Isla Janitzio
Isla Janitzio
3.5
About
This tiny island is inhabited solely by indigenous people, but is popular among tourists hoping for a glimpse of native culture.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles680 reviews
Excellent
229
Very good
215
Average
126
Poor
50
Terrible
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Alfredo Tour Guide
Morelia, Mexico360 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Every year, more and more travelers express their experience (good or bad) about going to Janitzio island to do both the boat ride and the climb to the statue on top.
For the last 2 years in a row, still under the Covid-19 pandemic, I know that the access to Janitzio island has been closed, with no boat rides to the island to November the 1st and the 2nd, which has been great!!!
Thanks to this last, people have been looking for other choices to go see what is the #DayoftheDead celebration, finding out that other indigenous communities by the lakeshores do the same, and guess what; away from the crowds!
Timing is important next time you find yourself in the Patzcuaro area for the "Day of the Dead" days. Organize your time to go out and explore cemeteries at:
Tzintzuntzan: A cemetery that literally "goes back to life" with great family meetings, pets, live music, and thousands of candles. This place has a vivid festival of life!
Cucuchucho: This is a poor indigenous community where local families keep celebrating the ritual to remember the dead souls with pre-Columbian roots.
Ihuatzio: Mostly for the local families, this cemetery is by the roadside and looks easy to walk through it on Nov-2.
Tzurumutaro: This one is plenty of candles and flowers to welcome the dead souls, with colorful decorations on the graveyards from local families waiting for their relatives to come back home and join the celebration.
Santa Fe: Found to the Northside of the lake, this is a small farming town where local families set up altars at home, to welcome the souls and share the night dining with chocolate, bread, pozole, and tamales.
Arocutin: This little village looks so great from the belltower of the church after midnight. Most of the local families will stay overnight there, in the cemetery that is still surrounded by stone walls from centuries ago.
Cuanajo: The famous "Caballito" (little horse) is a huge altar at the main square, that looks like a giant horse loaded with all items to decorate the altar and remember the dead souls of the entire community. Smaller "caballitos" can be seen on the graveyards at the local cemetery too.
Huiramba: Located by the roadside driving to Patzcuaro from Morelia, this is a cemetery where the locals really do not expect tourists.
Capula: A must in your trip is the stop in this craftsmen town where the famous "Catrinas" are made of clay and decorated by hand. Some of the best are the "Fridas"; skeleton figures that represent famous Frida Kahlo artist herself and her paintings as well. Don´t miss the Catrina festival that normally starts the weekend before the celebration takes place ending November the 2nd.
I have been there, in many of these places, many times and have had a fantastic experience to witness the celebration, away from the stress that represents waiting 2 hours in the line of people trying to get a ticket to Janitzio. Will not do it again!
Written 17 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Surreytraveller59
Surrey, Canada50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Couples
We parked our car at Muelle 1 and the attendant pointed us to the booth where we could purchase tickets for the boat. The parking was included in the fee and the boat was leaving shortly. It was mid morning (10am) before the big crowds so we were the only ones on the boat. It was pleasant ride across to the island ( the sun was out and the waters were calm) We decided on a pick up time (2 hrs) and started our ascent. The steep stairways pass through countless food stalls and storefronts. Remember to wear proper FOOTWEAR and bring WATER…you’ll need them. We rested briefly at the top before climbing the spiral staircase inside the huge statue of Jose Maria Morelos, a legendary leader of Mexican Independence. Beautiful murals line the walls of the staircase telling the story of Indepenance. The last part of the ascent ( inside the raised arm) is very tight and steep. You might have to wait your turn for a chance to peek out the window at the “wrist”. The view is quite amazing! I’m glad we had an early start as the crowds/ tours were arriving as we were leaving. It was definitely an worthwhile experience to travel to the island and climb the statue! It had been on my bucket list since 1979 when I first saw it.
Written 28 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul & Carol
Boulder, CO22 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Skip this island, it is a tourist trap.

It is billed as an island populated only by indigenous people selling their artisanal crafts. Perhaps in in the past it was. Now it is an island full of your typical Mexican tourist items than can be bought anywhere and are most likely made in China, t-shirts, mugs, shot glasses, caps, etc.

First you take a ferry that costs 100p per person. As you approach the island, there is a group of fisherman pretending to fish to put on a show for you. After they wave their nets around for a few seconds, a pair of "tradition" canoe looking boats, made out of fiberglass, breaks off and proceeds down either side collecting tips. The fisherman have learned that they can make more money posing for pictures than fishing.

