Pátzcuaro Travel Guide

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

Pátzcuaro Highlights

  • Pro
    mtncorg profile photo

    mtncorg says…

     Handicrafts, History, Natural and Cultural Grandeur 

  • Con
    Aelena23 profile photo

    Aelena23 says…

     crowds, borrachos 

  • In a nutshell
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    bluedeep says…

     water made me calm 

Pátzcuaro Things to Do

  • Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús.

    Another splendid colonial church of the city, it was built in the 17th century, and has a tower with a clock; according to the legend the clock was sent away from Spain because it tolled an unlucky hour for a Spanish King.

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  • Callejuela de los Once Patios.

    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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  • Museo de Artes e Industrias Populares.

    This interesting museum is located inside a beautiful colonial building built in the XVI century; it was the first religious school for priests in the area "the Real Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo", founded by Vasco de Quiroga in 1540, and also was a small school for indians. The museum is a perfect snapshot of the history of arts and craftmanship...

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  • El Sagrario Church.

    A beautiful Baroque building built in the 17th century, started as the shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of the Heath), maybe is not Patzcuaro´s oldest or biggest church, but i think is the most impressive building in the city, beautiful gardens and courtyards, and a marvelous stone wall that is the symbol of the city.

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  • Museo de Artes e Industrias Populares. ...

    The museum has a beautiful courtyard (recently restored), a great place to enjoy a moment of peace during the visit of town.

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  • Nuestra señora de la Salud.

    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...

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  • Day of the Deads. Sugar skulls.

    We saw all kind of skulls made from chocolate, sugar, flour...they have no limits with the imagination, they make also a famous Pan de Muerto (Bread of the dead).

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  • Day of the Deads. Catrinas and Catrinos.

    Now there are Catrinas and Catrinos, you can find any kind of Catrinas dressed with different clothes, there are even Catrinas nuns or Catrinos priests. I really love this figure.

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  • Day of the Deads. Catrinas Figures.

    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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  • Day of the Dead. Home Altars.

    Some families built altars or shrines in their homes. We were invited to go inside the houses to see the altars and take pictures, there was even a book to put your impressions of the decoration. At the beggining it was quite shocking, but the people were so friendly and warm, they told us that for them this day is like having a party with the...

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  • The Day of the Deads.

    This festivity is celebrated mainly in Mexico in connection with the Catholic celebration of All Saints Day. Peple go to the cemeterires to get in touch with the souls of the departed, and built altars covered with flowers, pictures and also with the favourite food and beverages of the deads. Pátzcuaro and specially the island of Janitzio are...

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  • Plaza Vasco de Quiroga.

    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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  • Walking the town.

    The town consist mostly of one-story adove buildings painted in white with tile roofs and cobblestone streets.

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  • Lago de Patzcuaro

    Lago de Patzcuaro is a very popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. While the lake itself is certainly beautiful, we were a bit put off by all the commercialism. Isla de Janitzio has become one big tourist trap. As tourist boats approach the island they are met by "fishermen" who pose for photos using the traditional...

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  • The Market

    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...

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Pátzcuaro Hotels

Pátzcuaro Restaurants

  • Be Sure to Try Cocada

    Cocada is a sticky sweet made with coconut shavings and shaped like a pyramid. You can find it in other parts of Mexico and Central America as well, but my first experience with cocada was in Patzcuaro. If you like coconut, don't miss it!

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  • Tarascan and French Cuisine

    A weekend restaurant located on Lake Zirahuen about a 30 minute drive from Patzcuaro. There is a place to park your car in the village of Zirahuen near where the boat takes you to the restaurant. The car park is hard to find so you have to keep asking for the boat dock once you reach the village of Zirahuen. The boat stops at several places so be...

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  • regional cuisine...

    The food is comforting and satisfying - not couture or cutting edge - just really soothing - like dishes your mother would make. The restaurant has views of the main square also. Pasilla chile stuffed with beans and epazote with a tarragon cream sauce. Pasilla chile stuffed with adobodera cheese and tomato sauce. Corundas. Tarascan soup. Taquitos....

