Three Official “Barrios Mágicos” in Merida: La Ermita, San Sebastián & Xcalachén

Friday July 28

We are excited to see the Merida, Yucatán has three official barrios mágicos: La Ermita, San Sebastián & Xcalachén

Presented by Miguel Torruco Marqués, Secretary of Tourism of Mexico, the “Barrios Mágicos de México” program is a national tourism initiative designed to promote urban tourism in Mexico’s enchanting neighborhoods. This program complements the traditional tourist destinations, aiming to strengthen the identity and sense of belonging among its residents.

Inspired by the Success of Pueblos Mágicos

Drawing inspiration from the success of the “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Towns) program, which began in 2001 and has revitalized Mexico’s tourism landscape, the “Barrios Mágicos de México” initiative seeks to highlight urban areas with significant cultural heritage and potential for tourism. To be recognized as a Barrio Mágico, a municipality must fulfill a set of requirements outlined by the program.


Discover the Enchanting Eight

Currently, there are eight officially designated Barrios Mágicos, each boasting unique characteristics and offering a wealth of cultural experiences. Among them, we find the 

  • Centro Histórico de Chetumal in Quintana Roo, the first Barrio Mágico designated on November 29, 2022
  • La Chinesca in Mexicali, Baja California
  • Villa de Seris in Hermosillo, Sonora
  • El Barrio de Tlaxcala in San Luis Potosí
  • El Arbolito in Pachuca, Hidalgo
  • Barrio de San Pedro in Uruapan, Michoacán
  • Barrio de Jalatlaco in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
  • El Santuario in Tixtla de Guerrero, 17 km from Chilpancingo, Guerrero.


Features of Barrios Mágicos

The charm of Barrios Mágicos lies in their rich patrimonial value and tourist potential, characterized by their singularity, identity, authenticity, traditions, architecture, history, gastronomy, and vibrant cultural scenes.

First Barrios Mágicos in Merida

La Ermita – San Sebastián – Xcalachén

Among these magical neighborhoods is the proposed “Barrio Mágico” of La Ermita – San Sebastián – Xcalachén in Mérida. Representing a microcosm of the city, this area possesses powerful elements of identity and potential for sustainable tourism. 

The architectural and historical heritage is evident in the colonial streets, adorned with French cobblestones like Calle 64 from Calle 77 to Calle 69, as well as in the residential houses and civic, political, and religious buildings such as the Arco de San Juan, the Ermita de Santa Isabel, the San Sebastián church and parish, the old Camino Real to Campeche, and the general cemetery.

The cultural heritage, traditions, gastronomic expressions, and artistic displays in this area are remarkable. From annual gastronomic festivals celebrating dishes like “panucho,” “chicharra,” and “pib,” to the traditional Day of the Dead celebrations, this magical neighborhood encapsulates the heart and soul of Yucatecan culture.

The events related to the Day of All Saints and Day of the Dead, such as the procession of souls and Hanal Pixán, connect you with deep-rooted traditions that blend Catholic faith with ancient Mayan beliefs.

Top Attractions of Magical Neighborhoods Merida

La Ermita

  • La Ermita Church Santa Isabel, with its rich history, hosts the panucho festival, an emblematic dish born in this neighborhood and cherished across the region. Calle 66 con 77
  • The House of Manuel Cepeda Peraza, witness to the politics and liberal legacy of Yucatán, in his house discover the essence of a prominent leader. Calle 64A entre 73 y 75 
  • The San Juan Arch and Park immerse you in Mérida’s colonial past, marking the beginning of the historic Camino Real to Campeche. Calle 64 con 69
  • On Calle 64 x 73 and 75, you will find a bust of Alfredo Barrera Vázquez in homage to the director of the Archaeological Museum and  anthropologist, linguist, and who was a promoter of Mayan culture.  He founded the Academy of Maya Language.

San Sebastián

  • The San Sebastián neighborhood, along with its parish and park, bring you vibrant festivities during the Mucbipollo Festival in Hanal Pixán. Calle 72 entre 75 y 77 
  • The traditional San Sebastián Market is a sensory delight, where the typical flavors of the region transport you to the culinary essence of Mérida. Calle 70 con 77
  • The General Cemetery is an architectural testament to the past, with mausoleums in neogothic, neomayan, and art deco styles, and a fascinating round around honoring prominent figures of Yucatecan music. Calle 95 entre 64 y 64A



  • Xcalachén, with its incomparable chicharra (fried pork belly with skin and salsas on top), represents a culinary tradition that will surprise you with its countless ways of cooking and seasoning it, celebrated in the Chicharra Festival of Xcalachén. Calle 95 entre 64 y 64A
  • The Monument to Pedro Infante pays tribute to the icon of Mexican cinema, reminding us of his passion for music and film. Calle 62 con 91

Discover the charming essence of Mérida in the Magical Neighborhoods of Ermita – San Sebastián – Xcalachén. Immerse yourself in its rich history, savor its exquisite flavors, and experience the magic of its deeply rooted traditions. Come and let yourself be enveloped by the authenticity and charm that await you in every corner of these neighborhoods!

For more information on the city and its attractions, a good resource to check out is As noted above you can download their app “Visit Mérida mx” for Android and iPhone, available at:

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