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There are two zoos in Merida. Parque de Centenario is the older zoo. It is a traditional zoo with animals in cages. It was nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. It is free and full of children and families on weekends. We have taken our grandchildren (6 & 8) and they enjoyed it. Five years ago there was no English signage. It is on Av. Itzaes between Calles 59 and 68 west of the center of the city.

 

There is a new zoo, Animaya, which has been open for about three years. We have not been there. If I had just one day in Merida, the zoo would not be a priority unless you have seen all of the major destinations such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Museo Maya, the Merida city center and Paseo Montejo. We live in the Progreso area six weeks a year, so we have time to explore more out of way attractions such as the zoo.

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Thanksgiving for the response!

 

I would love to go to Uxmal, but since we are taking 5 of our 6 children & our grandson & footing the bill, that is just not in our budget this go around. I am looking for cheap/free things to do at the Progreso stop. We have an AI beach day planned for Cozumel, so don't really want to stay at the beach in Progreso, but want to venture into Merida at least. Even if we end up just walking around & looking some of the sites there & eating. :)

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If you are leaving from Galveston, I would suggest the Houston Zoo, but like the previous person suggested Merida Zoo will be something to do after all the other great activities. I just came back and left post entry about Progreso exceeding our Expectations, you can click on the link below.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1894734

 

My nephew (11) was extremely excited with the salt formations (go figure). Cenote El Corchito was also a hit. Plus no body complained about being tired or bored in Xcambo. With kids you have to take the entertainment factor into account. The ruins were not too big, we were able to climb them. They had the opportunity to swim in the cenote and those places were never crowded, we were never approached by vendors, we always felt safe, and we all have great memories about our tour.

It was cheap, only about $20.00 per person plus what we spend on lunch. :D

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We also did Playa Uvas in Cozumel and only people going snorkel paid the $12 package the others only paid a al carta. It was also a great quiet place, great snorkel for the ones that liked it, a pool, and cheap because we only had guacamole and chips and a few drinks.

All inclusive is not an option for us, since we are not big drinkers, but they have that option available if you please.

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When you get off the shuttle from where you dock, you are at the the AutoProgresso bus terminal. During the day buses run into the Merida city center about a every 20 minutes. I think the fare is about 25 pesos (less than five dollars US). There is a ticket office inside the terminal. The bus takes you to the center of the city. Ask the bus driver to let you off at "Plaza Mayor", the central square in Merida. There are lots of shops, restaurants and the cathedral on the square. Since you will be coming south bound on a one way street, you will not return from the same spot you were dropped. The bus goes back to Progreso on a northbound street one block west from where you were dropped you could walk to the Merida Autoprogresso terminal. Look on their website for fares and directions. We have visiting friends who take the bus into Merida in the morning. By the afternoon they are hot, tired and do not want to wait for the bus. They will negotiate with a cab to take them back to Progreso. A reasonable fare is about $30 US for a taxi that will hold 4 persons. Alternatively you can negotiate with a taxi in Progreso to take you to Merida, wait for you and return you to Progreso. I cannot estimate the costs for this service.

 

Enjoy. Once you visit, you will like the area and want to spend more time here. We will be in Progreso for our fifth winter in January.

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If you are leaving from Galveston, I would suggest the Houston Zoo, but like the previous person suggested Merida Zoo will be something to do after all the other great activities. I just came back and left post entry about Progreso exceeding our Expectations, you can click on the link below.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1894734

 

My nephew (11) was extremely excited with the salt formations (go figure). Cenote El Corchito was also a hit. Plus no body complained about being tired or bored in Xcambo. With kids you have to take the entertainment factor into account. The ruins were not too big, we were able to climb them. They had the opportunity to swim in the cenote and those places were never crowded, we were never approached by vendors, we always felt safe, and we all have great memories about our tour.

