Travel to Mérida on a budget


A Mérida visit could easily be combined with a trip to Cancun if you wanted both beach and culture. After you tire of jet skis and lazy rivers, you can savor a different side of Mexico.

If you are visiting Tulum or Chichén Itzá, Mérida would also be a great companion destination with its Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Mayan Culture Museum). The museum holds more than 1,100 Mayan artifacts, and I found that seeing the relics helped make the building sites come to life. The Mayan Culture Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays. Sundays are free for Mexican residents so they will be more crowded. Admission is 150MXN (about $8) for foreigners.

Gran Museo del Mundo Maya in Merida. (Photo by Francisco J Ramos Gallego / Shutterstock)
Gran Museo del Mundo Maya in Merida. (Photo by Francisco J Ramos Gallego/Shutterstock)

Getting to Mérida

If you want to use points to fly directly into Mérida (MID), you can get there on American Airlines via Miami for 30,000 miles in economy and 50,000 miles in business, round-trip. Availability looks wide open. United Airlines flies to Mérida via Houston.

Availability on United looks good for 35,000 miles round-trip in economy but almost nonexistent for saver awards in business. To use Delta SkyMiles you will need to connect in Mexico City via Aeroméxico.

You will find much cheaper cash prices if you fly into Cancun and take the bus to Mérida. It’s about a 4.5-hour ride on comfortable ADO buses that leave frequently from the airport.

Where to stay in Mérida

The Hyatt Regency Mérida is a rare Category 1 that you might actually want to stay in. At 5,000 points a night, it’s hard to go wrong. IHG and Hilton are also represented with multiple properties. Be sure to check cash prices, as there are rooms as low as $40/night.

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)
(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)