This article is from the March 1996 The Mexico File
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Getting to Morelia
Mexicana and Taesa fly directly to Moiclia trom Chicago Oakland San Jose San Francisco and Los Angeles. Aeromar has commuter flights of about 50 minutes duration from Mexico City and Guadalajara several times each day. 25 kilometers from Morelia, the airport (MLM) has ample set-rate taxi service.
Bus service to Morelia is frequent: from Mexico City and Guadalajara, first class busses run about every hour and the luxury bus ETN about every three. From Mexico City, the most frequent bus service departs from Observatono (Poniente) Station, and the trip on ETN will take about 4-1/2 hours. The fare is about $15 one-way. Guadalajara has similar bus service, and its terminal is only a few kilometers from the airport. If you're taking a first class (or worse) bus, buy two seats so that you can spread out undisturbed. On ETN and the "luxury" lines, single-seating rows are available, along with movies and beverage service.
Train service (the Purepecha) to Morelia from Mexico City (Buena Vista Station) departs Mexico City around 9:30 p.m. and reaches Morelia around 8:30 a.m. A similar schedule operates in the reverse direction. However, pullman car (especial) service is being eliminated, and unless you're a real train nut, you're better off taking the quicker and cheaper bus.
If you're driving, by all means take the new Guadalajara - Mexico City cuota. Driving time either direction is about two and a half hours. These cuotas are as safe as most US interstate highways for night driving. The libre (free road) is about five hours in either direction and decidedly unsafe for nighttime driving. Morelia and its environs are well-suited to car trips. You'll enjoy having wheels if you intend to spend time in Patzcuaro (no trip to Michoacan is complete without a trip to Patzcuaro).
Car rental, while not as cheap as stateside (it's the insurance that keeps the price high), is available. Automatic transmissions command premium rates.