How to get from Palenque to Merida?
Merida is the capital city of the Yucatan peninsula and also the largest city in the region. It’s the perfect place to wander around narrow streets and admire the impressive colonial architecture on either side of you.
Merida also has the oldest cathedral in the Americas and is known as the region’s cultural capital. The city has gained this reputation thanks to the numerous historic buildings and several museums, including the Mayan world museum.
A favourite activity amongst travellers is hopping between restaurants to really get a taste of the delicious ‘Yucateca’ cuisine. On top of that, Merida will keep you busy for days exploring the surrounding Mayan archaeological sites such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun and Kabah.
The main way to travel the 530 km (329 miles) from Palenque to Merida is an 8.5-hour bus ride. An alternative option is to combine a 2-hour bus and a 1-hour flight to Merida. Bus tickets cost around 822 MXN ($38). The costs of the combined bus and flight journey start from 1500 MXN ($70).
Bus or Flight?
|Bus||8.5 hours||822 MXN ($38)||Check Bus Tickets|
|Bus + Flight||2 hour 10 minutes bus + 1-hour flight||From 1500 MXN ($70)||Check Flight Tickets|
We think buses are the most reliable and direct option to travel between Palenque and Merida. There are three departures every day and buses are pretty comfortable.
If you don’t fancy the idea of sitting on a bus for almost 9 hours, the alternative is to take a bus to Villahermosa and from there take a flight to Merida. However, direct flights to Merida only depart on Mondays and Fridays.
It is also possible to take an indirect flight with a layover, but when accounting for the waiting times at the airport it’s around the same as taking the bus. For this reason, we don’t recommend doing this.
If you do choose to travel by plane, consider including a carbon compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.
Itinerary from Palenque to Merida
- 8.5 hours
- Merida Bus Terminal
- 5 minutes
- Merida City Centre
- 2 hours 10 minutes
- Villahermosa Airport
- 1 hour
- Merida Airport
- 20 minutes
- Merida City Centre
Palenque to Merida by Bus
Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 882 MXN ($41)
Buses to Merida depart from Palenque Central bus station, in the city centre. The station is within walking distance of many hostels and hotels, but also easily accessible by taxi.
To make your journey more enjoyable, make sure to bring some snacks and potentially a good playlist to listen to.
Step 1: Palenque to Merida
Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 822 MXN ($38)
There are 3 bus departures every day from Palenque to Merida allowing you to travel in the morning, evening or night.
We recommend taking the night bus that departs at 23:30 and arrives in Merida at 08:00 the next morning. This way you don’t waste a day travelling and you also save money on accommodation.
The bus service going from Merida to Palenque is provided by Mexico’s most popular company, ADO. Their buses come equipped with AC, reclining seats and a toilet.
PRO-TIP: ADO sometimes offer deals when booking on ClickBus if you book some days or weeks in advance.
Another reason to book ahead is that buses tend to sell out quickly, especially on weekends.
|ADO||08:00 – 16:30|
20:30 – 05:00
23:30 – 08:00
|8.5 hours||822 MXN ($38)|
Step 2: Merida Bus Terminal to the City Centre
Duration: 5 minutes
Cost: 60 MXN ($3)
Merida’s main bus terminal ‘CAME’ is conveniently located within the city centre. If you wish to walk, the main square is only 15 minutes away. There you’ll find a whole host of hotel options.
If you prefer, it is possible to take a taxi as well. A taxi ride within the city centre area should cost around 50 MXN ($2.50).
Palenque to Merida by Flight
Duration: 5.5 hours (including 2 hours waiting time)
Cost: From 1500 MXN ($70)
Flying to Merida is a good option if you are tight on time and wish to get to your destination quicker. However, this is a somewhat limited option since direct flights only depart twice a week.
If you plan ahead though, you may be able to fit it into your itinerary.
Palenque does not have an airport, which means you need to take a flight from Villahermosa’s airport. This airport isn’t located within Palenque, so you’ll have to take a 2-hour bus first to get there.
Step 1: Palenque to Villahermosa Airport
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cost: 350 MXN ($16)
Getting to Villahermosa airport is very easy since there’s a direct bus from Palenque’s main bus terminal to Villahermosa airport several times a day.
The bus service is provided by ADO Aeropuerto, a sub-branch of ADO that specialises in airport transfers at affordable rates. Buses have AC, reclining seats and a toilet.
|ADO Aeropuerto||05:30 – 07:40|
07:00 – 09:10
10:30 – 12:40
12:00 – 14:10
15:00 – 17:10
|2 hours 10 minutes||350 MXN ($16)|
Step 2: Villahermosa to Merida
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: From 950 MXN ($45)
Flights to Merida depart from Villahermosa’s International Airport. Direct flights depart only on Mondays and Fridays at 18:45. Remember to be at the airport at least 2 hours in advance before departure.
The airline providing a direct flight between the two cities is VivaAerobus. You can also fly with AeroMexico, but you’ll have to make a layover in Mexico City.
TIP: Booking flights several weeks in advance will help you find better deals when travelling in Mexico.
Step 3: Merida Airport to the City Centre
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: From 200 MXN ($9)
Merida’s International Airport is located on the southwest side of the city. Unfortunately, there is no public transport available from the airport, meaning the only option is to take a taxi.
Rates to the city centre range between 200 – 250 MXN ($9 – $12), depending on the distance and the number of passengers.
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