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Barranca del Cupatitzio & Things to do in Uruapan

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Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio is a lovely urban oasis in Michoacan, Mexico – find out if there are enough other things to do in Uruapan to make it worth a visit.

Uruapan is known for it’s impressive urban jungle (Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park) & for being the avocado capital of the world – we here at DIY Travel HQ love avocados so that was reason enough to visit!

Both the jungle & avocados are the direct result of the Cupatitzio River that surfaces from underground in Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park.

Nearby are also the Tzararacua Waterfall, and Paricutin Volcano. Expect to spend two days visiting all the attractions.

First, let us show you what to expect when visiting Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio.

Los Enamorados

Los Enamorados

Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio

The main attraction in Uruapan is definitely Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park (25 pesos / $1.35).

Parque Nacional Barranca Del Cupatitzio Entrance

Parque Nacional Barranca Del Cupatitzio Entrance

The Cupatitzio River emerges from underground at the Rodilla del Diablo pool, and then flows south forming the west side of central Uruapan.

La Rodilla del Diablo

La Rodilla del Diablo Pool

Barranca del Cupatitzio’s walking paths follow the river down waterfalls and over cascades.

El Golgota Waterfall

El Golgota Waterfall

Los Espejos

Los Espejos

Additional springs power fountains of all shapes and sizes.

Huriata o Frente del Sol

Huriata o Frente del Sol

Weeping Wall Fountain

Weeping Wall Fountain

There is even a trout farm where you can catch your own dinner.

Barranca del Cupatitzio Trout Farm

Trout for dinner anyone?

The lush vegetation seems miles away from Uruapan, but is only a mere 15 minute walk from downtown.

This sharp contrast reminded us of the Monkey Sanctuary in Ubud.

Barranca Del Cupatitzio Pathway

Barranca Del Cupatitzio Pathway

Other Things to do in Uruapan

  • Linear Park

Linear Park is just south of Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio, and offers visitors to Uruapan a chance to stroll along the Cupatitzio River for free.

The park is small and isn’t as verdant, but the mood is very tranquil.

Linear Park Rapids

Linear Park Rapids

Along the new stone paths you will find benches for sitting, a cascading waterfall next to a house, and some scenic spots to take pictures.

Uruapan Linear Park Waterfall

Linear Park Waterfall

This is the new place of choice in Uruapan to take wedding photos.

At the north end of Linear Park is the gated divider between free and paying customers to see the Cupatitzio River.

Barred from Entering Barranca Del Cupatitzio

Barred from Entering Barranca Del Cupatitzio

The waterfall is the first attraction you would visit in Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio.

From there, you walk north and cross the bridge on your left.

The adventurous can analyze how to skirt their defenses.

La Yerbabuena Waterfall

La Yerbabuena Waterfall

Barranca Del Cupatitzio Bridge and Fountain

Welcome to Barranca Del Cupatitzio

  • Downtown Uruapan

There isn’t any must see attraction in downtown Uruapan.

Instead, grab a bag of popcorn (5 pesos / $0.30) or an ice cream (7-10 pesos / $0.35-$.055) and wander around the Main Plaza.

Businesses Lining Uruapan Zocalo

Businesses Lining Uruapan’s Zocalo

If you forgot to pack your shoe polish, then choose among the numerous portable stalls for a shining.

Uruapan Zocalo Shoe Shiners

Zocalo Shoe Shiners

The north side of the Main Plaza features the Immaculate Conception Church and Casa de Cultura, with a monument on the west side.

Uruapan Immaculate Conception Church

Immaculate Conception Church

Uruapan House of Culture

Casa de Cultura

  • Tzararacua Waterfall

Apparently the bus to Tzararacua Waterfall stops in front of the Regis Hotel overlooking the Main Plaza every hour. We waited there, but ultimately gave up. If you aren’t tired of waterfalls after visiting Barranca del Cupatitzio, then catching a ride from the bus station may be a better bet.

The Tzararacua Waterfall is 30 meters high, and overgrown with vegetation. The hundreds of stairs down to visit the waterfall sounds like one we visited in Senaru, Indonesia.

Uruapan: Avocado Capital of the World

While in Uruapan, make sure to choose taco stands that offer guacamole as a condiment. We assumed every restaurant served guacamole after receiving it our first night in Mexico City. We didn’t find it again until Uruapan.

Avocadoes are native to Mexico and Central America, and have since migrated to temperate regions around the world. Mexico is still the largest producer with over a billion kilos per year, despite keeping the majority domestically.

Avocado trees can live up to 200 years, and mature trees can produce 800 avocados over two harvests each year. Their popularity has been growing due to the healthy benefits of avocados. They are rich in anti-oxidants and lower cholesterol.

Picking the right avocado in a market depends on when you want to enjoy the fruit. All avocados are hard upon picking, and only ripen afterwards. Choose soft avocadoes if making guacamole the same day, but choose semi-hard ones for future use.

How to Get to & from Uruapan

The following popular destinations are all available from Uruapan’s bus terminal:

  • Morelia (110 pesos / $5.85)
  • Patzcuaro (47 pesos / $2.50)
  • Guadalajara (390 pesos / $20.80)

Local buses are 7 pesos / $0.35 per ride.

Uruapan Public Bus

Uruapan’s Public Bus

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*** The Final Word: Parque Nacional Barranca del Cupatitzio is lovely but it’s not enough to make Uruapan a city worth visiting ***

Did you visit the Tzararacua Waterfall?

5 Shovels-2

Super easy DIY travel around city centres

Visited in February 2016

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