|Pátzcuaro is a beautiful town. Walk around. Relax. Talk to folks. Buy stuff.
|The main square is called La Plaza de
Quiroga or La Plaza Grande and is
a fine place to just sit and relax, buy a
nieve (icecream) and watch the world go
by. Most days, the central area
around the Plaza fills up with venders,
locals, tourists and street performers.
|A block north of the Main Square is
La Plaza Chica or La Plaza de
Gertrudis Bocanegra, named for a
local heroine who was executed by
firing squad for supporting Mexico's
Independence movement. The town's
library is located in the northeastern
corner of La Plaza Chica and hosts an
impressive mural on the back wall.
|The town's local market (El
Mercado) sets up shop at the
northwest corner of La Plaza Chica
every day from about 9am to 5pm.
There you can find fresh fruit,
vegetables, fish and meats, as well as
traditional herbal medicines and local
art and crafts. There are also plenty of
places to eat tacos, licuados
(smoothies), and tortas (sandwiches).
|Up the hill, east of the town center is
the Basilica de Nuestra Señora
de la Salud - Patzcuaro's Patron
Saint. Quiroga himself is buried here,
and the Virgin (Nuestra Señora de la
Salud - Our Lady of Good Health)
inside is said to perform miracles.
Many people pay homage to the
Basilica with offerings to the Virgin.
In front of the Basilica is a very
reasonably-priced open-air daily
market with local crafts and souvenirs.
|The Museo de Artes Populares
(Popular Arts Museum) is just south
of the Basilica, one block east of the
main square. Some say it is the site of
the first University in the Americas
(1540), founded by Quiroga.
|About two miles north of the town's
center are the shores of Lago de
Pátzcuaro (Lake Pátzcuaro). Lake
Pátzcuaro also hosts Isla Janitzio.
Frequent boats will take you from the
main dock of Pátzcuaro (Muelle
General) to the Island.
At the top of Janitzio, there is a statue
of Jose Maria Morelos in honor of
one of Mexico's greatest revolutionary
heroes. You can climb the (sometimes
steep) stairs inside the statue, to see
the panoramic views from the top.
|Click here for a
map of downtown Patzcuaro
|Possibly the most popular tourist site is
the Casa de los Once Patios
(House of eleven courtyards) just a
couple of blocks southeast of the main
square. Originally a convent, today it's
home to a range of quality craft stores,
many of which have active workshops.
If you are short on time or energy, it’s
worth the slightly higher prices to buy
here, direct from local artists.