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All about Gran Parque La Plancha in Mérida, Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Parks & Churches

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Author: Tobias

Gran Parque La Plancha is the newest, largest and by far the most impressive park in Mérida. Gran Parque La Plancha in Mérida, Mexico is only 100m away from Casa Loltún. It is located in the city center of Mérida, so you can comfortably stroll the short distance.

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Parks & Churches

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Disclosure: This article contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we get a small provision at no additional cost to you (#Disclosure Policy)

Address:

C. 43 429, Centro, 97000 Mérida, Yuc., Mexico

Website:

Category:

Parks and Churches, Kids

Phone:

-

Distance:

100m from Casa Loltún

Travel Time:

Within the city

Admission:

No entry fee

Price Level:

Mid-range

Since:

2023

Google Rating:

average rating is 4.7 out of 5, based on 948 votes, Ratings

Opening Hours:

• Monday: Open 24 hours
• Tuesday: Open 24 hours
• Wednesday: Open 24 hours
• Thursday: Open 24 hours
• Friday: Open 24 hours
• Saturday: Open 24 hours
• Sunday: Open 24 hours

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Gran Parque La Plancha

The spectacular Gran Parque La Plancha - La Plancha Park - is the newest, largest and by far the most impressive park in Mérida and it is the largest park of its kind in Latin America.


The park is celebrating the culture, history and natural treasures of the Yucatan and is compared by some to no less than Central Park in New York. The construction of the park was a huge project for Mérida in every respect.


A few figures to illustrate the dimensions:


 
Figures about Gran Parque La Plancha
Figures about Gran Parque La Plancha
 

The region


The fantastic park was built on the huge site of Mérida's former main train station. Thousands of tons of freight wagons, locomotives, tracks and buildings had to be removed or relocated for this purpose. And all this in the heat of Mérida!


The history of the former station of Mérida dates back to the late 19th century. It served as an important hub for the transportation of people and goods, especially for the export of henequén (a agave fiber).


The station was therefore a central part of Mérida's economic development. The transformation of the huge site began in September 2022. The opening of the park was on November 19, 2023 in the presence of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Orbador.


A view into the park
A view into the park

Nature


The park offers recreational opportunities for locals and tourists. The protection of the local flora and fauna was also a concern when planning the park, and specific measures were taken to create habitats for various species.


Around 3,000 trees were planted when the park was being created. But the huge new park not only offers plenty of nature in the middle of Mérida, but also architectural highlights and many great attractions.


Facilities


The park's facilities were continually expanded during the planning phase.


Now there are


  • sports and recreation areas (including an outdoor gym),

  • a gastronomic market with 5 restaurants ("Mercado Gastronómico"),

  • the Museo de los Ferrocarriles de Yucatán (Yucatan Railroad Museum),

  • the Museo de La Luz (Museum of Light),

  • a 13,000 sqm lake with a more than 700m long circular promenade,

  • a pet park with a parcour for dogs (with an area of almost 1,600 square meters),

  • in total eight playgrounds for children,

  • a large skate park,

  • a sports field with a multi-purpose pitch, e.g. for soccer or volleyball,

  • and an amphitheater for no less than 10,000 people.


There are also jogging routes, a 2 km long leisure trail, bicycle paths, covered walkways, restrooms and parking possibilities for 300 cars. The park connects to the new restaurant row in Calle 47 (two blocks away), so Casa Loltún offers the perfect location in between.


One of eight playgrounds for kids
One of eight playgrounds for kids

Yucatan Railroad Museum


As part of the redevelopment as a park, the Museo de los Ferrocarriles de Yucatán (Yucatan Railroad Museum) was given a new home on an area of around 5,100 square meters.


The museum is located to the north-east opposite the large hall with the gastronomic market (Mercado Gastronómico). A total of 25 of the former 38 locomotives and carriages have been extensively restored and put back on display.


Some interesting railroad objects were also found during the work, for example the remains of a turntable that was used to change the direction of travel of a locomotive. The turntable was restored and is now part of the railroad museum.

One of 25 restored locomotives
One of 25 restored locomotives

Museum of Light


The Museo de La Luz (Museum of Light) was also newly opened on November 2, 2023. It is located in the third section of the park, on the corner of Calle 43 and Calle 50 on an area of around 1,250 square meters.


The exhibition delves into the mysteries of color and light to explore its physical, psychological, technological and cultural nature.


Museum of Light at Gran Parque La Plancha
Museum of Light

The Ie-Tram station in the park

The Ie-Tram station in La Plancha Park is the starting point of the new Ie-Tram Yucatán. The Ie-Tram Yucatán is a new modern fully electric bus rapid transit (BRT) network, making Mérida the fourth city in Mexico to have electric buses and the first to have a fully electric BRT system.


The Ie-Tram network consists of 5 lines. The technology comes from Spain and uses magnetic asphalt on its roads, a technology developed in Germany, that allow the vehicle in contact with it to charge itself.


There are connections between the Parque La Plancha and the Engineering Faculty of the UADY, Kanasín (9km east of the center of Mérida), the Teya railway station (behind of Kanasín), Parque Umán and the Umán railway station (approx. 20km southwest of Mérida).


This new means of transportation will thereby link more than 137 neighbourhoods along its route. And which is also great: The Teya Mérida railway station also connects the Ie-Tram with the Tren Maya.


The Tren Maya is a 1,525-kilometer intercity train that will travel around the Yucatán Peninsula. The first route is scheduled to start in December 2023.


Universidad de las Artes de Yucatán


The Universidad de las Artes de Yucatán - the country's leading higher education institution in the field of the arts - is also located on the site. Of particular interest is the historical background of the building, which used to be the station building.


Universidad de las Artes de Yucatán
Universidad de las Artes de Yucatán

The neo-colonial station building was extensively renovated and transformed into the present university, preserving the original architecture and many of the historic elements.

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