The state capital of Michoacán and its most dynamic and beautiful city, Morelia is an increasingly popular destination, and rightly so: the colonial heart of the city is so well preserved that it was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991, and its cathedral is not just gorgeous – it’s inspirational.
Morelia, founded in 1541, was one of the first Spanish cities in Nueva España. The first viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza, named it Valladolid after the Spanish city and he encouraged Spanish nobility to move here with their families. In 1828, after Nueva España had become the Republic of Mexico, the city was renamed Morelia in honor of local hero José María Morelos y Pavón, a key figure in Mexico’s independence.
Sixteenth- and 17th-century stone buildings, baroque facades and archways line the narrow downtown streets, and are home to museums, hotels, restaurants, exquisite bars and rooftop lounges, chocolaterías (chocolate shops), sidewalk cafes, a popular university and cheap-and-tasty taquerías (taco stalls). There are free public concerts, frequent art installations, and yet so few foreign tourists! Those that do come often extend their stay and enroll in classes to learn how to cook and speak Spanish. Yes, word has started to leak out and more and more internationals are beginning to discover Mexico’s best-kept secret. So get here soon.
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Morelia destination guides
Follow in the footsteps of Mexico’s founding fathers
Mexicans love a good reventón (party), and there are celebrations galore going on now through the end of the year in Mexico to commemorate the bicentennial of its Independence (September 16) and the centennial of its Revolution (November 20).
Mexico Monarch Butterfly Trail
For the nature lover who also appreciates cultural luminescence, this Limited Edition butterfly adventure captures the brightest colours of Mexico in just ten days. From the historic streets of Mexico City, you'll travel through stunning national parks, colonial towns and beautiful countryside as you follow the migration of the monarch butterfly.