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Merida is one of the Mexican cities that the guide books like to send travelers to but we’re not sure why.

It is something of an anthropological experience to visit Merida as it’s a city that drips with money and is easily the richest city in the Yucatan peninsula; the streets are full of new cars, there’s hardly anyone begging in the streets and the Mexicans go their way with well-fed, contented faces.

But there’s no beach, the colonial architecture is scant and the culture here isn’t all that different to a town in Spain. There are all the hallmarks of a Mexican city; bars filled with men and blocked from view of the street, street markets where they sell kids’ toys and soft porn DVD’s on the same shelf and rows of taco vendors – but unless you’re looking for somewhere calm to settle down, there’s not much here for the traveler.

You can make day trips to the coast but the water is brown and murky and as you’re only a few hours from the Caribbean there’s not much point in hitting the sands here.