Frequently Asked Questions

Transportation: Getting Here

  • You need a valid passport to enter Mexico. 
  • Please be advised that documentation for travel to México is subject to change, and varies depending on passengers’ country of origin. Consult the site Mexperience.com for a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of pertinent travel requirements.
  • No comestibles may be imported or exported unless they are in sealed, labeled packages with ingredients and country of origin listed in the labeling.  Expect any food, meat, and plant materials (especially seeds) to be seized by customs officials, from either checked or carry-on luggage, if they are not properly packaged and unopened. The same applies when travelling in the other direction, from México to your country of origin.
  • When you arrive in Mérida you will need to follow the signs for the appropriate queue: Citizens of México; or Foreigners.  Then, after baggage claim, you will go through Customs and your luggage might be x-rayed and possibly opened for inspection. 
  • Please always comply with Immigration or Customs officers.  Do not argue with any agent, or contest any instructions they give you.

Transportation: Getting Around

  • From the Mérida airport (MID): There are approved taxi services available near the exit.  The cost of a ride to El Pueblo is about 300 pesos, paid at the counter (not to the driver), and the taxi companies accept both US dollars and Mexican pesos, as well as credit & debit cards.  You will need to provide the taxi companies with the address for El Pueblo: 
    Calle 56 439, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro
    The ride between the airport to El Pueblo is about 20 minutes.
  • A personal driver can also be hired to collect you, but please note that Uber and other commercial taxi services booked online are not allowed to collect passengers from the airport.  Uber and other car services can be used to take guests to the airport, however, or to any other local destination.
  • From Cancún (CUN):  Buses operated by the company ADO (“ah-deh-OH”) run from Cancún to a terminal in Mérida located 8 blocks to our north (Paseo 60).  There are two points of departure in Cancún: one from the airport; and one from the central Cancún bus terminal.  Buses depart far more frequently from the central terminal in Cancún than from the CUN airport.  A taxi from the airport to the central Cancún terminal is recommended.
  • Note: the ride from Cancún to Mérida is about 4 hours long, not including the transportation to and from the bus stations.  This is to say: the ride from Cancún to Mérida may be considerably longer than the flight from your home destination to Cancún. If your point of entry is CUN, you may want to consider dividing your visit between Mérida and the Cancún area, so as to avoid two grueling travel days on either end of your stay at El Pueblo. 
  • Another note: the air conditioning on the ADO buses is usually cranked up to the maximum.  You will not be in the tropics until you deboard.  Pack long pants and a sweater or parka for this trip.  (Really.) 
  • From either MID or CUN you can also hire a private driver to collect you.  This option is more expensive, but also more flexible and predictable and personable.  If this is your preference, let us know; we can supply contact information for our preferred drivers.
  • NOTE: The airport taxi desk will likely be the last location in Mérida where you will be able to use foreign currency!  See the related FAQ below:  Can I use US dollars / Canadian dollars / Euros?

There is a Nest doorbell on the inside of the door jamb of Casa Sur (the house set back from the street with a garden in front).  Pass through the gate and ring the bell, which will let us know you have arrived.  Someone will come to let you in.  Once you have signed the necessary paperwork, you will be given your door entry code, room keys, and Wi-Fi password, and shown to your suite.

  • The Centro Histórico district, where El Pueblo sits, is eminently walkable, and many people are attracted to this city specifically because living here does not require a car. Almost any errand can be accomplished on foot.
  • A bicycle puts much of the city beyond Centro within an easy ride.  Three community bicycles, helmets, and locks are available in the garage by reservation for guests of El Pueblo.  Bicycles (including tandems) are also available for rent at the foot of Paseo de Montejo.  There are many dedicated cycling lanes (ciclovías) throughout Mérida, including both sides of Paseo de Montejo.  Whether you choose to walk or cycle, Mérida — virtually all of Yucatán, for that matter — is flat as a board, so you won’t have to concern yourself with terrain, only traffic. 
  • Mérida is well served by an extensive network of city buses; fares are only 7 pesos, and some routes (such as the Va y Ven lines) are free.  This is an attractive option when coming to Centro from points farther afield, especially during rush hour when the wait for a car can often exceed 20 minutes.
  • Uber operates in Mérida, and pick-ups from El Pueblo can be scheduled using the same Uber app that functions in the United States and elsewhere.  As mentioned in the answer to the previous FAQ, though, Uber is not permitted to collect you at the airport.  Official, dedicated, taxi companies are the only ones licensed to collect passengers at MID or CUN.  Uber and other taxi companies that are booked online may be used for rides to the airport, however.
  • Taxis can also be hailed from the kerb, but this is an increasingly rare practice, as even local taxi services now conform to the Uber model and mostly pick up riders who reserve a ride via their proprietary app. 
  • Wait times for rides booked via app can be long, especially during peak hours.  However, Uber fares in Mérida are lower than those in the U.S. and elsewhere.  Uber Comfort is therefore a sensible option in Mérida, as it is barely more expensive and generally has shorter wait times. 
  • Private drivers can be hired for the day or by the hour.  This option is more expensive, but also more flexible and predictable and personable.  If this is your preference, we can supply contact information for our preferred drivers.

There are several auto-rental agencies, both major brands and local outfits, located on the ground floor of the Fiesta Americana Hotel at the corner of Paseo de Montejo & Avenida Colón, about 9 blocks to the north of El Pueblo.

Street parking on our block is safe, but not always available.  There is a secure covered parking lot just around the corner from El Pueblo, in the middle of Calle 49 between 56 & 54.  This lot is available either for limited hourly parking on weekdays (Monday to Friday; 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM), and for round-the-clock weekly or monthly parking, for which a key is issued to the user.

