Cuernavaca or Cuerna as locals call their beloved town is a Mexican city known for its brilliant confluence of luxurious comfort and cultural value. According to The New York Times it also has the best Spanish language immersion school in Mexico, The Center for Bilingual Multicultural Studies. Also known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” Cuernavaca has successfully balanced the charm of a small town with the allure of a cosmopolitan city, creating for itself an aura that entrances every visitor.
According to the city’s official tourism website, there has been a tremendous growth in new establishments that range from modern spas and cafes, to exclusive hotels and designer stores that make Cuernavaca an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy the good life while keeping nature and the rural life close by.
Located just 80 km from Mexico City, Cuernavaca’s salubrious climate mixed with awe-inspiring beauty put the city at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists.
Attractions and Sites of Interest
In the heart of the city, tranquility is born from its colonial architecture and beautiful gardens. Around the town’s plaza you can enjoy live music, acrobatic shows, and local food. Saunter around the plaza and take in the liveliness of the place. This historic center must be enjoyed with much stillness to appreciate the local lifestyle.
As the former residence of Hernán Cortés, the Cortés Palace is one of the oldest in America. According to Visitmexico.com, the palace “preserves the state’s history from pre-Hispanic times to the agrarian revolution led by Emiliano Zapata.” The palace has been used as a prison, storage space, and government offices, and is today the home of the Regional Cuauhnáhuac Museum. Most famously, the museum contains a mural painted by Diego Rivera.
Hotels and Spas
One of the most well-known and best reviewed hotels is La Antigua Posada with eleven comfortable and serene rooms only a few blocks from Morelos Garden. Morada del Xolo is another popular hotel known for its amenities, especially their spa and pet-friendly policy. Portal La Vista Hotel, Spa, and Terraza offers many options for those seeking to relax with a variety of massages, body treatments, facials, and their popular temazcal steam bath.
Events and Activities
Day of the Dead
If you happen to be in Cuernavaca on October 31, venture out of the city and into Tepoztlán, a town only three minutes away. After a short drive you will be transported to a celebration of death where the entire town takes to the streets in a ceremonial procession to the local cemeteries with gifts for their dead relatives. Family members lay their gifts on a table, creating the body of the deceased. They dress the figure with new clothes and a hat, place sugary figures by the head and surround the “body” with the dead person’s favorite drinks and foods.
This fair takes place by the start of spring and features carousels, horse races, and shows for kids and adults. There are also many sociocultural events that include plays, art exhibitions, crafts, and flower expositions. The fair always takes place at the Recinto Acapatzingo.
Cuernavaca’s pageantry when it comes to food is well documented by travel writer Stephen Drucker of The New York Times and in many other reviews. It is described by most as an event all on its own. There is a great variety of dishes to choose from and every one comes to your table in a synchronized parade of plates that make breakfast, lunch, and dinner a definite attraction. Try the Mole Verde de Pepita, Mole Rojo de Guajolote, Cecina con Queso and don’t forget to go for the quintessential tacos and maize on a stick when you visit the historic plaza. ¡Buen provecho!
Isaac Mortensen is a freelance blogger and writer who concentrates on travel related issues. Isaac is particularly fond of sunny locations and often writes about warm climate topics, such as cabo vacations, South America excursions, Hawaii trips and so forth.
Image credit goes to Josep M. Martí.