Tag Archives: Mexico

Where to Eat in Merida, Mexico

La Chaya Maya

Everyone will tell you to eat here when in Merida, Mexico. Everyone, that is, but us.

Pretty much everyone will give you the same restaurant recommendation for Merida, Mexico. It didn’t matter whether we consulted independent blogs, Tripadvisor, or our hotel staff. Almost everyone told us to eat at La Chaya Maya. Everyone but one guy, who we’ll get to in a minute.

But we’re not going to tell you to eat at La Chaya Maya. And not because it is bad, far from it. If you want solid Mayan / Mexican food served in a large Mexican-themed restaurant by people wearing traditional Mayan clothing at tourist-appropriate prices, then La Chaya Maya may be your best bet in town. It is good food and good service at still affordable prices. But once you’ve had your fill of sipping margaritas and being serenaded by roving minstrels strumming versions of La Bamba, you may hunger for something a bit different. Plus, you don’t need us to tell you what everyone else probably will.

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Mexican Food Surprises, Disappointments, and Discoveries

Ummmm, salbutes

Mmmm, salbutes

After nearly three weeks in Mexico we’ve still only just scratched the surface of the country’s cuisine. And having only traveled in the Yucatan we haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore its regional nuances. But first impressions still matter. So here are some of ours about this foreign cuisine that we Americans know so well.

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Uxmal, Our Favorite Mayan Site Anywhere

Uxmal Mayan Ruins, Mexico

We’ve visited ancient Mayan cities from Mexico’s Chichen Itza to Guatemala’s Tikal along with a slew of others in between. And while some of those sites are larger, more historically important, or were more fun to get to, none impressed us as much as Uxmal.

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Mayan Ecotours to Celestun. No bueno!

Flamingos, Celestun, Mexico

On the plus side, we got to see flamingos. It was a first for us, and we are delighted to have had the opportunity. Unfortunately, we got to spend a total of twelve minutes with them. I know it was only twelve minutes because that is the amount of time stamped between my first flamingo photo and my last.

As our boat started motoring away from the flock after such a short visit I thought surely we were heading to another area to spy on more of these rare and beautiful birds. But no. After twelve whole minutes – just 2.3% of the roughly eight and a half hours we spent with Mayan Ecotours that day – we were done with the birds. 

Flying Flamingo, Celestun, Mexico

We were lucky enough to spot one, and only one, flying flamingo in the short amount of time we had with the flock. If I’d have blinked I would have missed it. Probably about half our boat did.

Instead of stalking more flamingos we went to tour mangroves, some of which were pretty cool. But most of our time, a whopping two and a half hours, we spent at the beachfront restaurant they took us to for lunch. For those keeping track, that means we spent about thirteen times as long at lunch as we did doing the thing we joined the tour specifically to do. 

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The Mexican Folk Art of Casa de Los Venados

Mexican Folk Art, Casa de Los Venados

It’s still early days, but spending an hour perusing the Mexican folk art decorating the private home of John and Dorianne Venator in Valladolid is the highlight of our trip to Mexico so far. They don’t call it a house museum, to them it’s just home, but the couple graciously opens their doors to visitors every morning at 10:00 for guided tours of their house and extensive collection. All they ask in return is for visitors to make a voluntary donation to help local charities at the end of the tour.  

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