Taxco de Alarcón is a magical little city nestled into the mountains about two and a half hours from Mexico City. Travelers or tourists who visit usually just do so for a weekend, typically arriving on Friday night and leaving on Sunday evening. If you’re travelling open-endedly, I’d suggest staying a bit longer. But, if you’re limited by the standard two-week vacation, a weekend will do!
In this article, I’m going to describe some of the major tourist attractions in Taxco. Santa Prisca Silver offers locally produced wholesale jewelry to retailers worldwide. Feel free to contact us if we can be of any help.
The Taxco bus station is only about a twenty minute walk from the city center. If you’re traveling super light, you can probably walk from the bus station to your hotel. Keep in mind though that taxis are cheap, and they’re everywhere. These are the white classic Volkswagen Beetles. You should be able to get just about anywhere in town for 50 pesos and usually less, especially from the bus station. If the driver tries to charge you 70 pesos or more, the price is definitely wrong. There will probably be five other taxis within ten feet, so you’re always free to find another one if the driver’s vibe doesn’t seem right.
Check out the Tianguis de Plata, the Taxco Silver Market
On Saturdays, the Tianguis de Plata is open for business! This is where tons of little shops are set up once a week along the main city road. For us, it is really just a sight to behold! You’ll find jewelry of all types there. Sometimes, you have to be a bit careful though when trying to strike a deal, because not all the silver may be real, but it’s a great way to see the Taxco silver market in action. If you happen to be in town, let us know. It’s important to make sure you’re getting legitimate 925 silver or above.
Taxco Silver Mine Museum
If you’re a bit brave and want to strap on a helmet with a caving light, it can be fun and educational to check out the Taxco silver mine museum. The visit involves taking an industrial elevator down into an old mine and learning about how mining used to be done in Taxco. These days, most of the operations here are a lot more industrial, and mining safety standards are far better. However, this doesn’t change the fact that quite a bit of the jewelry manufacturing in Taxco takes place in little workshops like ours.
Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa
The silver mines are not all Taxco has to offer in terms of underground adventures! The area features some local caverns as well, including one of the most extensive known caverns in Latin America, located less than 10 miles from the city center. They are now protected as a national park, as they also play an important cultural role in pre-Colonial times. Local tribes used to use the caverns for rituals to worship their gods. Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa is comprised of an extensive network of large adjoined rooms. It’s currently not all that well known, but it’s very cheap to visit, and there are tour guides available to show you around. It’s one of our top recommendations!
Las Posas Azules
If you’re a fan of little waterfalls and natural turquoise pools, Las Posas Azules is also a must-see destination. You can get super cheap transportation there from Taxco. The pools are gorgeous and are great to do a little swimming or just to have a picnic. You’ll find a few suspension bridges there, to give you a better view. There are also zip line courses for the more adventurous. Las Posas Azules are a nice change of pace and scenery from the city streets of Taxco.
If fine silver and the history of the silver market interests you, it’ll be worthwhile to check out the Humboldt House. It’s a collection of some of the more meticulously honed and creative silver pieces in the city available on display. The museum also provides a great cross-section of different styles that are representative of Mexico’s more widespread silversmithing craft.
Some of the pieces are also feature important historical information about the development of the Taxco silver market and its most influential people. One of these is William Spratling, an early local developer of the market who opened the first workshop in Taxco.
The Guillermo Spratling museum is dedicated to sharing the story of Spratling’s involvement with Taxco and his role in developing the local silver market. Spratling had many hobbies and deeply valued the longstanding silversmithing traditions in the region. He collected quite a few pre-colonial pieces, some of which are now on display.
The Jesus statue stands at one of the highest points for viewing the city. It looks small from a distance, but is quite large when you actually get close! You can get a cab here from town for 50 pesos or less. Or, if you’re a spirited walker and would like to explore the neighborhoods above Taxco, you can try to walk. Just be warned in advance though that it’s quite an upward hike. Taxco is an extremely vertical city, so it’ll likely that you’ll have to do more distance upwards than straight ahead. If you have children with you or if there are any elderly people in your group, definitely take a cab.
Have some Mezcal at a Taxco Cafe
For those who need an introduction to Mezcal, it’s a uniquely pre-Spanish liquor that has grown in popularity quite a bit in recent years. Mezcal is made from agave plants that are harvested, boiled and distilled. It ranges widely in flavor from the smokey to the more herb-oriented flavors and many more. It comes in wide enough variety that it definitely can’t be judged altogether by one type! While its origins lie mostly in the city of Oaxaca and small countryside distilleries, mezcal is quickly becoming a standard at more upscale bars and restaurants and has been spreading to the states.
See the Zocalo de Taxco
This is the busiest part of town, where you’ll find a public square as well as Santa Prisca church, which is one of the highlights of town. You’ll often find local celebrations here in the Zocalo. On a regular day, park benches are usually full of locals. All the surrounding streets have silver stores. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around. Food prices may be cheap compared to what you’re used to, but they’re typically a bit inflated for the region. If you’re seeking a good variety of high-quality tacos or just a few beers, I’d recommend La Bendita, especially for small groups. They have a few two-seater tables on balconies that provide a great view of the hubbub of the Taxco de Alarcón city center.
Towns Surrounding Taxco
Some of the towns around Taxco that are lesser mentioned in online tour guides are still excellent choices for a daytime visit. Ixcateopan is the resting place of the last Aztec emperor, Cuahtemoc. The town is known for its quarry and its streets of marble. It’s also a large source of red cedar furniture and has a museum that covers the town’s history. Ixcateopan is located about 20 miles Northwest of Taxco. Feel free to let us know if you’re planning to come to Taxco, and we can help arrange a tour for you.
Montetaxco and its Cable Car
If you’re interested in getting a great view of the city, check out the Montetaxco cable car. Admittedly, locals often refer to Montetaxco as ‘Montefiasco,’ if not only because of the bumpy hatchback roads cars have to take to get there. You can take a cab to the cable car for probably 20 or 30 pesos. If you want to go up and have lunch at the local hotel, you can relax for a while, enjoy the view, and then take the cable car back down. The last time I checked a two-way ticket for one person was 60 pesos.
So, these are some of the things you can hopefully fit in on a short visit to Taxco! I hope this article was helpful.
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