Since 2001, the city of Mérida has hosted the Annual Yucatán Bird Festival Toh (www.yucatanbirds.org.mx) in late November/early December. For a weekend, birders from around the world gather to attend conferences, see exhibits, and observe (or at least get a glimpse of) the 442 bird species registered in the state (543 species are registered in the entire peninsula). It’s a well-attended conference and one that welcomes amateurs and experts alike. It’s a great way to see the state and to learn about its myriad birds.
Mérida also plays host to the international modern dance festival Festival Oc’ Ohtic. Professional dancers from all over the world come to perform, often creating such a buzz that there are enormous lines to see the shows. The festival typically takes place during the first two weeks in December—if you’re in town, be sure to catch at least one performance. With affordable ticket prices—around US$5—it’s hard to resist.
The month-long Festival Internacional de las Artes is held every January to commemorate the founding of the city of Mérida. Started in 2005, the festival brings hundreds of artists from around the world to share their works of art, dance, music, drama, film, and literature with the community. Events and workshops are held in Mérida’s historic buildings and parks. For a list of scheduled events, ask at one of the tourist offices.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition