Paseo de Montejo, Colonial Splendor in Merida
Merida’s elegant tree-lined Paseo de Montejo is the city’s main boulevard and most fashionable district. Once a primarily residential area, the Paseo de Montejo in Merida has since been commercialized and many of the historic 19th century mansions that line the boulevard have been converted into restaurants, nightclubs, boutique hotels, shops, office buildings and museums.
Located northeast of the central plaza and architecturally reminiscent of Havana, Cuba, the area surrounding the Paseo de Montejo in Merida was developed during the henequen boom of the late 19th and early 20th century as plantation owners looking to move out of the city’s historic center built gorgeous mansions along this stretch of boulevard.
The Paseo de Montejo is home to Merida’s Monumento a la Bandera (Flag Monument) and Museo Regional de Antropologia (Regional Anthropology Museum) which is housed in the pink Palacio Canton, one of the grandest mansions along the boulevard. Visit the Regional Anthropology Museum to learn about the pre-Columbian history of the Yucatan Peninsula as well as to tour one of the city’s most splendid colonial buildings.
Merida’s Paseo de Montejo can be easily explored on foot. Not up for walking? You can also take a tour of the boulevard in a calesa (horse-drawn carriage).
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On Sundays the Paseo de Montejo in Merida is closed to traffic to accommodate the city’s cyclists and there’s also a busy art market that sets up along the boulevard just south of Avenida Cupules.
Each year on January 6th the city of Merida celebrates its founding. The celebration takes place during the Festival de la Ciudad (City Festival), and falls on Three Kings Day, also known as the Epiphany. To celebrate, the city of Merida hosts its annual Rosca de Reyes Más Grande del Sureste festival along the Paseo de Montejo. Show up to take part in the celebrations and sample the traditional rosca de reyes (king’s ring cake).