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pros and cons of living in Merida

Moving to Mérida Mexico can be a dream come true with its rich cultural heritage, warm weather, and friendly community. But before you make the big decision, it’s important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks of living in Mérida.

Experience the charm of colonial architecture and the sounds of roosters in the morning air. Mérida offers a unique and captivating lifestyle, but challenges like language barriers, limited job opportunities, and safety concerns are important to keep in mind.

In this comprehensive guide, we will give you a full picture of what it’s like to live in Mérida. Whether you’re an ex-pat starting a new life or a traveler considering a long-term stay, this guide will help you make an informed decision. Join us as we explore the pros and cons of calling Mérida home.

Pros of Moving to Mérida Mexico

Mérida Mexico is a city that offers a harmonious blend of history and modernity, making it a desirable place to live. With its affordable cost of living, rich cultural heritage, and stunning colonial architecture, moving to Mérida can be an enriching experience. This is especially true for individuals and families seeking a change of pace.

Merida One of the Safest Cities in the World

It has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the safest cities in the world. In fact, CEO World magazine listed Merida as the second safest city on the continent. This recognition is backed by credible sources and statistical data, including the Global Peace Index.

It has an impressively low crime rate and a serene environment. Both residents and visitors can relish a sense of tranquility and peace of mind rarely found in bustling urban areas.

The major pro of living in merida is that it is one of the safest cities in the workd

An Affordable Cost of Living

One of the biggest draws of Mérida Mexico is its affordable cost of living. Housing options, including rental apartments, homes, and condos, are cheaper than in other cities.

Eating out and grocery shopping are also affordable, making it possible to live comfortably on a budget. Additionally, the cost of utilities, such as electricity and water, is lower in Mérida, making it even more appealing.

A Wealth of Cultural Heritage

Mérida is also known for its rich cultural heritage. The city is steeped in history, with well-preserved colonial architecture and cultural heritage sites.

The stunning colonial buildings are a true testament to its cultural heritage. Mérida Mexico is home to many festivals and traditions, including the famous Day of the Dead celebration. This makes it a perfect destination for those interested in cultural experiences and history.

Annual Festivals and Cultural Scene

One of the many things that makes Mérida a unique and exciting place to live is its thriving cultural scene, including a variety of annual festivals and events. Whether you’re a fan of music, art, food, or just having a good time, Mérida has something for everyone. Popular annual festivals include the Festival Internacional de Música de Mérida, Festival Cultural de Mayo, Festival de la Danza, and Festival Gastronómico de Mérida.

Festival Internacional de Música de Mérida
The Festival Internacional de Música de Mérida is an international music festival that takes place in Mérida Mexico August to September. This festival showcases a diverse range of musical styles, including classical, jazz, and world music, and attracts talented musicians from all over the world.

Festival Cultural de Mayo
The Festival Cultural de Mayo is a cultural festival that takes place in Mérida Mexico, in celebration of the rich history and culture of the city and the Yucatán region. This festival features a diverse range of cultural events, including musical performances, art exhibitions, and more.

Festival de la Danza
The Festival de la Danza is a dance festival that takes place in Mérida Mexico. This festival showcases a diverse range of dance styles, including traditional and contemporary performances, such as ballet, modern dance, and folk dance. This one is coming up Fri, Mar 10, 17:30 – Sun, Mar 12, 22:30

Festival Gastronómico de Mérida
The Festival Gastronómico de Mérida is a gastronomic festival that takes place in Mérida Mexico. This festival celebrates the city’s delicious cuisine, with food stalls, tasting events, and other culinary-related activities featuring dishes from all over Mexico and the world. This takes place in November.

Mérida is a vibrant and exciting city, with a thriving cultural scene and a variety of annual festivals and events that celebrate its rich history, culture, and cuisine. Whether you’re a fan of music, art, food, or just having a good time, it has something for everyone. This makes itt a great place to live, work, and play.

One major celebration in Merida Mexico is the day of the dead celebrations

Affordable Healthcare

Another advantage is its excellent healthcare system. The quality of care is excellent, with well-equipped hospitals and experienced doctors. Medical services are accessible in Mérida, and many healthcare providers accept international insurance. And with the cost of healthcare being much more affordable compared to other cities, it is an attractive option for retirees.

Meeting People and Thriving Communities

In Merida, forming connections and building a supportive social network is made easy through various Facebook groups and communities. Engaging with groups such as:

  • Brothas and Sistas of Merida
  • The Black Mexpats Community
  • Merida and Progresso Digital Nomads
  • Merida Mexico Expat Community

provides opportunities to meet like-minded individuals, exchange experiences, and foster a sense of community.

