Can You Drink the Water in Merida Mexico in 2024?

bottle pouring water into five glasses | can you drink the water in merida mexico

What’s the deal with drinking water in merida mexico?

If you’re traveling to Merida soon, you’ve probably wondering — Can I drink the water in Merida? and Is the water in Merida safe to drink? The answer to both questions is NO, please don’t drink the water in Mexico!

Mexico tap water isn’t considered safe for human consumption; not for locals and not for visitors. In fact, I have lived in Merida since 2019, and I still can’t and don’t drink the water. So what can you do as a visitor?


water bottles

Your best option is this Water-To-Go Bottle which both keeps you hydrated, and filters your drinking water in Merida! 💸 Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF your purchase.

This Water-To-Go Bottle ⤴ is great because you don’t have to keep buying single-use plastic bottles — which are bad for the planet ♻️ and get costly after a while.

You can also boil your Merida tap water before drinking it, though you must be in a Merida Airbnb with a stove.

But don’t worry; we’re going to get into everything you need to know about Merida Mexico drinking water.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what to do to avoid Montezuma’s Revenge in Merida so you don’t get sick in Mexico from the water.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Can you drink tap water in Merida Mexico?

NoMerida Mexico tap water isn’t safe for human consumption. Know this does mean “all humans,” including Merida locals, Merida visitors, and even Merida Mexico expats like me.

jars of aquas frescas in mexico
Wondering, Can you drink water in Merida if it’s in mixed drinks? YES — Any mixed drinks or agua fresca (fruit water) will be made with bottled water or purified water.

I have lived in Mexico since 2018 and Merida since 2019, and don’t drink unfiltered Mexico water. So, the answer to your question, can you drink tap water in Mexico? is no.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Can locals drink the water in Merida?

NoMerida locals drink bottled water. Tap water in all Mexico is not safe to drink for anyone, so no one drinks straight tap water in Merida.

Since locals don’t want to get sick just as much as you don’t want to get sick, there will be no instance when anyone will serve you tap water.

To make Merida water safe to drink, you must boil it or use a filterable water bottle like the Water-To-Go. Many locals buy a garrafón (five-gallon water jug) and keep those in their homes for use.

While in-home water delivery service isn’t practical for visitors, this Water-To-Go Bottle is!

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Why can’t you drink the water in Mexico?

Many want to know, Why is the water in Mexico not safe to drink? First off, waterborne illness isn’t exclusive to Mexico. You can get sick from water anywhere in the world, as water is a great carrier for things like bacteria, protozoa, viruses, toxins and parasites — which can all make you sick.

The reason tap water is “safer” in some places versus others comes down to one thing: filtration.

In recent years, water filter standards have improved, but Mexico water is still not safe enough. For this reason, I always recommend Merida travelers get a Water-To-Go Bottle.

According to their website, the 3-in-1 filter membrane removes 99.9999% of all water-borne contaminants.

water bottles

There are three Water-To-Go bottle styles: The Classic Bottle, the Active Bottle and the Go! Bottle. 💸 Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF your purchase.

what is in the water in mexico that makes you sick?

Just like in the U.S., tap water in Mexico has tiny microscopic organisms invisible to the naked eye.

The important thing here is these are often different microorganisms than you’re used to in the U.S. Your body can tolerate the ones it’s used to, but unfamiliar ones can lead to Montezuma’s Revenge.

What bacteria is in Mexico water?

Unless your water is tested right before you drink it, there’s really no way to know for sure what’s in that particular cup or bottle of water.

In short, there’s no one type of bacteria exclusive to Mexico water, but some types of microorganisms in Mexico water can include giardia and e. coli.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

What happens if you drink the water in Merida?

For many travelers, absolutely nothing will happen — especially if it’s just a sip on accident. For some travelers, they will get sick. In a small percentage of cases, the person will get very sick.

About three million visitors come to Merida each year, and only a very small percentage get sick from Merida water.

While it’s great to be vigilant, you don’t have to obsess or stress! The important thing to know is not even locals tap water in Merida, so there’s no chance you will.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

What do I do if I’m sick in Merida Mexico?

If you’re very sick, go to the nearest hospital immediately; Clinica de Merida is a great option that’s centrally located.

However, if it’s not a medical emergency, you should still go see a doctor ASAP — especially if you’re vomiting or have diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. Getting sick from Mexico water is no joke.

