Our week in Merida
My family and I just got back from being in Merida for a six days, and we are so excited to come back and tell you all the stories ranging from places we visited to how we stayed healthy while away.
Traveling with food allergies is no easy task. When my family and I travel, we either stay in eco-friendly hotels or rental homes. For this trip, we opted to stay at Casa Limonero, featured in Conde Nast. This gave us the ability to cook our own meals to ensure we did not get sick. A trick that my mom and I have learned is to pack both Hum and Vital Protein to make smoothies or add to water, and a lunch for the air plane. Since we were traveling into another country, we had to eat our food before entering, but this food helped satisfy our stomachs until we got settled at the house.
The first thing we did in Merida was go to Eco Sana located in the Plaza City Center to grab something to eat. Here they served healthy salads, smoothies, vegetarian and vegan options along with clean sources of protein. We also found the cutest kiosk selling organic coconut products called A-ku-a. There we bought organic coconut meat and water which we would use for our smoothies throughout the week. After that we headed to pick up groceries, essential for the meals we would make.
Most stores in Merida carry organic coconut and almond milk. All stores carry stevia which is a healthy alternative to sugar, a wise choice since it is actually grown in Mexico. There is always good produce there, but you have to learn how to wash your fruits and vegetables. Our house had special drops to clean the produce with, so you do not get sick. My family and I personally opted for more of the traditional grocery stories versus the local market located in the center of town which was a bit like sensory overload.
Stores we Visited
Although we did not go to Merida to shop, we definitely stumbled upon some great places. My mom found a few boutiques before our trip like the natural perfumery, Coqui Coqui. It was so beautiful we ended up going every day. It is a perfumery, tea salon, a beautiful artisanal shop with residence above it. We will be doing a separate green beauty review on Coqui Coqui and other eco beauty in the Yucatan.
Another place which we fell in love with was the concept house, Casa T’HO. This colonial house had around 7 stores which all contained hand made luxury products, all made from Mexican artists. By the time this post goes up, they will also have a restaurant. We fell in love with one designer in particular, Daniela Bustos Maya whose work is all made from crochet and uses vintage coins. While we were there, Casa T’HO had a wonderful Zona Rosa exhibit featuring all pink images.
On the occasion which we did eat out, we ended up finding great places.
I celebrated my 20th birthday in Mexico and during the day, stumbled upon Pola Gelato Shop which served sorbet. I ended up getting the banana hibiscus and pineapple with tamarind. It also happens to be right down the street from Coqui Coqui!
Later that night, my family and I went to Rosas y Xocolate, a local hotel, spa and restaurant in Merida. In fact, it won “The Best Urban Hotel” in all of Mexico by Food & Travel Magazine in both 2015 AND 2016! Then Caniras, a culinary organization awarded it with “The Best Hotel Restaurant in Mexico” in 2016. Eating out anywhere with allergies is challenging, but everyone as Rosas y Xocolate was incredibly accommodating and of course, made delicious food. We even got to meet the owner, Sr. Carol who was the nicest man and helped us with out order, which was perfect and delicious. We even got a bonus tour of the hotel afterwards by him.
After our wonderful meal, my family and I walked a couple doors down and found a Chocolate museum. You can walk right in and learn about how chocolate is made. They had artisinal chocolate that was for sale which went back to support the museum. There was even sampling so I highly suggest you go after dinner.
Places we Went
One of the places I have been dreaming of going, and one of the main reasons my family went to Mexico was to visit the Pink Lagoons in Las Coloradas. This is about a three hour drive from Merida. For about $15 per person, a special guide will take you through. The water is so pink, it looks magical. For those who want to get into the bright colored water, it needs to be pre-arranged by a guide in order to talk to the owners of the salt factory. There are micro-organisms that live in the water, which makes it pink so you are not allowed to swim in it, but the drive is still totally worth it. Many people opt to stay in Valladolid or Rio Largartos to break the trip in half.
Afterwards, we went to see flamingos and clay beds. This clay is used for facials and body scrubs, but more on that in a separate post.
The following day, we had the most incredible guide, Rodolfo. He is Mayan and speaks perfect English, Spanish and french. He took us to the magical ruin of Uxmal which on March 25th (their equinox) the sun shines through the main window of the ruin.
Afterwards we went to see a Mayan shaman and his botanical garden. Our last stop for the day was Mayapan. We happen to visit this lesser known ruin on the Winter Solstice. On this day and during the Summer Solstice, a symbolic snake will appear alone the side of the ruin. The ruins in the Yucatan are full of symbolism and sacred geometry, but there will be a separate post about coming up.
Mayapan on the Winter Solstice with the serpent
Our hosts for this award winning home were two of the most resourceful, kind and warm individuals. Throughout our time there, they were able to provide us will guides, restaurant suggestions, food and just about everything you can image.
This was truly a trip of a lifetime. Make sure to check back soon for a full review of the Green Beauty and Eco we experienced while in the Yucatan.
Love and Light