Expats in Yucatan: The basics

Merida's parks
Parks in Merida's historic center open up to artisans on Sundays.
Merida's parks
Parks in Merida’s historic center open up to artisans on Sundays.

Merida, Yucatan, is a city of nearly a million people, with expats living mainly in the 3.5-square-mile Centro Histórico, a series of neighborhoods near the Plaza Grande, or main square where the government and cathedral preside. Just how many? There is no official count, but certainly expats here number in the thousands.

Foreigners from the U.S., Canada and many other countries live along the Gulf Coast, about 25 minute away, a straight shot up the Merida-Progreso highway. No matter where they’ve settled, they are finding lower daily costs and access to excellent health care a huge incentive to pull up stakes, living here either full time or when it suits them. (“Snow birds” tend to flock between November and March. April and May are very hot in Yucatan, but many of us stick it out nonetheless.)

Stories about Merida’s growing popularity have been published in numerous travel magazines and newspapers. The New York Times Travel Section and its Fashion Magazine supplement have also shared differing perspectives on the capital of Yucatan state.

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