city in Michoacan, Mexico
North America > Mexico > Pacific Coast (Mexico) > Michoacan > Lazaro Cardenas (Michoacan)

Lázaro Cárdenas is a busy port city on Mexico's Pacific coast in the state of Michoacan. It handles a wide range of cargo, particularly container ships to and from Asia and South America. Travelers who find themselves passing through Lazaro Cardenas will find that the area has several fine beaches where water sports of various flavors are practiced.


Malecón in Lázaro Cárdenas

The city was established as the port of Los Llanitos.

Container ship terminal in Lazaro Cardenas

In 1970, the town was re-named Lázaro Cárdenas, in honor of one of Mexico's most popular presidents. A native of Michoacan, Lázaro Cárdenas was a general who fought in the Mexican Revolution on the side of the Constitutionalists. Elected president in 1934, Cardenas was a dedicated reformist who fulfilled many of the promises of the Revolution, making him hugely popular with the Mexican people and hugely unpopular with rich capitalists and foreign industrialists who found their abusive practices of exploitation and corruption severely curtailed. Cardenas was responsible for much of the post-revolution land reform initiatives (such as the creation of ejidos for Indigenous groups) and the appropriation of foreign owned oil assets together with the creation of the national oil company, Pemex. Many towns across Mexico are named in honor of Cardenas as are roads, schools, parks and public facilities.

Get in

Map of Lazaro Cardenas (Michoacan)

By bus


Lazaro Cardenas is a 3½ hour trip from the city of Uruapan. Several bus lines serve Lazaro Cardenas, but the most frequent bus routes are offered by Parhikuni which has departures every 3 hours each day. Tickets cost about M$700.

  • 1 Central de Autobuses (bus station), Av. Lázaro Cárdenas 1810, Centro, +52 753 532 3006. Small bus station with often crowded waiting area. Minimal amenities (no air conditioning). Used by most first-class buses including Parhikuni and Omnibus de Mexico.

By plane


The Lazaro Cardenas Airport (LZC  IATA) is not served by any commercial airline as of Feb 2024. The closest airport with passenger service is Uruapan (UPN  IATA), which is served by Volaris via Tijuana (TIJ) or Los Angeles (LAX).

By train


Lazaro Cardenas is the terminus of a major freight route operated by Canadian Pacific Kansas City, but no passenger trains operate on the railway. Migrants from Central America frequently ride on top of the freight trains, but it is not recommended as gangs frequently prey on the migrants.

Get around

  • 1 Malecon, México 200, Complejo Siderúrgico las Truchas. Daily 09:00 - 22:00. Clean, attractive parkway along one of the major ship channels. Bikes and electric scooters are available for rent and are often used by aggressive young riders to create a danger to children, pets and other park users (so watch out and be prepared to jump into the grass. Great views of passing ships and barges.
Playa Eréndira in Lázaro_Cárdenas

The best thing to do in Lazaro Cardenas is head to the beach. With miles of Pacific coast at its doorstep, residents and visitors alike head to the sandy shores to spend their leisure time sunbathing, swimming and playing beach volleyball. Playa Erindera is a quiet beach that is popular with families. More adventurous visitors come for water sports like jet skiing, sea kayaking, and particularly surfing.

Nexpa beach is famous for its challenging surfing conditions

The Pacific coast of Mexico is a surfers paradise with a large number of sparsely populated beaches near Lazaro Cardenas known for their challending and reliable waves. There are beaches that are ideal for beginners as well as the most challenging spots favored by experienced surfers. Several surf camps are in or near Lazaro Cardenas, offering lessons and clinics to improve skills and socialize with other surfers. Two of the better known surfing spots are Playa Azul and Nexpa.

Nature enthusiasts will find much to keep them occupied, both in the coastal wetland areas and in inland jungles and mountains. A diverse range of flora and fauna are found in the area, which has ample opportunities for hiking and birdwatching.

  • 1 Playa Eréndira, Complejo Siderúrgico las Truchas. Closest beach to town, restaurants and palapa bars on the beach and the best sunset views in Lazaro Cardenas.
  • 1 Mercado Cuahtemoc, Constitución de 1814 352, Centro. Central marketplace with vendors selling fresh seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables. Several vendors with household and artesanal handcrafts. Small food counters selling authentic regional cuisine and some of the tastiest street food you can find.

Like most seaside communities, the regional cuisine centers mainly on fresh seafood. Local restaurants specialize in grilled fish prepared in various ways, as well as ceviche, fish tacos, and shrimp cocktails.

  • 1 T3, Malecón y las Artes Av. ,José Luis Corro Chávez, +52 753 537 0680. Su-W 08:00 - 00:00, Th-Sa 08:00 - 02:00. Upscale restaurant with outdoor patio dining overlooking the river. Good wine list. Good place for a romantic dinner. M$300.
  • 2 Sotavento, Playa Erendira, +52 753 124 3325. Daily 11:00 - 19:00. Large palapa style restaurant on the beach, close to town. Most upscale of all the beach restaurants (but don't worry, bathing suits are still part of the dress code).
  • 3 El Pulpo, Av Dr Miguel Silva 66, Nuevo Horizonte, +52 753 109 3909. Sa-Th 08:30 - 19:00, F 11:00 - 19:00. Palapa-style open air restaurant specializing in seafood at lunch and dinner and serving a buffet breakfast every day except Friday. The breakfast includes some hot entrees, fresh sweet breads, fresh sliced fruits and cereals and juices.
  • 4 Caffeto, Melchor Ocampo 14, +52 753 532 4908. M-Sa 08:00 - 23:00, closed Su. Clean, inviting coffee shop with a menu of light fare. The chilaquiles negros are a winner at breakfast. Good selection of coffee drinks and smoothies. M$100.





There are several hotels clustered along highway MEX-200 as you come into town, several within walking distance of the bus station. There are few hotels located in other parts of the city. Fortunately, Lazaro Cardenas does not have the large number of cheap, tawdry no-tell motels that many Mexican cities have so most are suitable for families. There are several beachfront hotels a few km northwest of town at Playa Azul.

  • 1 Hotel de Casablance, Nicolás Bravo 475, Centro, +52 753 537 3480. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 13:00. Modern full-service hotel with swimming pool, on-site restaurant serving 3 full meals per day, off-street parking area and free WiFi. Rooms are spacious and clean. M$1200.
  • 2 Hotel Porto, Av. Lázaro Cárdenas 5501, Centro, +52 753 532 3100. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Clean, modern economy hotel with comfortable rooms and a convenient location near the Malecon and an easy walk to Centro. Swimming pool on site, but no restaurant for breakfast. M$600.
  • 3 Hotel Marbella, Av. Las Palmas 267, +52 753 537 5100. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Renovated hotel with spacious, comfortable rooms and low prices. No restaurant on-site. M$900.

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