We are thinking of visiting and want to rent a house or apartment for a couple weeks around the first of the year. We are in our 60s and are experienced and pretty adventuresome travelers having been to many places around the globe that most Americans would never even consider visiting. We like interesting and more authentic places where we can be a part of local culture rather than just being in a place with English menu, upscale restaurants and non-stop gift shops. We enjoy nature, walking a lot just to soak in the ambience, history, small hole-in-the-wall local restaurants, interesting architecture, colorful local markets, cultural events etc. My Spanish is such that I can at least communicate basic needs. We are comfortable renting a car and driving in Mexico so we can make day trips on our own.
We’ve spent close to a month in Merida and found it an enjoyable and interesting place both with what is available in the city and the opportunities to venture out to other locales. SMA is hilly whereas Merida is flat, and Merida is more tropical while I know that at this time of year most rentals in SMA will be quite chilly. Can anyone make any other comparisons so I can try to decide if this would be a good place for us? Is SMA a place we’d like, or would we be better off in a place like Oaxaca which is perhaps not so gringoized? Thanks much if you can offer me any insights.