Teds Travels – Mexico’s Colonial Cities: Part III
The state of Michoacán is extremely dynamic. Its capital, Morelia, is a colonial gem that was declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. Founded in 1542, Morelia was one of the first Spanish cities built in Mexico. Spanish nobility moved here, so its baroque architecture is not only grandiose, but inspiring. Make sure you taste their traditional ‘tamales uchepos’ and ‘morelianas’. Meson Agustinos is a good place to try traditional food. If you’re looking for something more upscale and original, Tata Mezcaleria fuses Mexican and European cuisine in unprecedented ways; it’s a favourite of the artists that go to Morelia for its cultural festivals. In fact, if you travel in November, you’ll be there for one of the most important international film festivals in the country.
An hour away from Morelia, the dormant city of Patzcuaro awaits. Terracota-tiled roofs, adobe walls and cobblestone streets house a big Purepecha indigenous population. In Day of the Dead celebrations, locals travel to the island of Janitzio in the nearby Patzcuaro lake and adorn their canoes in countless candles and marigolds – a sight not to be missed. Make sure to make a daytrip to Santa Clara del Cobre, a magical town where artisans melt and mold copper in an emblematic tradition.
Adventure seekers can extend their trip and visit Uruapan’s Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park, where you will find a rush of waterfalls that wind through thick rainforest. Coincidentally Uruapan also holds the title of Avocado Capital of the World – smashed avo, anyone?).
You can also travel two hours out of Morelia (or from Mexico City for that matter) to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Western Michoacán. From November to March, the dense oyamel fir forests in this region are covered with millions of butterflies that migrate from Canada and the United States. The numbers are so dense, that trees appeare to have fluttering leaves. Need I say more?
Morelia is located a four hour drive (east) of Mexico City and a three hour drive from Guadalajara. Call us and we’ll arrange a road trip you won’t forget!
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com.au