It was cheap, only about $20.00 per person plus what we spend on lunch. :D

 

Who did you do the tour through? Autoprogreso? That is a reasonable price & something we can manage. :)

We decided on Mr. Sancho's in Cozumel. Went to Nachi last year & enjoyed it, but wanted to try somewhere new this year. Last year we stayed on the beach in Progreso & while it was interesting, we couldn't really enjoy ourselves due to constantly being asked to buy things. Even with a polite "no thank you" they were back within a few minutes.

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When you get off the shuttle from where you dock, you are at the the AutoProgresso bus terminal. During the day buses run into the Merida city center about a every 20 minutes. I think the fare is about 25 pesos (less than five dollars US). There is a ticket office inside the terminal. The bus takes you to the center of the city. Ask the bus driver to let you off at "Plaza Mayor", the central square in Merida. There are lots of shops, restaurants and the cathedral on the square. Since you will be coming south bound on a one way street, you will not return from the same spot you were dropped. The bus goes back to Progreso on a northbound street one block west from where you were dropped you could walk to the Merida Autoprogresso terminal. Look on their website for fares and directions. We have visiting friends who take the bus into Merida in the morning. By the afternoon they are hot, tired and do not want to wait for the bus. They will negotiate with a cab to take them back to Progreso. A reasonable fare is about $30 US for a taxi that will hold 4 persons. Alternatively you can negotiate with a taxi in Progreso to take you to Merida, wait for you and return you to Progreso. I cannot estimate the costs for this service.

 

Enjoy. Once you visit, you will like the area and want to spend more time here. We will be in Progreso for our fifth winter in January.

 

Thank you for the info! I was looking at autoprogreso to take us into Merida & back. Your pricing seems to be a lot cheaper than what the website says. Anyways, if we decide to just tour Merida on our own, what are some must see places? How about to eat? Recommendations?

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We enjoy the outdoor cafe next to the Teatro Conteras on Calle 60 one block north of Plaza Mayor. The food is average, but the drinks are cold. The cafe shaded and nice place to take a break. If you are in Merida on a Sunday, there are lots of food vendors on the Plaza Mayor during the day.

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Thank you for the info! I was looking at autoprogreso to take us into Merida & back. Your pricing seems to be a lot cheaper than what the website says. Anyways, if we decide to just tour Merida on our own, what are some must see places? How about to eat? Recommendations?

 

The AutoProgreso bus referenced here is the city bus, not the tour bus - Its very easy to catch and cheap. There are plenty of restaurants in the plaza and just adjacent to it. La Chaya, a couple block off the plaza is worth the walk. I also highly recommend ice cream at Helados Colon which is in the plaza. Sight seeing wise, the buildings surrounding the plaza are almost all historic, including the cathedral, its ok to enter it and look around, provided something not going on inside. The plaza has the feel of an European center to it. Below is a map of the plaza and the area around it with some of the highlights.

 

Merida%2520Map.jpg

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The AutoProgreso bus referenced here is the city bus, not the tour bus - Its very easy to catch and cheap. There are plenty of restaurants in the plaza and just adjacent to it. La Chaya, a couple block off the plaza is worth the walk. I also highly recommend ice cream at Helados Colon which is in the plaza. Sight seeing wise, the buildings surrounding the plaza are almost all historic, including the cathedral, its ok to enter it and look around, provided something not going on inside. The plaza has the feel of an European center to it. Below is a map of the plaza and the area around it with some of the highlights.

 

Merida%2520Map.jpg

 

Thanks! How do I tell the difference in the busses if they are all autoprogreso?

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When you go to their bus terminal in Progreso you will get a ticket for and take the city bus to Merida. Their tour buses, for the most part, do not pickup at the terminal.

Here is info: http://www.autoprogreso.com/Transportation.html

 

The Progreso bus terminal is about two - three blocks from where they let you off when you get to Progreso. If you ride the bus to the end in Merida, you'll end up five easy blocks from the city plaza, you can see the terminal on the map, lower left. You can be let off earlier, Plaza Mayor, where you want to be, just ask.

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I realize this is an old thread, but was hoping resurfacing it might bring out some newer information.  

 

Have any of you been to a zoo in Merida recently?  Which one?  Would you recommend for children ages 3, 8 & 10?  

 

Thank you!

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