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Pátzcuaro Transportation

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    by mtncorg Updated Oct 31, 2003

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    To reach Janitzio - and any other islands in the Lago de Patzcuaro that you want to visit - go down to the Muelle General along the south side of the lake, about 3.5 km from the center of Patzcuaro (bus, taxi or foot) to catch one of the many long passenger motorboats thatmake the journey. The cost is around $3 US - supposedly it is a little less expensive at the Muelle San Pedrito which is a dock a little farther out, but I can't verify that claim. You need your ticket for the ride to Janitzio, but once on the island, you can take any boat back. Travel time to Janitzio is about 45 minutes. Boats leave when they are full from 0800 on. The last boat back from Janitzio is at 1800. The island is a very famous destination within Mexico and many people come here on the weekends - especially around the time of the Dias de Los Muertos. Be forewarned.

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    • Sailing and Boating

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Pátzcuaro Shopping

  • local artists abound....

    Numerous shops that offer various types of regional art - laquer, copper, weaving, clay. You'll need to visit a few times because shops are open and closed unpredictably. I stumbled upon some wonderful folk art and laquer work.

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  • The World of Mexican Crafts in a Convent

    Located within a Dominican convent dating back to 1740 and just across the alley from the Templo del Sagrario, teh Casa de la Once Patios holds a warren of numerous handicraft shops, each specializing in different crafts. It is a microcosm of the handicrafts found through out the region in one building. Handicrafts in this area is outstanding and...

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  • tzintzuntzan,a indian tarasco's village

    the village is situated on patzcuaro lake,at the other bottom considering patzcuaro city.when we were there,it was christmas shopping time.

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Pátzcuaro Local Customs

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    Dance of theLittle Old Men

    by marktynernyc Written Jan 8, 2005

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    A popular folk dance created just after the conquest to poke fun at the Spanish. If you're in Patzcuaro for a few days you'll most likely see the dance either around the square or the Eleven Patios.

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Pátzcuaro Tourist Traps

  • jungles's Profile Photo

    by jungles Written Apr 8, 2006

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    In my opinion Isla de Janitzio is a total tourist trap and not worth visiting. It's worth buying the ticket just for the boat ride across the lake, but you don't want to spend much time on the island itself. The entire economy of the island is based on squeezing money out of tourists, whether it's at overpriced restaurants or an impromptu 'cultural dance performance' on the dock.

    Unique Suggestions: I suppose the walk up to the statue could be worthwhile. Nick was sick when we were there so we didn't do it, but I imagine there's a good view from the top.

    Fun Alternatives: I'm not sure what the alternative is. We tried Isla de Yunuen as an alternative, but that wasn't very interesting. I did hear from other travellers that they visited some great traditional villages around the lake, but I don't know where these are. You can try this website for ideas on surrounding places to visit (Sorry, it's only in Spanish; send me a message if you want a translation).

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    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking

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Pátzcuaro Off The Beaten Path

  • incredible views of Lago de Patzcuaro

    To get to Volcan del Estribo Grande you'll need to take a taxi - but the views are worth the effort.

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  • Tzintzuntzan: the place of the...

    Once the center of Tarascan power, it's about 15 kilometers from Patzcuaro.The stone structures are called yacatas and have a panoramic view of the lake. In town, the Franciscan monestary is 16th century and the olive trees supposedly planted by Vasco de Quiroga. A nice afternoon excursion.

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  • Cueva de Leones de Patzcuaro

    In the two days of eye clinics, we were able to see over 300 patients, giving out glasses or arrnaging for other needed services - ie cataract surgery. It was my first clinic trip and the experience was very fulfilling both from the aspect of providing a service that many people in the area did not have a chnace of receiving, but also in the...

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Pátzcuaro Favorites

  • cbeaujean's Profile Photo

    by cbeaujean Written Feb 25, 2003

    Favorite thing: one of the nicest and greatest mexican squares,with ancient trees,nice residences and galeries with pillars.

    Fondest memory: to share the patzcuaro people's life...and their hospitality...

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    • Adventure Travel

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