altar for hanal pixan in yucatan mexico

Hanal Pixan: Celebrating Day of the Dead in Merida [2022]


Wondering, What is the Meaning of Hanal Pixan?

Hanal Pixan (pronounced ha-nawl peesh-awn) translates to Food for the Souls in the Maya language. It is a Mayan holiday celebrated throughout Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and is sometimes called Mayan Day of the Dead.

Both Hanal Pixan and Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) are celebrated on October 31-November 2. The holidays actually have many similarities, but also some differences — which you’ll discover in this article.

While it has ancient origins, many Yucatecan people still celebrate Hanal Pixan today, and children even learn about the holiday in local schools. There are numerous activities during the three-day festival that hold different meanings, which will be covered below.

In Merida, the Cultural Capital of the Yucatan, there are several celebrations, city-wide festivals, special foods and local customs. Ready to discover the history of Hanal Pixan, and how to celebrate it in Merida, Mexico today? Let’s get to it!

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

What is Hanal Pixan?

woman with face painted like a skeleton during hanal pixan merida mexico

The first thing you need to know about Hanal Pixan — it is not Mexican Halloween.

Much like Day of the Dead, these are two of the most important Mexican holidays, though Hanal Pixan is celebrated only in Yucatan, whereas Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico.

The Maya believe the pixan (soul) is what forms human life.

They say once the body dies, the soul remains, so that the pixanes (souls) and the living are always connected on some level. On certain occasions, like Hanal Pixan, the soul can fully cross back Earthside for the holiday.

During Hanal Pixan (sometimes spelled Janal Pixán), families honor their loved ones who have passed.

They set up altars filled with their favorite food and symbolic items to help guide the deceased home. Hanal Pixan is meant to continue the link between the dead and the living.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Origins of Hanal Pixan & Day of the Dead

An artistic representation of the Aztec goddess, Mictecacihuatl, the Queen of the Underworld. (Photo: WikiMedia)

The holiday’s origins date back to the Aztec celebration of the goddess Mictecacihuatl, their Queen of the Underworld. Much like the current incarnation of Day of the Dead, the Aztec festival was a celebratory affair.

After Mexican colonization by the Spanish, who brought with them Christianity, the festival was moved from early-summer to fall.

Its new dates coincided with what Christians called Allhallowtide, another multi-day holiday commemorating the deceased.

Allhallowtide took place on October 31-November 2. The first day, October 31, was known as All Saints’ Eve; November 1 was All Saints’ Day; and November 2 was All Souls’ Day.

A Celebration of Life; Not Death

Unlike many present-day rituals around death, the Hanal Pixan holiday is not a somber funerary event. On the contrary, Hanal Pixan is a celebration, one so grand even the deceased return to attend the party held in their honor.⁠

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

When is Hanal Pixan?

altar for hanal pixan in merida mexico

Hanal Pixan: Three Days Festival

Hanal Pixan is celebrated for three days straight, beginning on October 31st. The first night is meant to honor the children that have passed.

November 1st pays homage to adults who have passed while the final day, November 2nd, is dedicated to everyone who passed. 

Throughout the three-day festival from October 31-November 2, different altars are constructed and various celebrations happen. You can observe the differences in the altars each night, as they are dedicated to different loved ones.

October 31: All Saints Eve

Many families observe October 31, the former All Saints’ Eve, by building an elaborate ofrenda (altar) on the cemetery gravestone of their deceased loved one.

As this is the eve of the souls returning, these preparations must be ready for the spirits’ arrival at midnight.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

November 1: Day of the Innocents

What was formerly known as All Saints’ Day, is present-day Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) or Día de los Angelitos (Day of the Little Angels). This day is said to honor the children who have passed.

The spirits of the angelitos (angel children) returned the night before, at midnight, but parties continue all day.

November 2: Day of the Dead

Formerly known as All Souls’ Day, November 2 is the actual Day of the Dead day.

