Western Central Highlands

Welcome to the Mexico of your imagination! Many of the elements that define the image of Mexico worldwide originated in the western central highlands amid slumbering volcanoes, sun-drenched avocado plantations and some of the country’s finest 'undiscovered’ pre-Hispanic ruins. Those looking for a bit of local flavor can sip the world’s best tequila in a sea of blue agave, listen to mariachi music in the region of its birth or be awed by the twin-towered magnificence of Morelia’s cathedral.

Less obvious (and visited) is Lago de Pátzcuaro, where the indigenous Purépecha people display their craft-making skills and observe some of the most chilling Day of the Dead rituals in the land.

Among the region’s natural wonders, Volcán Paricutín is a climbable volcano that burst out of a corn field in 1943, while the Reserva Mariposa Monarca is a swath of coniferous-covered highlands visited annually by millions of monarch butterflies.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Western Central Highlands.