Here are a few things to know about in the area around Casa Esplendida...

Parks
The neighborhoods in Merida are centered around parks. Casa Esplendida is within walking distance of four of the most important parks in Merida, including the central park, Plaza Grande. To the west and a bit south is Parque Santiago, with a church, a fountain, small restaurants with local cuisine, and a small mercado with everything from meat to flowers. Parque Santiago also has a grocery store, a pharmacy and a movie theatre. On Tuesday nights, Parque Santiago has a live band with dancing... even if you don't want to dance, it's a lot of fun to watch!

Parque Santa Ana is in the other direction and there you will find another mercado. There is only one flower seller here but a lot more small restaurants than in Santiago. Parque Santa Ana also has a large fountain, a church and a gas station. Across the street is a bagel place, two art galleries and an art museum. The third major park close by is Parque Santa Lucia, a central gathering spot for the weekends and Thursday nights. Thursday nights at Santa Lucia feature a serenade by one of Merida's many musicians. On Sunday mornings, the park has a small flea market, and some of the local antique dealers show their wares. There is food, also, and usually a musical performance of some kind.

On Sundays, from about 9 am to 5 pm, Plaza Grande hosts Domingo en Merida, a huge outdoor market of local merchants selling their wares, including food, clothing, hammocks and a lot more. Saturday nights the streets around Plaza Grande are closed to auto traffic and there are musical events and restaurants serve dinner and drinks outside under the stars.

Restaurants
There are a lot of good places to eat within walking distance of Casa Esplendida. Here are a few that we like. Many of them are also located on the map on this page (and on the downloadable .pdf of the map).

Amaro: Calle 59 #507 60 y 62 Centro
Cafe Pop: Calle 57x 50 y 52 Centro
Panchos: Calle 59 #509 60 y 62 Centro
Main Street: Calle 60 #496A por 59 Centro
Marlin Azul: Calle 62 #488 x 59 Centro 
Cafe La Habana: Calle 59 #511-A x 62 Centro
Cafe Alameda: Calle 58 #474 55 y 57 Centro
Las Palomas: Calle 60 #488 x 57 Centro
Luna Papaya: Calle 64 #615A por 73 La Ermita
Las Vegas / Los Arcos: Calle 63 x 60 y 62 Centro
Teddy's: Calle 62 x Calle 43 Centro
Ki'Xocolatl Mayan Chocolate: Calle 55 x 60 y 62

We encourage you to also walk around and explore! There are more good places to eat than we could list on the map, so have fun exploring the restaurants of Merida for yourself.

Airport Directions
From Merida Airport: If you arrive at the Merida airport, it should take you about ten to fifteen minutes to get to the front door of Casa Esplendida.

Follow the directions to exit the airport. At the first stoplight, turn right onto Avenida Itzaes. Continue north to Calle 59, just past the Parque Centennario Zoo. At the stoplight at Calle 59, turn right. Calle 59 is one of the oldest avenues in Merida and has always been a main entrance to the city. Continue down Calle 59 past beautifully renovated colonial homes on either side, and turn left on Calle 64. Proceed north on Calle 64 to Calle 53. Turn left on Calle 53, and Casa Esplendida will be about 2/3 down the block on the right side of the street. You can park on the right side of the street if there is room, or turn right at the next corner (Calle 68) and park there on the left side of the street.

From Cancun Airport: Once you have your car, head out of the airport and follow the signs to Playa del Carmen or Tulum (in other words, you want to go South on the highway. You'll be turning right to head south). After about a mile or so, you will see signs to Merida Cuota, which is the Merida Toll Road. The total cost to drive on this road to Merida is about $35 USD, and it will save you about 1.5 hours. Head west towards Merida for three hours, passing Valladolid and Chichen Itza and two toll booths. As you arrive in Merida, you will come to a traffic circle under a freeway overpass. This is the Periferico, or Ring Road. You will enter the traffic circle at 6 o'clock, and exit at 12 o'clock, continuing west. At the first stoplight, follow the road as it veers towards the left, and then continue down this street which eventually turns into Calle 65 as it approaches downtown. Turn right on Calle 56, then left on Calle 53. Continue on Calle 53 past Calle 66. Casa Esplendida is on Calle 53, halfway between Calle 66 and Calle 68. You should be able to find parking on the street except for during the middle of the day.

Museums
Merida has a number of museums within walking distance of Casa Esplendida. The Macay Museum is probably the largest museum in Merida, and is certainly the most prestigious. The entrance to the Macay is on Calle 60, just south of the large Cathedral (don't miss the outdoor sculpture exhibit in the passageway between the Cathedral and the Macay building).

There is also a painting museum, with historical paintings from the Colonial era, a modern art museum up across from Santa Ana Park, and even a Railroad Museum. For a complete list of galleries and museums, read the Art in Merida page on Yucatan Living, and look for the latest Merida Art Map, a printed map with galleries, museums and antique stores listed on it. You can find the map at the Macay, the city's information booths and at restaurants, hotels and galleries throughout the Centro. We also have a few of them in Casa Esplendida for our guests to use.

Other Places Close By
The nearest ATM is just past Santa Ana Park on Paseo de Montejo (HSBC). There is another one on the Plaza Grande in the Banamex building (this is also the old Palacio de Montejo, an historic building). There are more ATMs springing up all the time, but these are two we know of for sure.

The Merida English Library, with English-language books, DVDs and much more is right across the street. If you need a dentist while you are here, one of the best English-speaking dentists in Merida is only a block away on Calle 53 between Calle 64 and Calle 66. There are convenience stores, cocinas economicas, internet cafes and much more!! Enjoy exploring the safe, friendly and lovely neighborhood of Casa Esplendida!