The full name of this well-wooded region, Michoacán de Ocampo, is taken from the lawyer, scientist and politician Melchor Ocampo, born in the town of Maravatío.
The state borders on the Pacific Ocean to the south-west, and comprises 113 municipalities delimited by the Sierra Madre del Sur and the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. As such it has plenty of mountain peaks and volcanoes, including the famous Paricutín volcano between San Juan Viejo Parangaricutiro and Angahuan.
Michoacán is full of sites with hard-to-pronounce names – even for Mexicans – as they originate in the Purépecha language, which is still spoken by the largest ethnic group in the state. It may be divided into six regions that encompass all that it has to offer: the variety of ecosystems, and ethnic groups with deeply-rooted traditions, makes this a great choice for cultural and ecological tourism, and for visitors to take a journey through the history and natural beauty of the country.
These six zones are Morelia, Uruapan, Lázaro Cárdenas, Pátzcuaro, Zamora and Zitácuaro. Each one of them make it possible to explore cities, coasts and beaches, discover villages, Indigenous communities and the Pueblos Mágicos (“Magical villages”) of the state: Cuitzeo, Pátzcuaro, Santa Clara del Cobre and Tlalpujahua.
The Day of the Dead as celebrated in Pátzcuaro, the baile de los viejitos (“Dance of the Old Men”) as seen all over the state, the Morelia International Film Festival, the carnitas (pork-filled tacos) and patitas de puerco (pig’s trotters) of La Piedad and the tours around the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, are just a selection of the highlights of what Michoacán has to offer to visitors.
Along the state’s highways, main avenues, city streets and dirt roads there are all kinds of options for accommodation and eating, ranging from luxury hotels belonging to international chains to hostels full of youngsters passionate about adventure; from haute cuisine restaurants to street corner eateries, the fascinating customs of this state will draw you on until you get to know every last corner of “the soul of Mexico”.
Climate: Warm, sub-humid to temperate sub-humid
Temperature: 68°F / 20°C annual average
Location: Western central Mexico
Area: 22,642 sq miles