Lazaro Cardenas Mexico

A pit stop port-side town along the South Pacific coastline of Michoacán State, Lázaro Cárdenas is often overlooked as purely an industrial city, with little in the way of scenic pleasures. Nestled beside the estuary of the Rio Balsas, Lázaro Cárdenas has evolved from a predominantly maize-growing agricultural backwater, to Mexico's thriving premier point of export for oil and steel. Travelers tend to surpass the city in favor of the popular Western coastal resorts Playa Azul and Caleta de Campos. Largely omitted from the glossy travel brochures due to its diminutive size, Playa Azul is little more than a pueblitos in form. The young and restless are drawn to the superior surfing opportunities to the far North of Azul Beach, while families enjoy the relative freedom of hotel resorts as yet undiscovered by mass tourism.

Until 1970, Lázaro Cárdenas was officially known as Los Llanitos – a strange designation, since the term “llanitos” in Spanish is a moniker to describe those of Gibraltan descent. Los Llanitos was renamed in honor of the city's favorite former Mexican president Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, whom was born in Michoacán and served in office as Governor of Michoacán from 1928-1940. He is best known for his strategic development of road systems, educational facilities and social security improvements throughout the state, as well as a countrywide land reform.

Accommodation options within Lázaro Cárdenas are largely of the budget variety. A concentration of branded hotels litter the outlying South of the city, just minutes from Lázaro Cárdenas International airport and a slew of budget flight options. Playa Azul is less than 15 miles from the airport and many opt for the city's cut-price hotel options, purely for convenience. The precipitous Higway 200 extends from the airport right along the coastline, from which you'll find a number of desolate stop off points beside the turquoise South Pacific. Michoacán's ruggedly beautiful and desolate coastline between the two towns affords some ideally exclusive picnic spots and secluded cliff-tops, for private enjoyment of the coast's infamous sunsets.

Spanish version of this page: Lázaro Cárdenas


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