Vibrant colors, Old World style, ornate architecture, cobblestone streets and distinctly locked in time… this is the mystique of Taxco. An hour from Cuernavaca, this is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque towns in all of Mexico. In the early 1500’s, Jose de la Borda (a Frenchman living in Spain) heard of rich mineral deposits in the New World and rushed to Mexico to try his luck. He struck it rich in Taxco. Since then the city has been deemed the “Silver City” and is known worldwide for its pure silver jewelry and handicrafts. Borda developed the city and is credited for the construction of the city masterpiece – the Santa Prisca church. He imported artisans from France and Spain who created the most powerful and elaborate examples of 18th century of baroque architecture. The interior is astounding with twelve intricately carved and gilded altars arranged according to size and religious content. It will rival most any cathedral in the world. There are plenty of cozy eateries surrounding the town the square for a relaxing lunch. Not only will it be the best shopping day of your life (over 150 silver shops), but it will also leave you with a lasting sense of Mexican history and charm.A short 30 minutes from Cuernavaca is the mystical town of Tepoztlán. The legendary birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, (“plumed serpent” of ancient Aztec and Toltec folklore) the area is considered a prominent “energy center.” It very well may be the Sedona of Mexico! The towering vertical cliffs of Tepozteco Mountain frame this inviting Mexican village. Ruins from a 15th century temple can reached after a rather strenuous hike 3,000 feet to the top, but the breathtaking view is well worth the effort. Do some shopping in the marketplace and stop for lunch at Casa Pi ón, the food is fantastic, the view wonderful and they usually have live jazz music in the afternoons. (Av. Revolución, No. 42. – your driver should know the way.)
Just up the road (maybe 25 more minutes), you’ll find the enchanting village of Tlayacapan. Lined with colorful shops, and filled with local handicrafts, you can spend hours exploring and enjoying the kindness and warm smiles of the local people. In the 15th century, Tlayacapan was a passage way between the capital of the Aztec empire and southern Mexico. When the Spanish arrived, they built the San Juan Bautista convent that is still the pride of the community. Incredibly well preserved, with a majestic façade and amazing frescos on the walls, this may very well be one of the most intriguing convents in central Mexico. The marvelous chapel is still in use and the museum inside the convent is astounding.