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Within Mérida, a fun way to get around, get a feel for the city layout, and hear some of its history is to spend some time on the red, open-roof, double-decker Turibus. You buy your ticket ($10) onboard the bus, and you can get on and off at seven stops as you please. The complete bus route is 1 hour and 45 minutes. Buses operate from 9:05 am until 9 pm, and stop at the Holiday Inn, Fiesta Americana, and Hyatt hotels (clustered near one another on Paseo Montejo), the Museo de Antropología e Historia, the old barrio of Izimná, the Gran Plaza mall (with its 250 stores), the Monument to the Flag, and finally the Parque de las Américas.
A second, smaller tour bus operator is the Carnavalito, which visits many of the same sites. The advantage to this tour is that it's given by real people (in both Spanish and English) as opposed to a recording, so you can ask questions. The disadvantage is that you can't get on and off the bus at will. The tour lasts around two hours, with a 20-minute break at a small shopping center where you can stretch your legs or buy something to drink. The colorful Carnavalito bus takes off from Parque Santa Lucia Monday through Saturday at 10 am, 1 pm, and 7 pm.
Carnavalito (999/927-6119 or 999/928-7916.)
Turibus (999/920-7636; 55/5563-6693 in Mexico City. www.turibus.com.mx.)
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