Pátzcuaro Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by euzkadi
  • Things to Do
    by euzkadi
  • Things to Do
    by euzkadi

Best Rated Things to Do in Pátzcuaro

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    Lago de Patzcuaro

    by mtncorg Written Oct 31, 2003

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    Pescadores stop a tourist boat before Janitzio

    This is a high basin lake surrounded by grand mountains, ancient ruins and Tarascan Indian villages. The lake is about 50 km in circumference and has long been a source of fish - pescado blanco - though pollution and agriculture threaten the lake's economic future. There are six islands in the lake with Janitzio being the main draw. You can go around the lake, though the road on the west side of the lake is rugged - buses do make the trip, though not in one go.

    Before venturing around the lake, I would recommend a visit to the Museo de Artes Populares to orient yourself to the different villages you will find and their unique handicrafts. You will also find the ruins of the old Tarascan capital at Tzinzuntzan with yacatas (pyramids) and an old monastery built in 1533. The olive trees - still producing -are said to have been planted by Vasco de Quiroga himself.

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    Janitzio

    by mtncorg Written Oct 31, 2003

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    Janitzio and Morelos shimmer in lake's surface

    There are six islands in the Lago del Patzcuaro. The main one is the island of Janitzio. Much of the steep-sided island is taken up with dwellings, ranging from the lakeshore to the top. From the dock, narrow, steep streets wind their way up past innumerable souvenir shops, restaurants frying up the lake's little fish and people begging. By taking an early boat out - the boats start out at 0800 - you can avoid some of the madness. Beggars don't like to start early in the morning. Also, it can get rather warm as the day draws on and you make your way up the hill to visit the Mexican version of the Statue of Liberty high up on top of the island - the statue of Jose Morelos.

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    Palacio Municipal

    by mtncorg Written Oct 31, 2003

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    Fountain bubbles in front of the Palacio Municipal

    Colonial architecture dating into the 17th Century selegantly surrounds the Plaza de Quiroga. Beautifully arched mansions encircle the square - now used as hotels, restaurants and shops. On the western edge of the square is the city hall - the palacio municipal.

    A short walk to the north will take you to another smaller plaza, the Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra (named for a local heroine who was shot in the War of Independance) or also known as the Plaza Chica. This is a much more hectic area - bus service and taxis emanate from here. A large covered mercado (market) goes off from the northwestern corner of the square. This mercado is for the ordinary foodstuffs and living goods.

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    Plaza Vasco de Quiroga

    by mtncorg Written Oct 31, 2003

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    Solitude pervades on the Plaza de Quiroga

    This is the main square in Patzcuaro, one of the finest in all of Mexico. Large fountains bubble away in the square shaded by huge trees. The square is named for the first bishop of Patzcuaro, Vasco de Quiroga, who managed to protect the local from many of the predations New Spain brought to the local people of Mexico after the Conquest. A statue honors the bishops in the middle of the plaza.

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    Museo de Artes Populares

    by mtncorg Written Oct 31, 2003

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    Door from Templo del Sagrario leads to the Museo

    Located in the former Colegio de San Nicolas, this museum is an ideal place to start and get an overview of the vast array of regional handicrafts: ceramics, weaving, woodcarving, lacquerware, basketware. Hours are 0900-1930 Monday through Saturday and 0900-1430 on Sunday. Cost is around $2 US (In Mexican pesos, of course ;-) ). The museum is located across the street from the grand restored Jesuit church, La Compania. To understand the handicrafts here is to gain a much better understanding of the history of this area.

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    Templo del Sagrario

    by mtncorg Written Oct 31, 2003

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    Templo del Sagrario in early morning light

    Almost opposite the restored Jesuit church of La Compania and next to the Casa de la Once Patios, is this grand baroque styled church dating from the 17th Century. It has survived the many earthquakes and reminds of the earlier Colonial times.

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    Pesacdores de Patzcuaro

    by mtncorg Written Oct 31, 2003

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    'I've got one!!!

