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Quiroga, Michoacan

This rather nondescript but still pleasant town near the north shore of Lake Patzcuaro has served as a marketplace for surrounding towns and villages for more than 500 years. Spanish Bishop Vasco de Quiroga, for whom the town is named, arrived in the early 16th century and assigned different industries to area villages, many of which practiced these same crafts in one form or another. The idea was to avoid competition among these villages and assure a reasonable livelihood for their inhabitants. Then called Cocupao (“Meeting Place” in the Purépecha language) this market town occupied a privileged crossroads for points to the north, east, and south---and continues to serve its original function.

Products sold here---some produced by local artisans and others brought in---are mainly things made of vegetable fiber, carved wood, leather, textiles, and pottery. There are stacks of factory-made soup bowls and coffee mugs for sale alongside green-glazed chips-and-salsa platters made by hand in Tzintzuntzan. Unless you look like a real greenhorn, merchants will offer fair prices (often times marked) and hard bargaining is not necessary.

Around Quiroga:
   Morelia
   Paracutin
   Patzcuaro
   Santa Clara del Cobre
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Tzintzuntzan
   Uruapan
You might shop for a caso, a typical two-handed casserole pot from Santa Clara del Cobre. (This copper cookware is a great conductor of heat and the metal does not absorb flavors which might then influence another dish.) Keep an eye peeled for Quiroga’s classic peribanas, round wooden trays painted with brightly colored fruits, flowers, and other motifs.

Some of the stalls along both sides of the main drag sell simplistic, old-fashioned wooden toys. I can’t help but wonder who purchases them in this age of PSPs and X-Boxes. Other small outdoor stalls offer wooden chairs and stools, decoupage angels and Elvises, and junky little toy guitars and doll houses. There are nice huaraches---some classic styles built upon tire treads and more modern women’s sandals---at good prices. Calle Berrizabol has larger indoor stores selling wholesale merchandise. A nice family on the same street sells sterling silver jewelry from Taxco; price is determined by weight.

Also for sale are modern and traditional clothing, fresh-off-the-griddle blue corn tortillas, and all sorts of fruits and vegetables. The stands on one end of the main plaza (look for the blue and red umbrellas) are famous for their excellent carnitas.

There are several historic churches downtown in the midst of the market stalls, but nothing terribly exciting. Venture a block or two away from the main road and you’ll find pharmacies and tiny auto parts stores. Some streets are lined in brightly painted homes, while others favor the traditional white-and-red color scheme.

For more things to do as well as hotels and restaurants, check out our Quiroga Travel Guide.

QUIROGA LOCAL LISTINGS

Colonial Home in Patzcuaro  
House/Condo for Sale
Patzcuaro, Michoacan
718-701-1902 (US)

More Info about Colonial Home in Patzcuaro

Cabanas del Lago  
Rentals
Carretera a Quiroga Frente a la Cantera, Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan
+52 443 1561003

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EL ALTO LUCERO  
Rentals
Camino a Agua Verde. Copandaro de Zirahuen, Zirahuen, Michoacan
cell. 434-108-5784

More Info about EL ALTO LUCERO

Casa Utume 85  
Rentals
Utume 85, Morelia, Michoacan
US 303-751-7094

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Big casita  
Rentals
Patzcuaro, Michoacan

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Mexico Cooks!  
Restaurant

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HOTEL CASA SAN DIEGO  
Hotel
Av. Acueducto 197. Col. Centro, Morelia, Michoacan
Tel: (52) (443) 343 06 60

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Hotel Plaza Morelia  
Hotel
Valentín Gomez Farías 278 Centro, Morelia, Michoacan
52(443)3121163

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HOTEL POSADA YOLIHUANI  
Bed and Breakfast
Calle Dr. Coss # 40, Colonia Centro, Patzcuaro, Michoacan
434 342 16 66

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Travels With Travis  

Morelia, Michoacan

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Casa Mata Urban Suites  
Bed and Breakfast
Casa Mata #1528 Chapultepec Oriente, Morelia, Michoacan
4433248581

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Villa Victoria bed and breakfast  
Bed and Breakfast
Navarrete #45, Centro Historico, Patzcuaro, Michoacan
011 52 434 342 5237

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