The essentials for the gay traveler in Merida
Beautiful Mérida, the safest city in Mexico, blessed with fantastic climate and which was on it´s heyday, one of the fanciest cities in Latin America, is becoming a quite hot spot right now, appealing to travelers due to its amazing heritage, great offer of nearby beaches, mayan archaeological sites, cenotes, haciendas and more.
Gay travelers are becoming more aware of this “hidden” colonial gem since it offers what we usually look for in good vacation destination: excellent gastronomy and beautiful but affordable restaurants, a whole world of different styles of traditional architecture to admire, but also a modern and progressive city that at the same time takes care of its Spanish and Mayan heritage. Yucatan is a whole new world to explore.
In this is honest guide made by us, you will read the exact recommendation that we give to our friends who arrive in the city. This is not a marketing post, so feel fully confident you will enjoy these recommendations.
Where to eat
- Casa Chica
Is the place to be! Since opened its doors a year ago, it offers a great chic and young ambience in an old colonial house on the most beautiful avenue of Merida. The food is tasteful and very nicely priced. It famous for its drinks and cocktails. And although not a gay venue, it is frecuented by the local gay crowd. You can feel a free and very friendly athmosphere.
- Hermana Republica Downtown
A great representation of the architecture renaissance of Merida, mixing old colonial houses ruins with modern architecture. At the top of that, the food is excellent. We suggest you order different dishes and share with your friends, so you can try as most as you can. If you are a beer lover, this is your spot. Hermana República is Merida best Beer Brewer with different kind of beers to try.
- Salon Gallos
The new hot spot in town. This cantina and restaurant is also a cultural & exhibition space with a by invitation program for artists, curators, galleries and institutions, to present projects and exhibitions within the complex of Salón Gallos. The Merida vibes here is as high as it gets. Link
“You’d head to this place even if you were in the Arctic, it’s that good. Get your tongue around full-cream, 100% natural gelati with some of the quirkiest flavours in ice-cream land. Flan de la Cubanita (Cuban-style vanilla custard) is quite addictive, while other flavors include cardamom, blue cheese and apple, and avocado.” Lonely Planet Top choice ice cream in Mérida. Link
Amazing houses to visit
- Casa Tho
The house by itself is worth a visit, and old colonial house, remodeled and divided in different spaces where shops with unique and authentic products are stablished. Products for women, men, perfumes, accessories, guayaberas and even a nice restaurant you can find here.
- Fundación de los Artistas
This is another example of places worth a visit, not only because of the house by itlself, but because of the products typical of Yucatan that are sold here. Entering this space, you will imagine how it felt to live in the old colonial times, big patio with big rooms, where you can buy from hammocs, perfumes to chocolates. You can feel the history in this house.
- Coqui Coqui
Perfume shop established in historic houses, renovated with unique architecture styles. With strong religious art and big mirrors decorating the spaces, you will be transported to colonial times. Coqui Coqui are not only perfume shops, also they are a perfect spa and 2 bedrooms hotels. You can find Coqui Coqui in Merida, Valladolid, Izamal, Coba, all of them are worth a visit if you are an architecture lover.
Pan & Kof.feé
Artesanal bakery and espresso bar. This a nice example of the amazing cofee shops you find in Merida on renovated colonial houses.
Where to Buy
Besides Casa Tho and Fundacion de los Artiscas check out these:
A hidden small gem at centro, where you can buy shoes, shirts, typical hats and accessories. Everything with great design that reflects Yucatan tradition and modern tendencies. Is worth having a look.
Úumbah, which in Mayan means rocking in a hammock, wants to convey to locals and foreigners what a hammock represents in Yucatan “the most precious object since birth” and that will accompany us throughout our lives.
Having such a diverse culture incorporates into this space other objects made by Mexican hands that represent a large part of who we are. (link)
Where to train
- Up fitness Altabrisa
Merida is crazy about Gyms, with new bigger and better gyms opening every month. But there is one that’s stands out. Up fitness Altabrisa is a 3 stores gym, with all the equipment you can expect, a full store just for leg training , expect to see some nice (intert peach emoji)s . Is also a recurrent for hot locals, gay and straight, the handsome guys come to this gym. $80 pesos the visit
Since Merida is becoming more an open and tolerant city, gay locals in Merida enjoy to mix openly with straight people in cantinas, clubs and straight places, also Centro is very common for us to spend time during the weekend due the good restaurants, cantinas and cultural activities that are held there, so just walking in the picturesque calle 60 you will meet gay people.
Good places to meet people both gay and straight are Cantinas (you can see the list of better gay friendly cantinas, gay bars and parties in Merida by clicking here). The Gay clubs and bars are usually very full during the weekends.
Virtual Hook Ups
Another good option to “meet” people is on dating apps. In Merida Grindr is the most popular dating app, with more of the action happening in Centro. Scruff Is also very popular for mature audiences, with less profiles but people more willing to jump from chatting to actually meeting.
Hope you enjoy the city of Merida as much as we do.
Here is a list of phone number you will find helpfull in case of emergency.
Merida is one of the safest cities in Mexico, but is always better to be preppared.