Discover Michoacán’s 8 Magical Towns
Join us on a whirl through Michoacán’s Magical Towns. Discover their main tourist attractions, and start to plan your next getaway.
Just an hour from the city of Morelia is Pátzcuaro, a Magical Town that contrasts charming colonial sights with lush surroundings. This is one of the most visited cities during Day of the Dead celebrations, when the whole city, its cemeteries, plazas, and lake turn orange with marigold flowers and candles honoring the dead.
Be sure to visit the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud church and the old convent called Casa de los Once Patios. In the latter building you will find dozens of handicraft studios and shops. We also recommend visiting the dock and lake. This is where you can feast on some of the more traditional delicacies, such as uchepos (lightly sweetened unfilled tamales), corundas (pyramids of steamed corn dough), sopa tarasca (vegetable soup), and tamales de zarzamora (blackberry tamales).
Nestled in Michoacán’s mountains and surrounded by conifer forests sits this Magical Town. In addition to having been an important mining town, it welcomes Monarch butterflies back to winter every year.
We recommend visiting Angangueo between November and the end of February, when the blue skies turn black and orange under the beating wings of Monarch butterflies. The best places to learn more about the butterflies’ migration is in the Sierra Chincua and El Rosario butterfly sanctuaries.
North of Morelia, about half an hour from the city, is the peaceful Cuitzeo lake. It embraces a quiet, picturesque Magical Town adorned with towering cypresses and colonial buildings.
Santa Clara del Cobre’s magic comes from its people and its artisans, whose skillful hands craft marvelous objects of copper. This artistic tradition goes all the way back to pre-Hispanic times.
Don’t miss your chance to stroll through the streets and pop into its handicraft studios and shops, where you can learn more about the art of working copper. If you are visiting in August, be sure to check out the Feria Nacional del Cobre (National Copper Fair) when metalsmiths make a pilgrimage to the church of Saint Clare of Assisi, the town’s patron saint. This tradition is accompanied by a fair, parades, fireworks, and many regional delicacies.
Did you know that 60% of the population of this Magical Town participates in this craft, which transforms pieces of this sacred metal into incredible everyday objects? We tell you more about the origins of this tradition here.
This Magical Town with pre-Hispanic origins is located less than two hours from the city of Morelia. It is the site of beautiful colonial mansions and buildings whose white-walls and red tile roofs contrast with the verdant wooded hills.
If historic places are your thing, be sure to visit the main square named Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral erected in honor of Saint Jerome, and the church, Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Fátima. But if natural wonders are more your speed, Tacámbaro’s best spot for you is La Alberca, a volcanic crater filled with water and surrounded by pines. You could also visit La Magdalena, whose lake is striking for its blue, crystal-clear water. They are two idyllic, natural places where you can unwind and take in the scenery.
The Magical Town of Jiquilpan is called “the city of jacarandas” because these marvelous, purple-flowered trees thrive here. But that’s not all, this city is well known for its colonial-era monuments and its handicrafts, especially its silk rebozo wraps and textiles.
History and art buffs will be thrilled by a visit to the churches Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís and Templo del Sagrado Corazón, and the library, Biblioteca Pública Gabino Ortiz. This last spot features murals by José Clemente Orozco.
Pre-Hispanic and colonial influences combine in the Magical Town of Tzintzuntzan, just an hour from the city of Morelia. One of its greatest charms is being nestled along Pátzcuaro’s lake.
Tzintzuntzan was one of the Purépecha culture’s most important cities in the pre-Hispanic period, and this legacy is still seen in Las Yácatas archeological site. Here, rounded pyramid-shaped structures remain from that era. It is a site shrouded in mysticism and history that you won’t want to miss.
In this Magical Town you can not only enjoy a few tranquil days sightseeing in its picturesque streets, museums, and churches, but also savor the lovely natural surroundings, such as in Parque Nacional Campo del Gallo—a national park where you can hike, climb, and take boat rides. In Tlalpujahua, you can also see the dazzling creations of its artisans, who craft beautiful pieces out of blown glass.
Visit the workshops where Christmas ornaments and other handicrafts are shaped out of blown glass, as well as the delicate feather art creations. Come between October and the middle of December and you will be able to see the Feria de la Esfera. This Christmas fair featuring the town’s ornament creations brings together more than 300 artisans who are masters of the art of creating the glass balls.