Escaping the Beaches of Playa del Carmen for a Holiday to Merida
By: Suzanne Bandick

Our son had an American Football game a few weekends ago in Merida, which is about four hours from our home in Playa del Carmen. Merida is an excellent example of a colonial city; it has European charm mixed with the colorful flare of Mexico. This is culture and shopping at its best. What a perfect opportunity for a family getaway.

Do you have a teenage daughter that doesn’t always want to get away with the family? Easy, bribe her with shopping. A little forced family togetherness is good for the family. 

Where to stay for a little pampering? Turns out there was no room at the Hyatt for us this trip, apparently we had one child too many. Two children is evidently, one too many. You would like a clearer definition of this? Well they consider our 15 year old and our 13 year old to both be adults and insist on no more than 3 adults to a room. This would mean we would need 2 rooms and our teenage kids would be alone in one? I don’t think so.

Let’s check B&B’s as we have not stayed in one yet in Mexico. All the ones we found wanted no one under 17? Go figure, now we have 2 kids too many. We did find one that might work, but could not actually reach them. So they didn’t count. Where were we going to stay?

Adventurers at heart, we knew we would find something once we got there, and we did. We ended up at the Presidente Intercontinental Villa Mercedes – across the street from the Hyatt. A very classy hotel that included breakfast and down comforters with our rate. How did they accommodate us? Two queen beds and a sofa bed. Since we didn’t want the kids to fight over who got the sofa bed, my husband and I took it. Right - now, let me tell you the one about Santa Claus………

What did our full weekend include? We went to a movie at the Gran Plaza, for only $35 pesos/person($3.50 USD), a little shopping at the mall, and some more shopping in the outdoor plaza on Sunday. We left the cultural things for another visit as we only had 3 days and one had to be spent at our son’s game.

Just for a TexMex culinary adventure we had dinner one night at an American franchise called Chilis. It was tasty, but way too much food – only in the USA, you say? The real highlight was lunch before we left at a huge outdoor restaurant called Rey Pakal. It is located five minutes outside of Merida on the Hwy to Motul and was well worth the visit. They specialize in Yucatecan food and have marvelous staff.

Headed home to Playa del Carmen, we are traveling the Merida-Cancun Highway with miles of nothingness in both directions and suddenly, a bushman jumps out – from you guessed it, the bushes. In Canada you may say look, a deer! Here you say look, a bushman! This particular one was very interesting as his pack was slung from a strap resting on his head. Where did he come from? Where was he going? We were traveling too fast to ask – we needed to get home for some beach!