Uruapan, Michoacán

May 15, 2022

On our way home from Zihuatanejo we spent 2 nights and a day in Uruapan. We again had visited here in 2006 and the Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park is such a beautiful place we wanted to visit again. The park contains trees hundreds of years old, springs, streams, canals and walking paths.The park focuses on the conservation of the ravine which forms the headwaters of the Cupatitzio River, which is fed by various springs and streams starting with the “Rodilla del Diablo” (Devil's Knee) . There are many water displays that are all naturally fed by the streams with no mechanical pumps.

The city is surrounded by avocado and macadamia orchards. It is located in the most productive regions in Mexico for avocado. It is called the world capital of avocado not because of the production in the municipality but because it is home of six packing companies to which the region sends its avocados for distribution. From here, avocados are shipped all over Mexico and exported to the United States, Central America, Europe and Japan. In 2000, the city made the Guinness Book of World Records creating the largest batch of guacamole, making 1,288 kilograms of the dip, from one ton of fresh avocados.

Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio) on the edge of Uruapan, centered around the headwaters of the Cupatitzio River. The river emerges from an underground spring, carving a small ravine as the water begins to flow. The park is known for its abundant streams and springs, many of which cascade down the sides of the ravine to form small waterfalls.

This diver spent a few minutes attracting a crowd and then dove into the river below.

Following are a couple of videos of some of the water displays in the park.

Unfortunately the city is also well known for cartel violence. But while there we were very impressed by the vibrant community, many good restaurants, and very promising young people. What we saw just doesn't "jive" with the media reputation that they have.

We walked a few blocks down to a "Mojitos bar and grill" the first night there. There was a rooftop patio that we went up to first, but it was packed with young people. We love young people, but it was a bit loud for us, so we went back downstairs.
Yummy tacos al pastor and a mojito!
The son of the owner of our AirBnb offered to take us on a guided tour of Uruapan. He turned out to be a wonderful young man and I'll mention more about him later. He first took us around to several of the old historical churches in town.
They were preparing for some type of upcoming festival in the church.
And then we went to Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park.
The entrance.
All along this water display is a faded out mural that is hard to discern now. It it a mural depicting the history of the area.
This display is called the peacock. All displays are naturally powered by the flowing water with no mechanical assistance.
The brides veil.
This is Guillermo, the very sweet 16 year old son of the AirBnb owner that took us on the tour. We were so impressed with him!
The trout hatchery.
The machinery in the background is what supplies Uruapan with their water. It supplies the entire city and there is still plenty of water for this beautiful park.
The main spring that feeds the river, called Manantial la Rodilla del Diablo (The Devil's Knee Spring), after a small indentation in the rock next to the pool formed by the spring. According to local myth, the indentation was formed by the Devil falling to his knees, but there are competing versions as to why he did. The first states that he was forced to his knees by a crucifix held by Juan de San Miguel, the Franciscan friar who founded modern Uruapan. Another version of the story states that the impression was made by the knee when the Devil tripped and fell fleeing from the same person.
The last night in Uruapan was the night of the blood moon lunar eclipse. We were able to watch it in the stairwell of our AirBnb as it had this big window with a perfect view of the moon. The pics aren't so good, but the view was great.
El Encanto (the charm) buffet restaurant.
We ate breakfast at this restaurant in the morning before driving home. We were really surprised how active and packed it was on a Monday morning!