🇲🇽 Merida Travel Tips: If your Spanish isn’t great, download the Google Translate app. With this app, you and the doctor can speak into your phone, and the translation is spoken back to you both.

Can you drink the water in merida mexico?

How do I see a doctor in Merida?

Unlike in the U.S., going to the doctor in Mexico is an inexpensive and quick process. If you find yourself sick in Mexico, open Google Maps, find one of the big chain pharmacies near you, and go straight there.

Dr. Simi of Farmacia Similares pharmacy merida mexico
Friendly Dr. Simi of Farmacia Similares, one of the biggest Mexico pharmacy chains.

These best Merida farmacias include Farmacia Similares, Farmacia Yza and Farmacia Guadalajara.

Once there, you’ll want to head to their walk-in clinics — which are sometimes called consultorios. Not all pharmacies in Merida have these clinics, but most do.

Usually, within 15 minutes or so, a doctor will see you to assess your symptoms, and since you’re already at a pharmacy, you can get any meds you need right then and there.

If you require further medical assistance, the doctor will let you know after the exam.

💁‍♀️ Here’s my personal experience at a Merida clinic

woman on a swing in the water in laguna bacalar lake mexico
Spider bite aside, Laguna Bacalar — the Lake of Seven Colors — is still one of my favorite places in Yucatan!

I was bit by a spider in Bacalar, Mexico, and wanted a doctor to assess the bite.

When I got back to Merida, I went to a walk-in clinic and saw a doctor in less than five minutes. The exam, antibiotic pills, and a cream for the bite cost $8 USD.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

What is Montezuma’s Revenge Mexico sickness?

Known as Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico, the medical name for this sickness is Traveler’s Diarrhea, or TD. Not exclusive to Merida or Mexico, TD can happen to any traveler in any country.

In short, be cautious in Merida, but know this type of illness can occur when traveling anywhere.

🇮🇳 In India, TD is called Delhi Belly — a play on words using the Indian city of Delhi (pronounced “deli”).

TD happens because your personal microbiome (natural gut bacteria) can’t handle whatever’s in the food and water in the place you’ve traveled to.

I’m no doctor, so take this with a grain of salt, but you can strengthen your microbiome before you travel to Merida with probiotic supplements.

How long does Montezuma’s Revenge last?

woman having stomach ache | How to NOT Get Sick in Mexico
If you ask, why can’t you drink water in Mexico? This is why, so read this RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 How to NOT Get Sick in Mexico: 10 Tips You Need

It will vary from person to person, so there’s no real answer. Some people are lucky and have it for 12 hours, but for others, it can last several days. If you feel sick in Merida, go see a doctor.

Treatment for Mexico Stomach bug & TD

The treatment will depend on the severity of each individual TD case. For many, an over-the-counter medication, like Imodium, works just fine.

In fact, I always recommend traveling to Merida with Imodium and keeping it in your purse — This way, you have it the moment you need it.

Can you drink the water in merida mexico?

Drinking Water in Merida to Avoid Dehydration

When most travelers think about getting sick in Mexico, they think it’s only the Mexico drinking water itself that will do it.

Wrong! In reality, many Mexico travel horror stories often end up being about all the other types of sickness no one prepared for — namely, dehydration.

🌡️ Merida Water & Temperature Averages

merida weather chart
Merida Mexico average weather. (Photo: Weather and Climate)

As you can see above ⤴ Merida is hot year-round 🥵. Since Mexico is closer to the Equator than anywhere in the U.S., the sun’s rays are stronger.

For me, when I carry a water bottle on me, I remember to keep drinking throughout the day — which has saved me in Merida’s heat many times!

If you haven’t already added a Water-To-Go Bottle to your cart, preventing dehydration is just one reason to purchase. These refillable bottles not only filter your drinking water so you don’t get sick, but they also help keep you hydrated.

💸 Bonus: You won’t have to keep buying bottled water in Merida.

water bottles

Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF all Water-To-Go Bottles ▶︎ Shop now!

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

What’s the best bottled water in Merida Mexico?

Now that you know to avoid tap water in Mexico, just what do you drink?! The answer is bottled water, which is readily available everywhere. Taste-wise and reputation-wise, many say the best water in Mexico is from the Epura brand.

💁‍♀️ Though Epura has a good reputation overall, that’s in no way a guarantee each and every bottle of water is 100% free of waterborne contaminants.

