Somewhere in the world, the harvesting of grapes is happening. In the USA, just about every state has vineyards that make for a great opportunity to visit with friends and enjoy the tasting of wines, whether it’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel or Riesling. I personally lean more toward a robust, dry red. This is my third visit to the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York to drink wine and enjoy the area’s rustic scenery and it never disappoints. Actually, there is more than just tasting wine that makes this region attractive for a long weekend visit with friends….
If you travel to Merida or through the Yucatan Peninsula, you learn quickly about the role of haciendas and their contributions to the world. The architecture of Mexican haciendas, along with the Mayan culture and Yucatan’s natural resources, is both captivating and wondrous. Their historical past in the early 1900s and restored beauty are unquestionably intriguing and worthy of a visit. Here’s why….
I arrived in Merida for the first time for a 10-day visit to connect with a friend and to venture on my own. Driving from the airport to my destination, you get to experience a hidden gem of an old colonial city that has been through its fair share of economic struggles and is slowly becoming a place that is timeless and exceptionally gifted. This is a seven-storytelling series on the magic of Merida, Mexico rated as one of the best cities to travel to in 2022.
In Merida, there are tours to reach many of the Yucatán cenotes within an hour’s drive. I had planned to go to at least two cenotes, although I only managed to get to one. My friend highly recommended the Hacienda Mucuyche Cenote, which did not disappoint. Mucuyche is one of the most developed cenotes for tourism, having everything from a gift shop to a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool with lockers and many other amenities. Frankly, done of that matters once you climb down and you come face to face with the mystery, magic and beauty of this natural pit or sinkhole formed from the collapse of limestone bedrocks. Once you are in the water, you are dazzled, even spellbound, by the colors and the sparkles of the cave and the water. Doing this one time is just not enough….
There are over 200 archaeological ruins throughout the Yucatán peninsula. In close proximity to the city of Merida, there are at least four Mayan ruins that you can do a day trip. The Mayapán ruins are less than an hour from Merida and are pretty impressive, as it was once considered the capital center of Mayan civilization in all of Yucatan. The ruins are quite extraordinary, allowing you to visualize what this community looked like in its heyday and to experience how Mayan culture persists to this day….