Mérida’s many historic plazas are jam packed with open air event throughout the year. Popular with tourists and locals alike is Yucatecan “Jarana”, a traditional form of dance accompanied by live music.
One of the best places to see the show is at “Serenata Yucateca”, a free event each Thursday in the newly restored Plaza Santa Lucía, a traditional square just four blocks from the main Centro plaza. The musicians, singers and dancing “mestizos”, decked out in their colorful costumes begin the show at 9 PM, as they have for the last 40 years.
There are plenty of benches to sit to enjoy the show. Also, with restaurants and bars spilling out on the sidewalk, its a great way to catch a dinner and show.
Santa Lucía in not just a park, it is also the name of the neighborhood that has come alive since the recent renovation. With traditional cafes, restaurants and shops such as La Chaya Maya and Coqui Coqui Perfumerie, it is fast becoming the “it” place to be in downtown Mérida.
Many colonial houses with a private pools are available to rent in Santa Lucia and in the surroundings so you can close the action.
(Images courtesy of Merida.gob.mx and aany.org)
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Nightlife, shopping and art in the Yucatan
Enjoy Merida’s nightlife, restaurants, shopping and the arts in and around these newly renovated squares.
This is the place to stay if you want to feel the beating heart of this historic and cultured city. Santa Lucia and the Plaza Grande (Merida’s zocalo) and the two blocks in between are where all the main attractions lie from the oldest cathedrals to the biggest theaters.
The defining landmark is Merida’s main cathedral, Catedral San Idelfonso. Built on top of Mayan ruins, it is one of Latin America’s largest and oldest cathedrals.
This area comes alive at night. Explore late-night street food vendors serving up marquesitas and esquites, free public dance and music performances, weekend flea markets, singing parrots at dusk, and more.
A few blocks north of Plaza Grande is Parque Santa Lucía. This park, as well as surrounding streets are loaded with plenty of options for shopping and dining. Grab some great handcrafts and souvenirs, go native with a Guayabera or pick up some well priced art and antiques.
On Thursday nights in Santa Lucia, you can enjoy the “Serenata Yucateca”, a weekly show of traditional “mestizo” dances and Yucatecan music. Come early to get a good seat under one of the giant trees shading the park. Or grab a table and enjoy the show with dinner from one of the city’s most desirable restaurants located in the same park.