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Mérida is ranked the 3rd-most-friendly city in the world

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.
Merida is one of the world’s friendliest cities, according to a magazine survey. Photo: Getty

Mérida has made it on another travel magazine’s list of great destinations. This time, it’s because we’re so friendly.

Conde Nast Traveler puts Mérida at No. 3 — between No. 2’s Luang Prabang, Laos (“the ideal South Asian City”) and No. 4’s San Miguel de Allende, which G.I.’s turned into one of Mexico’s biggest expat cities after World War II.

No. 1 was Chiang Mai, Thailand, where visitors should “prepare to become friends with the guy selling bubble tea on the corner.”

But back to Mérida. Conde Nast Traveler’s list is based on a reader’s poll, which Mayor Renan Barrera shared today on social media.

The 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards asked, “did an outgoing local go out of their way to give you directions? Was the city easy to navigate? Did you simply get good vibes from the people around you?”

The city is also the cultural capital of the Yucatán peninsula, “blending two important parts of Mexico’s history, the Mayan culture and its colonial past,” the magazine reports. Touting its reputation for “a slower-paced vacation than what you’d find at the bustling all-inclusive beach resorts of Cancun and the Riviera Maya,” the list promises an opportunity to experience “culinary, cultural, and creative experiences—and chatting it up with the friendly locals.”

Mérida is a regular feature for magazines who want their readers to go off the beaten path. The same poll cast Mérida as No. 3 Best Small City. Past favorable coverage includes this, this and this.

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