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Hummingbirds in Patzcuaro

By Colleen Besman

The Hummingbird Festival — a celebration of Mexico’s favorite bird with lectures, birdwatching trips, dinners, workshops and events for children — will be held in San Miguel from September 6 to 8. Full details can be found at

Travelian Eco Tours
Lake Patzcuaro Hummingbird Festival excursion
Birds, Archeology and Artisan Crafts
Sept 9-11, 2013,
415 152-3644

In conjunction with the festival, Travelian Eco Tours will lead an excursion to Pátzcuaro — a peaceful and picturesque colonial town in the mountains of Michoacán, nestled in pine forests on the southeast shore of Lake Pátzcuaro at an elevation of 7,200 feet. This captivating town is catalogued as one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Mágicos” (magical towns). It is remarkable for its rich historical heritage, as well as its many artisan crafts (ceramics, lacquer work, carved wood, embroidery, textiles, and hammered copper).

On the drive down to this charming town, the tour will stop at Lake Yuriria, where flat trails along the shoreline and marshlands make for great bird watching, before moving on for the late afternoon and evening in Pátzcuaro.

The tour’s one full day will be spent at the nearby village of Tzintzuntzan on the shores of Lake Pátzcuaro. Its name comes from the Purépecha language and means “the place of hummingbirds” — so bird watching will be the order of the day! But there will be plenty of time to take in Las Yacatas, its 14th-century archeological site and the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco with its enormous 450-year-old olive trees. A visit to the artisan market to get to know two of Michoacán’s famous ceramicists in their workshops will follow. That evening, the group will be the guests of master birding guide Georgia Conti, to witness a variety of hummingbird species while enjoying appetizers and a glass of wine at her home overlooking Lake Pátzcuaro.

The group will lodge at a comfortable bed and breakfast only one block from the main square, enjoy local cuisine and have time to wander Pátzcuaro’s meandering cobblestone streets with their many shops and historical buildings.

This small in-depth tour with expert guides costs US$610 for festival ticketholders or US$622 for others. Colleen Besman,, or telephone 415 152-3644, should be contacted for reservations. More information on the Pátzcuaro trip can be found at.

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