Visitors

  • Yes, as long as your guest is 18+ years of age and you email us at hola@elpueblomerida.com with the name and photo ID of the guest to ensure the safety and security of other guests.
  • If the guest joins you for breakfast or snacks and drinks provided by El Pueblo, there is an MNX$200 food charge per day for guests who are not on your reservation.
  • Note that there are security cameras at all entrances to El Pueblo. 
  • With the exception of registered service animals, guests may not bring pets to El Pueblo. 
  • If you plan to bring a service animal, please e-mail a scanned pdf copy of the animal’s service registration to the El Pueblo management prior to arrival.
  • Be aware that traveling with a pet internationally will require a veterinarian’s signed clearance in both directions.  Also, owing to the extreme heat in Yucatán, some airlines will not accept pets during certain times of year; others do not accept pets at any time as cargo.  Unless you are traveling with a single pet that can fit in a carry-on case that stows comfortably under an aeroplane seat, your pet is probably better left at home.

Food

We serve breakfast in the main dining area from 8 am to 10 am Monday to Saturday. You also have access to the Casa Sur kitchen where you can heat food in the toaster oven or microwave and make yourself coffee.

And that is just the beginning. Calle 47, Mérida Food Corridor, is one block to the north of El Pueblo and has dozens of restaurants to satisfy the culinary needs of even the the most discerning traveler.

El Pueblo is too small to have the flexibility and resources to accommodate every food allergy.  There will be occasions, (e.g. when preparing a personalized omelette) in which a certain allergen can be omitted by request.

Water

  • Yes.  Water at El Pueblo is drawn from an on-site well, and passes through a softening system for all in-house use.  Softened water then passes through a reverse-osmosis process to supply purified water for drinking and cooking to the potable-water taps found at the corner of the sink in both the Cocina Norte and the Cocina Sur. 
  • Similarly, all restaurants and other establishments that serve ice and use water for drinks and food preparation also use purified water, which is generally delivered commercially in 20-liter garrafones
  • Tap water in most locations is supplied by a state utility known by the acronym JAPAY, and is chlorinated.
  • There is always a chance that the naturally-occurring microorganisms in any location will disrupt a newcomer’s gut biome, but it is unlikely that anyone will ever get seriously sick from the water here, even from drinking the unpurified water from the main taps.

Services

  • We empty trash cans and make beds daily Monday through Friday; each suite is cleaned before check-in and then weekly thereafter.
  • Sheets and towels are laundered before check-in and then weekly thereafter; guests can use the free washer & dryer (and rooftop clothesline) for personal laundry.

Money

  • No.  The airport taxi desk will likely be the last location in Mérida where you will be able to use foreign currency.  Mérida is not Resort México.  Once you arrive, expect to pay only in Mexican pesos.
  • While credit & debit cards are accepted throughout town for most things, you should plan to have some pesos on hand at all times.  Foreign bank cards may be used at any Mexican bank to withdraw pesos, but be advised that exchange rates vary.  Currency exchange agencies are not recommended; they are notorious for having the worst exchange rates of all. 

Language

  • Some Spanish is better than none.  More is better than some.
  • Do not expect that English will be spoken, or understood, everywhere you go in Mérida.  Even ordering food at many restaurants entails a willingness to communicate in Spanish, at least. 
  • Always remember: your effort means much more than your proficiency!  Risk making mistakes, and have the courage to speak with all the nuance of a toddler.  Despite your frustrations, you will find people will respond with patience and kindness — and sometimes gratitude. 
  • In addition to the many on-line apps for learning Spanish, there are several language schools in Mérida, and El Pueblo management can refer guests to private Spanish-language tutors.

Communications

Yes, El Pueblo offers high-speed fibre-optic Internet service at no cost; the Wi-Fi password will be provided upon check-in.

  • Your mobile telephone will not function in México unless you opt for a service plan that includes coverage in México (many companies offer this type of international service; check with your mobile service provider).  Roaming internationally is very expensive. 
  • One option to consider is to use Skype or WhatsApp to send messages and to place & receive telephone calls (including video calls).  However, both will only function only when in range of an Internet signal.  These apps should be downloaded before you leave your country of origin.
  • Another option is to buy a regional SIM card for your mobile telephone, either before you depart or once you arrive, or simply buy a Mexican mobile telephone, for which you pay for service (minutes) at various convenience stores.
  • There is no land line installed at El Pueblo. 

Safety

  • No city is entirely crime-free, but Mérida — and Yucatán generally — is remarkably safe.  Mérida consistently ranks as one of the safest cities in the Americas.
  • A pendant to asking, “Is it safe?” is to consider the other side of the question: foreigners can certainly expect protection under the law, but they must always comply with the law as well.  We are guests here.  We do not make the rules, and we are certainly in no position to bend them to our liking.  Please do not follow the example set by some tourists, and assume that the law in México does not apply to you.
  • We have encountered the police in Mérida to be helpful, fair, and courteous.  El Pueblo asks that you reciprocate this comportment in your interactions with any agent of the law. 

Not once in the entire time we have lived in Mérida (since 2012) have we had occasion to pay a bribe to anyone.  Fines, yes; bribes, no.

  • El Pueblo has surveillance cameras at every point of entry, including the rooftops.  Locks to the front doors of Casa Sur and Casa Norte are operated by a 6-digit numerical code that is specific to each guest or resident.  The code expires upon check-out. 
  • Suite doors use “analog” metal keys.  It is the prerogative of each guest and resident to lock his suite door, or not.  The front doors of Casa Sur & Casa Norte, however, must always be kept locked. 
  • There is a person safe in each suite. Please secure your valuables and travel documents in your safe at all times.