The Magic of Morelia
The most Spanish of Mexico’s colonial cities, Morelia has an air of elegance and sophistication deserving of its title, the “Aristocrat of Colonial Cities.” It is also one of Mexico’s most picturesque cities, filled with impressive, well-preserved quarry stone (cantera) structures including the Catedral, museums, palacios, a 17th-century aqueduct and a trove of traditional colonial homes, including Cuarenta y Ocho. Combine this Baroque and Renaissance architecture, which captivates locals and visitors alike, with shady plazas, sidewalk cafes and a vibrant restaurant scene and you’ll feel like you’ve landed in Europe. The city, home to several important universities, also hosts Festival de Música de Morelia, Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia and Zapata Vive Morelia Festival.
The beautiful and rustic colonial city of Morelia boasts a thriving population of approximately one million. Quite simply, it is one of the shining stars of Mexico. What makes Morelia special is its people. Their backgrounds include native Indian, Spanish, and French as well as many other national origins. Collectively, their greatest asset is a tremendous personality filled with warmth and friendliness.
Explore the fringes of Morelia and discover other layers of Michoacán. Easy day trips include the colonial town Patzcuaro and its picturesque lake, El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary and the little known craft towns of Quiroga, Santa Clara del Cobre and Tzintzuntzán. These excursions are well within half a tank of petrol from Cuarenta y Ocho. If the urge to leave your private house in the historic center calls, driving in any direction from Morelia promises to be an enriching adventure.
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Location, Location, Location
One of Cuarenta y Ocho’s most enviable features is its prized location on a small, narrow street. It is rare in bustling Morelia to experience the quiet and tranquility of a local neighborhood and still be near the heart of the Centro Histórico. The Plaza de los Mártires (the principle plaza) and Catedral are just a four-block walk from the front door. Colorful local markets, museums, the Zocalo and the busy cafes are all just blocks from the house.
Taxis are plentiful and reliable to take you to more distant places. Alternately, driving a rental car in Morelia is fairly simple and civilized compared to other Mexican cities. Day trips out of the city to visit the craft towns and Patzcuaro take you through countryside ringed by mountains, fields of wildflowers, and pine and eucalyptus forests.
Frequent flights from Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Chicago make Morelia easy to access from the United States. There are also short flights from Mexico City, which is a major hub for international flights. Morelia International Airport (MLM) is about a 35-minute drive from the historic center of Morelia. The taxi cost is about $250 MXN.
Morelia is located in the heart of Mexico, between two of its largest cities: Mexico City and Guadalajara. Luxury buses (ETN) travel a superhighway that connects Morelia with these two important cities. Service is frequent and inexpensive. The luxury buses offer comfortable reclining seats, movies and a light snack. This is a very civilized way to travel.