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Travel Warning WARNING: Travellers should be aware of the risks of crime and violence. Travellers should be particularly cautious when travelling outside of major cities and tourist areas. The areas along the border of Michoacan and Guerrero states are especially dangerous and should be avoided. Additionally, travellers should exercise caution when using public transportation, especially at night. It is also essential to be aware of the local laws and customs to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay.
Government travel advisories
(Information last updated 29 Oct 2021)
Danza de los Viejitos is part of Purepecha tradition in Michoacan

Michoacan is a state in western Mexico known for its lush coastline, rugged mountains, and vibrant culture. It is home to the Purépecha people, one of Mexico's oldest and most influential indigenous cultures.

The state is abundant in natural beauty, with spectacular lakes, forests, and beaches, making it a popular destination for tourists. It is also home to Mexico’s largest natural lake, Lake Chapala. The capital of Michoacan is Morelia, a charming colonial city with cobblestone streets, colourful plazas, and ornate churches. The city is also known for its vibrant festivals, traditional cuisine, and folk music. Michoacan is an essential centre for culture, art, and education, and it is considered one of Mexico’s most beautiful and culturally rich states.


  • 1 Morelia — one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, state capital of Michoacan
  • 2 Erongarícuaro — "the Soul of Michoacan"
  • 3 Lazaro Cardenas Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán on Wikipedia — a deepwater seaport that handles container, dry bulk, and liquid cargo
  • 4 Maruata — a Nahuat indigenous town that has an international backpacker beach scene in Turtle preserve
  • 5 Paracho de Verduzco — it is known for guitar-making and is full of shops selling handmade guitars and other string instruments
  • 6 Patzcuaro — an enchanting, colonial mountain town in Mexico's lake region
  • 7 Tlalpujahua - colonial town with historical sites and a perpetual love of Christmas
  • 8 Uruapan — famous for its avocados
  • 9 Zamora de Hidalgo — it has many historic buildings from colonial times

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Lake Pátzcuaro — a popular vacation area with a mild climate
  • 2 Parícutin — Volcano eats church
  • 3 Tzintzuntzán — home to the archeological site of Tzintzuntzán and the former monastery complex of San Francisco
  • 4 Ixtlan de los Hervores Ixtlán de los Hervores on Wikipedia — Known for its thermal water springs.


Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Morelia International Airport (MLM IATA) approximately 25 km northeast of Morelia. It receives flights from Dallas, Monterrey, Mexico City and other destinations.
  • Uruapan International Airport (UPN IATA) is in the city of Uruapan Uruapan. It receives flights from Tijuana.
  • Guadalajara International Airport (GDL IATA)- About a 4-hour rive to the Jalisco/Michoacan border. From the airport take the 44 south, then merge to the 35 toward Ocotlan.

By bus[edit]

The vast majority of large cities have a bus terminal which is where buses arrive from various places in Mexico, making it one of the best ways to get there. Small towns have a bus stop which is where the buses of smaller lines and in worse condition arrive, but it is the only way to get there.

By car[edit]

Highway 15-D goes from Mexico City to Guadalajara, but crosses the north of the state and in addition to that some roads to tourist centers intersect with it.

Highway 37 goes from León to Playa Azul, crosses places such as Uruapan, Paracho, La Piedad and Tierra Caliente until it reaches the Michoacan coast region.

Highway 14D runs from Morelia to Lázaro Cárdenas, passing near several tourist towns such as Patzcuaro and Uruapan.

Get around[edit]


  • 1 Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Located close to Angangueo and north of Zitácuaro, at an altitude of approx 2,600 m (8,500 feet) on the eastern border of Michoacan. Every winter approximately 100 million monarch butterflies from the Canada and the United States, wisely migrate, even across Lake Erie, to spend the winter in pine and fir trees. It may take several generations of monarch butterflies to make this annual trip back and forth. The sanctuary is open from November until March. This is an adventure you want to be well prepared for, as you most likely will hike, ride horse back or in the back of a pick up to the sanctuary. The Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Q852546) on Wikidata Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve on Wikipedia
  • Patzcuaro: it is a magical town in the Purépecha area with many places to visit
  • Janitzio Island: it is the most famous island in Lake Pátzcuaro and it is 20 minutes from the pier. On the island there is a 40-meter-high monument of the hero of the Independence of Mexico, Don José María Morelos y Pavón.
  • Paricutin Volcano: (in Purépecha Parhikutini Place on the other side) it is an extremely young volcano born on February 20, 1943, the church that was buried by lava is visible, except for the left tower.



The most typical of Michoacán are the guitars from Paracho and the cazos from Santa Clara del Cobre, although there are also beautiful hats and furniture.


Michoacan gastronomy has a wide variety of characteristic dishes, thanks to the wide range of resources and its agricultural, livestock and fishing activity. Among the examples in its ethnic gastronomy are:

  • The corundas, which are corn-based tamales in the shape of small triangles, which can include meat, sauce, cheese or some vegetables inside. They are generally served covered in sauce and sweet cream; They are also part of the churipo, a beef broth with guajillo chili in which they are dipped.
  • The huchepos are corn tamales, larger than corundas and smaller and less sweet than their counterparts in the metropolitan area of ​​the country. They can be found, similar to corundas, bathed in sweet cream and generally green tomato sauce, also accompanied by cheese.
  • The carnitas, pork meat fried in lard, which can be seasoned with different ingredients depending on the region, which is usually eaten in the form of a taco with a corn tortilla. They can be served with beans, salsa, pickled peppers, lemon, among other additions.
  • White Fish and Trout, used in various dishes for centuries thanks to the fishing heritage of Michoacán, which is revealed in the meaning of its name, the place of those who own fish. Different dishes can be found in most of the state, thanks to the extensive use of hatcheries and the still common traditional fishing in rivers and lakes.
  • Michoacán has a wide range of traditional sweets, in such a way that even in its capital, Morelia, you can find a museum dedicated to them.
    • Chongos zamoranos, which are made from milk.
    • The ate moreliano is a kind of fruit jelly.
    • The nieve de pasta made from milk.

Stay safe[edit]

Michoacan is a dangerous place because of drug-fueled violence. Crime is not restricted to major cities but can also be found in rural areas. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs advises not to travel to Michoacán (April 2021). During the COVID-19 pandemic, while the Mexican government was occupied, cartels took advantage as an opportunity to gain more power.

Travelers should exercise caution at all times.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Michoacan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!