When walking around the city of Mérida, Santa Lucía is one of the Centro’s most Instagram-ready spots.
In the middle of the park sits a giant “confidente” chair, which has become a popular photo spot for locals and tourists alike. Combined with its unbeatable location and beautiful surroundings, it is no surprise that Santa Lucía has become one of Mérida’s most iconic parks.
Located in the historic center of the capital, it is the oldest in the city, along the main square or “Plaza Grande.” It sits at the intersection of Calle 60 and Calle 55, three blocks north of the Cathedral de San Ildefonso.
Santa Lucía dates from the founding of the city itself, in 1542.
When the initial layout for Mérida was drawn by the Spaniards, they chose to leave a space three blocks north of the main plaza to serve as a small square for the slaves that were brought by the Spaniards for their service.
Santa Lucía Church
The conqueror and encomendero Pedro García built a small church to provide religious service to the fledgling neighborhood. His project was completed in 1575.
The southern part of the atrium of the small church was used as a cemetery, an area that functioned as such until 1821.
The church underwent several expansions and renovations until it reached its present form, around 1760. Today, it has a rectangular entrance framed in quarry stone, stained glass, and a belfry, or bell tower.
Although the area immediately surrounding it is now busy with the hustle and bustle of the Centro, inside it is still surprisingly tranquil. Nowadays it’s a popular location for weddings, baptisms, and quinceañeras.
Once you’re done visiting this lovely little church, you can walk a few meters back into Santa Lucía Park, also known as “Parque de Los Héroes”—Hero’s park.
Trova Yucateca- A Musical Park
In 1804, Governor Benito Pérez Valdelomar transformed the square, which had been abandoned, into a colorful and pleasant plaza.
In the 20th century, the park became a space to honor musicians and composers dedicated to Yucatecan trova. Since 1965, on Thursdays, a corner of the park is transformed into a stage for traditional Yucatecan serenades.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed the dynamic for a while, now we can see trovadores starting to trickle back in the plaza once again.
On Thursday nights, at 9, well-known trios, the Orquesta Típica de Yucalpetén, and groups of jaraneros, perform popular folkloric songs and dances.
Wine and dine in Santa Lucía
Aside from being a wonderful outdoor venue to enjoy music and culture, Santa Lucía has become a great hub for gastronomy, with a wide range of restaurants featuring Mediterranean, Peruvian, Italian, fusion, and Mexican cuisine.
If risotto or gourmet burgers are not what you’re looking for, just across the plaza sits the famous Chaya Maya, as well as many other local eateries to enjoy Yucatecan cuisine.
Thanks to its long history, charm, and ample selection of cafés, restaurants, and shops, it’s no surprise that Santa Lucía and its surroundings have become a coveted neighborhood in the city.