A Glimpse of Michoacan: real estate tour of the area surrounding Morelia.

By John Glaab

“A Glimpse of Michoacan” was an added attraction to the Annual Conference of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professions. (AMPI).

The event was a real estate tour of the area surrounding Morelia, the capital of Michoacan. It brought together a group of Realtors®, mainly from the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), but also from Manzanillo, Colima, Chapala/Ajijic, Jalisco and Morelia and Uruapan, both in Michoacan. John Gormley led the Texas contingent. He is Director of Communications for TAR. The tour was organized by Mexatua Realty of Morelia along with The Settlement Company® and Linda Neil Properties.

Early Sunday morning, October 11th, members of the tour assembled at Morelia’s, Hotel Fiesta Inn. Next stop would be a continental breakfast at a painstakingly restored colonial home in downtown Morelia. Many positive comments were made about the architect and the crafts people who did the work.

Next would be a brief tour of the “ Centro Historico” of this sixteenth century jewel followed by a trip along the ancient aqueduct built by the Spanish, ending up at a lookout high above the city in the area above what the Santa Maria barrio.

Leaving Morelia, the bus headed down a highway lined by tall pine trees and at one point, Lake Patzcuaro was seen. A coffee break was held at a chalet in the village of Zirahuen. The building is on acreage and overlooks the lake which is the deepest in Mexico. It is fed by spring water without any rivers leading into it.

Patzcuaro is a picturesque village which has become home to many artists and writers from outside of Mexico. It is also renowned for its special type of ice cream and shops selling the various crafts from the surrounding villages. We had lunch, typical Mexican fare at a restored home with a large back yard and a casita. The owner has purchased several homes for restoration and is building new ones. After lunch we viewed audio visual presentations about several others nearby developments.

Then we were off to a very special place, Tzintzuntzan. This was the Capital of the Imperial Purepecha Empire, during the pre-Hispanic era. The ruins of its ceremonial site is important to Mexican archeology. The former convent Santa Ana de Tzintzuntzan is the first convent built by the Franciscans in Michoacan, during the sixteenth century. Noches de Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1st is a mixture of Purepecha and Christian traditions. The local cemetery is one of the favourite places for tourists to be.

Members of our tour took advantage of the myriad of handi crafts in the local market. Among the most popular purchases were Christmas decorations woven from tule grown on the banks of Lake Patzcuaro.

At almost 7 p.m., the bus arrived back at the hotel. Time to download cameras. (I have two web sites created by people who traveled with us. When asked about the tour and Michoacan, Barbara Boyd an Austin Broker exclaimed, “ Michoacan- we’ve got it and you can quote me on that.” Ward Arendt created a web site. (As he had for the TAR Trade Mission to Guadalajara, last year. On his site he wrote,” Spectacular properties and countryside were seen. Surprising to us was the high altitude of above 7,200 feet. Pine and oak forests along with beautiful lakes dot the region.

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