What To Do in Michoacán
Just a few hours west of Mexico City, Michoacán is known for its monarch butterfly sanctuaries, traditional foods, laid back beaches, art, and ancestral celebrations like dia de los muertos. The capital, Morelia is an architectural masterpiece built from pink stone that’s home to stylish restaurants, carnitas taquerias galore, cozy mezcalerias, and museums tucked inside stunning colonial facades.
Things to Do in Michoacán
Tour Michoacán’s Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries: The Monarch Butterfly Reserve hosts several sanctuaries that offer butterfly viewing tours open to visitors during the migration period, November to March. The most popular one in Michoacán is in El Rosario.
Michoacán Beaches: Michoacán’s coastline is largely untouched by big development and offers quiet beaches for surfing or swimming like Playa Maruata.
Get to know Mexico’s artisans: Michoacán is home to some of Mexico’s most renowned maestro artesanos, masters of folk art. From the coppersmiths in Santa Clara de Cobre who make our stills, to textiles, guitars, and ceramics.
Explore Michoacan’s cities and towns: The name Michoacán derives from the Nahuatl word for “place of fisherman,” referring to the Lake Patzcuaro region, the state’s historic center for the Purepecha, the indigenous group here. Patzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan, and other surrounding lake towns are designated Pueblo Magicos and will give you a window into the region’s history.
Explore Morelia: Learn the city’s history through a walk to the Cathedral, Jardin de Las Rosas, and cultural center Centro Cultural Clavijero. Sample Michoacan’s traditional dishes with a contemporary touch at Cocina Lu and spirits from across Mexico at Tata. Check out a traditional market at Mercado San Juan and shop for artesania at the Casa de Artesanias.
Festivals and holidays: Michoacán and Morelia host some of Mexico’s most exciting festivals like the film festival, Festival de Cine and annual culinary festival, Morelia en Boca. Patzcuaro’s Day of the Dead celebrations are also one of the most vibrant in the country.
In 2010 when UNESCO deemed traditional Mexican cuisine a cultural treasure it was Michoacán’s food traditions, preserved by traditional Purepecha cooks, that were specifically praised, which hints to why the cuisine here is often called the soul food of Mexico. Be sure to sample enchiladas placeras, carnitas, tamale-like dishes corundas and uchepos, not to mention local avocados and street-side gazpachos.
How to Get There - Michoacán Airport Info
Morelia’s International Airport has direct routes from Chicago, Oakland, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose and Fresno. Otherwise you can book typically with a layover in Mexico City. Alternatively, you can book a flight to the Mexico City airport and take the bus to Morelia. First class buses in Mexico are comfortable (especially compared to flying coach on an American airline!) and affordable. From the Mexico City airport you can take a taxi autorizado* to the Poniente Estacion (called Observatorio) and take a bus to Morelia – we recommend the ETN bus line.