Day 1: Thursday, October 14th
Our driver we’ll meet you at the Francisco Mujica International Airport in Morelia, the capital and largest city of Michoacán, and take you to our hotel. There, at Hotel de la Soledad, a luxurious colonial gem from the 18th century, located off of the main square of the historic downtown, you’ll get settled into your room before we meet for a welcome drink at our hotel’s courtyard. Afterwards, we’ll head out for our first dinner as a group at one of the city’s finest restaurants, Lu Cocina Michoacana. With a commitment to sustainability, the chef, Lucero Soto uses traditional, artisanal, and local ingredients to create incredible dishes using modern techniques. For our introduction dinner, we’ll sample her tasting menu and toast to our first of many unforgettable meals together.
Day 2: Friday, October 15th
Today we’ll meet after breakfast at our hotel, where you can enjoy some traditional dishes and coffee to the sound of birds at your own leisure. Then, we’ll venture into the beating heart of the city, its historic downtown, for a walking tour with local expert Deborah López, who will guide us through the city’s history, visiting landmarks such as the Cathedral, the Conservatorio de las Rosas (the first music conservatory in the Americas), and the beautiful murals of Michoacán native Alfredo Zalce at the Government Palace. As we make our way through the city’s cobblestone streets, we’ll try the gazpacho moreliano, a local street snack made with diced fruits and vegetables such as jicama, mango, and pineapple that are mixed with a bit of orange and lime juice and topped with chili powder and crumbled cheese.
For lunch, we’ll walk over to a casual local favorite, Fonda Marceva, that specializes in traditional dishes from Tierra Caliente (Hot Land), a region in southeast Michoacán. After lunch, we’ll make our way back to the hotel to rest before we meet again for dinner later in the evening.
Tonight, we’ll head to Tata Mezcalería, where chef Fermín Ambás infuses local products and traditional flavors with a creative and modern twist. We’ll also sample mezcal from Michoacán, such as one made with the cupreata agave variety, which can only be found in the region.
Day 3: Saturday, October 16th
On this day, we’ll begin with breakfast at La Aldaba, the restaurant of the gorgeous Hotel Casa Grande, which offers traditional dishes with a view of the city’s main square. After breakfast, we’ll hop in our van and make our way to Tzintzuntzan, whose name means the place of hummingbirds,an indigenous Purépecha town to the north of Morelia, located on the shore of Lake Pátzcuaro, and one of the few towns in Michoacán honored with the title of “Pueblo Mágico” (Magic Town) by the Mexican government. Here, we’ll visit the Ex-Convent of Santa Ana and San Francisco Temple, which dates back to the 16th century. Then, we’ll head to the Tzintzuntzan archeological site for a guided visit with a local expert who will explain the ceremonial center’s unusual rounded pyramids called yácatas.
For lunch, we’ll get back in our van and drive to the state’s second largest city, Uruapan. We’ll be dining at Cocina M, one of the finest restaurants in the state, where chef Mariana Valencia—an Uruapan native—mixes local ingredients and traditions with contemporary and international flavors. After lunch, we’ll drive back to Morelia and relax before meeting again later in the evening.
Tonight, we’ll head out to try a local favorite: the aguacataco at Taquería Guelaguetza. Since 92% of Mexico’s avocado production takes place in Michoacán, it’s only natural to see unique offerings with the product, what Mexicans refer to as “green gold.” This mouthwatering taco contains a healthy portion of spit-roasted pork with melted cheese that’s topped with one whole avocado.
Day 4: Sunday, October 17th
Today is all about getting to know traditional Mexican and Michoacán ingredients and learning to incorporate them into your own cooking. We’ll begin with breakfast at Lu Cocina, where we’ll enjoy the best hot chocolate in town, homemade pan dulce (Mexican pastries), and chilaquiles, or other local specialties.
Then, we’ll get in our van and drive back to lovely Tzintzuntzan. Our first stop will be the town’s local market to pick up ingredients for today’s cooking session. Led by James Beard-nominated chef Iliana de la Vega, our workshop will take place in a private home’s kitchen. As a group, we’ll work together to create an exquisite meal using regional ingredients. After enjoying our feast, we’ll make our way back to our hotel in Morelia.
Back at the hotel, take some time to rest before we meet again this evening for drinks and an assortment of appetizers at the terrace of the Juaninos hotel, for dinner with panoramic views of the city and its main square at night.
Day 5: October 18th, Monday
After breakfast at the hip CaféMichelena, which offer beautiful décor, great coffee, and an assortment of pastries and other dishes with European influences, we’ll be driving to the lovely town of Santa Fe de la Laguna, located on the shore of Lake Pátzcuaro. This indigenous Purépecha town, founded in 1533, still keeps many of their old traditions intact, including the trading practice known as trueque, or barter, gorgeous handmade crafts such as carved and painted pottery, and regional culinary treasures such as corundas (a triangular shaped tamal.) In fact, the town where the Disney movie Coco is set, Santa Cecilia, was inspired by Santa Fe de la Laguna.
We’ll walk around town for a bit and then we’ll visit the home and workshop of a local potter and his wife, a traditional cook. He’ll talk to us about his craft and show us some of his beautiful pieces, and we’ll also get to see their home’s incredible traditional kitchen. For lunch, we’ll be enjoying delicious regional dishes prepared by Purépecha traditional cooks at a women’s co-op. This space is a lovely project created by 12 local women cooks who came together to preserve and share their traditional recipes while empowering themselves with a business of their own.
After lunch, we’ll drive back to Morelia, stop by the hotel, and then head to the Villa Montaña Hotel & Spa for a relaxing afternoon of pampering. Tonight, is yours to rest, shop, or explore the city’s rich culinary landscape at your own pace.
Day 6: October 19th, Tuesday
On our last day together, you may enjoy some coffee and fruit at the hotel before we get together for an early drive to explore the gorgeous Pátzcuaro, one of the few Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns) of Michoacán. But before we get there, we’ll stop by at the Boutique Hotel Hacienda Ucazanaztacua for breakfast with breathtaking views of Lake Pátzcuaro.
Pátzcuaro was founded in the 1320s and it is a truly beautiful town dripping with charm. We’ll walk through the town’s cobblestone streets lined with adobe buildings painted in white and rust for a bit, visit the town’s main plaza (the second largest in Mexico) and a couple of temples, try the creamy local ice cream “nieve de pasta,” and shop for arts and crafts. Then, we’ll hop back on the van and drive to the nearby town of Santa Clara del Cobre, another Magic Town, known for the beautiful copper work they do.
Now hungry, we’ll start making our way back to Morelia, stopping at the town of Quiroga for one of the most emblematic and delicious dishes of Michoacán: carnitas—pork that is slowly cooked in its own fat until tender. We’ll get our carnitas from a street stand and enjoy it at the communal tables available with corn tortillas and a variety of salsas.
Back at the hotel, take some time to rest and get ready before our final dinner at La Conspiración de 1809. The setting for our farewell meal is a restored colonial mansion in Morelia’s main plaza. Here, chef Cynthia Martínez cooks exquisite traditional dishes, serving them in beautiful and delicate presentations. We’ll enjoy our last dinner and toast for the many wonderful memories we shared.
Day 7: Wednesday, October 20th
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before you depart for your flight home. Our driver will take you to the airport for your return flights.