Tzintzuntzan Archaeological Site

Inland Michoacán

This site comprises an impressive group of five semicircular reconstructed temples known as yácatas, which are all that remain of the mighty Purépecha empire. The hillside location offers wonderful views of the town, lake and surrounding mountains and is rarely crowded. A small but well-curated museum showcases finds from the site, including jewelry and pottery. Don't miss the replica of the Ihuatzio coyote. English language visitor's guide available at the entrance.

Down the hill to the east there are some boulders with carved petroglyphs of barely recognisable deities. A small info point and some flowering bushes highlight a project that's trying to entice the once-abundant hummingbird back to the area; 'Tzintzuntzan' means 'place of the hummingbird' in Purépecha.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Inland Michoacán attractions

1. Cerámica Tzintzuntzan

0.45 MILES

A converted missionary hospital now houses the rustic ceramics studio of Manuel Morales, a fifth-generation local potter. His colorful, intricate work is…

4. Templo de la Soledad

0.45 MILES

At the northwest corner of Tzintzuntzan's monastic complex stands the church built for the Purépecha masses. Inside is El Cristo del Santo Entierro, a…

5. Ihuatzio Archaeological Site

4.49 MILES

The Ihuatzio site contains a partially restored set of pre-Purépecha ruins, some of which date back as far as AD 900. The site lies about 1.5km up a…

6. Morelos Monument

6.15 MILES

Inside a 40m-high statue of independence hero José María Morelos on Isla Janitzio, you'll find this 'museum' where an ascending series of panels painted…

7. Biblioteca Gertrudis Bocanegra

7.73 MILES

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…

8. Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra

7.77 MILES

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…