Uruapán, located at 1,620 m (5,315 feet) of altitude, is
the second most populated city in Michoacán State. It is
known for the production of excellent avocados; it is located
at 52 km from Pátzcuaro
and 102 km from Morelia.
You can reach it via the highway Morelia-Pátzcuaro-Uruapán
or via the federal road # 15, starting in Carapán, and
going to Chéran, Aranza, Paracho and Capácuaro;
further, another road leads to the Volcano Paricutín. A
violent eruption occurred on February, 20th, 1943. You can also
reach the vestiges of the temple of San Juan Parangaricutiro,
covered with lava such as one part of the village. It is also
possible to go to the villages of Zacán, Peribán,
Los Reyes and Zamora. Because of the altitude, the climate is
pleasant and the vegetation luxuriant.
The name Uruapán comes from the purépecha vocabulary
"urapani", meaning "the blooming and the carpophore
of a plant at the same time". It was translated by "the
place where everything blossoms".
It is the reason the orchard of Michoacán is called “the
world Capital of avocado". The town became a city in 1858,
and was called "Uruapán del Progreso". However,
the most deserved title is the "real birthplace of enamel",
because of the production of cups, masks and other wooden objects,
artistically adorned with this technique dating from the Pre-Hispanic
time and consisting in covering each piece with a mix of vegetal
and animal oils and sprayed minerals. When drying, one obtains
a hard glazed surface on which are designed decorative designs
with different colors as needed. The results show the exemplary
mastery and artistic sensibility of the artisans of Uruapán.
When the Spanish arrived, Pre-Hispanic people lived there. The
Fanciscan monks evangelized the region. Fray Juan de San Miguel
distinguished himself by his work as an evangelist and as a city
planner, the creation of neighborhoods and the unification of
the peoples of Uruapán. He is considered as the founder
of the city in 1534.
Among the many attractions of Uruapán, there are magnificent
historic monuments such as "la Parroquia Franciscana",
with some walls dating from the seventeenth century and a plateresque
door which was once on the main facade; "La Huatápera"and
the chapels of the neighborhoods of Magdalena, San Francisco (better
known as San Francisquillo), San Juan Bautista, San Pedro, San
Miguel et Santiago are also worth a visit. In different places
of the city, there are works of important artists of Michoacán,
such as the paintings of Alfredo Zalceat at the Manuel Ocaranza
School and at the Civil Hospital Dr. Jesús Silva and such
as the Mural of Manuel Coronado in the National Park.
Recommended visits :
Museo Regional La Huatápera : It is said that
the founder of this former hospital is Fray Juan de San Miguel.
La Huatápera is part of the institutions started by Vasco
de Quiroga. These places have been the support of the social,
educative, religious and support life in the villages of the old
diocese of Michoacán.
It mixes the plateresque and mudéjar styles; the fine bas-reliefs
of the facade of the chapel have been carved by Indigenous. The
ensemble comprises a magnificent courtyard with a square cross
as well as an "L" shaped disciplinary unit with portals,
built with the traditional materials of the region: wood, tiles,
volcanic rocks and quarry. Nowadays, it houses the Museo Popular,
with nice collections of craft from the state, such as the fantastic
cedar enamels called « maque » and very famous in
the area (open 9:30 AM-1:30 PM and 3:30-6 PM, Tue-Sun, free entrance).
Temple of Saint Francisco : It dates from the foundation of a
group of hospitals that gave origin to the city. Even having undergone
several restorations, it still has a back facade in a plateresque
style worth the visit.
Martyrs’ Square : It is located in front of San Francisco
temple and got its name from the monument set up there, in 1893,
to honor the memory of the Martyrs of Uruapán; five republicans,
among them the Generals Carlos Zalazar and José Ma. Arteaga,
have been sacrificed by the imperialists on October, 21st 1865.
Museum Municipal “Eduardo Ruiz”: There are exhibitions
of Pre-Hispanic objects as well as objects more recent such as
photographs, prints, manuscripts and other things belonging to
the historian and writer Eduardo Ruiz, native of Uruapán.
