Janitzio is the main island of Lake Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. The town of Janitzio, which means "where it rains," only be reached by boats which run regularly back and forth from about 7:30 am to 6 pm, accessible from Pátzcuaro's pier (embarcadero). These boats can be hired to take you around other parts of the lake. The town is famous for the butterfly fishermen who are skilled at lowering their butterfly-shaped nets to catch the local famous cuisine, "pescado blanco," or white fish.
A 40-meter statue of José María Morelos, started in 1933, is found on the island's highest point. One can climb to the top of the statue by way of a staircase that spirals up the inside. Along the interior walls, the life of Morelos is depicted in murals painted by Ramon Alba de la Canal and other great Mexican muralists. Although the steep stairway can become creepily congested and distract one's attention, it is a good Mexican history lesson. At the top, one can peer through peepholes in the giant Morelos' raised fist, giving a spectacular view of the island, lake and surroundings.
Some of the people of Janitzio and the towns surrounding Lake Patzcuaro are of indigenous descent and are known as Purepecha or Tarascan. Regional handicrafts, including a variety of handmade textiles and various art work, are readily available.
Its main festivity is "El Día de los Muertos," or Day of the Dead. As part of this festivity, candlelit boat processions make their way to the island and then to Janitzio's Church and graveyard, remaining there for the night in a graveside vigil.
Mild, spring-like temperatures prevail most of the year in the North Central Highlands of central Mexico. The highlands have a climate that is described as a “mild, dry climate.” The area around Janitzio rarely see temperatures that go above 80 degrees – even in summer. Daytime temperatures remain fairly consistent year round, however, it can become quite cold at night November through March.
JOURNEYS trips that include Janitzio:
Mexico Cultures & Crafts of Michoacan, including Day of the Dead, Oct 26-Nov 4, 2007 with Stephanie Schneiderman
Information based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janitzio