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Morelia, Michoacan


Morelia's Cathedral

The Dome of Morelia's Cathedral

Photo by Carlos Sanchez, Courtesy of the Mexican Tourism Board.

The city of Morelia:

Morelia, the state capital of Michoacan, has a population of about 500 thousand and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city has over 200 historical buildings, many built of characteristic pink quarrystone. With many lovely plazas, gardens and atriums and a well-earned reputation as a regional cultural center, Morelia is a destination for those who enjoy colonial architecture and local culture.


The city was founded in 1541 by Antonio de Mendoza and its original name was Valladolid. The name was changed after Mexico's War of Independence, in honor of one of its heroes, Jose Maria Morelos de Pavon, who was born in the city in 1765. Of Morelia's many beautiful historical monuments, the cathedral and the aqueduct are the most impressive.

What to do in Morelia:

  • Stroll around Morelia's Historical Center
  • Buy crafts at the Casa de Artesanias
  • Have a swim in the mineral waters at Balneario Cointzio (about ten km away)
  • Go horseback riding
  • Learn Spanish at one of the city's numerous Spanish schools

Day trips from Morelia:

Possibilities for day trips include Patzcuaro and Santa Clara del Cobre.

Restaurants in Morelia:

  • Emiliano's, Artilleros del 47, Centro. Phone: (443) 315-1035
  • San Miguelito, Av. Camelinas, corner of Centro de Convenciones Fracc. La Loma. Phone: (443) 324-4411
  • Los Mirasoles, Av. Madero Poniente 549, Centro Histórico. Phone: (443) 317-5777

Accommodations in Morelia:

  • Casa de los Dulces Sueños Boutique Hotel check rates
  • Hotel Virrey de Mendoza, historical hotel on the main square check rates

Getting there:

Morelia has an international airport, the General Francisco Mujica International Airport, with flights from San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as Mexico City. By bus or car the trip from Mexico City takes about 3 and a half hours.

Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary:

If you're in Michoacan between December and February, you may want to make the trip to see the migratory monarch butterflies at the Monarch butterfly reserves. It would make for a very long day trip, so if possible, do this as an overnight trip.

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