Throughout the colonial period, Mérida was by far the most important city of the province and was very aristocratic, segregating the Indians and mestizos from the Spaniards who lived in the centre of town. The residents of Merida once liked to think or it as the "Paris of the New World" and at the turn of the last century, the city became very rich from the profits from henequen.  The colonial zocalo is ideal for watching the world go by, and it is nigh on impossible to resist one of the beautiful hammocks that the city is also well-known for.

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