Although Mexico has only recently become more accepting and supportive of LGBT rights, Merida has long been known for its tolerance. The city has a strong Catholic influence, but the city’s history of trade with Europe is believed to have led to its generally progressive attitude.
During the past decade a number of gay-owned/gay-friendly guesthouses and businesses have spread across Merida and even full-service hotels, like the Hyatt and ours, cater to a substantial LGBT clientele.
Entertainment is abundant and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are when the gay crowd comes out to play. Thursdays draw the largest local crowd because it’s often the night without a cover charge. Signs of gay life are visible throughout Merida, but the city’s gay nightclubs are still relegated to the outskirts of town. Don’t plan to arrive before midnight though.
The gay zone in Merida is in the heart of the city itself with Calle 60 (main north-south street) being the center of activity…see map. Starting from the Grande Plaza north to Calle 47, including 2-3 blocks on either side, is where you are likely to encounter the gay crowd. Coffee shops, like El Café Express, the La Habana, Cafeteria PoP (with 70s style design), and El Eden are very popular with the gay crowd and are great places to stop for just a coffee or a meal. There’s also a small disco, El Establo, is very popular with the gay crowd and tourists alike