Oaxaca or Patzcuaro / Morelia ?

Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 05:47 AM
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Oaxaca or Patzcuaro / Morelia ?

I have 5 full days in December (not Christmas). Please help me decide between two destinations by voting. I would appreciate responses from people who has travelled to BOTH destinations because this is a COMPARATIVE vote. My main criteria: Culture,Architecture,Colorfulness,Photogeniuty. Do not care much about food.
In the past I have always relied on the Fodorites votes. They helped me build some astonishing vacations. This was done with your help, my friends:

http://lempert.smugmug.com/Travel
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:47 AM
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I have been to both and loved both. It might be a little cold in P/M in Dec but you could take a day trip to see the Monarchs, as they are only there from Nov-Mar.

I think Oaxaca would be good to visit any time of the year.

I have typed up my trip reports from both and would be happy to email them to you. Just email me at [email protected] if interested. I am a budget traveler so you wouldn't be reading about 5* hotels but you could get an idea of what to see/do.

You would have a great time in either place.

Buen viaje,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:24 AM
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December in Patzcuaro should be warm sunny days & cool nights. I have been there December, February, March & April of separate trips with only the March trip a bit uncomfortable due to cool temps but that was a fluke according to locals. Have not yet been to Oaxaca but will be going in November so looking forward to it. 5 days in Michoacan would IMO the absolute minimum as there is so much to see. As one who's made 5 trips (most a week in length) there I have still much to see.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 10:32 AM
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I don't like to let other people tell me where to go. Mexico City is my choice for you.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:24 AM
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My vote would go to Oaxaca. It has my favorite zocalo in Mexico, without cars, and the centro area also includes two wonderful walking (no cars) streets. The regional museum, the ex-convento of Santa Domingo, is absolutely wonderful, and then there are ruins nearby--Monte Alban is unforgettable. Combine with wonderful music, and the best crafts in Mexico IMHO. Of course, this is assuming recent political troubles are not a factor--my three visits preceded those.

Have spent less time in Morelia/Patzcuaro. Morelia was beautiful, but I thought it offered less overall for the tourist. I only spent a day in Patzcuaro, not enough to offer an informed opinion, but wasn't inspired to plan a trip back. Morelia is a beautiful provincial capital, with a stunning cathedral, but outside of the zocalo area is a big, sprawling, somewhat characterless city.

Again, I stress I am offering opinions here (I get tired of being attacked for them!). I adore Mexico and having been traveling there for many years, and to sum up, I would say I LOVED Oaxaca versus appreciated M/P.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 09:23 AM
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marilynl -

I appreciate your vote. Honestly, I am leaning toward Oaxaca.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:51 PM
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I have been to both several times, but not for years. But based on December weather alone, my vote goes to Oaxaca. Spent a very chilly xmas in Patzcuaro.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:10 AM
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Oaxaca is wonderful and the food and people are incredible BUT the political situation is not. Last summer into fall was a scary, dangerous, and sad situation. I am no longer planning trips without carefully investigating current events that are barely covered by U.S. press. Be sure all is well before taking flight. The situation as I understand it is much improved but not back to "normal".
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 10:48 AM
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I am curious about the above, what kind of "scary dangerous" stuff did you witness in OAX last year?
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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Dude: My error. Sorry. Not this past summer but the summer and fall of 2006 was when we had to last minute cancel our plans for Oaxaca. There were still reports of occasional unrest well into 2007 but I hope all is back to "normal" now.
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Leisure Travel just did an in depth report on Oaxaca sating that all is peaceful, calm & lovely.
Choosing between Oaxaca & Patzcuaro/Morelia is like choosing between Rome & Paris. You can not go long.
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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This is an old post, but I'll throw in my two cents, anyway.

I have been to both Oaxaca, and Patzcuaro. Oaxaca for both Summer and during Xmas. Weather was just lovely both times. We did Patzquaro in August, and nearly froze our behinds off. It is really high in the mountains (over 7,000 feet), and we really needed the fireplace in our room in the evenings, even in the middle of Summer.

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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 07:12 PM
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Thanks- I was a bit confused. being there both years, the problems last summer seemed minor compared to the
year before. I love Oaxaca, have been going there many years, but also know there is a lot of social unrest simmering under the surface. I would always go. If something that was making me uncomfortable was happening I would head out and come back next time.
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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Oleg, Only been to Patzcuaro, put a trip together last March w/help here.It's a little town, w/lots of parades & festivals, 2 plazas, a little museum, a cathedral, 10 minite drive to ferry for the islands. I ended up with an entirely different trip than I had envisioned, but Patz really got under my skin. I can't really explain it, but it was a gem(I did post a trip report on 04/04/07) & I still dream about my little hotel & plaza and the friendly people. But Oaxaca may offer more to do. Keep us posted!
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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 05:04 PM
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Just got back from oaxaca last night, and would encourage you to consider it. I was last there in July 2006, when the protests were in full gear but before things escalated to the highest point. I loved it enough to return (this time with my husband) we both had a wonderful time.

The scars still mark the city; some restaurants/stores are closed and there is still some graffiti and signs of the unrest. But the people were warm and welcoming and I was glad to be spending our vacation dollars there. We stayed at two B&Bs (one in Oaxaca City, one in Teotitlan) and the owners basically said tourism is at about 50 percent of where it was before the troubles in 2006.

Despite what must be a financial struggle for many people, we never felt unsafe--quite the contrary. Folks were friendly and helpful and we spent many hours in the parks and zocalo watching the families and relaxing. And--unlike the last time I was there--you can basically walk into any restaurant without a reservation and find a seat, at least on the Sun-Thur that we were in Oaxaca.

I'll post a trip report later, but it was one of the best trips I've ever had.

Either way, let us know what you decide!

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