On this day, families and loved ones celebrate the adults in their life who no longer walk the Earth. The spirits of all adults returned the night before, at midnight, but festivities often continue all day.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Hanal Pixan vs Day of the Dead: The Differences

hanal pixan skeleton in merida mexico

You may be wondering, Is Hanal Pixan the same thing as Día de los Muertos?

While they share similarities and are celebrated on the same dates, locally, they are not considered the same thing. It’s easy to think of Hanal Pixan as the Mayan version of Day of the Dead.

While Dia de Muertos is largely celebrated throughout South and Central Mexico, not everyone in Mexico celebrates it. In regions that do, like Oaxaca, San Andrés Mixquic and Isla Janitzio Island in Pátzcuaro, local traditions may vary within cities and families.

Hanal Pixan, however, is only celebrated in the Yucatan Peninsula, and comes from the Mayan people. Most Yucatecans still celebrate the holiday today.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Hanal Pixan Altars vs Day of the Dead Altars

altar for hanal pixan in yucatan mexico

Both holidays involve setting up ofrendas (altars) to allow the dead to pass over and celebrate with their loved ones. However, while they share some similarities in what’s included on those altars, Hanal Pixan has different traditional items. 

During Hanal Pixan, families aren’t allowed to put photos of their deceased loved ones on the altar until a year has passed since their death.

You also cannot touch the food that’s placed on the altar until the day after and they change the altars according to which day it is. 

Día de Muertos and Hanal Pixan both have different meanings on different days, but they aren’t the same. 

The food that is eaten throughout the holiday also differs during Hanal Pixan. Here you’ll find traditional Mayan dishes of the region that you won’t normally see in Día de Muertos celebrations. 

Hanal Pixan in Merida Yucatan

hanal pixan skeleton in merida mexico

One of the most popular places to celebrate Hanal Pixan, and home to the biggest festivities, is Merida. Merida is the capital of Yucatan, which makes it an easy place to visit if you want to join in on Hanal Pixan celebrations. 

How is Dia de los Muertos celebrated in Merida?

In Merida, the city will be decorated for Hanal Pixan. You’ll find altars throughout the town, but some of the best ones are in Plaza Grande (Main Plaza in Downtown Merida) and other public spaces.

You’ll find vendors selling goods at Mercado Lucas de Galvez Market, the largest market in Merida. If you want to make a Hanal Pixan altar, this is the best place to go to find what you need to create your altar.

There will be some celebrations leading up to the holiday in Merida, but families are mostly preparing altars and their loved ones’ tombs beforehand. During the three days of Hanal Pixan in Merida, there will be different public festivities day and night.

The two biggest traditions in Merida are the Camino de Flores (Road of Flowers or Flower Path) and Paseo de las Animas (Parade of Souls). You’ll find more info about both just below.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Camino de Flores

display with colorful flower during hanal pixan in merida mexico, yucatan peninsula

Camino de Flores, which loosely translates to Road of Flowers, features beautiful displays of more than 60,000 plants and flowers. The displays are all made with the Hanal Pixan or Day of the Dead theme in mind.

This is a wonderful place to walk around during Hanal Pixan in Merida. The Camino de Flores is often held at Parque de La Paz (Peace Park), and the elaborate flower displays will be up during the week of Hanal Pixan from about October 25-November 2.

Paseo de las Animas (Merida Parade)

people with faces painted as skulls, holding a candle, walking in the paseo de animas parade in merida for hanal pixan
Paseo de las Animas is the main event during Hanal Pixan Merida Yucatan.

Paseo de las Animas is one of the most popular events in Merida. It’s usually held the Saturday before Hanal Pixan, but dates can vary. To find this year’s dates, you can check the Merida government website here.

The parade will start at the Cementerio General de Mérida (Main Merida Cemetery). During the parade, you’ll hear music and see thousands of people dressed up in traditional attire with their faces painted as skulls. 

If you’re interested in participating, this is a wonderful way to do so. Face painters will be set up before the parade so you can easily get your face painted and join in. The parade ends at Parque San Juan Park, where the festivities continue.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Hanal Pixan in Pomuch, Campeche

colorful cemetery in pomuch, campeche mexico during hanal pixan
The Pomuch Cemetery gets elaborately-decorated during Hanal Pixan Campeche celebrations.

