A jewel in the crown of Yucatan's queen, colonial Merida
Where We Are
Casa Santiago is on Calle 63 between Calle 70 and Calle 72 in the Santiago neighborhood of Centro, the historic central portion of the city of Merida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan. Casa Santiago is painted cappuccino and cantaloupe and has a Mexican flag. It has a house number (562) but house numbers mean very little here because every block of Calle 63 or any other street has a house with the same number. The house numbers sort of tell you which side of the street the building is on and where on an individual block it is located. That is why we tell you about the house colors and mention the flag. You find buildings here in Merida by determining their position on a very rational, colonial grid: east/west streets are odd-numbered, north/south streets are even-numbered and the streets ascend and descend by twos, i.e. 63, 61, 59, 57 and so on.
Casa Santiago is 2 blocks south of the big, seventeenth-century church of Santiago and its park and market. It is five blocks west of the city's main plaza and cathedral. That makes the location ideal since sometimes the traffic and noise at the main plaza would be inconsistent with happiness preserved. The usage of grand music amplification systems in the main plazas of Mexico is an art form best experienced at some distance.
Casa Santiago is about 18 miles from the ocean. That would be the Gulf of Mexico. The city is where it is because there is fresh water here in abundance and because 18 miles from the coast is about where you want to be to avoid visitations by English pirates and hurricanes.
Merida is filled with music. Every night the Centro's many ancient squares have concerts and dancing. The Carnival festivities during the four days preceding Ash Wednesday are breathtaking and by the way, decent. The parades last four hours each day and toward the end make you long for Lent. The liver and the ear are mortal organs.
Merida and its Mayan predecessor city T'ho have a history that goes back thousands of years. It has been the cultural and economic capital of the entire Yucantan peninsula for some 450 years, ever since the conquistator Montejo seized the temple city in 1542, fifty years after Columbus sailed. Until the 1950's roads did not connect Merida and the Yucatan to the rest of Mexico. Merida traded by sea with France, New Orleans and Veracruz. This doubtless accounts for its distinctive accent, old Spanish vocabulary and courtliness and its culture, which is a delightful mix of Europe, Maya and Mexico.
It is 200 miles from Cancun to Merida and there is an amazingly good and modern divided highway that connects the two. It is a toll road and well worth the expense. The distance between Merida and Cancun is a blessing. This distance has preserved the charms of Merida from the assault of tourism on steroids. In short, Merida and the state of Yucatan are great places to tour, but they are decidedly not touristy. To get here, take a look at this website's subpage of the same name.
casa santiago 562 Calle 63 x 70 y 72, Centro (Santiago), Merida, Yucatan 97000
or 517 Calle 70 x 63 y 65, Centro (Santiago), Merida, Yucatan 97000
(The property is L shaped and hence has two addresses)
Skype (US number that rings in Merida) 1 314 266 1888 Sergio the manager's cell if you call while in Mexico: 999 997 4058 Sergio's cell if you call outside Mexico: 011 521 999 997 4058