While the center of Merida is all Spanish Colonial in architecture and layout, Paseo de Montejo is the product of a brief period when the French controlled Mexico and built a grand boulevard lined by mansions. Several upscale hotels, nightclubs, and hot restaurants are on this stretch, retaining their original interesting façades. It’s a pleasant street for walking, with wide shady sidewalks and interesting shops and galleries here and there. It ends at a roundabout with the city’s history laid out in stone on a relief in the center. Just before that are two places showing where we’ve come: a small tourist shopping mall on one side and a Super Wal-mart on the other.
If you stay on this boulevard heading north in a car, eventually it turns into a highway that goes 40 minutes to Progreso’s beach and cruise ship dock, on the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s a long, hot walk to get here from the center, however, so most visitors see Paseo de Montejo on a horse carriage ride or take a taxi to the end and walk back via Santa Lucia and Santa Ana parks.