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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Los Portales

Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

After a terrific ETN bus ride from Guadalajara, we arrived in Morelia, Mexico, eager to experience this aristocratic Colonial City.

After settling into our hotel, we headed off to the Jardin de las Rosas for happy hour and some people-watching.

Then we ventured toward Los Portales to pick up some dinner.

So... What are portales?

Covered porches with stone arches called portales

Covered porches with stone arches called portales

It was King Phillip II of Spain who ordered this design of covered porches, a main plaza, the church and government buildings that is typical all over Mexico.





The portales themselves were meant to be a sheltered area where the local people could sell their wares protected from the sun and the rain. Portales, shops, government buildings all surround the beautiful Plaza.

Virrey de Mendoza Hotel

Virrey de Mendoza Hotel

This 5-star hotel flanks the Main Plaza and is only a few meters away from the Government Palace. Right smack-dab in the middle of the historical center of Morelia, this hotel has been welcoming visitors since 1565.

The portales from an inside view

The portales from an inside view

Here you see the shaded areas under the portales for cafe tables and for vendors' craft displays.

400 years after King Phillip II ordered this design, Mexicans in the tiniest towns and in great Colonial Cities all enjoy this same stylish architectural layout. In fact you will see this same pattern of construction in Guatemala - for instance in the beautiful city of Antigua.

Take a look here at the great cities of Guanajuato, Zamora and Merida.   

Underneath the portales

Underneath the portales

Looking here under the portales, you will see various stores on the left. On the right outside of the photo is the road, then the Plaza de Armas, also known as the Plaza de los Martirs.

Notice these beautiful large columns and the wide shady area where pedestrians can walk.

Another section

Another section

This section of the portales has both stores and restaurants/cafes.

It's a popular place to enjoy the activity of the Plaza, the view of the Cathedral, and to have a coffee, a beer or a meal.

If you are ever bored in Latin America, go to the portales!

Our agua frescas

Our agua frescas

These watery fruit drinks are called agua fresca. You can find them all through Mexico and Guatemala. Made with fresh fruit (like mango, papaya, watermelon, strawberry, or jamaica - pronounced huh-MY-kuh) they are blended with the right amount of water, and usually too much sugar.

They are delicious and refreshing. If you would like, you can ask for an agua fresca sin azucar (seen ah-SOO-car) or in English, without sugar.





In this photo, Hotel Virrey de Mendoza is on the right, and the Cathedral is on the left.

Our dinner

Our dinner

We were hungry and stopped by one of the many restaurants with a grand view of the Plaza and Cathedral. We both ordered enchiladas de pollo, however, we could easily have split one meal.

Don't they look scrumptious?

Our bill

Our bill

For three meals, and three drinks, our bill came to just under $20USD without tip.

You can see at the bottom of the check the large letters PROPINA NO INCLUYE which just lets us know that the tip is not included and we must add that amount ourselves.

It's important to watch for this, as sometimes the tip IS included and you may inadvertently tip twice.

A closer look into Hotel Virrey de Mendoza

A closer look into Hotel Virrey de Mendoza

Morelia is a very stately city. Upscale but hip, there are lots of rooftop bars which will give you a grand view of the Plaza and the surrounding area. And many different restaurants will offer you local cuisine or international flavors.

It's a fun city to visit, and if you are looking for an easy and quick getaway from Chapala, check this old Colonial City out for some fun!

For more stories and photos of Mexico, click here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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