Mexico is a land of many splendours.
A land of endless sun and glorious beaches.
But there is another Mexico – a land of ancient civilization, a land of colonial history, a land of time-honoured amazing arts and crafts traditions passed on from one generation to another, a land of glorious food and dishes dating back centuries.
Morelia – the capital of the central Mexican state of Michoacán – is a treasure trove of Mexican history, culture, traditions.
The city’s colonial narrow streets are lined with well-preserved 17th. and 18th. century buildings built with a special stone – pink – from the area.
The buildings are imposing – one of the most prominent, the baroque style Morelia Cathedral, it’s elegant soaring twin towers dominating the city’s main square. It’s interior magnificent.
Morelia also is a great base for nearby towns and villages many of them offering unique handicrafts, art, cultural and nature experiences.
Monarch Butterfly Reserve
Millions and millions of them – flying at speeds of 40 to 120 nautical miles an hour depending on weather conditions.
Each year it’s the annual migration of the eastern monarch butterfly.
Their trek – flying 2,500 miles from the Canada and the U.S. where they breed – is to central Mexico where they hibernate – one reserve a mere two hour drive from Morelia.
It’s a sight to behold, to marvel at, to be in awe of – forest turned orange.
Santa Clara Del Cobre
This small town – it was founded in 1553 – of 38,505 people is world renowned for its amazing artisans – turning copper into works of art.
The tradition dates back to the pre-Hispanic era. The Purepécha people were the pioneers of this craft and still are today.
The towns main square boasts a copper glow in its lanterns, benches, and kiosk.
Near the square are many artisans making great copper handicrafts. We visited one of them, watching as Abdón Punzó started the decorative phase on a traditional copper vase.
The scope and variety of the copper ware is amazing.
This small hamlet is close to Morelia and is best known for its Day of the Dead celebrations throughout Mexico and the world.
Each year starting October 27 to November 5 the town is thronged with thousands and thousands of tourists and Mexican media celebrating this annual event – where everyday Mexicans gather at the gravesides of their beloved ones to honour and remember them.
This is done by placing the favourite food and drink of the deceased at graveside, surrounded by candles as high as six feet.
These vigils start at dusk and end the next morning at dusk.
The sheer beauty and starkness is an unforgettable experience – filling your soul and mind with memories of a lifetime.