One particularly unique Hanal Pixan tradition happens in Pomuch, a small town in Campeche state. Here, people clean the bones of their loved ones, which is an ancient Mayan tradition. This is how they pay homage to their deceased family and friends. 

Once a person has been dead for three years, they keep their bones in a wooden box and clean them each year during Hanal Pixan. If they don’t, it’s believed that the spirits will be angry and act out on the streets. 

You can observe this tradition taking place at the Cementerio de Pomuch, Pomuch Cemetery in Campeche. Families start by cleaning the small bones and then move to the skull. Throughout the ritual, they’ll be praying, and talking to their loved ones.

🚙💨 Want to visit Pomuch, Campeche? Check out this Merida to Campeche Travel Guide for more info on travel between Yucatan state and Campeche state.

Day of Skulls in Bolivia

The Aymara people in the Bolivian Andes have a similar tradition called Day of Skulls. On November 8, they take their loved ones’ skulls, which are often adorned in decorations, to the cemetery.

The skulls are called ñatitas, and you can ask them to grant wishes for the coming year.

Kite Festival in Guatemala

The town of Sumpango, Guatemala, also hosts a unique Day of the Dead celebration called the Festival de Barriletas Gigantes (Giant Kite Festival). On November 1, local people fly giant, colorful kites above the town’s cemeteries.

Traditional Symbols of Hanal Pixan

Hanal Pixan Altars

altar in merida mexico for hanal pixan (mayan day of the dead)
A traditional Hanal Pixan Maya altar includes all the departed person’s favorite things.

Just walking the streets of Merida, you’ll see ofrendas (altars) throughout town, inside shops and restaurants. They are all decorated with marigold flowers, candles, copal incense and papel picado colorful paper flags.

You’ll also see photos of their loved ones and whatever food and drink they would want to consume on their arrival. They say when the dead return they will be hungry and thirsty from the journey, so we have to prepare accordingly.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Marigold Flowers

bright yellow marigold flowers and magenta coxcomb flowers (cempasuchil)
Marigold and coxcomb flowers are a part of both Hanal Pixan Yucatan and Day of the Dead.

The marigold flower, or cempasuchil (pronounced sem-pah-souch-ill), has been a part of this celebration dating back to its Mayan origins.

Throughout Mexico, marigolds are often called flor de los muertos (flowers of the dead) because of their associations with the Day of the Dead holiday.

According to pre-hispanic beliefs, the flower’s bright color and strong scent served a sensory guide for the spirits. They believed the marigold flowers let our departed know exactly where they should return to meet us.

Nowadays, no Hanal Pixan ofrenda (altar) is complete without some cempasuchil flowers and coxcomb flowers on it.

You’ll also see them all over Merida and other places in Yucatan — on restaurant tables and as elaborate floral archways outside shops.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Hanal Pixan Sugar Skulls

One of the icons of this holiday is the Hanal Pixan sugar skull. Ironically enough, these confectionery treats don’t really have Mexican (or even pre-Hispanic) roots, and come from Europe.

Italian Catholic missionaries brought sugar art to Mexico in the 1600s. Unlike Europe, Mexico is abundant in sugar and sugarcane, so it became a natural place for these molded sugar figures to take root and form their own traditions.

SMALL VS LARGE SUGAR SKULLS

During Hanal Pixan and Day of the Dead in Mexico, sugar skulls will be made in two sizes.

The larger ones are often placed on a gravestone in honor and remembrance of the departed children. These bite-sized ones can also be eaten, used for in-home ofrenda (altar) decoration, and can be taken home as souvenirs.

The larger ones represent a departed person, and that person’s name is written on the forehead of the skull.

You’ll usually see these more elaborate, larger sugar skulls placed on an ofrenda or gravestone for that person’s returning spirit. These are not meant to be eaten.