Additionally, for those aged 50 and above, I formed the “Fifty, Sixty, Seventy Finers” WhatsApp group. It offers a dedicated space to connect, share, and enjoy social activities tailored to this demographic.

Warm Friendly People

The people here are welcoming and there’s a strong sense of community in the city. It is known for its openness to foreigners, and it’s easy to make friends and feel at home.

There are many opportunities for socialization, including community events and festivals. They help foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie among residents.

Warm Climate

Mérida is known for its warm climate. The weather is warm and mild, with low humidity and plenty of sunshine, making it possible to enjoy outdoor activities year-round. For retirees, the warm climate, excellent healthcare, and friendly community make it an ideal destination. All these factors, combined with its reputation as one of the safest cities in the Yucatán Peninsula, make it a desirable place to call home.

Exquisite Cuisine

Merida’s culinary scene is a gastronomic delight, offering a fusion of traditional Mexican flavors and international influences. From savory street food to upscale dining experiences, the city caters to diverse palates and culinary preferences.

Exploring the local food culture becomes an adventure of its own. Each dish reveals a unique blend of regional ingredients and cultural heritage.

After moving to mexico be sure to try their pastor tacos

Active Lifestyle with Bici Ruta

Promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, Merida embraces initiatives like the Bici Ruta. This weekly event transforms major streets into car-free zones, allowing residents to cycle, walk, and engage in outdoor activities safely.

The Bici Ruta not only promotes physical well-being but also fosters community engagement and a sustainable approach to transportation. This active lifestyle option adds to the city’s appeal for those seeking a balanced and vibrant way of living.

A Hub of Entertainment and Excitement

Merida, Mexico, is a city bustling with an array of activities and attractions to keep residents and visitors entertained. From notable restaurants serving delectable cuisine to vibrant nightclubs and free entertainment options, there’s always something exciting happening in this lively city.

Notable Restaurants and Gastronomic Delights

Merida is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse culinary scene that caters to all palates. Indulge in the flavors of Yucatecan cuisine at renowned restaurants like La Chaya Maya, where you can savor traditional dishes such as Poc Chuc and Salbutes.

For a fine dining experience, visit Ku’uk, a Michelin-recommended restaurant that showcases innovative and artistic culinary creations. Explore the vibrant food markets, such as Mercado Santiago or Mercado Lucas de Galvez, where you can sample an array of local street food and fresh produce.

Nightlife and Vibrant Nightclubs

When the sun sets, Merida comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. Discover an array of nightclubs and bars where you can dance the night away to a mix of Latin beats and international music. Popular venues such as:

  • La Negrita
  • Mayan Pub
  • La Fundación Mezcalería
  • Pappis
  • Hennesseys

They all offer a lively atmosphere and an opportunity to mingle with locals and fellow ex-pats. Paseo Montejo in Centro has many locations for entertainment.

Whether you enjoy salsa, electronic music, or live performances. Merida’s nightlife scene has something to suit every taste.

Cons of Moving to Mérida

Despite its many advantages, there are some drawbacks to consider before moving to Mérida. One of the biggest cons is the language barrier.

Spanish is the dominant language in Mérida. This can be a challenge for those who don’t speak the language.

How Technology Helps

Living in Merida, Mexico, offers a unique cultural experience, but it can sometimes come with language barriers for non-Spanish speakers. Thankfully, technology plays a crucial role in breaking down these barriers and facilitating communication. Here are some ways in which technology helps overcome language obstacles when living in Merida:

Translation Apps and Software

Translation apps, such as Google Translate and Microsoft Translator, can be invaluable tools for navigating daily life. These apps provide instant translation of written text, spoken words, and even signs or menus. They enable non-Spanish speakers to communicate effectively with locals, understand important information, and engage in various activities, such as shopping, dining, and transportation.

Language Learning Apps and Resources

Language learning apps like Duolingo, Babbel, and Memrise offer interactive language courses that help residents improve their Spanish skills. These apps provide bite-sized lessons, vocabulary drills, and pronunciation exercises that can be accessed anytime and anywhere. They allow individuals to gradually enhance their language proficiency, making it easier to communicate with locals and participate in community events.

Online Language Exchange Communities

Online platforms and language exchange communities, such as iTalki and Tandem, connect language learners with native Spanish speakers for virtual language practice. These platforms facilitate conversations through messaging, voice calls, and video chats, allowing residents in Merida to practice their Spanish skills, receive feedback, and build confidence in a supportive environment.

