Aerial View of the Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan peninsula is probably one of the most special places in Mexico.
In addition to being a peninsula containing other Mexican states of Campeche and Quintana Roo, it also is home to the state of Yucatan.

The Yucatan is known for having some of the most famous beaches in the world as well as the magnificent and mysterious Mayan pyramids, cenotes, several biosphere reserves, modern cities and wondrous Mayan pueblos.

The capital city of the state of Yucatan is Merida. Located on the Gulf of Mexico side of the peninsula, there is much to do and see and this is surely one of the best places to retire in Mexico.

Reserva de la Biofera Ria Celestun


Merida Governor’s Palace

Merida, also known as the “white city” is a fabulous cultural city that is home to a large expat community from both the United States and Canada.  Merida is rich in culture and excitement.  The history of the name “white city” is not completely clear but is believed to have been derived from the mansions along the famous Paseo de Montejo painted with white “cal” paint (calcium / cal).

Paseo de Montejo got its name from the founder of the city, Francisco de Montejo y León “El Mozo”. It was built between 1886 and 1905 and was inspired on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Mansion  now the Museum of Anthropology on Paseo de Montejo, Merida Yucatan

The city, only 20 minutes to the shoreline of Progresso and 40 – 45 minutes from various other wonderful beach towns, features an English Language Library and many English speaking Mexican people.  There’s even an authentic Irish Pub!
Public transportation is extremely organized in Merida and can get you to anywhere you wish to go, including beach towns via luxury bus or taxi.  Cancun, in the state of Quintano Roo on the Yucatan peninsula, is a 4 hour car or bus ride away.  Luxury buses make the trip an easy one and a great option when you want to visit the Caribbean side of the peninsula.

The state of Yucatan borders the state of Campeche to the Southwest and the state of Quintana Roo to the Northeast.
The Mayan civilization founded the cities of Chitzen Itza, Izamal, Motul and Mayapan Ek’Balam and Ichcannzihoo (now known as Merida).

This region is very important for the Mayan civilization and will give you enough to tour until your heart is content.
Whether it’s city life, golfing, fishing, boating, snorkeling, theater, night clubs, the Philharmonic or the daily ‘live’ shows in the various colonial parks, Merida is full of life!

Ciudad la Paz, City of Peace, is the slogan of Merida.  And, that it is!  The people are tranquil and lovely and carry much history, rich with their culture.

Shopping with the locals in the Gran Mercado, Merida, Yucatan

The amount of retailers (la tiendas) is dizzying but fun and you can find just about anything you need in Merida.  In addition to the thousands of mom and pop owned shops, the huge central Mercado, high tech stores, shopping centers and multiplex movie theaters, you will find Costco, Sam’s Club, Superama (a Whole Foods type store), Office Depot and Home Depot. You name it, Merida has it!  In addition to the shopping there is a plethora of restaurants from the Mexican style sidewalk cafés to the classic New York City style fine dining experience.

Many expats come to Merida as snow birds, arriving in October and departing in March before the oppressive heat of the summer arrives.  But, if you have a pool or get to the beach often enough, summer is survivable.  During the summer months of April through September, air conditioning is a must!

And, talk about magnificent architecture!  Just take a stroll down the most important street in Merida, Paseo de Montejo, and see the mansions that were originally built by the wealthy farmers of henequen, a plant that yields fiber for weaving into hats, shoes, bags, rugs and, the most popular, and hammocks.

 Henequen manufacturing

Locations for home buyers or renters in the Yucatan are divided by preference of where to put down roots.  Either you live at the beach or you live in the city or one of its surrounding suburban areas.  Either way, you will find expat communities with which you can make friends, converse and get the inline scoop on all that is going on.

The cost of living in the Yucatan is moderate.  You most certainly can live a wonderful life on a Social Security check or you can find some of the most exquisite homes in Mexico double the quality and half the price of the U.S. or Canada.


  1. Merida has a centrally located international airport with direct flights to the United States and Canada.
  2. Every Sunday the main city street, Paseo de Montejo, is closed to traffic for bicyclists, dog walking and strolling.
  3. Artists line the sidewalks showing and selling their work.
  4. Every weekend, the main square is closed to traffic for pedestrian walking, outdoor dining and all the happenings around the Gran Plaza.
  5. The first language of people of the Yucatan is Mayan.  Their second language, Spanish, is learned in school.
  6. Merida has all numbered streets so it is easy to navigate.
  7. Two major hospitals provide excellent medical care.