Pátzcuaro is the center of the lake area and one of the points that most identify the state of Michoacán. It was the main prehispanic religious center, because its ancient inhabitants said that there was the door to paradise through which the gods descended and climbed.

It is also a jewel of colonial architecture where you can see religious monuments of Baroque and Neoclassical style in excellent condition. The traditional colors of the city are of Spanish influence, imposed by Felipe II in the 1500. Around 1540, Vasco de Quiroga moved to this place the Bishopric of Michoacán, granting him the category of capital.

The tour of Pátzcuaro requires observing around the Plaza Vasco de Quiroga. The absence of religious buildings around makes it a unique square.

During your visit, you will find in this place an ideal place to meet and acquire the traditional, beautiful and famous Michoacan crafts. The streets are dressed in embroidered blouses, tablecloths, rebozos, masks, hats, furniture, toys and sculptures. In addition, during Holy Week, the so-called Plaza Grande becomes a market with stalls that show some of the crafts taught by Vasco de Quiroga to the Indians.

A place can be known for its cuisine, and Pátzcuaro is no exception. To whet your appetite, enjoy a tender corn tamale known as uchepo, it's basic; or some corundas with cream and sauce, which are tamales in the shape of a triangle with a corn leaf.

Later in the afternoon, in one of its restaurants in the center, try a white fish, typical of the region and endemic to the Lake of Pátzcuaro, and a Tarascan soup. For dinner, some delicious enchiladas in the Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra or Plaza Chica, which you will soon find.

To the west of the city, along a cobblestone path, you will reach El Estribo, which is part of a now extinct volcano, and you can climb stairs that reach its crater. From there, you can admire the whole city, the lake of Pátzcuaro, islands like Janitzio, Yunuén, Tecuena, and nearby towns, the view is really wonderful!

If tradition and fiestas are involved, the Pátzcuaro region is the most popular place in Mexico during the celebration of Día de Muertos, one of the most important cultural festivities in the country. On November 2 of each year, the cemeteries are illuminated with candles and candles, adorned with flowers of cempazúchitl and, throughout the night, families offer their deceased, food and drinks that were his favorites in life.

¿Qué Visitar?

What to Visit?

  • Vasco de Quiroga Main Square The only one in whole Mexico without a religious building around. Besides beautiful colonial mansions and buildings, you can enjoy here beautiful gardens and, right in the middle, a magnificent fountain with the statue of the first bishop of Michoacan, Vasco de Quiroga.
  • House of the Eleven Patios Built in 1742, it was the convent of the Dominican nuns.
  • Basilica of Our Lady of the Health Founded in 1538 by Vasco de Quiroga himself, this is the most important temple in Patzcuaro.
  • Gertrudis Bocanegra Public Library Its wide interior is decorated with a monumental mural painted by Juan O’Gorman to illustrate the local history.
¿Qué hacer?

What to do?

  • Day of Our Lady of the Health To celebrate the saint patroness of the city, hundreds of children disguised as angels, saints and other religious characters march around the city in a holy procession. It takes place on December 7th – 8th each year. Besides this, you can enjoy traditional dances and a pre-Hispanic game.
  • Foundation Day It takes place on September 28th each year.
  • Day of the Dead As in the rest of the country, it takes place on November 1st and 2nd each year, but here this national celebration reaches a surrealistic level with its cemeteries full of flowers, candles, food, and offerings to spend a day with those loved ones that have already passed away.
Comida Típica

Typical Food

  • White Fish Fried fish coated with flour and egg whites, and served with lettuce, tomato, onions and lime.
  • Tarasca Soup Fried pieces of tortilla in a delicious broth of beans and tomatoes. It is served with cheese, sour cream and chili on top of the soup.
  • Corundas A kind of tamal with triangular form made of corn dough and wrapped up with corn leaves. They are served with spicy sauce and cream on top of them.
  • Uchepos Another kind of tamal, but this one is sweet and very soft since it is made with baby corns.
  • De pasta ice cream No worries! This delicious ice cream is not made with spaghetti, but just with milk and sugar.
¿Qué Saber?

What to Know?

  • In Purepecha language, Patzcuaro means "Door of Heaven," and its ancient inhabitants believed that their gods went up and down from Heaven to Earth right here.
  • From 1539 to 1580, Patzcuaro was the capital of the state of Michoacan.
  • In 1831, it became a county seat.
  • In 1920, the entire city was restored and even reconstructed in some areas to preserve alive its magnificent indigenous and colonial past.
  • In 1965, the Mexican film Tiempo de morir (Time to die) was shot entirely in this Magic Town, but the remarkable thing is that the screenplay was written by the Nobel Prize Gabriel Garcia Marquez with the collaboration of the famous Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes.
  • Renowned Individuals:
  • Gertrudis Bocanegra (1765 – 1818). Martyr of the Independence War.
  • Alfredo Zalce (1908 – 2003). Famous painter and sculptor, who is one of the most important representatives of the modern Mexican art.

Popular Craft

  • Carved wood
  • Wrought Iron and Blacksmith’s trading
  • Pottery
  • Basketmaking
  • Woven fabrics

Visit Pátzcuaro with our photographs

Galería Pátzcuaro

Know more about Pátzcuaro’s sites of interest


Tour through Plaza Vasco de Quiroga with this photographs

Photo 360

All you must know about Pátzcuaro here, in our audio guide


Share this page

More About Michoacán:

More Magical Towns

We want you with us

Subribe to our newsletter and discovery Mexico with us