Amaranto SKULLS

You might also see Hanal Pixan skulls in Merida made of amaranto (amaranth grain). This is a popular food eaten all over Mexico all year-long, but during Hanal Pixan, you’ll find it fashioned into amaranth skulls.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Hanal Pixan Cemeteries

decorated cemetery in merida mexico for hanal pixan

Cemeteries during Hanal Pixan are a sight to see. Families spend days preparing the tombs of their loved ones before Hanal Pixan. They’ll paint graves, set up candles, create elaborate altars and make gorgeous flower arrangements. 

During Hanal Pixan, cemeteries become a gathering place. Families visit their loved ones and share drinks and food and talk to the deceased. If you’re celebrating Hanal Pixan, visiting a cemetery is a must.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

La Catrina: The Skeleton Woman

statue of la catrina, the skeletal woman from day of the dead

Besides Frida Kahlo, La Catrina might be the woman most commonly associated with Mexico. This elegant skeletal lady, who everyone paints their faces to look like, was born in 1910 when Mexican printmaker/illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada first drew her.

He named this figure, La Calavera Garbancera (The Elegant Skull), and she was drawn as satirical social commentary.

His dapper woman with her fancy feathered-hat was a critique of Mexican society at the time, when many Mexicans were aspiring to dress and act more European.

Posada saw this as a snub to the more humble, and traditional style of Mexican dress. He created his Calavera Garbancera character as a skeleton who would serve as a reminder that we all eventually die one day — whether we’re wearing fancy clothing or not.

History of La Catrina, Day of the Dead Icon

mural painting by diego rivera of festive scene in a park with about 50 people
Diego Rivera’s painting, with La Catrina in the center. (Photo: WikiMedia)

La Catrina’s transition into the official grand dame of Day of the Dead came after Mexican artist Diego Rivera (AKA Frida’s husband) painted her with a full-body and Victorian dress.

Using a similar face, he took Posada’s La Calavera Garbancera and created who would become known as La Catrina.

Rivera’s 50-foot-long painting, Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday afternoon in the Alameda Central), seen above, is the first-ever depiction of La Catrina.

She is placed in the dead center of the painting (pun intended), with Rivera himself by her side, and Frida Kahlo behind them.

🎨 Want to see the painting in real life? You’ll need to head to Downtown Mexico City, to the Diego Rivera Mural Museum, one of the best museums in Mexico City.

Traditional Food in Hanal Pixan

Pib (Pibipollo or Mucbipollo)

a giant tamale called pib or mucbipollo, a traditional yucatan food
If you visit Yucatan in October or November, be on the lookout for pib and pib tamales.

If you’re traveling to Yucatan during Hanal Pixan, the Mayan Day of the Dead holiday, don’t pass up the chance to try pib (AKA mucbipollo).

This is a crispy, baked tamale, that almost looks more like a casserole than a Mexican tamal, as it gets cooked in large sheets.

Yucatan Foods Tips: For Yucatan visitors, you’ll probably just want a single pib tamal, not a whole pan of it! Be on the lookout for chachacuahs or tamales enterrados, meaning “buried tamales,” for a single serving of pib tamale.

Yucatecan pib is a locals’ favorite — and something you’ll rarely (if ever) see outside of Yucatan Peninsula. It is only made and sold from about mid-October to early-November to coincide with the Hanal Pixan holiday.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Pan de Muerto

sweet bread roll covered in sugar, called pan de muerto, andd served during day of the dead in mexico

Pan de muerto (Bread of the dead) is a type of pastry bread that’s traditionally only made from about mid-September to mid-November for Day of the Dead. This is a unique pastry, but is sort of a hot cross bun meets morning bun.

Like a morning bun, the dough contains orange zest or orange blossom water, for a lovely, mild citrus flavor. Similar to a hot cross bun, the dough of the pan de muerto has a cross shape on the top of the roll, and it’s topped with sugar.

To sample some, head to a local panaderia (bakery) in Merida. Even many of the best restaurants in Merida will serve a special pan de muerto dessert during the holiday.

Xek

Xek (sometimes spelled Xec) means “scrambled” or “jumbled” in the Maya language. It is a salad made with a lot of citrus fruits, including orange, tangerine and grapefruit, and also jicama, which is a favorite veggie throughout Mexico.

