<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >The Trova Route in Mérida</span>

The Trova Route in Mérida

30 may 2024
12 min. de lectura

Trova Route in Mérida. Where to find Trova Yucateca in Mérida. Famous yucatecan trova singers.

Mérida is known for its stately Paseo de Montejo, the flavors and aromas of its markets, and the charm of its neighborhoods…but Mérida can also be heard. How would you like to explore the city through the beautiful sounds of Yucatecan Trova? So, grab your comfiest walking shoes, keep your eyes and ears wide open, and maybe even give your voice a little warm-up, because you'll definitely feel like joining in the singing.




The Yucatecan Song Museum

Our route starts in the once-humble neighborhood of La Mejorada. Here, near the church that gives its name to the area, you’ll find the Museo de la Canción Yucateca (the Yucatecan Song Museum). You'll be welcomed by the statues of Pepe Domínguez, Guty Cárdenas, and Ricardo Palmerín, three names you'll hear more than once on this tour.
In short:


Guty Cárdenas (1905 - 1932)

Rose to stardom in 1922; his songs “Nunca (Never)” and “Caminante del Mayab (The Wayfarer of the Mayab)” and rose to international prominence collaborating with jazz bands in the United States, as an exclusive Columbia Records artist. His career was cut short by a “stray” bullet that killed him under suspicious circumstances at the age of 27.


“Nunca”, original recording by Guty Cárdenas, on YouTube


Ricardo Palmerín (1887 - 1944)

One of the most illustrious Tekax natives, was a self-taught composer whose repertoire spans over 200 songs. Of those, the most famous one may be “Peregrina (Pilgrim),” written about the love affair between governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto and New York Times journalist Alma Reed.


“Peregrina”, performed by Orquesta Típica Yukalpetén, on YouTube


Pepe Domínguez (1900 - 1950)

Born in Dzidzantún, wrote his first song when he was 18. Throughout his life he’d write over 150, among which classics such as “Aires del Mayab (Mayab winds),” “Pájaro Azul (Blue Bird),” and “Granito de Sal (Little grain of salt)” stand out.


“Aires del Mayab”, performed by Orquesta Típica Yukalpetén, on YouTube


Established in 1978 in a late 19th-century mansion that once served as a primary school, the museum narrates the origin and evolution of the genre, from its beginnings at the dawn of the 20th century to the early years of the present one, through personal belongings, instruments, and period photographs.



A Musical Detour through Paseo 60

At Museo de la Canción Yucateca, your journey ends with a special tribute to singer/songwriter Armando Manzanero. But if you're curious to learn even more about this talented musician, you should check out the Casa Manzanero Museum, located near Paseo Montejo. There, you'll discover all about his remarkable career, and hear captivating stories about his life through videos, photos, and personal accounts. Plus, you can sing along with backing tracks.
In short:


Armando Manzanero (1935 - 2020)

2406 Armando Manzanero Ruta de la trova yucateca by Yucatán Today

Might be the most famous Yucateco ever. He wrote his first song at the age of 15, and would write about 400 more in the following 70 years. Some standouts include “Somos novios,” performed by Elvis Presley and Perry Como as “It’s Impossible,” and “Esta Tarde Vi Llover,” “Yesterday I Heard The Rain,” as sung by Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, and Shirley Bassey. His songs have been sung in several languages by artists such as Luis Miguel, Frank Sinatra, Il Divo, and Christina Aguilera. 



“Esta tarde vi llover”, performed by Armando Manzanero, on YouTube


“It’s impossible” (originally "Somos Novios"), performed by Perry Como



The José Peón Contreras Theater, a jewel of Mérida, Yucatán2406 Teatro Jose Peon Contreras by Juan Manuel Mier y Teran


Back in Mérida’s Centro, take a moment to admire the monumentality of the José Peón Contreras Theater, named after the poet and playwright author of "Despedida (Farewell)," one of the first known Trova songs.


“Despedida”, performed by Orquesta Típica Yukalpetén, on YouTube



2406 Museo de la Canción Yucateca by Yucatán TodayGuty Cárdenas, a Yucatecan Trova star

Now, let's head over to Santa Lucía. Let's look for the corner known as El Loro (“the parrot,” on Calle 55 x 62); on the eastern side is the house where Augusto Alejandro Cárdenas Pinelo, internationally known as Guty Cárdenas, lived during his youth. This property, now home to the Manuel Cepeda Peraza Central Library, used to belong to his grandmother, Carmen Ituarte. It is said that the singer and musician often hosted friends like Carlos "Chalín" Cámara Zavala and Ermilo "Chispas" Padrón, who lived nearby in the Santiago Barrio. It's easy to imagine that several lyrics and chords of famous songs arose from those gatherings.

