Terracotta-tiled roofs, warped red-and-white adobe walls and narrow cobblestone streets give the town of Pátzcuaro the air of a large village. Unlike the Spanish-founded cities of Morelia and Guadalajara, Pátzcuaro took root in the 1320s as part of the Tarascan Empire, two centuries before the conquistadors arrived. With its tangible indigenous feel, it remains little affected by modern day interference.
Lago de Pátzcuaro.
About 3km north of central Pátzcuaro you will come over a rise to find a lake so blue that its edge blends seamlessly with the sky. Within it are a few populated islands.
Isla Janitzio is a popular weekend and holiday destination. It’s heavily devoted to tourism, with lots of low-end souvenir stalls, fish restaurants and drunk college kids on holiday! But it is car-free and threaded with footpaths that eventually wind their way to the top of the island, where you’ll find a 40m-high statue of independence hero José María Morelos. You can climb up inside the statue, via the Museo Morelos where an ascending series of murals depicts Morelos’ life. The last part ingeniously climbs the statue’s raised arm to a lookout with panoramic lake views in the see-through wrist.