A Trip through the Seven Different Regions of Michoacan

Take a journey through the seven different regions of the state of Michoacán and find out new ideas on what to do in each of them. Unique and charming, discover them all.

A Trip through the Seven Different Regions of Michoacan
Cathedral in the capital Morelia of the State of Michoacán. Photo by Josué Soto / Unsplash

Take a trip through the seven different regions of the state of Michoacán and discover new ideas about what to do in each one of them. All unique and enchanting, explore them all.

Uruapan Region

This area includes an endless number of natural riches, as a result of the fertile soil and humidity, which allows the growth of different types of flowers and fruits. From Uruapan you can visit some of the towns of the Purépecha Plateau such as: San Juan Nuevo, Caracha, Nurio, Ahuirán, Cherán and Nahuatzen, rich in 16th century culture and gastronomy.

You can also visit the largest archeological site in the state in Tingambato. Handicrafts play an important role in the region, you can find them from the traditional maque of the city of Uruapan to the famous guitars of Paracho. Delight yourself with its delicious gastronomy and traditions.

Don't miss the largest handicraft market in the Americas during Easter Week. You can enjoy nature and adventure tourism in the National Park, the Tzaráracua Casada, the Chorros del Varal, and the Paricutín Volcano, the youngest volcano in the world and the only one that mankind has ever seen born.

Extraordinary landscapes of forests and volcanoes, here are the Paricutín and the Pico de Tancíntaro almost 4 thousand meters high. The rainwater seeps into its igneous rocks and flows out as springs or rivers, such as the Acúmbaro or the Cupatitzio, with beautiful waterfalls, as in Uruapan. In this territory, Vasco de Quiroga founded the XVI century indigenous hospitals that we can admire in Angahuan or Nurio.

And part of this is the number of temples and chapels that one appreciates with their regional and unique colonial architecture. Come and delight your palate by tasting the famous "nacatamales" of the region, as well as the chilacayote empanadas, tamarind atole, rich fritters, and sweet sweet potato, metate chocolate, and cooked bananas.

Country of the Monarch

Have fun in the two beautiful Magical Towns of the region, Tlalpujahua with its beautiful cobblestone streets and Angangeo, the gateway to the Monarch Butterfly. Eastern Michoacan is distinguished for being the perfect combination of health, relaxation, fun, and culture. Its natural beauties composed of forests, lagoons, and hot springs are ideal for adventure tourism and ecotourism.

Visit Los Azufres, Laguna Larga, the Tzirada Caves and the Pucuato, Sabaneta and Mata de Pinos dams in the municipality of Hidalgo; in Zitácuaro visit the Forest Dam, San Francisco Coatepec and the archeological zone of San Felipe de los Alzati. This region has one of the most important natural attractions in Mexico: the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries, the main ones being "El Rosario" in Ocampo, and "Sierra Chincua" in Angangueo and Senguio, millions of butterflies fly to Michoacán year after year and stay from November to March. Feel the seal of the sierra's charm: with coniferous forests visited by monarch butterflies annually.

In the sanctuaries of Senguio, Angangueo, and Ocampo, national parks and protected areas for flora and fauna, springs are born and used by spas. The valleys are home to picturesque towns, with temples, haciendas, colonial mines, and railroad stations. Here the Purepecha culture intermingled with the Matlatzinca and Mexica, and there are several archaeological sites such as San Felipe de los Alzati, in Zitácuaro. Enjoy the delicious corundas, barbacoa de hoyo, mushroom stew, baked beef head, mole verde, uchepos, and its famous atoles. Not to be missed.

Zamora Region

Discover the Magical Town of Jiquilpan, a place of culture and tradition. You can visit part of the Purepecha Plateau and the Cañada de los Once Pueblos, magical places like: Zacán, Sicuicho, Ocumicho, Cocucho, Charapan, San José de Gracia, Patamban and Chilchota, towns rich in religious architecture, popular ate and traditions.

You cannot miss their gastronomy, delight yourself with the famous churipos and atápakuas of the region, the delicious and varied atoles of Tarecuato and for dessert, the delicious snow of Tocumbo or some delicious chongos zamoranos. In mid-October, the Festival Artístico de la Raza Purépecha takes place in Zacán.

Those who enjoy sports, adventure, and nature can visit the wonderful Camécuaro Lake, the Estancia Spring, Orandino Lake, Verduzco Dam, and every year the impressive migration of the Borregón Pelicans on Petatán Island.

An important agricultural area is irrigated by the Chapala Lagoon and the Lerma River. There are also thermal springs such as the one in Ixtlán de los Hervores. It has ancient volcanic cones, whose heights exceed 3,000 meters, such as Uripitijuata and El Santísimo. There are national parks such as Camécuaro.

The Purepecha culture left testimony here in Penjamillo, Zamora, and Chilchota, where traditions still survive with colonial and 19th-century temples. Come to know its strawberry and blackberry crops, taste the sweets derived from these fruits, as well as its famous "chongos". In addition to its rich cajetas, flan, sweet potatoes, and different dishes that will make you want to come back.

