Click here for a PDF copy of the final arrival e-mail.

On this page you will find the following information:

Traveling to Morelia

Participants should plan to arrive in Morelia on Tuesday June 22, 2010. Lectures will begin the morning of Wednesday June 23 and continue through Saturday July 3. Participants should plan to depart Sunday July 4.

Because our funding is through the U.S. National Science Foundation, to be eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses, participants should arrange flights that are in concordance with the Fly American Act of the U.S. Congress. This means that a U.S. Flag air carrier must be used if at all possible. In particular, flights between the U.S. and Mexico must be on U.S. flag air carriers. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact before making your reservations or financial aid request.

From abroad one can reach Morelia by flying directly to Morelia's airport (MLM). From the US there are connecting flights to Morelia departing from Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, California. Alternatively, one can fly to Mexico City and then take a bus to Morelia. The travel time from Mexico City's airport to Morelia is approximately 5 hours.

If you fly to Morelia: You will need to take a taxi from the Morelia airport to the hotel (Hotel Catedral). You can purchase a ticket for a taxi ride at the terminal, where the rate is written, but you actually pay the taxi driver. A taxi should cost 250-300MXP to Morelia downtown.

If you fly to Mexico City: You will need to take a taxi from Mexico City Airport to a bus terminal, then a bus to Morelia, and then a taxi to the hotel. Taxis are available at the Mexico City Airport to take you to the 'Central de Autobuses Poniente'. There is not a particular taxi company that we recommend, but those called 'Sitio 300' have a lot of experience ( You purchase the ticket inside the terminal and give it to the driver. The taxi ride should cost less than 250MXP, and can be shared. They issue receipts. Note that the travel time from the airport to the bus terminal can range between 25 minutes (no traffic) to up to 2 1/2 hours (or more). The taxi driver is likely to know some English, but not a lot.

Once in the bus terminal look for the counter of 'Enlaces Terrestres Nacioanles (ETN)'. When you reach the bus terminal in Morelia, look for the counter inside the terminal with the TAXI sign and indicate the name of the hotel (Hotel Catedral). The ticket should be around 30MXP (yes, that cheap), and the taxi can also be shared. Sometimes the drivers expect a tip, specially if they are carrying suitcases. 25MXP should be enough for the taxi driver in Mexico City and 5MXP for the one in Morelia. Expect the person selling tickets and the driver to speak no English in Morelia.


In both Mexico City and Morelia, taxis at air and bus terminals are hired through a ticket system. The fare is fixed, depending of the destination, and one generically buys the ticket inside the terminal. The taxis one has to board then are appropriately marked, and should coincide with the company one is buying from (in case there is more than one) or should be parked in designated areas.

Within Mexico City, taxis work with meters. However there are important security measure that one should observe. Taxis in Mexico City are roughly divided in two classes. Those that have a home base, in Mexico called a "Sitio". Those taxis are safe. The other kind are free taxis ("Libres") that are 'free' to roam all around the city. One way to distinguish them is by the initial letter on the license plate (S for 'Sitio', L for 'Libre'). Try not to take 'Libres' since there is a chance to be car-jacked. A third class of taxis are called 'pirates' and they do not even have a regular taxi license plate. Avoid those by all means. Outside many hotels there is a base of 'touristic taxis' that look like ordinary cars but that have a taxi license plate starting with 'S'. Those are more expensive than regular taxis, have no meter and have fixed rates. They are safe and the drivers are accredited tourist guides that speak English. In any case, do not ride taxis with much cash or credit/debit cards with you.

In Morelia, there are no meters, so the rate has to be negotiated before boarding the taxi. In general all taxis are safe, but the rate might change a bit depending in whether the taxi is 'Libre' or a 'Radio-taxi'. Within small distances from downtown Morelia, the standard fare is 25MXP (up to 30MXP). Be wary if the driver wants much more than that. UNAM campus where the school takes place is technically a bit outside the city, so the rate is about 50MXP from downtown. Four people may ride in a taxi, so sharing it in case you missed a bus is an economical alternative. If you are in the hotel, you can ask the hotel personnel to either call a radio taxi or stop one and negotiate for you the fare.


The Hotel where most of the people will stay is the colonial style 'Hotel Catedral', which is located across from the cathedral and next to many restaurants and bars facing the main plaza. We will provide daily transportation from this hotel to the school.

Local Currency

If you arrive to Mexico City with foreign currency (USD, CAD or Euros), you can change it in the Terminal. Shop for the best rate, because there are plenty of 'Money Exchange Booths'. They are all reliable and should charge no commission, but the rates may change a lot. For instance, they change from the first level (arrivals) to the second level (departures). There are also plenty of ATM machines that will give you local currency. If you feel that there is a lot of spread between the rate at which they sell and buy (as would be for instance 12.20 - 13.10 for USD), you can probably find a better deal later on. In general it is better not to buy Mexican pesos before coming to Mexico, for the same reason.

Traveling to Mexico City

Mexico City and Morelia are well connected through a Luxurious Bus service with frequent departures. The ride is 4 hours approx. We strongly recommend using 'Servicios Terrestres Nacionales'. Information on this service can be found at The Bus terminal in Mexico City is called 'Mexico Poniente' (corresponding to 'West Bus Station'). The cost of the bus is currently 360MXP each way. Even when you can buy the tickets in advance, it might be a good idea to get to the station first, or be sure that there will be enough time to get to the terminal if you come directly from the Airport.

General Security Recommendations

These are pretty standard. Do not leave valuables unattended, nor allow people to carry them for you. Do not trust people offering you taxis at bus stations and airports unless you already have the ticket (and be sure to ride a taxi from the company you bought the ticket from!). Do not share a taxi with strangers, do not display expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items, etc. See also the advice on this page under taxis.

The central touristic part of Morelia where the hotel and nearby restaurants and bars are located are safe provided one follows the sensible rules noted above. You are also advised to stay away from any activity involving drugs or people that might offer them. This includes refraining from talking about the drug problem/cartels in public (or taxi drivers, hotel employees, people you just met, etc).