Top things to do

Top Choice Mexican in Pátzcuaro

La Surtidora

This downright heavenly place to flop down for refueling is living proof that no other country does atmospheric colonial cafes quite as well as Mexico. La Surtidora's cafe-cum-deli has been knocking out breakfasts (…
Top Choice Mexican in Pátzcuaro

Santo Huacal

This tiny garden restaurant run by a young couple from Oaxaca is a wonderful find. From the weekly-changing blackboard menu, choose such delectables as root vegetable salad in a honey-mustard dressing, stuffed dates…
Top Choice Basilica in Pátzcuaro

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud

Built on a hill atop a pre-Hispanic ceremonial site, this cathedral-cum-pilgrimage site was intended to be the centerpiece of Vasco de Quiroga’s utopia. Begun in 1540, the church was not completed until the 19th cen…
Top Choice Plaza in Pátzcuaro

Plaza Vasco de Quiroga

Pátzcuaro’s leafy main square – more commonly known as 'Plaza Grande' – is Mexico’s largest plaza after the Zócalo in Mexico City and the only one in the country without a church. It is framed by the 17th-century fa…
Religious in Pátzcuaro

Día de Muertos

The villages around Pátzcuaro, most notably Tzintzuntzan, and the Isla Janitzio stage the most popular (and crowded!) Día de Muertos celebrations in Mexico. Parades, crafts markets, dancing, ceremonies, exhibitions …
Market in Pátzcuaro

Casa de los Once Patios

This cool, rambling colonial edifice was built as a Dominican convent in the 1740s. (Before that, it was the site of the Hospital de Santa Martha, founded by Vasco de Quiroga and one of Mexico’s first.) Today it hou…
Museum in Pátzcuaro

Museo de Artes e Industrias Populares

Highlights among the dozen salas of this impressive folk-art museum include a room set up as a typical Michoacán kitchen, cases of gorgeous jewelry, copperware, ceramics and guitars from Paracho, and an entire room …
Library in Pátzcuaro

Biblioteca Gertrudis Bocanegra

On the northern side of Plaza Chica and occupying the cavernous 16th-century Templo de San Agustín this stunning public library has a barrel-vaulted ceiling, oyster-shell skylights and a massive, very colorful mural…
Plaza in Pátzcuaro

Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra

Pátzcuaro’s second plaza, usually referred to as Plaza Chica, is officially named after a local heroine who was shot by firing squad in 1818 for her support of the independence movement. Her statue commands the cent…
Religious in Pátzcuaro

Pastorelas

These dramatizations of the shepherds’ journey to pay homage to the infant Jesus are staged in Plaza Grande around Christmas. Pastorelas indígenas, on the same theme but including mask dances, enact the struggle of …