Quoted from Wikipedia
city was founded in the 13th century by the indigenous P'urhépecha
people, and in the 13th century it became the capital of the Tarascan
state replacing nearby Ihuatzio.
Its name means "Place of the Hummingbirds" in the P'urhé
Pre-Columbian city of Tzintzuntzan covered an area of about 7 km². The site,
which stands on a hillside above the modern town, has the remains of many step
pyramids of a design
typically used by the P'urépecha in their ritual buildings, known locally as yácatas (by
extension, the present-day archaeological site is also known as "Las Yácatas").
The Tzintzuntzan yácatas are of several different shapes, some rectangular,
some oval or circular, and others in the distinctive Tarascan "T"
shape. The population of the ancient city is estimated to have peaked at
somewhere between 25,000 to 35,000 people. 
population of the entire Lake Pátzcuaro basin was between 60,000 to 100,000,
spread among 91 settlements of which Tzintzuntzan was the largest.
was still the P'urhépecha capital when the Spaniards arrived
in 1522. First contact, led by Nuño
de Guzmán arrived in 1529,
II was burned alive and the
city largely dismantled to provide stones for Roman
Catholic temples and civic
buildings, most notably the large 16th century Franciscan Monastery
of Santa Ana. Following the disgrace and recall of Nuño de Guzmán, Vasco
de Quiroga was sent to the
region, and Tzintzuntzán served as the headquarters of Spanish power in the
area until the bishopric was relocated to Pátzcuaro in 1540.
modern town of Tzintzuntzan is known for the basketry and weaving produced
there. The Monastery of Santa Ana is also still standing. It is home to several
allegedly miraculous relics and icons and is reputed to have growing on its
grounds what were the first olive trees to be planted in America.
municipality covers a total of 165 km². In addition to the municipal seat, the
other main settlements are Ihuatzio, Cucuchuchu,
Corrales. In 1995, the municipality's total population numbered some 12,500,
of whom 2550 spoke a Native American language (principally Purépechaand Ixcatec)."
statuary in the town
with artifacts from the site
Layout of what the pyramids would have looked like when they
were all intact
of Santa Ana is also still standing. It is home to several allegedly miraculous
relics and icons and is reputed to have growing on its grounds what were the
first olive trees to be planted in America.
The painting below was brought over and given to the church in
That stop took us about 2 hours and then we were on our way to
Lake Chapala. there was some wonderful scenery along the way
The Lake Chapala area is well known for growing strawberries
We had to go through the city of Zamora on the way. Ok we
missed the bypass. Oh well it was an interesting extra hour added to our
I wish we could have had time to stop and see the cathedral.
Restoration still unfinished as of Sept 2007
Just a note that we have seen motorcycles and mopeds with up
to 4 passengers. Not really safe, but effective in saving money! There were
three people on this motorcycle.
Getting closer to Lake Chapala, it starts to look more and
more like the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada
Click here to continue on
our trip with us.