Walking tour of Merida
Founded more than 450 years ago on the site of an important Mayan city, the relaxed capital of the Yucatán peninsula has a grandeur and elegance undiminished by the ages. Much of the colonial architecture was built with stones from toppled Mayan temples, and the cultural vestiges of the Maya are equally intertwined in the city's modern-day society.
The main sights are clustered within a compact area, so a walking tour is an ideal way to visit them while getting your bearings. Begin at the main square, shaded by laurel trees and surrounded by handsome buildings including Latin America's oldest cathedral. Visit Casa Montejo, the grandiose home of the city's founder, complete with ornate porticos. Next, take a look around the Governor's Palace, with its collection of unflinchingly graphic depictions of the region's violent history, before a final promenade along the stately boulevard of Paseo de Montejo in a horse-drawn carriage – a fitting mode of transport for exploring this sedate and historic city.