Merida is the ideal city to study Spanish in Mexico. Its colonial beauty, culture, and absence of violence is all brought together with the Yucateco’s warm welcome. All this makes it the perfect place to immerse yourself in the Spanish language.
What’s better than studying in a beautiful tropical setting! Merida is a beautiful colonial city that will charm you with its houses painted in bright colors: pink, turquoise, blue, yellow … the Mexicans love to use color! Palm trees and tropical plants brighten many small plazas where it is wonderful to linger and relax. You will not be surprised when you take a walk around town to see people sleeping on benches or even on a hammock!
Merida is a tourist friendly town, but unlike Cancun or Playa del Carmen, they do not have all their resoucres based in tourism, so it guards well its local colonial charm. Of course there are some “tourist traps” but they are mostly located in the Plaza Mayor (el zocalo). Merida is a Mexican city where traders do not always speak English, so you will have many opportunities to practice your Spanish!
To complete the course of Spanish, Mérida’s cultural offerings are rich, varied and often free! Indeed, Merida offers many free shows and it is not uncommon to stumble in the street onto a “serenata” concert, or see some mariachis searching clients with the rhythm of their guitars.
The city promotes the local culture and tradition, many places offer contemporary Mexican culture. The city has some good museums, to name but two, we recommend the Macay, museum of modern art, and the anthropology museum that gives a great introduction to Mayan culture. There are, of course, other private initiatives: for a modest fee, you can see a documentary outdoors, a good independent movie in a cinema or attend a theater performance. If you want to practice your Spanish, you can participate in a movie debate at Cinema Cairo! Do not hesitate, it’s free!
In Merida, you will learn Spanish in a peaceful environment: Merida is proud to say that is the safest city in Mexico, which also applies to the rest of the peninsula! Why is Mérida safe? Rumors say … but it’s a secret that will be revealed by your teacher in class! But just to reassure you, remember that Yucatan is spared by the bad reputation of violence from the rest of Mexico!
And besides all these qualities, life is cheap !
Housing, food or public transports are accessible even on small budgets! To give you an idea of the cost of living, here’s a list of sample prices:
A bus ride group: 6 pesos
1 night in a mid range hotel: 500 pesos
1 meal: between 40 and 80 pesos
1 bottle of water: 10 pesos
A seat in the movie theater: 50 pesos
A beer in a bar: 25 pesos
With its tranquility, beauty, rich culture, and its location in the center of Yucatán, you can stay several weeks in Merida to rest, learn spanish, and discover a new culture. If you want to do outdoors sports, like diving or walking, the doors are open in peninsula of Yucatan.
In short, you will not get bored in Merida!