Social Media Language Groups

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram host language-specific groups and communities where residents can connect with other language learners, ask questions, share resources, and organize language exchange meetups. These groups, such as “Language Exchange in Merida” or “Spanish Conversation Practice Group,” create opportunities to practice Spanish in real-life scenarios and connect with like-minded individuals.

After moving to Merida Mexico I formed the group 50,60,70 finers. These are a few of the members after a gathering.

Voice Assistants and Smart Devices

Voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant can assist with language translation and provide language learning resources. By simply speaking a phrase or word, residents can receive instant translations or access language lessons. Smart devices with built-in translation capabilities can also be useful for quick translations and improving language skills.

ge for those who do remote work depending on technology.


The water situation can also be a challenge for some residents. While the city does have a well-developed water system, water shortages and interruptions to service can still occur. Plumbing and other maintenance issues can be more challenging in Mérida compared to other cities. This can be very frustrating for those who are used to having reliable water and plumbing services.

ap water is not suitable for drinking due to its quality and safety concerns. However, there are several effective solutions to ensure you have access to clean and safe drinking water. Here are some options:

Bottled Water

The most common and convenient solution is to rely on bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes. Bottled water is widely available in various sizes and brands in Merida. Look for reputable and trusted brands that meet safety standards.

It’s advisable to check for the seal of quality on the bottles to ensure their authenticity. Some delivery options are available from brands like Epura and Agua Cristal. Water filling stations are available in many communities where you can refill bottles of different sizes.

Water Filtration Systems

Installing a water filtration system in your home is an excellent long-term solution for accessing safe drinking water. Reverse osmosis filters or activated carbon filters are commonly used to remove impurities and contaminants from tap water, making it suitable for consumption. Consult with a professional to determine the most suitable filtration system for your specific needs.

Water Delivery Services

Another convenient option is to subscribe to a water delivery service. These services provide large water containers or jugs to your home on a regular basis.

The water is usually purified and safe for drinking. Many companies offer flexible delivery schedules, allowing you to have a constant supply of clean drinking water. There is no need to purchase and transport bottled water.

Boiling Water

Boiling tap water is a simple and traditional method to eliminate harmful bacteria and pathogens. Boil the water for at least one minute to ensure it’s safe for drinking.

However, keep in mind that boiling water doesn’t remove chemical contaminants or impurities. It is not a comprehensive solution for water quality issues.

Water Purification Tablets or Drops

Water purification tablets or drops are portable and convenient options, especially when traveling or in emergency situations. These products contain chemicals that kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites present in the water. Follow the instructions provided on the packaging to ensure proper usage and purification.

Remember, in addition to drinking water, it’s advisable to use bottled or purified water for brushing teeth and rinsing fruits and vegetables. Taking these precautions will help ensure your overall health and well-being while living in Merida.

Effects on Hair and Skin

While the water is generally safe for hygiene purposes, its high mineral content can have adverse effects on hair and skin. Understanding the impact of hard water and implementing appropriate solutions can help mitigate these effects.


Hard water, common in Merida, contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up on the hair shaft, leading to various issues:

Dryness and Dullness

Hard water can strip natural oils from the hair, causing dryness and leaving it looking dull and lifeless.

Frizziness and Tangling

Mineral deposits in hard water can make the hair prone to frizz and tangling, making it challenging to manage and style.

Color Fading

For those with colored or treated hair, hard water can cause color fading and reduce the longevity of hair dye or highlights.


Hard water can also affect the skin in several ways:

Dryness and Irritation

The minerals in hard water can disrupt the skin’s natural moisture balance, leading to dryness, itchiness, and irritation.

Clogged Pores

Mineral deposits can leave residue on the skin, clogging pores and potentially contributing to acne breakouts or skin congestion.

Dull and Lackluster Appearance

Hard water can leave a residue on the skin, making it look dull and less vibrant.

When living in Merida take extra precautions to protect skin and hair from hard water

Solutions for Dealing with Hard Water

Fortunately, there are several solutions to counter the effects of hard water:

Water Filters and Softeners

Installing a water filter or water softener system can help reduce the mineral content in the water, making it gentler on both hair and skin. These systems can be installed at the main water supply point in the house or used in the shower specifically.

Clarifying Shampoos and Hair Treatments

Using clarifying shampoos and hair treatments once or twice a month can help remove mineral buildup from the hair. These products are formulated to eliminate residue and restore shine.

Moisturize and Protect

To combat dryness and irritation, use moisturizers and skin care products that provide hydration and protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Look for products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin.