After docking you start walking up the different steep alleys, lined side to side, top to bottom with your typical tourist paraphernalia with a continual chorus of barkers trying to lure you into their shop or restaurants. At the top, for another small fee, you can pass through the gates to take in the view of the statue of Morelos.

The island is just an outdoor market with nothing redeeming or authentic about it.
Written 14 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
I arrived at 10 am on a Monday in mid-Feb. There were no other tourists, and few shops were open yet. It felt magical to climb up the stairs to the top. Beautiful views. I loved seeing the fishing net demonstration as you approach the island, and was happy to tip them a few pesos. Musicians on the way back also wanted a tip.
Written 13 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ugo C
Reykjavik, Iceland747 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Going to the island itself is fun, and once you're there, you will find a lot to do and see. There are multiple restaurants, souvenir shops and sight-seeing all around. The streets are steep and you will need to climb to the top of the island to get the best view. Once there, you can get inside the Morelos statue and go further up. This is a must-do if you're in Michoacan. Fully recommended
Written 19 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abhishek Chopra
Houston, TX31 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
Visited this island on early morning of day of the dead. Most of the tourists had left by then. Okay experience here. Overall, trip to Pátzcuaro for the day of the dead events was nice. Definitely a unique experience!
Written 2 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

yehe9912
Livermore, CA6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Family
Has anyone traveled to this island on the Day of the dead celebration? Any advice? tips? I would really like to hear anyone's input. Also, safety of the area during that time.
Written 6 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donald W
San Francisco, CA12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Solo
When I saw some of these bad reviews, I don't know what those people were looking for? Of course the economy of the island is geared for tourism, people have to earn a living. I do not appreciate the arrogance of people who visit other countries with their noses in the air. In their own countries they are nobody. Okay, I got that off my chest. This place is a gem. I wish I was more of the type to sit in restaurants, because some of the most beautiful restaurants I've seen were along the hundreds of stairs I climbed, that wind to the top of the island. So picturesque. There is nothing in Greece or the Greek Islands (other places I've been) more wonderful than this place. What a trek that was, and such a feeling of accomplishement to reach the top. People were so nice. I was given several of those little fried fish to eat, from various venders and restaurants, to give me strength for the climb. Once at the top; to then climb to the top of Mexico's "Statue of Liberty", the fabulous monument to Jose Maria Morelos! I was staying in Morelia, and took a day trip here. What a pleasure and and honor it was. It was the absolute highlight of my visit to Morelia and the surrounding area.
Written 24 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PHurdlik
New Orleans92 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Friends
I'm sure at one time Janitzio was charming but it's morphed into the "Bourbon Street" of Patzcuaro. Offensively commercialized, there are so many more rewarding places to visit.
Written 6 November 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

310maryam
New Westminster, Canada83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
After reading other reviews I was concerned that it would be dirty, crowded and we would be bothered by hawkers. Absolutely not. We paid 70 pesos each and waited for 30 minutes before the boat left the harbour. The 40 minute ride was great across the muddy lake. Lots of Pelicans and other birds to watch along with the island getting closer. A group of musicians serenaded us on the way. At the island it was obvious the huge statue of Morelos was on the top. It is a steep climb with many stairs but there is a lot to see and many shops and restaurants to look at while you rest. It took us 30 minutes to climb only because we were with an older couple who had to stop and rest a lot, probably would take 15 minutes. At the top there is a 10 peso fee each to enter the monument site but it is well worth it as the statue is 40 meters high and inside is a marvellous museum. There are flights of stairs which wind inside the statue to the top viewing area. Along the walls are murals depicting the history of Mexico and the life of Mexican hero Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon. Not a happy story as with most Mexican history lessons, the Spanish were brutal to the indigenous people. The view at the top is a marvellous 360 degrees. After leaving the monument there are the stairs back down through the town, with many tempting stores and restaurants who display the food items attractively. The streets were clean, washed and with no smell. We stopped off on the left path to see the cemetery. I was thrilled to find a thread store at the bottom by the dock and bano's so I was able to buy embroidery thread for a piece I am working on. A lot of shops specialize in brightly embroidered or cross stitched blouses and dresses, very good designs and quality. The boat was waiting at the dock so we hopped on, left immediately and again were serenaded home with music. The wind had started so several waves splashed in the open side of the boat, so people put on their jackets or moved away to the middle seats. A lovely 3 hour trip, and we could easily have spent more time there shopping and eating.
Written 22 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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