Velibor Perisic


Is the Yucatan Safe?

Crimes in Mexico are so rare, Merida and the Yucatan are considered to be one of the safest places on earth to live.

There is a different philosophy of law and order. The Mexican approach is based on the Napoleonic Code rather than English Common Law. Therefore, instead of being innocent until proven guilty, a person must prove their innocence or take the penalty. Therefore, people in Mexico tend to be more careful and concerned in their dealings with others and in their behavior.

In Mexico (especially in the Yucatan) it is a family and community oriented society and there is very little juvenile crime and delinquency. It is quite common to see multiple generations of family members enjoying festivals together. Guns are prohibited, and there is always a strong police presence. Most residents do not tolerate crime, thus making for safe communities. In addition, neighbors (both Mexican and foreigner) watch out for each other and keep an eye on each other´s property while they are away from home.

Merida, the White City and capital of the Yucatan

Merida, the colonial capital of the Yucatan was founded by Francisco de Montejo (a Spaniard) in 1542. When the Spanish arrived, they conquered the Mayan city of T´ho or Ichcansiho, tore down the pyramids and used the huge stones to build the foundation for the Cathedral of San Idelfonso. The Spaniards enslaved the Indians and built grand houses, offices and cathedrals. Merida became the capital, trade center and seat of civil and religious authority of the Peninsula. The Indians finally rebelled in the 1840´s (the Caste War).

Today, Merida today has about 1,100,000 residents and is a very cosmopolitan city with Mayan and Spanish descendants and is an extremely cultural city with many museums, libraries, theaters, numerous universities, etc. The economy that was once based on the henequen industry is now based on tourism, agriculture and fishing plus Merida´s export business is increasing every day. Some of the items exported are honey, sisal rope, petroleum products, hammocks, fine jewelry, concentrated orange juice, fish etc.

Residents call Merida "the Paris of the West" because of the tree lined boulevards, colonial mansions and estates of the henequen barons of the 1800's. There are many things to see in and around Merida. It is an easy drive from Merida to beaches, Mayan ruins, haciendas, etc. One of the nicest things about Merida is its people. They are hospitable, honest, easygoing, hard working and make wonderful neighbors.


There are many hotels and boutique hotels ranging from 5 stars to 1 star. There is something to fit all budgets. In Merida there are well know large hotel chains such as, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Fiesta Americana and Intercontinental, as well as several luxury boutique hotels such as Hotel Hacienda Merida and Casa Azul Hotel Monumento Historico. In the beach area’s there is the Flamingo Inn in Chuburna, Mar y Rio beach apartments in Chelem, Playa Linda in Progreso and many numerous small inns and Bed and Breakfast establishments.


In Merida, and the beach area’s you can find a wide variety of restaurants from fast food to five star. There is also a large amount of street vendors…all of which are safe. However, we would recommend you drinking bottled water.

Merida and the beach area’s have a variety of grocery stores and many local market places with a large selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and produce. The Mexican climate provides year round growing so that berries, melons, mangos, pineapples, avocados, bananas, lettuce, squash, etc. are picked for the market when fresh and are delicious.

Animal Care

Dogs and cats with a veterinarian´s certificate indicating updated immunizations can be brought into Mexico without any quarantine. The vets in Merida and the beach area’s are all well trained, inexpensive and some will even make house calls at no added cost. We would be more than happy to give you some phone numbers of confident vets.

Medical and Dental

Merida has numerous hospitals, and there is a hospital in Progreso. These are staffed by well trained physicians, many trained in the United States. The hospitals in the Yucatan are considered among the best in Mexico. Wonderful, inexpensive dental work is also available in Merida and Progreso. Many Americans and Canadians have been taking advantage of this for years. Also within the past five years, a growing number of Americans and Canadians have been coming to Merida for plastic surgery.


  • Restaurants: 18%
  • Hotel and guest house help: at least 10 pesos ($1 US) per day
  • Musicians: 40 to 50 pesos
  • Parking attendants: 5 to 6 pesos
  • Bag persons at the grocery store: 5 to 6 pesos
  • Gas station attendants: 6 pesos ( gas stations are full service )
  • Extra tips for exceptional service are always appreciated!


It is easy to get around in the Yucatan, rental cars, buses, and Taxi’s are all readily available. The bus system is extensive. The roads are usually well maintained and the “Green Angels” patrol the main highways and provide assistance to travelers in need. The police units also have units to help travelers with mechanical issues.


There’s a large number of ex-pats that live across the Yucatan. Many people from all over the world call the Yucatan “home”. They have found it to be a warm and welcoming. The Yucatecan people kindly embrace most into their relaxed and friendly lifestyle. If you are somewhat relaxed, willing to learn a new way of living, socializing and enjoy new experiences, this may be the place for you. We welcome you with open arms!