Morelia Region

Here the springs are used by spas and recreational parks. Many volcanic origins exceed 2,000 meters in altitude, such as those in the San Andres and Mil Cumbres mountain ranges. In addition, there is the lagoon and the Magical Town of Cuitzeo. Cuitzeo is a Magical Town that houses an extraordinary Convent from the XVI century. Morelia, the capital of the State of Michoacán, is the center of this beautiful region, where its cathedral and aqueduct of 253 arches dominate the landscape.

Walking through its Historic Center, whose avenues are surrounded by marvelous monuments from the 15th to the 19th centuries, is a pleasure, as one has the sensation of living in other times. Known in pre-Hispanic times as "Guayangareo" and during the colonial era as "Valladolid", in honor of the Servant of the Nation, José Ma. Morelos was baptized as Morelia. It received the title of Cultural Patrimony of Humanity in 1991 for the layout of its streets and its more than 1,300 beautiful stately monuments, among which stand out: Clavijero Palace, Federal Palace, and Government Palace.

This region offers water parks and spas mainly in Huandacareo, the "Morelos" National Park, and typical towns such as Charo, Capula, and Tiripetio among others. Morelia is a cultural city, you can also enjoy the Zoo, Planetarium, Orchidarium, and a great variety of museums. The gastronomy includes: Mole, chile en molcajete, birria de chivo, menudo, carnitas, nieve, buñuelos, baked fruit bread, pulque, corundas, atole, tamales, elotes and quesadillas, among others, to delight the most demanding palate.

Patzcuaro Region

This region boasts 2 natural lakes: Patzcuaro and Zirahuén, plus at least 7 smaller ones, among lava fields, craters, and springs, as in Zacapu. Tacámbaro is the gateway to Tierra Caliente, where the Purepecha installed their ceremonial centers with their semicircular yácatas, which were later populated by the Franciscans, under the command of Tata Vasco, who founded convents, schools, hospital towns, and temples in the 16th century, which today can be admired in typical towns of indigenous tradition, or magical towns.

Tzintzuntzan, Santa Clara del Cobre, Tacámbaro, and Pátzcuaro are the four Magical Towns in this region, places full of culture, gastronomy, crafts, and tradition. This region stands out for being the center of the Purépecha Empire in pre-Hispanic times. As a city, it is an example of indigenous architecture with straight lines and wide plazas. This area is rich in handicraft production, where woodwork, lacquer, textiles, cane paste figures, feather art, and clay stand out.

You can also find traditional villages such as: Tupátaro, Tzurumútaro, Erongarícuaro, Santa Fe de la Laguna, the beautiful islands of "Janitzio" and "La Pacanda", as well as the fascinating lake of Zirahuén. Enjoy its delicious gastronomy with Traditional Cooks, who offer a great variety of dishes such as charales, corundas, and whitefish.

The "Danza de los Viejitos" ("Dance of the Old Men") originating in Jarácuaro and in the month of November the celebration of the Day of the Dead, a World Heritage tradition. In this region you can find gastronomy such as: pork carnitas, marinated rabbit and goat birria, corundas, charales del lago and beef head, uchepos, Tarascan soup, tamales, metate chocolate, pasta snow, barbacoa, olla podrida, tepache and mezcal.

Apatzingán Region

Discover the Land of Flavor, this region produces large quantities of lemon, papaya, grapefruit, carambola, and mango, being this a great boost to the economy of the valley. Apatzingán, the head of the region, is a city rich in history, here was signed the first Constitution of Latin America, by José Ma. Morelos, on October 22, 1814, this during the time of full struggle against the Spanish Crown.

You can appreciate the House of the Constitution which holds important documents of the time and the Museum of Tierra Caliente. You can practice extreme sports or because of its extraordinary climate, it is ideal to visit the spas and water parks. Among the most delicious gastronomy are the morisqueta, the aporreadillo, and the chavindecas.

Visit Tepalcatépec, which will surprise you with its color. In Capirio and Cerro de la Cabra de San José Nuevo, you can appreciate cave paintings with images of animals and humans in hunting action, dancers around the Sun God, or other geometric images.

Sun and beach

In this region the freshwater arrives through the Sierra Madre del Sur, sometimes it is contained by large dams such as those of Infiernillo and Morelos, and these currents, such as those of the Balsas, Nexpa, and Toscano, end up in mouths in the sea, in front of estuaries and beaches of great attraction, Apart from the coves and bays that enclose the mountain range that clings to the coast, there are turtle camps and museums dedicated to the protection of these marine animals that arrive every year to lay their eggs, in a very moving natural spectacle.

The Michoacan coast is the privileged region to receive June to March three species of turtles: leatherback, olive ridley, and black, the latter considered an endemic species of the State. In Colola, there is an eco-museum dedicated to the conservation of turtles, other sanctuaries are located in Ixtapilla, Playa Azul, and La Manzanillera.

Delicious gastronomy can also be found throughout the region, as well as wonderful handicrafts from the Nahuatl community. Some important events in the area are turtle month in Playa Azul, the Expo Arena in La Soledad, and surf tournaments, among others. More than 220 kilometers of coastline, turtle sanctuaries, and the best waves for surfing await you in Michoacán.

The port of Lázaro Cárdenas is one of the most important in Mexico due to its modern facilities equipped and qualified to cover efficiency, security, and productivity the industrial and commercial activities. In this region you can taste: mojarras, huachinangos, snook, lobster, clams, shrimp, fish a la talla, golden fish, aporreadillo with beef or venison.