Spend Two Hours on an Island

On the way out of Pátzcuaro we went to the pier to catch a boat to Janitzio Island.  It’s the southernmost of a series of islands in the middle of Lake Pátzcuaro.  Our boat to the island carried about 30 humans plus hundreds of rolls, buns, and other various kinds of bread that smelled delicious.  I was hungry, and to my delight different food vendors hopped on board to sell treats before the boat left.  I bought honey roasted peanuts and tres leches flavor ice cream.

The boat ride took about 30 minutes each way, with a few minor splashes of waves over the low sides of the boat.  There’s a huge statue (about 130 feet tall) on top of the island of José María Morelos, the guy the city of Morelia was named after (a leader of the Mexican struggle for independence from Spain).  What I wasn’t expecting was for the island to be so inhabited…it definitely was.


Boat ride 1

Island 1

Here’s the statue as we neared the island in the boat and then hiked up the steep incline of the island toward the base of the statue.


Vendors lined all the routes going to & from the statue.  We just kept talking about how almost everything you see must have come on a boat…clothes, trinkets, ceramic mugs, etc., with the funny part being that most of that stuff will end up back on a boat leaving the island in tourists’ hands.  Then there’s all the materials to make the houses built with concrete walls and clay tile roofs.  Crazy.

island vendors

This is the inside of the base of the statue looking straight up.  I’m not a fan of “open” heights.  If there’s a wall, even a glass one, I’m fine, but once there’s open space between me and a big fall my knees start shaking.  I was nervous before I even went up the first step.  I carried iola in the carrier on my chest, where she’d been passed out asleep since we stepped foot on the island.  It didn’t make me any less nervous having a baby strapped to me while climbing, however the railings left quite a bit to be desired and there’s no way I would have let iola walk even if she had been awake.

Statue 1

Once at the top of the open part, there was a small spiral staircase leading up into the raised fist of the statue, where an observation area awaits at the top.

Spiral Stairs

The views were stunning for sure and I’m glad we did it, but would I climb up it again?  No way in hell.

Statue 2


There was an open air connection via tiny doors across the statue’s shoulder in order to walk from the arm over to inside the head, where there was just a small room with a shrine of sorts for Morelos.  Look at the pictures above from the outside of the statue and you can see the outside portion.  Below is Carrie standing on it.

Carrie Statue

Relieved to be back down, we had a leisurely walk back down the island incline and toward the pier.  More snacks were offered before the boat ride back to the mainland.  I went for potato chips with salt & lime, although I pass on the chile powder most Mexicans would also add.


Ryan iola Boat


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