Monday, February 13, 2006

Lake Zirahuen - Michoacan

Lake Zirahuen in Michoacan Mexico, is an enchanting lake just 20 kilometers from the city of Patzcuaro along the highway toward Uruapan. You can also access the lake from Santa Clara del Cobre over a cobblestone road. The name Zirahuen means "Place of Smoke", maybe from the mountain mist over the lake.

The clear blue water of the lake, one of the cleanest in Mexico, makes this a real visual pleasure. There is still very little development on the shores of this beautiful lake. A few resorts and very small towns line the north shore and the town of Zirahuen is on the south. You'll see wooden "trojes"(Purepecha-style cabin) in town and along the way.

From the dock in downtown Zirahuen you can take one of two boats on an around the lake tour. On the cruise the local highschool kids will sing a few songs and another youngster will tell everyone the history of the lake (in Spanish). There is a snack bar on the boat for a few things and soft drinks and beer.

The back road to Lake Zirahuen from Santa Clara del Cobre

First view of the lake - maybe reason for "Place of Smoke" name

Tour ferries on the downtown dock

Some of the unpopulated shoreline

Downtown Zirahuen after a rain

A bunch more Zirahuen Pictures


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Patzcuaro is the ex-capital of Michoacan and before that was Tzintzuntzan, a small town nearby dating to the Purhépecha empire in the 1300's. The museum in Patzcuaro is finding ruins in it's back yard that predates history and they are believed to be earlier than the history of Tzintzuntzan. The Purhépecha were one of the indigenous tribes that were not conquered by the Aztecs

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