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“The "Pearl" of our 2011 Mexico trip”
Review of Patzcuaro

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San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 helpful votes
“The "Pearl" of our 2011 Mexico trip”
Reviewed 29 March 2011

The town of Patzcuaro in Michoacan, Mexico vibrates with simple
life. The "Jardin" or Main Plaza is beautiful: green areas, ancient trees, music system, wi-fi spot, and LOTS of children and adults walking, playing and enjoying just being there!
Very old structures surround and "protect" the Plaza which is often transformed in to a big stage. During our three day stay we participated as avid spectators of dance sessions played by local indigenous people ("La Danza de los Viejitos"). Amazing. Dancers wore masks and special wooden sandals that would make rythmic "chants" on a wooden surface. Sometimes slow and sometimes fast and full of energy these ritual dances did evoque fear, happiness, sadness, liberation...
A just married coupled and their entourage also visited the "Plaza" as if asking for consent or a blessing.
People on stunning horses would also go around the place.
Small and big restaurants, various ice cream parlors (even mobile ones) and coffee stands fed the crowds.
We visited nearby Janitzio Island (ferry boat) where, after a very long and strenuous walk to the top, where met by a massive monument and plenty of people selling souvenirs...
We stayed at a Hotel so old that...
(that belongs to our Hotel review, so look for the "Meson Casa Manuel" review)

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Thank anniepoornomore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
272 reviews
126 helpful votes
“A magical colonial city in the center of Mexico”
Reviewed 17 October 2010

I have been to Patzcuaro on 3 separate trips. Twice was for Day of the Dead which is really magical. This colonial city is on the southern shore of Lake Patzcuaro and was once an important religious and political center of the Tarascan people. Day of the Dead is the night of November 1st and the ceremonies on the island of Janitzio and the villages around the lake are wonderful. Tzintzuntzan and Ihuatzio are not to be missed. Make sure to hire a driver and visit at least five cemeteries around the lake. The graves are covered with flowers, candles and special foods intended to summon back the dead in celebration. You will enjoy talking to the many people there during their all night vigil. I have also been there to drive to the many craft villages who specialize in different types of folk art from copper, to masks and pottery. Patzcuaro is not to be missed!!

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1 Thank Globalphile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Tx
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 helpful votes
“Patzcuaro, Mexico.....a magical town”
Reviewed 14 September 2010

I visited Patzcuaro the first week of September never having been there before but with plenty of suggestions I go from friends who know the area and my passion for Mexico.
I was not disappointed but rather completely taken by the beauty of the place and the people. They call it a 'magical' town and indeed I'm still under its spell.
My beau and I flew directly from Houston (2 hrs) to Morelia which is the capital of the state of Michoacan. From there it's about 1.5 hrs by car. We had prearranged transportation from La Casa Encantada to fetch us at the airport. Everything worked beautifully (well, except for 1 hr weather delay in Houston) and our driver Francisco was there waiting for us.
Anyone visiting Patzcuaro and the surrounding area can find plenty of information on the internet about the various towns which circle Lake Patzcuaro and the varied arts/crafts which each town is famous for. Everything from ceramics, to masks, carved wood pieces, furniture and other items made from reed from the lake and more! You can visit these towns on your own by taking a bus (the little colectivo vans) which are 10 pesos a ride or hire a cab to take you and best of all get a local guide. The beauty of a guide is that you will save time and get access to the very best of the art to be seen and purchased.
Feel free to contact me to get info on the guides I used and would highly recommend.
If you are concerned about safety that is understandable given the headlines we see frequently in our local papers. All I can say is that we never experienced any fear nor did we observe any scary behaviour. The people were friendly, open and extremely helpful.
I would go there again no question.
Also want to mention that Patzcuaro presents a completely genuine experience. This is an authentic colonial town with all of its charm, color, personality intact. You won't hear or see many foreigners on the streets and I'm told that not that many live in the area as compared to San Miguel de Allende, or Ajijic and Lake Chapala.
The town will surely be transformed to a tourist destination in November for the Day of the Dead festivities. While I'm sure that is something remarkable to see I really enjoyed the tranquil beauty and people without all of the whoopla.

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3 Thank Vosges
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
31 helpful votes
“Delightful Patzcuaro - best of Mexico”
Reviewed 3 August 2009

This is a delightful town. Its historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is easily accessible via the international airport at Morelia. Its mountain location is spectacular and ensures that it never gets too hot.

For those interested in quality artisanal fare, the surrounding region is exceptional. There is also hiking, boating, and eating!

Yes Michoacan province is having a spot of bother with the Mexican drug wars, but you will see none of that.

The economic downturn has hit the area hard, but that means that every hotel is offering discounts. I highly recommend this town for a visit of 5 - 10 days.

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1 Thank REFVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
houston tx
1 review
1 helpful vote
“Magical Michoacan: Colonial Mexico at its best!”
Reviewed 2 August 2009

When we arrived for our three week sojourn in Michoacan, we were greeted outside customs by Francisco (La Casa Encantada's trusty driver) and whisked away up into the cool hills of Patzcuaro. Located about 45 minutes driving above Morelia, Michoacan's state capital, this colonial town resonates with the magic of 14th and 15th century adobe buildings (hundreds of them!) built atop the ruins of the once mighty Tarrascan pyramids. The weather was a nice break from the Houston 100+ temperatures -- we wore sweaters at night in the morning during breakfast since the temperatures remained within the 50 to 75 degrees range. The 4 plazas of Patzcuaro each offered something different, anchoring our daily walks throughout the cobblestone streets rambling among the 500 year old cathedrals and buildings, one of which served as the oldest university (Jesuit) in the Americas. Since the restaurant scene was not really up to Houston standards (we are spoiled!), we took advantage of daily visits to the large city market -- fresh, local produce (avocados!!), dairy (cheeses !!!), meats, and baked goods abound. Everything is brought fresh from the tiny local micro farms run and owned by the descendents of the Tarrascan people (indigenous culture) just as they have done for millennia. The handicrafts and art works produced by the local groups of Tarrascan people are represented throughout the city plazas -- but a short "collectivo" ride (a public van service) connected us directly to the artisan's home villages. We never felt unsafe or at risk in the town and we even stayed out late one night to experience eating tacos at one of the night time sidewalk restaurants. An evening at the La Roja disco in Morelia with dinner beforehand at LU restaurant in the Best Western on the square was especially memorable (and easily up to Houston standards!). The beauty of the natural surroundings (hummingbirds, volcanoes, mountain lakes, hillsides and views in every direction), the abundance of cultural and art activities (art classes, art openings, lectures, walking tours, artisan workshops to visit, the produce market) combined with the very kind and generous welcome we felt from our hosts (we stayed at La Casa Encantada B&B) made this a really memorable July vacation!

Helpful?
1 Thank MichaelHoustonTx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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