Subject: Yucatan-M╚rida
Hello Curtis,

Here is some information for the colonial city of M╚rida which you might find helpful for your YucatĚn trip.

The drive from Valladolid is very easy; about an hour to an hour and a half. For accomodations we stayed in a B&B called the Casa San Juan. It's located in the city center approximately three blocks from the z█calo. Late 19th century building was declared a historic site in 1982. There are six rooms at least two of which have private baths. Common to Mexico the layout is Moorish, i.e. the rooms surround garden courtyards. Breakfast is provided and includes fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee and pastries. Parking is available in a security lot across the street. the host, Pablo, is a Cuban expatriate and his employee, Enrique, is friendly and very helpful. Both are conversant in English. Cost was $30 to $45 per night.

Casa San Juan B&B Calle 62 # 545A 69 x 71 Centro, San Juan, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97000 Telephone: (52 99) 923 68 23, (52 99) 986 29 37 e-mail: csanjuan http://www.casasanjuan.com/index.htm

Sights:

M╚rida itself is a delightful city with plenty of shopping (the finest hammocks in the world), a variety of museums, beautiful colonial architecture along the Paseo Montejo, and on Sundays the streets around the z█calo are closed to traffic and host a handicraft market, food fair, and plenty of music. In fact, music is a way of life in M╚rida and you'll encounter plenty of opportunities to enjoy it.

Day trips include visits to the ruins along the Puuc Route, most notably Uxmal. Dzibilchaltun, another Mayan ruin lies just outside the city to the north.

A trip to the lagoons of CelestĚn to view the flamingos and other birds, crocodiles, and the largest mangrove forest in the western hemisphere gives you a respite from the ruin circuit. After the lagoons an afternoon resting on the warm beaches of the Gulf sipping Negro Leon (the local dark beer) and savoring sweet gulf shrimp (al mojo de ajoˇin garlic butter) will reenergize you for your next day's adventure.

And don't miss a visit to one of the many restored haciendas in the countryside outside M╚rida. They include Yaxcopoil on the way to Uxmal. A wonderful example of the henequen haciendas which were the primary economic engine on the peninsula for two centuries. Other haciendas which have been restored and now are top-end resort properties include Temoz█n, Teya, and X'canatun where we had an absolutely fantastic dinner.

Tip: Pick up the Yucatan Today Tourist Guide published monthly for up to date events listings.

Hope this will be of some help. My last installment will be about the Tulum area.

John Rule San Diego, CA