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Explore Mexico’s hippest enclave through the lens of travel photographer Ana Linares.

Mérida is bursting with color (and quite possibly magic, too). Photographer Ana Linares recently returned from a wanderlust-worthy trip to Mérida, Mexico, where she gained inspiration from the rainbow facades and cobblestone-clad streets of the vibrant colonial city. We caught up with Linares to discuss her love for travel, photography, color, and above all else—her passion for this dreamy Yucatán destination.

Tell us about yourself:

“I worked as a designer in New York City for 14 years before transitioning into photography. I spent most of my time working for big fashion labels, which is how I began forming connections with my current clients. I left the corporate world and now work as a full-time photographer and content creator. I do a lot of content photography for brands, which is what brought me to the Yucatán for work. I’m very grateful for my career—it really is the dream.”

What inspires your photography?

“I feel most inspired when I travel. I’m drawn to photography as a form of storytelling—I see it as a way of providing people with a new view of a destination. Photographers can transport you to a different place without you ever leaving your living room, so if I go to a place that people visit often, I try not to photograph the same things that other people do. I always like to add my own perspective to portray beauty in my own way. I want to make sure that people see what I’m experiencing the way my eyes see it. My work tends to include strong components of color and composition—I’ve always been attracted to these elements, having grown up surrounded by colorful architecture in Colombia.”

What made you fall in love with Mérida?

“Mérida is one of those cities that stays in your mind after you leave and makes you want to come back. It’s an explosion of your senses, a place with a type of effortless, undone allure that allows you to see beauty from a different angle. It’s an ideal place for walking around and just getting lost in the streets. You always run into a detailed door, a vibrant facade, or a little cantina wherever you go. Pretty much every corner in Mérida is a cantina where you can taste really great mezcal that’s always super affordable. The gastronomy in Mexico is one of the most amazing things about the country . . . it’s so gourmet. When you think of typical ‘Mexican food’ and picture the enchiladas and quesadillas that we’re used to in America, that’s like comparing pancakes to caviar.”

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What is your travel philosophy?

“My all-time favorite phrase is from Diana Vreeland, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue, who said, ‘The eye needs to travel.’ I believe that travel is truly the best way to spend your time. Going to new places is the most rewarding thing for your soul. You become more aware of the world—which is a magical thing to be able to learn. You don’t need to live the life of a full-time traveler to actually have a piece of that life. It’s so rewarding to dedicate just a bit of time in your life to travel, even if it’s only once a year.”

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Magical Mérida
Travel photographer and content creator Ana Linares fell in love with Mérida on her recent trip to the Yucatán Peninsula. Its colorful architecture, phenomenal food, and laid-back vibes absolutely blew her away. Based on her photos, we can see why! Scroll to the discover the beauty of this colonial city through Ana's eyes, but be prepared—you may start dreaming of your own Mexican getaway, too.
Photo by Ana Linares
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    Walking the Rainbow
    "Mérida is a city for those travelers who enjoy walking and getting lost in the beautiful colorful streets of the old side of the city."
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    Pack an Appetite
    "Apoala Mexican Cuisine is located right by Parque Santa Lucia, in the center of the city. It's a local hotspot where you can find a fusion of Mexican, Oaxacan, and Yucatecan dishes, all unique in texture and flavor."
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    Coqui Coqui Cool
    "Coqui Coqui Residence and Spa is a must visit, located in the heart of the historic city of Mérida. I loved the beautiful perfumerie and its beautiful interiors!"
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    Pretty in Pink
    "The colorful pink entrance to Rosas & Xocolate is the brightest on one on the block of Merida's most transited streets. This is an amazing hotel, probably the best in the city. It has a beautiful spa, and the staff are so nice. They try to keep the numbers of guests low, since it’s a boutique hotel, which makes it a really nice place for a cocktail or just to spend the evening outside by the pool. Plus, there's a really good restaurant attached to the hotel, too."
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    Lost in Wonderland
    "The restaurant at Rosas & Xocolate has those Alice in Wonderland kind of vibes."
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    Poolside Sipping
    "Of course, find time for some rosé by the pool at Rosas & Xocolate."
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    The Perfect Dip
    (We just can't get enough of the poolside view at Rosas & Xocolate.)
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    Corner Café
    "Coffee shop corners in Mérida are always filled with the most beautiful floors!"
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    You've heard of a selfie, we taught you about the #selfeet, and now Ana Linares has captured a Yucataneán #shellfeet (and we think it's adorable).
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    A Welcome Sign, Yucatán Style
    Traveler tip: After you visit to Mérida, head to Tulum for more Instagram-worthy sites galore.
    Photo by Ana Linares
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    Tuk Tuks in Tulum
    ...and make sure you hop in a Tulum-ified tuk tuk like this one. Happy travels!

    Ready to hit the road? Plan your relaxing getaway to the Yucatán Peninsula now
    Photo by Ana Linares

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