The salad is bathed in juice from the naranja agria, which means sour orange. Similar to the Seville orange, naranja agria is an orange from the Yucatan Peninsula that’s used throughout traditional Yucatan food.

The whole mixture is topped with piquín chili powder, cilantro, and salt.

Traditional Drinks in Hanal Pixan

Xtabentun

bottle of xtabentun mayan honey liquor | what to buy in merida souvenirs
Xtabentun Mayan honey liquor, which isn’t seen much outside of the Yucatan Peninsula. (Photo: Manuel Cózar via Flickr)

Xtabentun (pronounced shtab-en-tune) is an ancient Mayan liquor that’s been made for thousands of years.

It consists of anise seed, and honey made by bees that collect the nectar of xtabentún flowers. Rum is added to the mixture, and it all ferments to create smooth, sweet xtabentun.

To drink, many locals have it straight up or poured over ice. Some people add it to their coffee, or even make a Mayan Coffee. This drink is made with coffee, a shot Kahlua, a shot of xtabentun and heavy cream or ice cream.

When traveling to Merida, a bottle of xtabentun makes one of the best Yucatan souvenirs to bring home.

Balche

Balché (pronounced bah-lah-chay) is a mildly intoxicating beverage consumed by the Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Lacandon Jungle area in Chiapas state.

It is a fermented drink that’s made using the bark of the evergreen Balché tree (Lonchocarpus violaceus), cinnamon, anise and local Mayan honey.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Atole

two red cups with traditional mexican drink called Atole
Xtabentun Mayan honey liquor, which isn’t seen much outside of the Yucatan Peninsula. (Photo: Manuel Cózar via Flickr)

Atole (pronounced ah-toe-lay) is one of the most common Mexico street drinks, especially popular during Day of the Dead and Las Posadas at Christmastime.

It is a corn-based beverage, with a yummy mix of cinnamon, masa, piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar) and vanilla.

Atole (also sometimes spelled atolli, and sometimes called atol de elote) is near-identical to champurrado. This is another one of the best traditional Mexican drinks, but made with chocolate inside of vanilla, which atole has.

Tanchucuá

Tanchucuá (pronounced tan-choo-cha) is a traditional Mayan drink made with ground chocolate and masa (corn dough), but may also contain anise. It is very thick in texture, and pairs well with pib or tamales.

Tanchucuá is consumed in the Yucatan Peninsula, and its neighboring Tabasco state. You might also see it called atole de tanchucuá.

Hanal Pixán: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of Hanal Pixan?

large altar for hanal pixan in merida yucatan peninsula mexico

Hanal Pixan (pronounced hah-nal peesh-awn) translates to Food for the Souls in the Maya language. The word hanal means “food,” and pixan means “soul.”

Did Mayans celebrate Dia de los Muertos?

Yes — After reading this article, you have seen there is a lot of overlap between Hanal Pixan and Day of the Dead.

The two holidays have pre-hispanic roots, and both the ancient Maya and Aztec people have celebrated multi-day holidays to honor the deceased.

Who celebrates Hanal Pixán?

Today, you’ll find Hanal Pixan celebrated throughout the Yucatan by most local people. Visitors are welcome to join, as long as you’re respectful.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

What holidays did the Mayans celebrate?

decorated cemetery in merida mexico for hanal pixan

Post-colonization and the Spanish Inquisition, most Maya people now identify as Catholic. In fact, about 85% of people in Mexico now identify as Catholic. As a result, present-day Mayans tend to observe the holidays on the Christian calendar.

However, many holidays do have a mixture of Mayan and Christian traditions.

During Spanish Colonization, most Mayans were forced to convert to Catholicism. They had to openly celebrate Christian holidays, but integrated their traditions and rituals. While the Mayans may celebrate Christian holidays, they do things a bit differently.

Today, there are several Maya holidays you can observe that are still being celebrated in Mexico.

La Danza de Los Parachicos is an ancient Maya dance that happens during the Great Feast in January, in Chiapa de Corzo. Dancers don traditional attire during the festival, sing, dance, and honor the patron saints of the region.

