Uruapan (officially Uruapan del Progreso) is a city of 357,000 people (2020) in Michoacan. It is the center of Mexico's avocado growing region, with most of the crop distributed from here nationally and internationally.
Founded in 1533 by Fray Juan de San Migue, Uruapan is the second largest city in the state of Michoacan.
The city's center has colonial architecture which contain Plateresque and Moorish elements. There are six historic neighborhoods of the city: San Miguel, San Pedro, San Francisco, Santa Maria Magdalena, San Juan Bautista and Santo Santiago, all of which have colonial-era chapels in their centers.
It is 110 km to southwest of Morelia.
Uruapan International Airport ("Hermanos Lopez Rayon") (UPN IATA) is a small airport with only 1 commercial flight per day to/from Tijuana on Volaris.
Uruapan is served by frequent bus service to major cities in the region. From Morelia, it is 1 hour 45 minutes on on the Parhikuni bus line (M$220 as of November 2022). Tickets to Patzcuaro are M$85 (Nov 2022). The bus station is on the Carretera Uruapan-Patzcuaro (MEX 14) at the intersection of Av. del Cerro.
Uruapan is connected with Morelia by the motorway 14D, with the city of Zamora de Hidalgo, and Lazaro Cardenas by motorway 37D. From Mexico City, first get in to Morelia, and Guadalajara first to Zamora.
- Plaza de Martires de Uruapan. Facing this plaza are two commercial portals as well as some of the city's most important landmarks. On the north side, there is the La Huatápera Museum, or the Museo de los Cuatro Pueblos Indios. Huatápera is a Purépecha word, meaning “meeting place,” and according to tradition, it was built over a pre Hispanic platform, obtaining its social importance from this. It has a chapel called Santo Entierro, with fine stonework in cantera in Plateresque style. The interior is restored and contains images of angels playing musical instruments and important people from the history of the Catholic Church. The rest of the complex shows Moorish influence and houses a collection of handcrafts from the various indigenous communities of the state.
- Just to the east of Huatápera is the Immaculate Concepción church, which was built in the late 20th century. It has a cantera portal finished in the 1970s but no cupola nor bell tower.
- The Casa de Cultura (Cultural Center) is on the western side of Huatápera. It was built in 1992 over what was the Franciscan monastery established by Juan de San Miguel. The original church of this monastery is now the parish church for the city. Built in 1533, it maintains its 16th-century Plateresque portal, and the interior of the church has a crucifix that dates from the 18th century. The paintings on the triangular spaces just under the cupola represent salvation and the miracle of the Mass, done by Mohamed Socidel.
- The San Pedro Factory (Fabrica San Pedro) is a still-operational textile factory built in the late 19th century, when the city was at its industrial peak. Construction of the mill began in 1886, originally to work with cotton but later expanded to other fibers, such as linen and silk. The factory is still in operation but not to the same capacity as in the past. The current owners maintain the more handcrafted feel of the products making bedspreads, tablecloths, napkins and more. Part of the complex is now used for cultural and other events.
- The city is home to the narrowest house in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Located at 50-C Carrillo Puerto, it measures 1.40 by 7.70 meters.
- 1 Parque Nacional Barranca de Cupatitzio (Cupatitzio Canyon National Park, Parque Eduardo Ruiz), Calle Culver City, Uruapan. A 452-hectare urban national park with a stream going down the middle of the park with various style fountains and natural waterfalls. The river is fed by several springs and is very clear. The most interesting spring is called "Devils Knee", in the northern section of the park. Legend has it that a priest named Juan de San Miguel exorcised the devil during the 16th century, and that as the devil ran, he tripped and hit his knee on the ground, splitting open the canyon with water gushing from the spot. The springs feed a trout farm in the park where natural resources authorities grow fish to stock streams in the region. The trout farm is open for tours and you can even buy a fresh trout for your dinner table if you like.
- 2 Tzarárcua Falls (Cascada de Tzararcua), Federal highway MEX 37, Uruapan. After hiking 3 km from the road (including a 500-m descent by stairs or by horse) you'll come to a spectacular 60-meter high falls. If you don't want to walk, you can ride a horse to the falls. Ziplines carry you across the chasm. The water is pretty contaminated so you want to swim. Restrooms are available and food vendors are on site. M$40.
- Each neighborhood has its own festival: San José on March 19, El Vergel on the third Friday in June, San Juan Quemado on June 24, San Pedro on June 29, La Magdalena on July 22, Santo Santiago on July 25, San Miguel on September 29, San Francisco de Asis on October 4. The patron saints’ days of these neighborhoods are celebrated with colorful dances such as Los Negritos.
- In addition to traditional observances for Day of the Dead, the city has sponsored the Festival de Velas on the same days, where candles are arranged and lit to form figures at the Martires de Uruapan and Morelos plazas as well as on adjoining streets.
- The Avocado Festival from mi-dNovember to mid December which consists of exhibitions and cultural events.
The Palm Sunday Handcraft Market (Tianguis de Domingo de Ramos) is held during Holy Week with the most important day being Palm Sunday, after which it is named. It covered the city large main square and attracts over a thousand artisans who sell.
The city's cuisine is influenced not only by the various ethnic groups in the area but also migration from other parts of Michoacan. Typical dishes include corundas, churipo (a beef and vegetable stew), mutton barbacoa, carnitas, quesadillas with squash flowers, flour tamales, various flavors of sweet and spicy atole, hot chocolate, uchepos, sweet potatoes and plantains cooked in various ways and more.
Behind the Huatápera there is a traditional food market which is open from the morning to late at night. There are others economical options on the adjacent street.
Hotel Modern at the east end of the central plaza is a budget choice, with double rooms from M$130. The hotel has somewhat seen better days, but it possesses a charismatic central atrium filled with plants and sunlight. An easy and central choice because it is located in the centre of town. Even better there are two other hotels just as cheap with better lighting and wifi a few shops down where it says Hotel Colonial above the doorway.
"Hotel California" is another good option to stay when visiting this city. It is 10 minutes away (walking distance) from Uruapan's main attraction "El Parque Nacional" you can view their economical rates on their site hotelcaliforniaupn.com, it is a safe and family friendly hotel.