The museum shares the building with the Cultural House of the
National Park “Eduardo Ruiz”: It is the unique
national park inside a city in Mexico.
The Cupatitzio River rises up there. In Purepecha, Cupatitzio
means "River that sings". This place is known
for the beauty of the flora, the crystal waters and for
the legend of “La Rodilla del Diablo"
(The Devil’s knee) told by the local children. It
is a model of landscape architecture with shaded trails,
bridges, falls and flower beds.
El Parque Nacional de Uruapán
es unos de los mas hermosos en todo mexico, y este parque
se encuentra en pleno centro de la ciudad. Nice video about
the National Park “Eduardo Ruiz”, located inside
the city of Uruapán
Market of "Antojitos": You can taste every
meal of the region in this typical place located behind the Huatápera.
The installations are clean and the prices are affordable.
Handcraft Market : It is located in front of the National Park;
you can find various enameled wooden objects, local basketwork
and many other handicrafts from the surroundings, such as decorative
objects, fabrics and music instruments, including the worldwide
known guitars of Paracho.
Map of the city of Uruapán :
Located 38 km (23 miles) from Uruapán, this village is
really proud of the violins and guitars made in the workshops
of its stringed-instrument makers. It is the centre of the Plateau
Purépecha. Before reaching the village, you can hear the
harmonious sounds of the guitars and stringed-instruments made
there. They are world famous because of the excellent quality.
You can also find everyday use objects, ornamental objects and
Production of guitars in
Paracho with some nice views about the region. Comments in
Fairs : Fería
Nacional de la Guitarra or National Guitar Fair (2nd week
Handicraft : Guitar, violin, cello, double-bass and mandolin
as well as wooden handicraft such as furniture, toys and
Recommended visits :
The handicraft workshops where you can admire the wonderful work
made from wood.
The House of the Culture
The Center for the Investigation and Development of the Guitar
The Museum of the Guitar
Santiago Tingambato is located 37 km (23 miles) from Pátzcuaro
lake on the road to Uruapán. On its southern side, there
is the archaeological zone called "Tinganio", meaning
“the place of lukewarm” in Purépecha. This
is in reference to the climate but also to the social environment
and the feelings of the people.
According to the archaeologists, this place was built before the
places founded by the Tarascs; it shows two stages in the construction:
the first stage dating from 450 to 600 A.D. (with the arrival
of the population and the construction of the ceremonial center)
and a second stage, dating from 600 to 900 A.D. (with a strong
influence of the civilization of Teotihuacán).
After investigations, it has been concluded that it was a Pre-Hispanic
city because of the two distinct spaces : the religious center
and the civil-administrative center. There is also a funerary
building with a new style and some indications of trade with foreign
people in the cult, market, fairs and handicraft production.
Recommended visits :
Archaeological zone ($35)
Temple of Santiago Apóstol dating from the seventeenth
ANGAHUÁN - VOLCANO
The picturesque village of Angahuan is located 37 km (23 miles)
from Uruapán. It is one of the places of the Sierra de
Michoacán that has conserved its original aspect, with
wooden houses (Trojes) and shingled roofs ("tejamanil").
Here is the "Capilla del Hospital", of Moorish style,
dating from mid-sixteenth century. It shows an atrium cross made
of stone, a beautiful work with the mark of the indigenous hands.
You can also visit the Parish Temple of Santiago Apóstol,
dating from the sixteenth century, of plateresque style.
this village, you can find guides to go to the top of the volcano
Paricutín or to the ruins of the village of San Juan Parangaricutiro,
buried beneath lava, after the 1943 eruption (only the top of
the church has not been buried).
The hike to the volcano is strenuous. They also offer horse rides
to approach the volcano.
picture : Top of the Church of San Juan Parangaricutiro
The volcano Paricutin is a recent volcano. A farmer saw the initial
eruption in his field. It is 2,800 m (8,200 ft) high. You can
still see the old church, partly buried.
The contrast of the grey volcano with the green vegetation is
worth the detour, even just for a picture !
A new "San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro" was built 17
km (10 miles) from Uruapán, in 1944 after the eruption
of the volcano. It doesn’t have a lot of cultural and tourist