Senior Retirement in Merida

Jul 26th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

I had to look back and make sure that I did not already send you a blog on Merida.  I did not and can’t wait to update you on this great city in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. This city is loaded with colonial charm.

Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan, is a world away from Cancun, its touristy cousin across the peninsula. Sitting 22 miles inland, Merida has a European feel, thanks to its Old World architecture and abundant culture. There are opera houses and cathedrals to explore, and foodies rave about the dining scene. There’s a growing population of retirees from the U.S., as evidenced by an English-language newspaper and library.

Merida has escaped the violence that has plagued Mexico’s border towns. It is one of my favorite cities in all of Mexico and precisely for the reasons stated above. I well recall sitting on a park bench visiting with an elderly gentleman in Spanish.  He was so warm and friendly as it is said that here everyone is the same.

Merida is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán and the Yucatán Peninsula.  Being centrally located, Merida is a practical hub to explore numerous ruin sites and ecological wonders. Many charters fly into Merida or you can take a four-hour bus ride from Cancun. Street life shows visitors just how busy the city can be.

Known as “White City” because of the large use of white limestone and white paint, this traditional city depicts much of the splendor of Colonial Mexico. This is by no means to say that Merida still exists in a time warp and the contrary could be said. There is old and new exhibited in everything from fashion to architecture. Merida is nothing like Cancun or Playa del Carmen and if you want to experience Mexican culture while staying relatively close to the Caribbean Sea then Merida is a great place to go.

There are lots of interesting shops to browse; if you seek some familiarity, the Merida WalMart is well stocked and also has a food-court. Here you will find about 828,000 people (2010 census). With Mérida as your base, you can visit cathedrals and churches, Mayan archaeological sites, museums, haciendas and cenotes.  And the Mayan town of Uxmal is very close.

TripAdvisor is big on Merida too. Lonely Planet agrees with TripAdvisor relating that Merida stands above most other Mexican cities.

Access to health care: There’s a slew of quality medical facilities, including the highly regarded Clinica de Merida. Some retirees may qualify for Mexico’s low-cost public health insurance program, known as IMSS. Mexico ranks 14th out of 25 countries on International Living’s Global Retirement Index for health care. Cost of living: Mexico tied for third (with Colombia and Thailand) on the Global Retirement Index for cost of living. A retired American couple can live comfortably in Merida on $1,700 a month. jeb



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