Regardless of brand, there are two things to consider about bottled water in Merida:

1️⃣ Even from the best brand, they can’t ensure each individual bottle is of exceptional quality, and;

2️⃣ Single-use plastics from disposable water bottles are horrible for the environment.

🇲🇽 Merida Travel Tips: You don’t have to order bottled water in Merida restaurants! You can ask for the FREE filtered water from the garrafón (five-gallon jug). As not all filtered water is created equal, pour that cup of water into your Water-To-Go Bottle.

the (real) best water in Mexico

To give you the best chance on how to NOT get sick in Mexico on your vacation, I recommend boiling the tap water and then going one step further and running it through this Water-To-Go Refillable Water Bottle before you drink it.

You can also buy a large bottle of water from a Mexico convenience or grocery store, keep it in your hotel or Airbnb, and refill your Water-To-Go bottle as needed.

You might be wondering, Is it overkill to filter bottled water? No — This is the closest thing to a guarantee you’ll drink clean water in Merida.

💧 What is water-to-go?

With BPA-free Water-To-Go bottles, you have access to clean water anywhere in Merida without having to buy environmentally damaging, single-use plastic water bottles.

This means you can fill water straight from the tap and safely drink it from your Water-To-Go bottle.

Water-To-Go bottles have a three-stage filter that removes 99.9999% of waterborne contaminants.

This includes viruses, bacteria, chemicals, parasites, microplastics, and more — turning all water, even non-boiled tap water, into safe Merida Mexico drinking water!

We envision a world where everyone has access to clean drinking water, free of single use plastics. 

Water-To-Go Mission Statement

The 3-in-1 filter is a net within a net within a net, making it nearly impossible for illness-causing contaminants to get through.

Wondering what happens to the water filter when you have to replace it? Great question! The filter membrane is biodegradable and the shrouds are recyclable♻️

Can you drink the water in merida mexico?

Merida Mexico Tap Water FAQ

Can you brush your teeth with tap water in Merida?

No — Some people will use bottled or purified water to brush their teeth.

While this may or may not prevent getting sick in Mexico, you can always just avoid wetting the toothbrush before you brush your teeth, which should be enough of a preventative measure.

Now, to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth, you’ll want to use bottled or filtered water.

Can you drink the water in merida mexico?

Can you shower in Merida water?

Yes — The shower water is absolutely safe. In fact, I use it every single day 🤣

What I will say is that Merida and Yucatan water is known to be quite hard. The limestone aquifer from which local water comes through makes it rich in minerals, especially calcium — which is called sarro in Spanish.

You will want to travel with your best skin moisturizer; I use Palmers.

Can I open my mouth in the shower in Mexico?

Wondering, Should you drink the water in Mexico? No — Don’t be like Charlotte!

Yes, but don’t! — This comes from an episode of Sex & the City where Charlotte opens her mouth in the shower by accident, swallows a mouthful of water, and gets really sick in Mexico.

While you should not drink water from the shower, if some splashes on your mouth, you’ll likely be fine.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Can I cook with tap water in Merida?

This is 100% safe if you’re boiling the water. If you’re making a delicious Mexican soup or pasta dish, you’re completely fine to cook with Mexico tap water since you will be killing off the microorganisms in the boiling process.

🧊 Ice in Mexico, however, is a different story — as you’ll see below.

🥗 Are salads safe in Mexico? 

Yes — While you may have come across info saying Don’t eat salads in Mexico, this is simply untrue.

Many assume that since raw veggies are only run under tap water to clean them in the U.S., this is done the same way in Mexico.

It’s not! As you now know, Mexico tap water is not safe to consume, so running veggies under tap water would also make them unsafe to eat.

In Mexico, produce isn’t just rinsed with tap water because you can’t actually clean anything in water that itself isn’t well, clean.

Rather, many use a vinegar-water mixture, warm, soapy water, and even store-bought produce wash to clean their fresh fruits and veggies.

Is it safe to wash dishes with Mexican tap water?

Yes — If you’re staying in a Merida Airbnb or VRBO and need to wash any dishes, it’s the same process as in the U.S.

Just use plenty of dish soap and warm water, and you’re good to go with clean dishes 🍽

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Can I drink ice in Merida?

Yes — You can safely drink ice in Mexico; I do every single day! In a hot place like Merida, you will definitely want to have a cold beverage, though I have seen plenty of other articles online saying not to drink ice in Mexico.

pitcher of agua de jamaica
Wondering, Is ice safe in Mexico? It is, so don’t miss out on all the unique Mexican drinks that have ice, like agua de jamaica, one of the best Mexican nonalcoholic drinks.