Hair and Skin Care Products for Hard Water

Consider using hair and skin care products specifically formulated for hard water conditions. These products are designed to counteract the effects of mineral buildup and restore balance.

Toilet Paper Disposal

In certain areas of Mexico, including some parts of Merida, the practice of flushing toilet paper is discouraged due to plumbing infrastructure limitations. Instead, the preferred method is to dispose of used tissue in buckets provided near the toilet.

Understanding and following this practice is crucial to ensure proper sanitation and avoid plumbing issues. Here’s what you need to know:

Plumbing Infrastructure Challenges

In many older buildings and areas with dated plumbing infrastructure, the pipes and sewer systems may not be designed to handle toilet paper flushing efficiently. Flushing toilet paper can potentially lead to clogs and blockages.

This can cause disruptions and require expensive repairs. To prevent such problems, an alternative method of disposal is encouraged.

Using Buckets for Tissue Disposal

To accommodate the limitations of the plumbing system, buckets are provided near toilets in certain areas of Merida and other parts of Mexico. After using the toilet, the used tissue should be placed in the bucket instead of being flushed. This method allows for proper waste management without straining the plumbing infrastructure.

Proper Bucket Usage and Maintenance

To ensure cleanliness and hygiene, it’s essential to follow proper practices when using buckets for tissue disposal:

Always place a plastic bag in the bucket in your home. When visiting a home if the bin has a bag in it then it’s best to dispose of used tissues there.

Dispose of used tissue directly into the bucket after each use. It’s important to avoid throwing the tissue into the toilet bowl. Close the bucket with a lid or cover to minimize odor and maintain a tidy bathroom environment.

Regularly empty and clean the bucket to maintain sanitation. Proper waste disposal and cleaning practices contribute to a hygienic and pleasant restroom experience.

Adapting to Local Customs and Practices

When visiting or living in areas where toilet paper flushing is discouraged, it’s important to respect and adapt to the local customs and practices. Be mindful of signage or instructions provided in restrooms, as they may indicate the preferred method of tissue disposal.

By following these practices, you contribute to the efficient functioning of the plumbing system. You help maintain the cleanliness of the facilities.


Punctuality and commitment can also be serious issues. People in Mérida tend to have a more relaxed attitude towards time, and deadlines. Appointments may not be taken as seriously as they are in other cities. This can be frustrating for those who are used to a more punctual and organized approach to time management.

The Heat

While Mérida’s warm climate is one of its many attractions, the heat can also be a con for some people. Mérida is located in the tropical region of Mexico. This means that temperatures can reach high levels, especially during the summer months. This can be a

challenge for people who are not used to the heat. It can be draining and even dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.

To deal with the heat in Mérida, it is important to stay hydrated. Wear light and breathable clothing. Try to avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.

It is a good idea to invest in air conditioning or fans for your home, Seek shade or use an umbrella when spending time outdoors.

Growing Community of Americans

Mérida has become very popular among Americans looking for a change of pace. This includes retirees who are drawn to the:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Sunny climate
  • Relaxed pace of life

Mérida is also a popular destination for digital nomads. They find the city’s low cost of living, vibrant culture, and strong ex-pat community very attractive.

Another group of Americans moving to Mérida Mexico are African Americans. They are part of the growing trend known as “Blaxxit,” or black ex-pats.

Blaxxit describes the movement of black Americans leaving America. They leave in search of opportunities and environments that offer better prospects and a sense of belonging. There are various reasons behind this trend, including:

  • Racial injustice
  • Systemic inequalities
  • Limited economic opportunities
  • The desire for a more inclusive society

Besides Americans, it is also attracting a growing number of people from other countries. This includes Canadians, Europeans, and people from other Latin American countries. They are also drawn to Mérida’s warm climate, rich culture, and affordable cost of living.

Mérida is also becoming very popular among younger people. They are attracted by its thriving art and music scenes, as well as its many outdoor activities and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a place to retire, start a business, or enjoy a new adventure, It offers something for everyone.

Moving to Merida? Follow Us for Essential Tips!

Living in Merida, Mexico after 50 can be an incredible experience. The city offers a vibrant culture, beautiful surroundings, and a warm climate that’s perfect for retirees.

From its charming colonial architecture to its delicious cuisine, Merida has something for everyone. If you’re considering making the move, follow us for more valuable tips and insights on navigating the process.

Discover the best neighborhoods, find out about healthcare options, and learn how to embrace the local lifestyle. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to create a fulfilling life in Merida. Join us as we embark on this exciting journey together!