Uruapan, west of Morelia and Patzcuaro, is Michoacan’s second largest city. It is a huge agricultural area and is known for its vast avocado plantations. My favorite time of the year is during Semana Santa or Easter week when the town square is turned into a huge Folk Art Market with hundreds of artisans selling their pottery, weaving, copper and other crafts. It is the largest such event in Latin America.
The market kicks off on Friday but Saturday is the official opening with the parade of villages. Like the Olympics, all of the artisans from a village walk through the streets of town each carrying examples of their craft. The native dress is colorful and this is a really fun experience.
The market runs through Easter. There are other events during this time and there is a Concurso where each artisan enters their top work into a judged contest. After the judging, it is opened to the public and the items sold to collectors. This happens on Palm Sunday. The photo for this post is of a wonderful woven textile that I bought at the Concurso. I saw it near Patzcuaro at the home of the artist who told me it took her six months to complete. I then sought it out at the Concurso and purchased it!
Also on Palm Sunday make sure to visit the downtown churches where you will see local artisans making wonderful woven pieces for sale from palm fronds. I always buy several for my collection. They are really beautiful.
I love staying at the hotel Mansion Del Cupatitzio. It is located away from the hustle and bustle of downtown in a quiet neighborhood near the famous National Park, Eduardo Ruiz which has a great waterfall and hiking and walking paths. The rooms are large and the hotel restaurant lovely. There is indoor seating for breakfast and outdoor seating for lunch or dinner. The grounds are filled with flowers and birds and it is a really wonderful setting. Across the parking lot there is a restaurant featuring trout with macadamia nuts which is a local specialty. I always try to eat there at least once. It is nice to have some quiet time after the noise of the market.
As far as other good places to eat, local friends recommend Cocina M for more upscale dining, El Rincon de Aguililla, Cafe La Lucha for great coffee, tea and chocolate drinks and the Restaurant Las Camelinas at the Hotel Plaza Uruapan downtown.