Colonia Los Reyes Merida: Lesser-Known Neighborhood Guide

The district of Colonia Los Reyes in the Yucatan capital of Merida is a charming, ungentrified barrio in the eastern part of the city and the one that I call home. While tourists would never really find themselves in this part of town, it is worth adding to your radar if you are looking at relocating to Merida, or if you happen to find yourself in the city in December when the local church hosts a celebration of the district.

I am a British Travel Writer who lives in this district, so in this post, I want to share all the things that make me appreciate my adopted home. 

Colonia Los Reyes, Merida 

Colonia Los Reyes (“The Kings” neighborhood) sits in east Merida, just inside the periferico, and is bordered by the neighborhoods of Pacabtun, Emiliano Zapata Oriente, and Manuel Ávila Camacho. This is one of the more low-income parts of town – the streets here aren’t as polished and pristine as those in the historic center, but the residents are friendly and there is a strong sense of community. 

Most expats that relocate to Merida tend to stick to the historic center and neighborhoods like Santiago, Itzimna, Santa Lucia, etc, or they move to gated communities (“privadas”) in the northern part of town, or in upscale villages like Cholul and Conkal on the outskirts. 

The reality is that all of Merida is very safe. You should not discount eastern neighborhoods like Colonia Los Reyes, Las Brisas, etc during your search for a new home in Mexico especially if you are hoping to integrate into Yucatecan culture and become part of a community. 

Yucatecan Jarana dancing at the Feria Tradicional Los Reyes

Feria Tradicional Los Reyes 

Every December, Colonia Los Reyes hosts the “Feria Tradicional los Reyes” which celebrates the culture and heritage of the district. For 10 days, Parque Los Reyes (Calle 15 x 38 y 40 Cancha ) is transformed into a fairground complete with all manner of rides – from rollercoasters and swing chairs to dodgems and fun games like hook-a-duck.

There are little tables where you can play loteria and other gambling games for adults, and a ton of street food stands selling things like hot dogs and hamburguesas, elotes and tostilotes, and the famous Yucatan marquesitas. 

Live music and dance performances are hosted every night of the week, with musicians traveling in from out of town to perform different types of music like banda norteño and mariachi. Expect traditional Yucatecan jarana dancing and events where everyone can join in and dance. 

On the 28th of December last year, there was also a cabalgatas – a procession where dozens of people in cowboy clothing (vaqueros) passed through the streets on their horses. The Capilla de los Santos Reyes also hosts live music and dancing, and everyone is welcome to join in, whether you are a member of the church or not. 

@mexicotravelsecrets

Fiesta tradicional in Colonia Los Reyes, Merida 🇲🇽❤️ mmeridayucatanmexicollifeinmexicollivinginmexicollivinginmexicobelikemmeridayucatan🇲🇽mmeridayucatánmmexicotravelmmexicotiktokm#mexicanculture

♬ original sound – Mexico Travel Secrets

Parque Los Reyes 

When the Feria Tradicional Los Reyes has packed up until the next year, Parque Los Reyes is a regular city park. There’s a kid’s playground and a basketball court here where you will usually see locals shooting some hoops. 

On weeknights, street vendors set up their stalls here to sell elote asado and raspados (Mexican flavored ice drinks). 

Street art depicting the Mayan God Chaac

Street art in Colonia Los Reyes 

If you are searching for street art murals in Merida, you will be pleased to know that Colonia Los Reyes and neighboring Pacabtun are where you will find some of the best pieces in the city. A lot of the street art that you will find here has been created by notable Yucatecan artists such as Datoer and Ackon, who paint scenes of life in the Yucatan, and Mayan history. 

There is much more street art here than there is in the historic center of town! One of the best spots is Calle 20, just north of Colonia Los Reyes. 

An entire stretch of wall that surrounds the factories on calle 20 has been covered from top to bottom with incredible pieces. There are colorful scenes of animals and the Yucatecan jungle, depictions of Mayan women wearing huipil, Mayan Gods and deities, and scenes of “Hanal Pixan” – the Yucatecan answer to Dia de los Muertos.  

On the corner of calle 34 and calle 15, you will find a fun mural of a crazy-looking scientist with wild hair and a Frankenstein monster. This piece is also near a bakery that sells great little cookies so it’s definitely worth heading over to see! 

Street art depictions of Ancient Mayans on Calle 20

Stores and amenities in Colonia Los Reyes 

There really aren’t any fancy restaurants or quirky coffee places in Colonia Los Reyes because this is a predominantly working-class residential district. However, there are a couple of cute stores and businesses I like. 

Panadaria Las Margaritas (C. 17 458, entre 34 y 32, Los Reyes) is a great little family-owned bakery in front of a local abuelita’s house. She bakes delicious breads and fluffy French-style pastries in a stone oven and her chocolate and vanilla sugar cookies are particularly special. (They are only 6 pesos each, and I always try and go when she has made a fresh batch so they’re still warm!) 

Just across the road, Tortillería Mis 2 Angelitos is where I go to pick up fresh tortillas to eat at home. On calle 15, next to Misión Bautista Nazaret, there is a little “pollo asado” store where people cook and sell delicious rotisserie chicken outside their homes. 

Frankinstein’s monster mural on the corner of calle 34 and calle 15,

Final thoughts on Colonia Los Reyes, Merida

Colonia Los Reyes isn’t going to be high on anyone’s to-do list when visiting Merida for the first time, but it’s a cute little barrio filled with great people and it has a very special culture, especially at the time of the feria. If you are moving to Merida or looking for a place to rent in the short/medium term, you really cannot go wrong with this area. 

If you are looking for more facts and figures type information about the neighborhood, its population, economic data, etc, you can also check out this information by Market Data Mexico. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any further questions. As I mentioned, I have been living here in Merida for a few years now and I am always happy to chat. 

Safe travels and enjoy the Yucatan. Buen Viaje! Melissa xo


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

Similar Posts