“Have You Ever Been to Mazamitla?”

July 17, 2008

“Have You Ever Been to Mazamitla ?”


Mazamitla has to be one of the most picturesque towns in all of Mexico.


It’s popular with both Mexican and North American tourists and it’s easy to see why. Set in a high in a pine forest in Jalisco but very near to the border with Michoacan this town dates from the 12th century.


A quick summary of its attractions includes good restaurants, nearby waterfalls, and a rich history.


Around 1485 (before the Spaniards arrived) the area was invaded by Tarascan Indians from the Lake Patzcuaro area.


The Tarascans withdrew however in 1510 when the Spaniards arrived.


The town soon became a rest stop for the Spaniards as they moved between the important colonial centre of Valladolid (today called Morelia) and the Colima coast.


Matzamitla, being situated at the highest point (7300 feet or 2200 meters) along this route, was a good place to stop and rest  for men and beast alike.


During the Mexican struggle for independence (1810-21) the town was a haven for rebel forces fighting Spanish control of the country then known as New Spain.


Mazamitla also saw military action during the  French intervention in the middle of the nineteenth century. The town became a municipality in 1894.


The old buildings in the city center of Mazamitla  have preserved much of their colonial charm.


The church is on the site of an old mudbrick (“adobe”) building and was rebuilt in 1957. It’s worth a look inside to see the beautiful displays of flowers found within its some what plain interior.


The exterior of the church is done in a Norwegian architectural style in keeping with the rest of town’s look and feel.


Nearby is the tourist centre called Monteverde (Green Mountain) which has equipped wooden cabins which are ideal for family groups if you want to stay overnight.


Mazamitla has a number of good restaurants so you certainly will not go hungry or thirsty for that matter because another of the local attractions is the local drink called “Pajarete”, a concoction of milk, aguardiente (liquor), brown sugar and chocolate.


From some vantage points near Matzamitla  it’s said that on a clear day it’s possible to see Ajijic and Chapala  and even Scorpion and Mezcala islands in the middle of the lake.

There’s really never a bad time to visit the area, but in September and October the fields on either side of the roads have put on their finiest colors in the form of beautiful wild flowers.

If you like fiestas better than wild flowers then you should try and come between December 4th  and 12thwhen  Matazamitla celebrates the Fiesta of Guadalupe.

A visit to Mazamitla is a fun day away from the Lake Chapala – Ajijic area. 

If you’d like to take an escorted trip to Mazamitla send me an email to Sid@ChapalaClub.com for Arcelia’s current bargain rates.

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