Morelia, (mo-REH-lia) - is the capital city of the state of Michoacán and lies in the northeast portion of the state, approximately 315 km west of Mexico City and 367 km southeast of Guadalajara. Morelia was founded in 1541 as the City of Michoacán. In 1545, the name was changed to Valladolid and in 1580 it was made the capital of Michoacán state. The name was changed again in 1828 to honor the war hero born here, José Maria Morelos. The population is approximately 600,000 and growing.
The historic downtown area of Morelia is known as the Centro Historico, encompassing 150 blocks and has hundreds of historically significant buildings which are prime examples of Spanish colonial architecture. The city center retains the strong Spanish flavor that has earned it the title "Aristocrat of Colonial Cities." To help maintain this atmosphere of Old World Charm building ordinances require all new construction in the city center to conform to the early colonial style.
Land of the Monarchs
Morelia is only three hours from the fantastic Santuario De Mariposas El Rosario (Monach Butterfly Sanctuary). Come to visit between February and mid-March, and we'll take you to see where thousands of butterflies stay warm during the winter. Even Morelia's pro soccer team is called The Monarchs!
Morelia doesn’t get hot weather like Cancún. The average annual temperature is 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees F). The hottest months are May and June, with temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees F). It’s cool enough in the morning and evenings to require a sweater or light jacket. June through September are the rainiest months, so it’s wise to carry an umbrella. However the rain usually lasts only about an hour. The great thing about that is it keeps the temperature cooled off during the hot summer months. Also, the sound of the rain on the roof tops is lovely and relaxing to listen to.
Aside from its historical attractions, Morelia is also the educational, cultural, and political center of the state. Morelia offers a long list of cultural attractions and events, from its many museums and historic buildings to the planetarium, orchid house, and zoo. Morelia makes an excellent choice for foreigners studying Spanish and Mexican culture. It is also the home for dozens of writers, artists, philosophers, poets, and a community of retired Americans and Canadians.
While in Morelia, don’t forget to try the traditional Purepecha dishes, such as corundas and uchepos (regional tamales). You can also indulge in such local fare as enchiladas placeras and ates (candied fruit).