Let's keep going in the same direction and make a stop at the intersection of Calle 62 and Calle 61. Back in the first half of the 20th century, Café Louvre was right here. Legend has it that it was at this café where Guty composed the music for the lyrics of "Nunca", written by Ricardo "El Vate" López Méndez.

Near this point, on the way to Santiago, at number 535 on Calle 61, is the house where Guty Cárdenas was born in 1905 and which is being prepared to be a cultural center.



The Monument to the Creators of Yucatecan Song, at Mérida’s General Cemetery

Let's head further south to Mérida’s General Cemetery, where we'll find the Monument to the Creators of Yucatecan Song. This beautiful roundabout was erected in 1960 by architect Carlos Castillo Montes de Oca, with a design by Rómulo Rozo (yes, the same artist who created Monumento a la Patria on Paseo de Montejo). As we pay our respects, let's leave a flower in memory of the great romantics laid to rest here, including Guty Cárdenas, Ricardo Palmerín, Pepe Domínguez, Pastor Cervera, Daniel Ayala, Juan Acereto, Chispas Padrón, Antonio Mediz Bolio, José Peón Contreras, El Vate López Méndez, and Ligia Cámara Blum...



Trovadores in Mérida's Centro

Now let's take a brief and curious detour to the intersection of Calle 73-A and Calle 48. Here, you'll notice a plaque from Mérida's old corner naming system depicting a man with a guitar: El Trovador (The Troubadour). From what we understand about how corners used to get their names, we can imagine that some romantic soul would serenade their beloved nearby. Although somewhat faded, the tradition of expressing feelings through Trova songs still thrives in Plaza Grande, where some nights you can still find plenty of Tríos advertising their skill to sing love songs.


We've toured Barrios and buildings of distinguished elegance. But the itinerary would be incomplete without listening to the music that has been born from it.



Where to Listen to Yucatecan Trova in Mérida

2406 Santa Lucía Trova Yucateca por Brenda Acametitla


Centro Cultural Olimpo offers Trova Tuesdays, when the stage is taken over by guest trios and singers. The next day, Museo de la Canción Yucateca opens its doors at night for Trova Wednesdays.


To wrap it all up, we have Serenade Thursdays at Santa Lucía Park, a weekly tradition that has been enchanting audiences since 1965. It's a journey through Yucatecan artistic folklore, from Trova to Jarana and poetry. The stage, nestled in a cozy corner, is surrounded by busts of legendary troubadours, including our companions and guides Ricardo Palmerín, Guty Cárdenas, and Pepe Domínguez.


Yucatán Today - The Traveler's Bible!

Visit our Events section 💃 to feel the ✨magic of Yucatecan trova✨ in Yucatán.


The tour has concluded, but romanticism lives on in the chords and inspiration of new composers, singers, and audiences who keep alive the legacy of Yucatecan Trova.


Museo de la Canción Yucateca
Calle 57 #464-A x 48, Centro
Tel. 999 923 7224
FB: Museo de la Canción Yucateca A.C.
Tue. - Fri. 10 am - 5 pm; Sat. and Sun. 10 am - 2 pm
Admission: $50 pesos


Museo Casa Manzanero
Paseo 60, Calle 60 x 35 y Avenida Colón, local 17
Tel. 999 108 8868
FB: Casa Manzanero
Tue. - Sun. 10 am - 8 pm
Admission: $50 pesos residente yucateco, $100 pesos nacional


Teatro José Peón Contreras
Calle 60 #463 x 59, Centro
Note: the venue is undergoing restoration



Biblioteca Central Estatal Manuel Cepeda Peraza
Calle 55 #515 x 62, Centro
Tel. 999 923 2177
FB: Biblioteca Central Estatal Manuel Cepeda Peraza
Mon. - Fri. 8 am -  9 pm; Sat. 8 am - 2 pm



Casa Memoria Guty Cárdenas
Calle 61 #535, Centro


Cementerio General de Mérida
Calle 81-A x 90, Centro
Every day, 8 am - 4:30 pm
Free admission


Centro Cultural Olimpo
Calle 62 x 61, Centro
FB: Centro Cultural Olimpo Mérida
Tue. - Sun. 10 am - 7 pm 



Parque de Santa Lucía
Calle 60 x 55, Centro



Photography by Brenda Acametitla, Juan Mier y Terán, and Yucatán Today, for its use in Yucatán Today.

Alberto Chuc

Author: Alberto Chuc

I like to travel through books and in the real world, activities that I combine whenever I can.

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