Established 1541 as the Spanish setting to the western area in Mexico, the city was named Valladolid and became the main population after 1580. To present day, Morelia is the economic center of Michoacán state, and the name of the city has change from 1828 to honor father Jose Maria Morelos; the local hero who wrote the first mexican constitution and participated of the independence from Spain on 1815. The exquisite colonial architecture and 16th century ambience of limestone buildings, made the historic center of Morelia a UNESCO world heritage site on 1991. In order to enjoy a privately guided tour or walk free to the main attractions, check in to a lovely hotel located on main street or right at the Central “Plaza de armas”.
The European look of the city is thanks to the Spanish, French and italian influence in architecture, started after the Italian Renaissance and enriched with the pink stone (cantera) constructions that will lead your step to look inside cafes, churches, banks, restaurants, hotels and museums next to impressive murals inside public buildings. A must walk in the city should include the handcraft gallery & museum, the colorful candy market, the school of music (1st in the country) the university building, the old jesuit college, the public library, the palace of government and the house of the local hero, next to the local cathedral well known as 3rd largest in the country!
Recently famed as the city of festivals, Morelia hosts Hollywood people, film directors, actors and actresses to the Morelia Film Festival every October. The youth in town don’t waste a minute to take a break out of classrooms, from a dozen colleges and other schools, to wait hours just to witness what is happening on the red carpet during this festival, not to mention the international premieres of famous mexican films like “Pan’s laberinth” or disney’s “Coco” as well. Other important festivals are the Organ festival (May) Paper balloons festival (July) Guitar festival (September) the classic music (November) the Puppet festival (December).
Use Morelia as your base of operations to explore Michoacan: Take day trips to Patzcuaro, Santa Clara & Tzintzuntzan (3 magic towns) In Capula discover the famous 3D Catrinas hand made of clay and enjoy the volcanic landscape driving around lake Pátzcuaro. Try out the steam bath and mud application on skin at the “Los Azufres” National Park. At Uruapan, enjoy the hike to the Paricutín volcano and taste the best guacamole in your life followed by the drive, way up in the mountains, where you shouldn’t miss the incredible view of millions of monarch butterflies flying around the pine trees!