Image: View of the Paramo region next to Merida
Juan Barreto  /  AFP - Getty Images file
The Mérida package offered by Future Vacations includes round-trip airfare on Mexicana or AeroMexico (depending on the departure gateway) and four nights' accommodations at the 212-room downtown Holiday Inn Merida.
updated 6/17/2008 10:57:39 AM ET 2008-06-17T14:57:39

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare and four nights' accommodations from $679 per person—plus air taxes and fees of up to $221.

When: Aug. 11-29, 2008.

Gateways: Atlanta; add $20 for Dallas; $30 for Miami; $70 for Orlando; $390 for Charlotte; additional cities available.

The fine print: While hotel taxes are included, air taxes and fees are an additional $221 per person. The package does not include breakfast, airport-hotel transfers, or any activities. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $280. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Bookings are accepted at any time, but the starting rate of $679 is based on a booking window of July 1-15, 2008.

Contact: Future Vacations, 800/456-2323, futurevacations.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest round-trip airfare to Mérida for travel in mid-August starts at $615 from Atlanta (multiple carriers), including estimated taxes. In comparison, the Future Vacations package totals $900 with all taxes and covers airfare as well as four nights' accommodations—for $285 more than the cost of airfare alone. It's worth noting that while Atlanta is the lead gateway city for the package deal, airfares through Kayak were cheaper for cities like Dallas ($426) and Miami ($541).

Trip details: The Mérida package offered by Future Vacations includes round-trip airfare on Mexicana or AeroMexico (depending on the departure gateway) and four nights' accommodations at the 212-room downtown Holiday Inn Merida.

Hotel amenities include an outdoor pool, a recreation court, and a fitness center. For dining, you can choose from two on-site restaurants: La Veranda, featuring regional and international cuisine, or La Arboleda, which serves Mexican food. The low-rise property is located on a main avenue, Paseo de Montejo, in the city's financial district, a short walk from the Regional Museum of Anthropology.

The closest Mayan ruins site is at Dzibilchaltún, about 11 miles north of the capital. Here you'll find the Temple of the Seven Dolls, named after the seven small effigies found there when the site was discovered in the 1950s. Dzibilchaltún is also home to a cenote, a type of sinkhole, where the locals come to swim year-round, and the remains of a 16th-century Spanish church. Other significant archaeological sites, such as Uxmal and Chichén Itzá, are anywhere from 50 to 75 miles away from the city.

For a little fun in the sun, take an excursion to Progreso, about 18 miles north of Mérida (approximately 20 to 30 minutes by shuttle van or taxi). The fishing village turned cruise ship port of call is home to white-sand beaches and great seafood restaurants.

For more tips on what to do in the area, visit Mexico's official tourism Web site.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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