transport outside of Merida
Yucatan public transport connects the whole state with highways or roads. The only con is that as the state is so big, many bus routes can take quite a while.
You can check out routes details (estimated duration, cost, useful info, etc), how to get by car, and other transport options in the “Map/How to get to...?” section of places or cities.
Or see a Yucatan list of public transportation here.
Merida has 5 bus stations:
AutoProgreso (a couple of squares from Gran Plaza, 62 St. between 65 St. & 67 St., downtown)
To reach Progreso
Noreste, 2nd class (near Lucas Galvez Market, 67 St. between 50St. & 52St., downtown)
Departures start at 5am, to almost any direction in Yucatan (Southwest not included). Some destinations are: Izamal, Dzilam de Bravo, Tizimín, Río Lagartos (Las Coloradas), Cancún, Acanceh, Tecoh, Teabo, Mani, Oxkutzcab, Peto, Cuzamá, Homún, Holbox, etc.
TAME, 2nd class (69 St. between 68 St. & 70 St., downtown)
Some destinations: Umán, Abalá, Tekax, Cancún, Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Playa del Carmen, Izamal, Valladolid, Tizimín, Cobá, Tulum, Holbox, Chetumal, etc.
CAME, ADO 1st class (one bus station is at downtown, the other is located near Fiesta Americana hotel)
These are the main stations to travel to farther distances, mainly to visit other states (or services to Cancun airport, Chichén Itzá and Valladolid), you can even to to Belize from here.
There are also “Colectivos” (vans) services from 5am to several places in Yucatan. These vans are faster than buses and the price is almost the same but, they usually don’t have a schedule, instead their departure is until they are full.
- Centro or outside Noreste bus station - destinations: Cuzamá, Homún, Motul, Uman...
6. Transport and private or specialized services outside Merida
At Wanderlum we can help you find safe services. Even if you are searching for a private experience or if you want a tour or if you are getting on your own, our goal is that you enjoy your stay in Yucatan, being surprised by great adventures you'll experience.
Ecotourism: cenotes (sinkholes), kayaking in mangroves (at sunset or at night), trail biking, rappel (from 15m to 70m), camping, hiking, scuba diving...
Cultural: Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Puuc Route…
P.S. Remember to get your Merida map with a list of our recommendations and Merida's free events calendar, read the article here.
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How to get to Merida
Merida has an international airport, highways in excellent conditions which connect all Yucatan, as well as Campeche and Quintana Roo, providing easy commutes from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
[+] Merida is a perfect base point to visit most of Yucatan, and even Campeche.
[+] It is advisable to bring biodegradable insect repellent and sunscreen, and water. Remember heat can be extreme, especially from April to September.