As mentioned, locals don’t drink the tap water, and they don’t make ice cubes with it either. While boiling water does kill off bacteria, freezing it does not.

Though I have seen plenty of other articles online saying to avoid ice in your drink, there’s no reason anyone would make ice with tap water.

Now, if you want to avoid ice for peace of mind, then go ahead.

If you really want peace of mind, however, keep reminding yourself that locals would also get sick from that ice, so it’s more likely that no one’s making unsafe ice, and your ice is totally fine!

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Can I drink coffee in Merida?

Yes — Coffee is made with purified water, like all other drinks in Mexico. For those drinking hot coffee, there’s even less chance the microorganisms in the water haven’t died off.

coffee and concha at Manifesto Cafe Merida Mexico
Wondering, is Mexico water safe to drink? I don’t drink Merida tap water, but it’s definitely safe to get your coffee fix, especially the ones served in Merida restaurants.

☕️ As Mexico has some of the best coffee-growing regions of the world, don’t skip the delicious Mexican coffees.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Can you drink the water in Mexico resorts?

Drinking water in any Merida hotels or any Mexico hotels is also unsafe — unless the staff explicitly tells you it’s OK.

water bottles

Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF all Water-To-Go Bottles ▶︎ Shop now!

With Merida located in the Yucatan Peninsula, home to many of the major beach towns like Cancun and Tulum.

Some may be combining their Merida trip with a trip to a Mexico resort — or even one of these amazing Mexico overwater bungalows! In that case, you’ll want to know about resort water.

Some of the most upscale 5-Star Mexico resorts have elaborate filtration systems or water purification system, but this is far from the norm. Err on the side of caution, and don’t drink the tap water in your resort.

Wherever you’re headed in Mexico, know that your best defense is a good offense! If you have your Water-To-Go Bottle with you while traveling, you always have access to clean, purified drinking water in Mexico.

Can you drink the water in merida Mexico?

Should I get Travel Insurance for Merida?

In an article focused on the question, Can I drink the water in Merida? I’d be remiss not to talk about Mexico travel insurance. For me, travel insurance for Mexico is a no-brainer — as it can mean the difference between a $2,000 hospital bill and a $2 hospital bill if you get sick in Merida!

Is Travel Insurance Mandatory For Mexico
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 Best Travel Insurance for Mexico

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

If Mexico travel safety and health are on your mind, get your FREE quote below from World Nomads and Safety Wing, two of the biggest names in travel insurance.

World Nomads

World Nomads has the Standard Plan with general travel coverage, and the Explorer Plan, perfect for those who want to do adventurous activities while traveling in Merida, like climbing the Mayan Ruins and swimming in Merida cenotes.

Plans average about $7 USD per day.

Safety Wing

Safety Wing is the best Mexico travel insurance for digital nomads and long-term travelers who plan to stay a while. Plans start at only about $40 USD per month — so this is a no-brainer.

Final Thoughts: Can you drink the water in Merida?

woman with grey reusable water bottle by Water-To-Go
In this can you drink water in Mexico post, I can’t recommend Water-To-Go Bottle enough.

As you now know, no one drinks tap water in Merida — not locals, not visitors and not Merida expats (me included).

I get Mexican bottled water delivered to my home, but as a visitor, that’s impractical. For this reason, I recommend getting this Water-To-Go Bottle with a built-in filter.

Your Water-To-Go Bottle filters 99.999999% of bacteria, viruses, toxins and microplastics, which both covers your Merida water safety and helps prevent dehydration.

Carrying a water bottle at all times means you’re more likely to keep drinking, which is important in Merida’s heat 🥵

As mentioned, getting sick in Merida from the water is a bit of a crap shoot. It can happen whether or not you’re obsessing over it, so there’s definitely no point in doing so.

You now have several tips on how NOT to get sick in Mexico, so make good choices and enjoy your Merida trip to the fullest.

Merida Travel Planning Guide

Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

Can you drink the water in Merida?

No — You’ll want to buy this Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

Is it safe to rent a car in Merida?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

Will my phone work in Merida?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

What’s the best way to book my Merida accommodation?

For Mexico hotels and hostels, is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb! (Read more)

What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?

For finding cheap Mexico flights, I always recommend Skyscanner.

Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa or passport stamp upon arrival.

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bottle pouring water into two glasses | can you drink the water in merida mexico