If the explorer within you wants to live a full experience while on vacations, see many new things and discover new places, I have a recommendation for you! Pátzcuaro, a small colonial gem in the State of Michoacan is just a 3 ½ hrs drive from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Capella Ixtapa, making it a great day trip for those wanting to explore further into Mexico.
The Michoacan’s countryside is beautiful. Volcanic activity and rich soil supports lush jungle-like vegetation, with spectacular mountain landscapes, rolling hills, deep lakes, winding rivers and green valleys. Pátzcuaro is located on hills above the Lake Patzcuaro.
Today Pátzcuaro is considered a cultural and artisan center of Michoacan. It’s original name “Tzacapu-ansucutinpatzcuaro” means “door to heaven” or “the place where the blackness begins.” In 1533 the Spanish founded the city, when Vasco de Quiroda moved the capital of the state from Tzintzuntzan to this mountain city. The town is well known for fountains, churches, plazas and shrines, which adorn the city, and make it a great historical destination. It is rich in Spanish colonial and indigenous heritage, which you will be able to experience at each step.
The first thing I noticed on my visit to Pátzcuaro was the smell of pine and wood-smoke. The aroma comes form a thick pine, oak and eucalyptus forest, surrounding the city. The cobblestone streets are lined with traditional whitewashed adobe buildings roofed in moss-covered tiles. I love the colonial setting of the city, with lovely sidewalk cafes and restaurants, from where you can observe the happening on the streets and plazas. Of course there are a variety of markets around town where traditional handcrafts can be purchased.
There is also an archaeological site along Lake Patzcuaro that showcases the pyramids of Ihuatzio – Tzintzuntzan. It’s only a short ride away from Pátzcuaro and is a must see for the history lover. Tzintzuntzan was once the capital of Purepecha Empire and is now a handcraft center and the site of a 16th century Franciscan convent.
Images via http://www.patzcuaromexico.com.