It’s that time of year again! The hottest months of Mérida are in full swing. It is impossible to avoid the intense Yucatan Summer heat. So, while longing for cooler evenings of December and January, we’ve put together some ways we’ve found help us to get through hot temperatures. Now, we’re not saying you’ll ever become fully accustomed to the scorching Summer months; especially if you’re from a much cooler climate. But there are certainly things you can do to feel more comfortable. Here are 5 Ways to Beat the Heat in Mérida Mexico and survive the sweltering heat of Mérida in May, the hottest month!
1. Drink water more often than you think
You might be thinking, “this is obvious right?” But, take it from us, you need to be drinking A LOT more than what you’re used to.
Think about the structure of your day:
- What type of exercise do you do?
- When do you pop out to the shop?
- How often do you walk the dog?
Every time you exert just a little bit of energy in this heat,
it is of paramount importance that you take into consideration
drinking more water than what you are accustomed to.
Add it to your to-do list or whatever it takes!
It definitely helps if you can take a water bottle with you wherever you go. Once you have this habit you’ll never look back. For ideas on some nice reusable water bottles, take a look at our recommended list on Amazon.
A great way to quench your thirst in these hot months is to enjoy the variety of aguas frescas you’ll find to beat the heat in Mérida Mexico. Stop at one of the small roadside carts or pop into a shop such as la Michoacana.
We recommend a thirst-quenching jamaica which is hibiscus iced tea. Other options include a silky smooth horchata, made from rice and milk (surprisingly satisfying when your throat is dry), or, our personal favourite, chaya water with lime or cucumber.
We’re drooling a bit just thinking about it on this hot afternoon! And, please remember do NOT drink the tap water!
2. Take a siesta in your hammock
Again, if you’re a Mérida resident or regular visitor you’ve probably already thought about this one. So why is it advice worth considering? Well, we’re simply here to remind you that when in Rome . . .
Many Yucatecans prefer a hammock to a bed and we should be taking advice from them!
A little siesta in the afternoon during the hottest hours will really help reset your energy levels. A siesta is even better if you have a hammock. If you don’t have one, adopt the true Yucatan approach to sleeping and get yourself a hammock asap.
By sleeping in a hamaca, you will be cooler and feel even more at one with your Mexican side. Does it get more delightfully tropical than feeling the warm breeze as you gently swing in your hammock? No, the answer is it definitely does not. This is a great way to beat the heat in Mérida Mexico.
Hammock purchasing tips
- We recommend Cielo Hamacas which has two locations in Mérida: one on Paseo Montejo and the other just to the south of the central plaza. The quality of the hammocks is really high and you can consult a price list. You don’t have to haggle and you can trust that you are paying a fair price.
- You can choose between cotton and nylon hammocks. Generally cotton hammocks are the best choice and perfect for indoor use. Nylon hammocks are a bit sturdier and often come in much brighter and bolder colors.
- Don’t leave your hammock outside. A combination of heavy summer rains, intense sun, and sleepy stray cats will not give your hammock a long life.
- When buying your hammock, don’t forget to purchase additional ropes called sogas as well as the S hooks which will connect your hammock to the wall. The point where you connect your hammock is called hamaquero. Almost all houses in Yucatan come with these already in the walls. If you’re building or renovating, don’t forget to include these.
- And finally, when lying in your hammock, don’t lie straight. Instead, try to angle yourself so that you are diagonal across your hammock. This will ensure the best siesta experience.
3. Make the most of the malls and shopping centres for walking
We absolutely love to go for walks in Mérida, particularly in the colorful and pedestrian-friendly Centro. Notably, it’s frustrating going for a stroll is just not possible in the hot summer months. Either avoid venturing out between the hours of 10am and 6pm or find another way to do a little bit of daily exercise.
Merida has some of the best malls in the country, including La Isla, Galerias and Altabrisa. They are also designed for you to pasear, the verb used to express the social action of walking around while browsing but not really shopping.
It’s more about going to the mall with friends and family just to hang out. We say embrace it! You’ll thank us for this important tip to beat the heat in Mérida Mexico.
