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Recommend an 8-day itinerary: Merida + surrounding area

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Our family of four (2 college-aged kids) would like to make our first vacation to Mexico, primarily to see the ruins and more of the "colonial" interior. While hitting the beaches might be fun too, that is not a requirement or #1 priority. Our target date is Dec 17 - 25.

We are thinking about flying to Merida and exploring that city, and then doing a few day trips from there.
Or if we stay at another place in addition to Merida, it would be for the "second" half of the trip --- we don't want to go from hotel to hotel during such a short vacation.

Can you recommend an itinerary, flying into Merida, possibly flying back via another spot. Close enough to ruins and other cultural spots. And maybe finishing near "off the beaten path" beaches, or at least not heavily tourist-laden beaches.

Thanks for any help!

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