Often seen in conjunction with a visit to Morelia and Patzcuaro, Uruapan, Mexico, doesn't seem to have much to offer, but it's a good starting point for visiting Paricutin, 22 mi/35 km away.

In 1943, Paricutin Volcano rose up outside of town (a farmer literally watched it grow in his cornfield). Before it was finished forming, it had wiped out two villages. You can visit the area, but bear in mind that the dirt road ends 4 mi/7 km from the volcano.

Guides with horses can be hired to take you to the site, where you'll see a church spire sticking out of the cooled lava—and that's it. Two lovely waterfalls in a small nature reserve, Tzararacua and Tzararacuita (smaller and better for swimming), lie about 6 mi/10 km south of Uruapan.

Uruapan lies 200 mi/325 km west of Mexico City.

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