1. Paseo de Montejo

Photograph by Lauren & Alberto Lama

The mansions along this grand, tree-flanked boulevard were constructed at the end of the 19th century as residences for wealthy families. Some of the buildings shine in their faded glory, while others have been restored and turned into museums, such as Palacio Cantón. 

2. Catedral de San Ildefonso

Photograph by Lauren & Alberto Lama

Built at the end of the 16th century, Mérida’s cathedral is the second oldest in the Americas. Legend has it that the stones used on the outer façade were taken from a Maya temple that previously sat on the site, and that the conquistadors reversed the blocks to hide any iconography. 

3. Hacienda Yaxcopoil

Photograph by Lauren & Alberto Lama

One of the finest examples of Yucatecan hacienda architecture, this 17th-century henequen farm south of Mérida now hosts a museum and small guest house with original furnishings. The property is set amidst a sprawling garden dotted with old machinery and factory halls, and can be accessed via a Moorish double arch, which is a hint to its colonial roots.

4. Palace for Mexican Music

Photograph by Lauren & Alberto Lama

Mérida’s recently constructed concert hall features clean limestone walls and colour-stained windows to blend in with the city’s architectural heritage. The courtyard—often used for public performances—features an impressive feature wall covered in a wave-like pattern of steel strips. There’s also a rooftop terrace that offers great views of the city.

[This story appears in the February 2020 edition of WestJet Magazine.]