Known as the guitar capital of Mexico, Paracho is famous the world over for the high quality stringed instruments that are produced by the local craftsmen. It is said that the timber that comes from the local forests contains a some sort of special quality that gives the guitars (and other instruments) a special sound that makes them sought after, the world over. Whatever is in the wood may add something special but the local craftsmen probably have more than a little bit to do with the excellent products that are produced here.
This town, really more of a village, is located 120 miles southeast of Guadalajara and gets it's fair share of shoppers. Most are musicians that are seeking the famous six-string guitars that are carefully crafted by hand, just as they have been doing for centuries. Although the guitars, violins, cellos and other woodcrafts are the towns main calling card the city itself is interesting enough for a short visit. The countryside surrounding Paracho is beautiful pine forest and rich farmland, making for a pleasant side trip from Guadalajara, Morelia or Patzcuaro. The prices for guitars is said to be excellent, but prices do vary greatly with quality of the instrument. It is best to know your product well, unless you just want something to hang on the wall. You can watch the craftsmen at work by visiting the many shops around the center of town. There is a museum dedicated to the guitar with a rather unique school that teaches classical guitar to the local youngsters.