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Lake Patzcuaro

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North America : Mexico : Pacific Coast : Michoacan : Lake Patzcuaro
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Lake Pátzcuaro is a popular vacation region in the municipality of Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico. The closest large cities are Morelia, Michoacan and Uruapan, Michoacan.

Lake Patzcuaro


  • Janitzio, The most famous and well established, take a boat over from the muelle at the base of Patzcuaro. Highly commercial but still worth a visit for the view from the top.
  • Jaracuaro - Former island which now has a road out to it as the level of the lake has gone down over several hundred years. Hat making industry from local plants. Narrow streets if you drive!
  • Uranden - Small island. Possible camping?
  • Pacanda - The largest flattest island. The small lake on the island it the navel of the world. Cabanas for rent.
  • Yunuen - Small island with traditional trojes for caba~a lodging and a restaraunt.
  • Tecuena - island with few people on it.

Major towns

  • Patzcuaro - Situated on the southeastern shore of Lake Patzcuaro. Tourists crowd in for Semana Santa, Day of the Dead.
  • Erongaricuaro - Historic Purepecha site and now relaxed artist's town.
  • Quiroga - Thriving market town with crafts of varying qualities and busloads of Mexican tourists to buy them. Famous carnitas!
  • Tzintsuntzan - Market town. Ruins nearby. Day of the dead Festival.

Minor towns

Other destinations


A few of the towns around the lake, notably Patzcuaro and Eronga, have attracted ex-patriots from the United States, South America and Europe. Texans in particular are drawn to the area in the summer to escape the heat.

The natives believe that the lake is the place where the barrier between life and death is the thinnest.


Get in

By plane

Fly to Morelia airport, about an hours bus to Patzcuaro.

By car

Driving around the lake in a circular path along the shore is popular and an excellent way to visit villages.

By bus or shuttle

Collectivos carry people between most all villages with regularity and economy during daylight hours.

Get around

Traffic in this area during the Day of the Dead period would be considered very heavy. There is a Municipal dock in Patzcuaro with boats to Janitzio. If parking in the Municipal parking lot during this period, expect your car to be blocked in 24 hours or more. Parking is almost non-existent. Tour buses may be a better way in and out during this period. Still, worth the visit.



  • Hiking Hike to el estribo on the edge of Patzcuaro for a fine view of the lake.
  • Boat trips to the islands. Three docks in lower Patzcuaro.
Boats from Municipal dock to Janitzo


Patzcuaro, Quiroga Art in Eronga?


Street food is generally safe. Quiroga is especially known for its carnitas.

Vegetarians can do well in the markets.

Avocados/aquacates and tangerines/manderinas are about 10 pesos for a kilo; papaya is just 8!


Several restaurants have full bars; there is limited nightlife in this region.

In many small towns men drink on the plaza or spend time at home with family. Weddings and family social events comprise most nightlife.

Stay safe

Despite recent armed attacks on police and army by narcotrafficantes this is generally considered a safe region for tourism (August 2009).

Get out

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