Left in seclusion for many years because of the difficulty of traveling to Mérida the people of this region have cultivated a distinct contemporary society that is unique in the World.
Mérida is a safe place to visit and the people are warm and friendly. "I asked a friend once about crime in Mérida and he simply stated that there was no place to run there". Being such a close-knit society I took it to mean that violent acts of crime are simply not committed here that often because they are more or less one big family.
There is lots of traffic in Mérida, especially downtown. Taking the local bus can be tricky if you do not speak Spanish. The majority of streets are one-way and the bus routes wind all over the place and if you are not on top of things you can end walking more than you expected.
If you are in relatively good shape and don't mind the heat [it's hot in the summer] then you can walk to almost every attraction if you stay near the downtown main plaza. This is a great way to get to know the city and once you figure out the street [calle] numbering system, getting lost is unlikely.
Outstanding regional dishes and traditional music and dances local to this region can be found in restaurants, theatres and shops housed both near the main plaza and in palatial mansions along Paseo de Montejo - a boulevard fashioned after Paris' Champs Elysée.