Getting There & Departing
By Car -- From Morelia, there are two routes to Pátzcuaro; the faster is the new four-lane Hwy. 120, which passes near Tiripetío and Tupátaro/Cuanajo. The longer route, Hwy. 15, takes a little more than an hour and passes near the pottery-making village of Capula and then through Quiroga, where you follow signs to Pátzcuaro. A taxi from Morelia will cost 250 pesos, a private car and driver a little more, but you travel in a larger, usually newer, vehicle.
By Bus -- The bus station is on the outskirts of Pátzcuaro, 5 minutes away by taxi (30 pesos). If you're going anywhere outside of Michoacán, it's best to go to Morelia first. If you're going straight to Mexico City, the Pegaso bus company offers nonstop service. Buses between Morelia and Pátzcuaro run every 10 minutes. To visit any of the lakeside villages or nearby towns, public transportation is an option, but taxis are not that expensive. From the Pátzcuaro bus station, there are buses to Tócuaro and Erongarícuaro every 20 minutes; to Tupátaro and Cuanajo every hour; to Tzintzuntzan and Quiroga every 40 minutes; and to Santa Clara del Cobre every hour. For Ihuatzio, you can pick up a minivan or a bus from the Plaza Chica.
Visitor Information -- The Tourism Office, Cuesta Buenavista 7 (tel. 434/342-1214), near the basilica, is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 3pm and 4 to 7pm, and Sunday from 9am to 2pm. You may not find someone who speaks English, but the staff members have maps and point you in the right direction. An office on the west side of the Plaza Grande (no phone) keeps the same hours as the main office.
City Layout -- In a way, Pátzcuaro has two town centers, both plazas a block apart. Plaza Grande, also called Plaza Principal or Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga, is picturesque and tranquil, with a fountain and a statue of Vasco de Quiroga. Hotels, shops, and restaurants in Colonial-Era buildings flank this plaza. Plaza Chica, also known as Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra, flows into the market, and around it swirls the commercial life of Pátzcuaro. Plaza Chica is north of Plaza Grande.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.