Another Maya holiday that’s still celebrated today is La Guelaguetza Festival in Oaxaca City. It began as a ritual to the Gods, and is now a lively week-long celebration filled with traditional performances. It begins the Monday after July 16th.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

What do I wear for Hanal Pixan?

Since it’s Hanal Pixan, you might want to pack a special dress or outfit (or both!) to enjoy the nighttime festivities — like the ones below ⤵ You can also head to a local Merida mercado (market), like Mercado Santa Ana and Mercado Lucas de Galvez, to buy a dress.

Costumes are the norm for locals, and many do go all out, with traditional Mayan huipil garments and face painting.

However, this is not the place for American style costumes, especially the “sexy costumes” and overly skimpy outfits that always end up on Buzzfeed lists.

You don’t need to bring all your makeup for La Catrina face painting, as you can just pay someone about $50 pesos ($3 USD) on the street to do it. You, however, will want a good makeup remover.

You’ll also find vendors selling inexpensive flower crowns to complete the look — or you can go all out with one of these elaborate flower crown headbands 🌸

You can also try your luck at one of the Merida mercados mentioned above, as you’ll sometimes find vendor selling fresh flower crowns.

Merida Mexico Travel Guide & FAQ

Where is Merida Mexico?

Merida is the capital of Yucatan state, one of the three states that make up Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, along with Quintana Roo and Campeche states.

Many think Merida is on the beach, but it’s actually about 45 minutes from Puerto Progreso, the closest Merida beach.

Merida Map

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Where to stay in Merida

vintage mexican hacienda in the yucatan peninsula
As a local and expat in Merida, I always recommend The Diplomat Boutique Hotel as the best Merida hotel.

The vast majority of visitors will want to stay in Centro Historico (Downtown Merida), especially if you aren’t renting a car in Merida, because downtown is walkable. Check out the guides below, which highlight all the best Merida accommodations ⤵

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Flights to Merida, Mexico

Wondering what’s the best way to get to Merida? There’s actually an airport about 20 minutes from downtown — Merida International Airport (code: MID).

There are direct flights to Merida from only a few United States cities, like Miami and Houston. If you can’t get a direct flight from the U.S., you can fly into Mexico City or Guadalajara International Airport.

From those, you can take a short, connecting flight into MID.

From the airport, you can take a rental car, Uber, taxi, or private transport service (see below ⤵) to your Merida accommodation.

Depending on where you’re staying, the drive is usually no more than 30 minutes, though it can be a little bit longer during rush hours.

Best Merida Airport transfers

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

Is Merida Mexico safe?

Yes — For the vast majority of travelers, Merida is safe. That’s not to say “bad” things don’t happen in Merida; they do. However, Merida is widely known as the safest city in Mexico.

As safety is a complex topic, check out Is Merida Safe for Travelers? for a deep dive about Merida safety.

Is Merida Mexico worth visiting?

Yes — Merida is one of the best places in Yucatan to visit. La Ciudad Blanca (The White City of Merida) is known as the Culture Capital of Yucatan for its rich Mayan history, only one of many reasons to take a Merida vacation.

Hanal Pixan Merida Mexico

What’s the best time to visit Merida Mexico?

Winter — You’ll get the best Merida weather from about late-October to late-March. Now that you know the best time to travel to Merida, the worst month to visit is May.

This is the hottest month of the year, though it’s just generally pretty hot from May to September.

Merida Weather

Final Thoughts: Celebrating Hanal Pixan in Yucatan

Hanal Pixan in Merida attracts large groups of tourists each year. However, it’s important to remember that this is a holy, traditional holiday for the Mayans and Yucatecans.

Hanal Pixan is an incredible holiday to experience, but if you want to participate, please be respectful.

This includes abiding by local traditions and rules, and educating yourself on the history and meaning. While this article was a good starting point, there are others, like this one in The Yucatan Times.

Merida Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

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

💧Can you drink the water in Merida?

No — You’ll want to buy a 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, Booking 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 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 upon arrival.