The countryside around Merida is home to scores of plantations, or haciendas, that made the region rich during the colonial period. Here are the best ones to visit.
Hacienda San Antonio Millet
The $500 per night price tag means this place is firmly at the luxury end of the spectrum. It’s a spectacular place to stay, with antique furniture from France, so if you want to treat yourself then it’s a great option.
At the other end of the price range lies Yaxcopoil, which is considerably friendlier on the pocket. There are only two rooms in this 17th-century hacienda, and the amenities are fairly basic. However if you want to get the hacienda experience without blowing your budget out of the water, it’s a good choice. You can also visit for a day if you prefer to stay in Merida itself.
Carretera Federal 261 Kilómetro 220, Yaxcopoil, Yuc., Mexico +52 1 999 900 1193
This grand hacienda is just a 20-minute drive from the city centre, so it’s perfect for those who don’t have much time. After years in disrepair, Xcanatun was recently restored by new owners. It now houses luxurious suites, a renowned restaurant and beautiful gardens. Pop in for a sundowner on the veranda.
Calle 20 S/N x 19 y 19A, Comisaría Xcanatún, Mérida, Yuc., Mexico +52 999 930 2140
Hacienda Sotuta de Peon
In addition to rooms and a restaurant, this hacienda has an onsite museum dedicated to the henequen trade that made Merida rich. Visit the grand hacienda, and then take a tour around the museum to see the terrible conditions that Mayan workers were subjected to during the boom years for the industry. It’s a stark reminder of the brutal history that brought the haciendas into existence, and well worth a visit.
Domicilio Conocido, Tecoh, Sotuta de Peón, Yuc., Mexico +52 999 941 6441
The 16th-century hacienda is lauded for its eco-friendly practices, onsite spa and proximity to the popular Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. It’s so close that there’s an entrance to the archaeological park at the edge of the hacienda grounds. There are wellness services available during your stay, and the focus is on getting in touch with Mayan culture and your own well-being.
Hacienda Santa Cruz
Another luxurious option is Hacienda Santa Cruz, where you will really feel as though you are going back in time to experience colonial opulence. It’s well-placed for access to archaeological sites at Uxmal, Mayapan and Chichen Itza, and just 20 minutes from the center of town. Non-guests are free to visit the restaurant and enjoy the gardens.
Calle 86 S/N, Santa Cruz Palomeque, Mérida, Yuc., Mexico +52 999 254 0541
Misne is surrounded by wonderful gardens, and there are plenty of attractions just outside the hacienda walls too. There is a local golf course, fishing and sailing, and yacht tours along the coast. This 19th-century hacienda has a slightly French influence, which marks it out from the others on this list.
Calle 19 172, Misné, Mérida, Yuc., Mexico +52 999 940 7150