Inland Michoacán

Pre-Hispanic traditions and colonial-era architecture meet in Michoacán. The state is home to three of Mexico’s coolest under-the-radar cities: the adobe-and-cobblestone town of Pátzcuaro, where Purépecha women sell fruit and tamales in the shadow of 16th-century churches; the lush agricultural city of Uruapan, gateway to the mythic Paricutín volcano; and the vibrant and cultured colonial city of Morelia, with an ancient cathedral and aqueduct built from rosy pink stone.

Michoacán is also gaining renown as a crafts capital: the Purépecha artisans of the state’s Cordillera Neovolcánica highlands create wonderful masks, pottery, straw art and stringed instruments – all on display at the annual Tianguis Artesanal de Uruapan craft fair. Rich in natural treasures, Michoacán has one of the world’s truly unmissable sights: the annual butterfly migration to the rugged Reserva Mariposa Monarca (Monarch Butterfly Reserve), where millions of mating monarchs cover the grass and trees in a shimmering carpet.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Inland Michoacán.