• Folk Art and Culture
Fiestas
Archeological Sites
Nature Hikes
Workshops
Weekend Side Trips

Tzurumútaro

The museum in this picturesque pueblo located next to Pátzcuaro tells the story of maís (corn)—a plant native to Mexico and a key to Mexican culture. Traditional farm tools for cultivating corn are also exhibited.

Janitzio Island

A 35-minute ride by launch takes you to Lake Pátzcuaro’s most famous island, known for the variety of its folk art and the tastiness of its cuisine. Crowning the top of the island’s hill is a 40-meter statue of General Morelos; inside the sculpture are 50 murals depicting his life and key events in the history of Mexican Independence.

Santa Clara del Cobre

Your tour begins with a visit to the Copper Museum, continues with visits to exceptional colonial churches and concludes with visits to family workshops that feature demonstrations of the ancient hammer technique used to produce Santa Clara’s world-famous copper art objects.

Folk Art and CulturePueblos
Pátzcuaro (“Door to the Heavens”)

Your tour of this 475-year old colonial city begins at the colonial Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga, reputedly the most beautiful in México.  The plaza features outstanding examples of colonial architecture.

Walking along ancient stone streets, you also pass through the Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra (heroine of Mexican Independence), visit the library to see the powerful mural depicting Pátzcuaro’s history from prehispanic times and learn about Pátzcuaro’s beautifully meaningful legends.

Tzintzuntzan ("Place of the Hummingbirds")

The Purhépecha resisted worshipping in indoor spaces, so the Spanish established the first outdoor chapel in America in an Atrio, a large park surrounded by 400-year old olive trees planted by Bishop Quiroga. Later two churches were built on the edges of the Atrio.  Your tour includes a visit to the newly restored sixteenth century Franciscan convent, a jewel of colonial architecture.

Tócuaro (Purhépecha: “Tokua,” or “Stone Axe”)

This indigenous pueblo is home to the artisans who carve traditional wooden masks that reflect prehispanic Purhépecha beliefs and worldview.  These masks are used each year in the traditional dances of Candelária (Candlemass) on February 2.

Tupátaro / Cuanajo

Tupátaro is home to a seventeenth century colonial church, whose original painted-wood bóveda (vaulted ceiling) and original wood floor must be experienced. The nearby indigenous pueblo of Cuanajo is known for the aesthetic charm of its colorful, hand-carved and painted wood furniture.

Jarácuaro

This pueblo just outside Pátzcuaro used to be an island, but because of the lake’s falling water levels can now be reached by road. Crafting hats from natural palm leaves is Jarácuaro’s principal activity, which its artisans have practiced for hundreds of years. In the past, stone molds and all-natural fibers were used. These natural materials included the thread, which was obtained from maguey cactus that grew in the neighboring pueblo of Arocutín.

Santa Fe de la Laguna

This rural Purhépecha pueblo deliberately maintains intact its traditional Purhépecha customs and traditions. A visit to the pueblo’s Plaza transports you back across centuries. The pueblo is famous for its sixteenth century church and hospital where visitors can view the Bishop’s Chair used by the now-legendary Bishop Vasco de Quiroga.

Quiroga

This prehispanic pueblo has found new life as one of Lake Pátzcuaro’s most important centers of folk arts and crafts.  Surrounding its Plaza are streets lined with shops offering a wide variety of hand-crafted objects, including furniture, textiles, leather goods, and toys made of wood, fabrics and natural fibers.  Quiroga is also known for its traditional foods, such as carnitas (little meats), uchepos (corn-dumpling), and pozole batido (a whipped, corn-based soup).

Erongarícuaro (Place of Vigilance or Surveillance)

Situated on the west side of Lake Pátzcuaro, this beautiful pueblo has a rich tradition.  From prehispanic times to the present day, the market at Erongarícuaro has been important for the practice of trueque (exchange of goods by barter or swap, rather than for money) among the inhabitants of the pueblos that hug the shores of Lake Pátzcuaro.   Erongarícuaro maintains its colonial architecture, including a church and monastery decorated with original sixteenth century paintings.

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