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Around Lake Patzcuaro: The Heart Of Michoacan

From Morelos Statue
Around Lake Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico

Michoacan is one of Mexico’s most diverse states. From colonial towns to clear water lakes, volcanoes or butterfly reserves. Besides, the indigenous culture is still very strong. You will not hear any Spanish in many of the villages! Let’s discover what you can find around Lake Patzcuaro!

The name Michoacan comes from Nahuatl and it refers to those who fish on Lake Patzcuaro. In fact, the lake used to be the major economic resource, both for fishing and agriculture.

A popular spot for young couples!
Romance Alley in Morelia

Isla de Janitzio

It is the main island on Lake Patzcuaro. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one side, it felt a bit touristy. The local fishermen seem more interested in posing rather than actually fishing. Also, the whole island is a maze of restaurants and souvenirs shops…

However, best things always come last. Reach the top of the island and climb the 40-meter statue of Morelos. The views of the island, lake, and surroundings are spectacular.

Fishing The Old Way
Fishermen In Lake Patzcuaro

Temple Of Santa Muerte

The small town of Santa Ana Chapitiro is the home of a curious sanctuary. The Temple of Santa Muerte, the dead saint, is a personification of death. There is no need to say that it is one of the grimmest places I have ever been to.

Even though Santa Muerte is not recognized by the Catholic Church, some people worship her… Narcos among them! In any case, it is a clear example of syncretism in Mexico: the mix of indigenous Mesoamerican beliefs and Spanish Catholic practices.

Such A Scary Place!
Temple Of Santa Muerte

READ MORE: Chepe Train: Across Mexico’s Copper Canyon

Where To Stay In Morelia

Morelia is more than just the capital city of Michoacan. There is so much to see! Actually, the historical center is part of Mexico’s extensive UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Do not miss Clavijero Cultural Center and the magnificent Aqueduct.

The Only Backpacker’s Morelia is the pure definition of a hostel. The dorms are too crowded, the shared bathrooms are basic and the breakfast is simple. Nevertheless, the common areas are pleasant and there is a good traveler vibe. If you are looking for the best deal in town, go for it!

A "real" hostel
The Only Backpacker’s Morelia

Library of Patzcuaro

The Library of Patzcuaro occupies the interior of a 16th-century church. A colorful mural of Juan O’Gorman, a disciple of Diego Rivera, teaches the tumultuous history of Michoacan.

TIP! Any time of the year is good for traveling around Lake Patzcuaro, but consider Day of the Dead or Easter if possible. You will get a much more mystical experience.

What To See Around Lake Patzcuaro!
Mural In Patzcuaro Library

Santa Clara Del Cobre & Zirahuen Lake

The Purepecha people have worked with copper since the pre-Hispanic era. Santa Clara del Cobre is the best chance to learn about this inherited tradition.

Lake Zirahuen is a deep mountain lake really close to Santa Clara. It is much cleaner than Lake Patzcuaro and a good place for a swim. Perfect for the hot Michoacan summer days!

"Cobre" Means Copper In Spanish
Copper Handicrafts Everywhere!

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Have you visited any other interesting spot around Lake Patzcuaro? Write in the comments, I would love to know?

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