Mérida ’s Museum of Anthropology and History (Palacio Cantón, Paseo de Montejo at Calle 43, tel. 999/923-0557, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Tues.–Sat., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun., US$3) houses the finest collections of Maya artifacts in the Yucatán Peninsula . Only the national anthropology museum in Mexico City is better, and it irks many Yucatecans that the best pieces often get whisked off to the capital.
There’s no shortage of wow-power in Mérida, however: the museum’s collection ranges from ornately painted ceramic jars to massive funerary urns, from delicate jewelry and ritual items made of jade, obsidian, and sea shells to imposing stone monoliths covered in hieroglyphics. There are detailed descriptions of the Maya calendar, and advancements in astronomy, architecture, and agriculture, all in Spanish and English.
The museum includes exhibits and artifacts from across the peninsula, from Pre-Classic to present-day eras, making this a great complement to a tour of the Yucatán’s archaeological sites.