Step away from the noise of Mexico city into a less crowded city; Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos. Being one of Mexico’s most popular colonial cities, and only 57 miles south of Mexico City, it is great for a day or weekend trip. This beautiful city is nicknamed “the city of eternal Spring” for its warm year-round climate and abundant vegetation. Cuernavaca is a very popular city for tourists, and Mexico City locals for its more peaceful atmosphere, its Mexican history and of course its beauty.
I recently went to Cuernavaca after decades of not visiting and I fell in love again. My beautiful hometown was even prettier than I remembered. I came back to the states so enamored, that I needed to share some of my favorite places to visit with you all! Whether you are a history buff, art lover, foodie or adventurer, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
The first attraction you will notice when you arrive to the city center, is the large colonial castle, Palacio de Cortes. Built in 1526, this civil structure is the oldest conserved building in Latin America. Hernan Cortes and wife Juana Zuniga, had their residence built after their conquest of the area. Now a museum, the Museo Regional Cuauhnahuac, is a must see with pre and post Spanish conquest exhibits and artifacts. If you are an art lover you must visit the second floor of the museum, for the Diego Rivera murals. These murals are such a great and detailed depiction of Mexican history.
* Tip: Take the Cuernabus tour bus, for a great tour of the top attractions in Cuernavaca. This double decker bus will take you through the city to explore what Cuernavaca has to offer. (Tour bus only available on weekends.)
Also on the bus you will see: Catedral de Cuernavaca: built in 1529 and one of the oldest cathedrals in Latin America. Cortes had it built to double as a fortress and cathedral. Consists of the Main Cathedral and 2 side Chapels.
Visit Jardin Borda for a peaceful escape to nature. This property was built by a wealthy Taxco miner, Jose de la Borda, in 1783 as a summer residence. Later it was also a summer residence for emperor Maxilliano of Habsburgo and wife, Carlota. Now, Jardin Borda is a cultural center with art exhibits of local artists, dance and theatre shows as well as concerts. You will find a variety of different species of plants and fruit trees. Enjoy the tranquil garden as you step into another piece of Mexican history.
This small town, located in a highland mountain valley, is a unique magical experience. Tepoztlan is a designated “Pueblo Magico” or magical town, a Mexican program that highlights towns for its symbolic attributes and character. For a rewarding adventure, the pyramid of Tepozteco is located on a mountain top overlooking the city. Take a hike up the mountain to view ancient ruins built for the Aztec god of harvest and fertility, and receive good and positive energy. After your hike, stroll through the town’s main street, which is full of local craft shops and food. Tepoztlan also hosts several festivals throughout the year. I happened to visit during the Chinelos festival which is a popular festival and a symbol of the state of Morelos. Originating in the 19th century, the Chinelos are traditional costumed dancers that would dress up in elaborate costumes and mock the Europeans.
Just a walking distance from the central plaza, you will find Casa Rivera, a fun and artistic restaurant with great vibes and food. Previously the home of iconic Mexican comedy actor, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas”, this restaurant is filled with life. Named Casa Rivera for its designs by famous artist and muralist Diego Rivera (you may also know him as Frida Kahlo’s husband).
Casa Hidalgo: Great food and great views overlooking Palacio Cortes with outdoor and balcony seating.
Bons: Delicious restaurant and coffee shop; Chilaquiles are amazing here!
Tip: Order Mezcal (a distilled alcoholic beverage native to Mexico made from agave plant)
JUST A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY…..
Only 1.5 hours from Cuernavaca, in the state of Guerrero, you will find the city of Taxco. Another named “Pueblo Magico” which was once known for silver mining, is now known for its silver handcrafts and charming village life. The town is situated on a steep hillside with winding streets. The white stucco buildings with red roof tiles, cobblestone streets and antique churches give Taxco a Mexican colonial feel. The main plaza is filled with silver shops where you can find a variety of handcrafts, and precious stones. I was so excited to personally visit Taxco and hand pick my materials and stones for my jewelry line (click HERE to check out my new collection from my finds in Taxco). With so many shops to choose from, it was a designer’s dream for sure! It’s so easy to spend an entire day exploring the beauty of this romantic town.
Cuernavaca is such a beautiful city with so much history, adventure, art and delicious food. If you are in Mexico City, plan a weekend trip to step into a city with an abundance of Mexican history. If you are planning a trip to my hometown and have any questions let me know! If you have been to Cuernavaca before, I would love to hear your experience and favorite places!