Cuernavaca Travel Guide

Cuernavaca Overview

First discovered by the Aztecs who named the city Cuauhnahuac (escape from the woods), Cuernavaca, the Land of Eternal Spring, has for long been a peaceful escape for those residing in Mexico City. With sprawling estates, pleasant plazas and pristine gardens it is easy to see why the capital of the Morelos state was once so popular with the rich and famous, however, without a foot into today’s elite, for the passer-through it can be difficult to make the most of the city. That said, the weather is still appealing, the markets are vibrant, the boutique hotels are superb and the atmosphere captivating, therefore it certainly warrants a day or two.

 
A good place to spend a day is at the city’s zocalo (main square), which is home to some fine displays of colonial architecture counting Plaza de Armas, Palacio de Gobierno and Palacio de Cortes. A short walk east of zocalo, Jardin Borda is the most charming and vibrant public park and a popular hang-out spot during the evenings when open-air concerts are common. Wandering around Cuernavaca it wouldn’t be rare to see groups of North American students amongst the locals and day trippers from Mexico City. Cuernavaca has become a popular destination from students from the US coming to learn Spanish on month long study-vacations. For this reason the city is home to a wide selection of nightlife options and there are plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars to satisfy the desiring traveler.
 
Cuernavaca is an easy destination to reach, only an hour and a half from Mexico City and 4-hours from the coast of Acapulco. The most common way of arriving is by bus and services depart to/from Mexico City almost every 20-minutes, dropping off and picking up at the terminal dedicated to the specific company. The city can appear rather large and disorientating at times, although with most of the sights located within easy reach it is possible to explore this colonial capital on foot.

Things to do in Cuernavaca

Museo Regional Cuauhnahuac - Excellent museum with exhibits on Mexican history and culture including a bundle of information on pre-Hispanic history. Part of the museum’s beauty is that is housed in Palacio de Cortes, built between 1522 and 1532 and dominating the southeast side of Plaza de Armas. The fortress-like palace is home to a host of colonial artifacts, counting weapons and artworks. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am - 6pm.

 
Museo Robert Brady - In the watchful eye of the town’s cathedral is the former home of American artist Robert Brady who resided in Cuernavaca from 1962-86. Each room is adorned with Brady’s 1,300 piece collection from travels across Africa, Asia, India, Oceania and the Americas. Outside the house are two garden-patios and swimming pool decked out in sculptures. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 6pm.
 
Catedral de la Asuncion - Alike Palacio de Cortes, Cuernavaca’s cathedral has fortress-like look, founded by Cortes in 1529 and built in a style designed to overawe attacks from the natives. At times threatening from the outside, step inside the cathedral and discover a large collection of East Asian art. The cathedral is set within a walled complex where there also two more interesting churches; Templo de la Tercera Orden de San Francisco and Capilla de Carmen.
 
Arena Isabel - An entertaining way to spend and evening is to drop the local wrestling ring and watch a few bouts of lucha libre starring the Estrellas del Ring. A great spot for kids and some tongue in cheek action.
 
Cuernavaca Nightlife - Cuernavaca has a lively night scene especially at the weekend when hoards of weekenders make their way down from Mexico City. There is something for everyone from sitting around at open-air bars to catching a live band to dancing until sunrise. Estacion Zocalo on Plaza de Armas is good for live music and nice views of the city. Popular nightclubs include El Rincon Bohemio is another popular bar offering live music and a relaxed vibe. Most nightclubs have cover charges and fairly strict dress codes, although women are often allowed in for free. Top spots include El Alebrije pulling in a young and flashy crowd and Taizz, the priciest club in town.

Hotels in Cuernavaca

 

Budget Hotels Cuernavaca
Hostel Experiencia - Popular spot for its quiet location and pleasant garden. Tel (52) 777 318 5209
IDEL Hostel - Family run hostel with clean and comfortable rooms and swimming pool. Tel (52) 777 313 0157.
Posada Morelos - Cosy rooms in a central location close to sights and amenities. Tel (52) 777 119 4668.
 
Midrange Hotels Cuernavaca
Hotel Royal - Good value rooms with comfortable beds in the heart of town. Tel (52) 777 318 6480.
Hotel & Spa Posada Tlatenango - Ultra relaxing resort serving fine organic food. Tel (52) 777 313 2525.
 
Luxury Hotels Cuernavaca
Casa Colonial - The nicest hotel in the town centre housed in an 18thC mansion. Tel (52) 777 312 7033.
Las Mananitas - Elegant colonial styled hotel with superb restaurant. Only a short walk from the town centre. Tel (52) 777 362 0000.

Cuernavaca Weather

Cuernavaca Travel Resources

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