When you're in Pátzcuaro, take the new tourist highway to Santa Clara del Cobre and Zirahuén, for some superb views of Zirahuén lake.
In Santa Clara, which was recently declared a magical town, you will be greeted by a symphony of coppersmiths beating hammer. An excellent museum with the best items produced in the town and craftsmen performing their work in the courtyard await you. There are art galleries and shops selling copper everywhere.
Franciscan monastery, Tzintzuntzan
The majestic Franciscan monastery erected by Vasco de Quiroga was recently restored. The entrance to the atrium, amid age-old olive trees and the indigenous people's open-air chapels, are unforgettable. You can continue as far as Yácatas, the old Purépecha ceremonial center that once dominated the valley. Tzintzuntzan is renowned for its pottery and string craftwork.
Santa Fe de la Laguna
Keep going until you come to Santa Fe de la Laguna, an indigenous town that has remained virtually unchanged, where the finest craftsmen, who have received prizes from the Banamex Foundation, open their workshops to visitors. Ask for directions at the hostel or traditional kitchen, run by the women in the community.
A walk through this magical town, full of colonial architecture and profound Indian wisdom will delight all visitors. With its dominant cathedral, the town will surprise you every step you take, with its emblazoned houses, ancient traditions and works of art… a lot of art; museums and workshops, galleries and markets, all within easy reach.