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Would anyone be concerned about driving a US plated vehicle to Patzcuaro, Michoacan?


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I have an old, well used, 2002 Ford Escape with Ohio plates (yes, they're are still valid...).  I was considering a short road trip to Patzcuaro and spending a couple of nights there to explore the city,  Santa Clara del Cobre and the lake area.  Should I be concerned about driving in this part Michoacan?

After just looking at the US Department of State travel advisory for Mexico I may have answered my own question...!!!

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I haven't driven to Pátzcuaro for about 8 years, but I often take a bus from Mexico City to Morelia, rent a car, and drive all over that part of Michoacán.  In fact, I'm going to do that from the 29th May - 1st of June--first to Morelia, then to Pátzcuaro, and then to a little Purépecha town around the backside of the lake.  Going to a party, can't wait.

 

 

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14 hours ago, More Liana said:

I haven't driven to Pátzcuaro for about 8 years, but I often take a bus from Mexico City to Morelia, rent a car, and drive all over that part of Michoacán.  In fact, I'm going to do that from the 29th May - 1st of June--first to Morelia, then to Pátzcuaro, and then to a little Purépecha town around the backside of the lake.  Going to a party, can't wait.

 

 

We will do almost anything for a party. HAHAHA

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I think the original question is about being targeted because of your US plated vehicle.  I think anybody who would target you for being a gringo is going to know that without being aware of your car tags.  If your concern is about being bothered by cops for mordidas because of the tags...well, I think that could happen anywhere in Mexico.  We just recently drove over with some friends and had a safe trip and a good time.  Lots of tourists, very friendly locals, lots of shopping.  I'm pretty sure we stood out like a small group of "sore thumbs" even without US plates on our car.  We walked around at night and drove on some back roads and never had a problem.  Everybody has to weigh the risks in life no matter where you go.  Many of your friend and family back "home" probably think you are crazy for even being in Mexico!

Alan

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If you take the cuotas to Patzcuaro it is pretty safe and straightforward in my book.. Alan you have a good point most traffic cop can see by your look that you are a foreigner so what is the big deal.?Patzcuaro and the area has plenty of tourists as well so you really do not stick out and even if you do ..big deal..

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I'm thinking just "go for it!".

I've driven to all sorts of non-touristy, off-the-beaten-track, places in Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit without any problems and I've lived here long enough to understand about being sensible when exploring Mexico.  Maybe my biggest concern is breaking down with such an old vehicle and 253,000 miles on the odometer...

Anyway, I'm going to look at hotels in the Patzcuaro area...

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1 hour ago, Cincy said:

I'm thinking just "go for it!".

I've driven to all sorts of non-touristy, off-the-beaten-track, places in Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit without any problems and I've lived here long enough to understand about being sensible when exploring Mexico.  Maybe my biggest concern is breaking down with such an old vehicle and 253,000 miles on the odometer...

Anyway, I'm going to look at hotels in the Patzcuaro area...

Good time to be in Patzcuaro as a little cooler. We love this hotel as on the main plaza and food was excellent. They have secure parking down the street. Often breakfast is included.

 Hotel Mansion Iturbe

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3 hours ago, Sonia said:

Good time to be in Patzcuaro as a little cooler. We love this hotel as on the main plaza and food was excellent. They have secure parking down the street. Often breakfast is included.

 Hotel Mansion Iturbe

We loved this hotel too.  Great room and really nice staff.

 

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5 hours ago, Cincy said:

I've driven to all sorts of non-touristy, off-the-beaten-track, places in Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit without any problems and I've lived here long enough to understand about being sensible when exploring Mexico. 

If it helps make you feel more comfortable, Pátzcuaro is neither "non-touristy" nor "off-the-beaten-track". 

Nobody can guarantee your safety, but I would drive there with whatever-plates if I wanted to visit it again. 

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18 hours ago, bmh said:

yes we know ask More Liana why she moved to Mexico city from Morelia.

 

Bmh, I moved to Mexico City in 2011, when the problems in Michoacán (including Morelia) were extreme.  I lived just a couple of blocks from the offices of the Secretaría de Seguridad Pública and experienced the assassination of the sub-secretary, his two bodyguards, and an elderly man who was passing by in a bus and was killed by a stray bullet.  There were times during 2008, 2009, and 2010 that I heard frequent gun battles while sitting on my terrace.  A couple of times bodies were discovered on the street behind my home.  One middle of the night when I was at home alone, I heard a 30-40 minute gun battle that left houses and other buildings not far from my street filled with so many huge holes made by high-powered automatic weapons that they looked like the proverbial Swiss cheese.

The truth is, a lot of the foreign community never experienced the kind of things that I experienced in Morelia, accusing me of lying about what I had seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears; they were the typical "That never happened on MY street, why would you make that stuff up?  Why do you want to hurt tourism?" kinds of responses.  Although the problems in Michoacán settled down for quite a while, they heated up again in September 2017; many people say that what's going on is just a precursor to the presidential election coming up on July 1.  We can only hope that's true.

Having said all that, I've noticed in my latest trips to Morelia and outlying areas that tourism, long all but absent from the streets, shops, and restaurants of the area, is back--not as much as pre-2008, but while walking about, one can once again hear several languages spoken on the streets of Pátzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan, and Morelia.  It's an encouraging trend.  I'll be back in the area for four days, starting on May 29, and will gladly post a report about what I notice there.

 

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10 hours ago, camillenparadise said:

Casa Encantada!

Second the motion for Casa Encantada!  Fabulous property and the included breakfasts are marvelous!

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We drove there from Lake Chapala area  - definitely stuck out like unilingual gringos depsite Mx licence plates  - we were treated respectfully although with some bemusement and felt quite safe.Recommendation for Villa Victoria in Patzcuaro -  wonderful B&B.  They also provide off street parking down the road. 

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Looking at some of the foreign license plates, tires, lighting, windshields, etc on foreign vehicles around lakeside I'm aware that some people are not fulling compliant with Mexican law.  My vehicle and paperwork 100% compliant but you never know how a police office is going to react...

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I sure never felt I stuck out in Patzcuaro.. there are plenty of expats there, may be you went on an off day. People in the area are used to tourists,both national and international and are friendly. I have never been harrassed by the police in the area not yers ago with california plate nor now with Mexican plates.

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