The tranquil shores of Lake Pátzcuaro are a 10-minute cab ride from downtown. There are two different muelles (docks) from which you can catch a boat to Janítzio, but you should head to the central muelle, which offers far more service. Before or after your trip, stop at one of the lakeside restaurants, which serve fresh pescado blanco (whitefish) and other local catches. Wooden launches with room for 25 people (but that rarely take that many) depart for Janítzio and the other islands daily 9–5. Purchase round-trip tickets for $4 at a dockside office (prices are controlled by the tourist department).
It is absolutely worthwhile to visit La Pacanda—far more worthwhile, in fact, than Janítzio, the largest of Lake Pátzcuaro's five islands. La Pacanda is a quiet and peaceful island: amazing flowers abound, cows laze about, and the few inhabitants of the island go about their daily activities—which do not include trying to sell you garish souvenirs. La Pacanda might be even more idyllic than tiny Yunuen, but you won't want to stay more than an hour or so. At Yunuen, on the other hand—which also provides a clear picture of island life—you can arrange an overnight stay in simple yet clean visitor cabins.