    Fishing was done in the lake with the use a huge butterfly shaped nets. Today, each boat on its way to Janitzio will get a demonstration of the old fishing skills. A group of fisherman - two to a boat - will form a circle with their boats and dip their nets. They will then come up along the tourist boat to demonstrate their luck and to gain a few pesos from an appreciative audience :-]

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    EL GENERALISSIMO DON JOSE MARIA MORELOS Y PAVON

    by mtncorg Updated Oct 31, 2003

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    Jose Morelos juts his fist skyward

    Atop Janitzio, in a small park with magnificent views over the Lago del Patzcuaro, is the 40m statue dedicated to one of the initators of the Mexican War of Independance. That war was a long and bloody affair that ironically was decided by a dramatic reversal of sides by the first and only Mexican Emperor (the Austrian Hapsburg installed by Napoleon III of France does not count), Iturbide. The Mexican War of independance did separate Mexico from Spain, but real freedom for the masses would have to await the results of the Mexican Revolution, 100 years later.
    Back to Morelos, though. You can wind your way inside the statue up stairs to a viewpoint high in the statue - Morelos' nose! - where you get certainly the highest view from the island. As you climb the stairs grand murals paint the large events in Morelos' life and his involvement in the War of Independance. The lines outside get bigger as the day progresses, so if you want to visit, get an early start.

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    Templo de San Agustin

    by jungles Written Apr 8, 2006

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    Facade of the Temple de San Agustin
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    On Plaza Chica (officially called Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra) sits the Templo de San Agustin, which was founded in 1576 by Alonso de la Veracruz and built by Francisco Villafuerte. Originally the annex adjacent to it housed a monastery, which has now disappeared.

    The church is now being used as a library called the Gertrudis Bocanegra public library. Inside is a mural by the artist Juan O'Gorman which portrays prehispanic history, the conquest, and the mixture of the native people with the Spanish settlers.

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    Templo del Santuario

    by jungles Updated Apr 8, 2006

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    Facade of the Templo del Santuario

    In the photo you may be able to see a rope hanging down from the bell; this is used to manually ring the bells to call worshippers to mass. On market days - Sunday, Monday, and Friday - indigenas lay out their goods on the streets around the covered market as far as the gates of this church.

    History: The Templo del Santuario de Guadalupe was built in the early 19th century. It has been attributed to the Celayan architect Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras, though historian Manuel Toussaint says "there are no facts to support this attribution." The architecture of the temple originally included seven statues representing the seven virtues, but today only four remain. They are charity, temperance, strength, and faith.

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    The Market

    by jungles Written Apr 8, 2006

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    A crowded market plaza
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    On market days - Sunday, Monday, and Friday - indigenous people come from small villages in the surrounding area to buy and sell fruit, vegetables, and all manner of handmade goods. The covered market northwest of Plaza Chica is open every day and is always an interesting place to walk around as well as a good place to grab a cheap bite to eat, but on market days the buying and selling spills outside into the surrounding streets and plazas.

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    Plaza Vasco de Quiroga.

    by euzkadi Updated Nov 5, 2008

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    This is Pátzcuaro´s central plaza, with the statue of Vasco de Quiroga in the center of the square. Vasco de Quiroga was a judge from Mexico city who become
    a priest, and helped the Purepecha Indians in many ways, establishing schools and hospitals, introducing craft cooperatives and new crops.

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    Day of the Deads. Catrinas Figures.

    by euzkadi Written Nov 9, 2008

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    The first Catrina (a skull made of mud, paper or crystal ) was made by José Guadalupe Posada (a famous illustrator) the figure was called La Calavera de la Catrina (The Skull of the Female Dandy), and was made to satirize the life of Mexico´s upper classes females. Now the figure is associated with the festivity.

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    Callejuela de los Once Patios.

    by euzkadi Updated Dec 21, 2008

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    A huge complex of colonial buildings built in 1742 by the Dominican Nuns located a couple of blocks southeast from the main plaza, it contains some beautiful patios, now is used as a handicraft center and houses the Tourism office.

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    Nuestra señora de la Salud.

    by euzkadi Written Nov 9, 2008

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    Built by Vasco de Quiroga (the first bishop of Michoacan a protector of the Purapeches Indians) on top of a pre-hispanic ceremonial site, is Pátzcuaro´s main church. The church has a beautiful interior, including the Statue of the Virgin made of ground corn paste, wich dates from the 16th century, and visited by many pilgrims from Mexico asking for health. Outside the church there´s a small market with food stalls where we had a wonderful breakfast of local Tamales

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