Loreto, Mexico is in the Baja California Sur peninsula about 300 miles from Cabo San Lucas. The town faces the Sea of Cortez, an amazing body of water of the color of lapis lazuli where whales come to mate and birth their young between the months of January-March. The town is surrounded by what is known as the Sierra de la Giganta, a mountain range of rugged golden hills in a desert environment of immense beauty and mystery. If you are looking for a road less traveled or a change of scenery, you may want to head out to Loreto. Here’s why?
The magic of opening a door that could lead to something entirely different never escapes me and is why I am so fascinated by the architectural designs of doors from all over the world. I am drawn by the intricacies of both new and older colonial style doors on homes, churches and buildings. In Mexico, doors represent both protection and pride as well as an invitation to come in. Walking through Merida’s streets photographing so many captivating doors, I could not help wandering about the history and cultural elements that built this unique craftmanship…
If you are a lover of architecture, an architect or maybe an urban planner, you will easily fall in love with Merida’s 18th century colonial homes and buildings heavily influenced by both the Moorish and Mediterranean designs of that period. One of Merida’s most pleasing attributes is the preservation and restoration of what remains of a once colonial empire with a dark past. A real estate bonanza for those who seek to retire in a foreign country or invest. It certainly crossed my mind….
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….