Our top pick for walking
The perfect option is the biggest mall in the north of Mérida called La Isla. This massive shopping complex is perfect for an afternoon of paseando.
For one, the public spaces are big enough for you to socially distance and walk around with getting too close to people. Additionally, the curious design of La Isla helps to bring some tropical nature inside with much foliage and seating areas. There’s also a man-made lake.
You can stop for a refreshing drink at one of the cafes or restaurants (recently re-opened after covid closures) with a view that is not very common in Mérida. Another bonus is this is a pet-friendly mall so you can bring your dog.
Note there is currently no underground parking. So make sure you have a shield for your windscreen to keep your car cool as there’s not a lot of available shade.
4. How to swim if you don’t have a pool
First things first, if you’re coming to stay, we recommend opting for a location with a pool. No questions asked. There are many lovely boutique hotels in the center of Mérida and some fabulously renovated colonial houses to choose from. But if this is not possible, don’t panic.
- Our first suggestion is to head to the beach for a few weeks – that’s what the Mexicans do. The sea breeze brings the temperatures down and you can go for a daily dip. Try to avoid the school holidays which are June to August.Additionally, make sure to check if the towns or beaches are open due to covid regulations. The governor recently closed the malecon (seafront promenade) of Progreso to stop the droves of holidaymakers during Easter.
- Mérida has a large number of gyms with swimming pools, water parks and outdoor pool areas. Unfortunately, many of these are closed due to covid-19.
- Some of the hotels and haciendas in and around Mérida offer day passes so you can use their facilities for the day. This often includes lunch and perhaps a spa treatment so it’s definitely worth it.Hotels we recommend:
- The Hyatt Regency hotel has a great day pass which includes use of facilities, a meal and credit to spend on food and drink. You can also pay for an annual membership.
- Casa Lecanda is a delightful boutique hotel on calle 47. They offer a day pass and use of the facilities if you make a reservation in advance.
- Check out some of the haciendas in the area. Hacienda Misne is a good option as it is in Mérida but far from the hustle and bustle of the center. Their day pass includes the use of one of their beautiful rooms for the day.
- Hotel Reef Yucatan on the beach has a day pass option but we say, if you’re by the beach, why not stay the night?!
5. The House: It’s in the small details
Don’t worry, we are not about to suggest that you redesign your house for the month of May! But we do have a couple of suggestions to help you through the sweatiest part of the year
- Letting air flow through your house is a sure-fire way to bring the temperature down. However, this is only a good idea if you have mosquito nets. If not, you’ll spend your summer swatting mosquitoes.
- Take care of your air-conditioning units. Firstly, we do strongly recommend investing in air conditioning units, but take a moment to think about the type that you’re investing in. We suggest getting an inverter.
This is an energy saver and will save you money if you have your air conditioner on constantly (over 8 hours a day). Note: make sure you only go for this option if you have the electrical requirements. And secondly, hire some to clean your airconditioning units so that you’re not making them work too hard. They require cleaning every 6 months.
- Curtains block out some of the intense sunlight and reduce heat. We know it can be a shame to have curtains drawn all the time but having some almost-see-through curtains will filter the heat entering your casa.
- Outside light – we invested in malla sombras last year for both the front and back of our house and the difference this made was absolutely incredible. It completely stopped the glare from the sun which bounced off walls, cars and the ground to contribute to the overall temperature in our house. They also reduce the rain impact by 90% by stopping the intense raindrops from hammering your house and windows.
- Other tips and ideas to take into consideration when building or designing a house include thinking about having water on tap, storing ice and having a freezer big enough for all the ice cream you’re going to consume!
If you need help installing mosquito doors or window coverings, getting your aircon cleaned or anything else on our list, contact Concierge Merida. Tell them you found them here and they were HIGHLY recommended. We’ve used them for a number of things. They perform above and beyond expectations!
Final Thoughts on how to beat the heat in Mérida Mexico
Remember . . . go with the flow, stay hydrated and take a siesta in your hamaca. May is the hottest month and it doesn’t last forever. Keep in mind, as soon as the dry months are over, here comes the rain and the hurricanes. And that’s a whole other blog article!