| Welcome to historic Taxco, Mexico by Fred Meulemeester
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We had gone to Acapulco many times and looked at going to Taxco as it intrigued me. Then on the travel channel they showed all the interesting places on Taxco, the cobble stone streets, the market the unique church and houses. So on our next visit in 1996 we just had to go for a visit to Taxco. |
So arrangements were made to go to Taxco. That meant getting up before breakfast an be ready to get picked up at 6:00 in the morning. So after going to about two other hotels and pick up other travelers, we were on our way. Well at least that is how it works when going with a regular tour guide.
The next time we go and I mean I do will and want to go again, but we will make other arrangements. The one thing I don't like about tours or better yet what I hate about tours is that they always take you to either flee markets or other tourist traps. I know that they are hoping to make the best of the tour and maybe are even taking you to places that I'm sure give them commission. But if you want to learn more about how I feel about tours have a look at my Tips and helpful information page.
So finally we are on our way, and it was quite the trip, as Acapulco is 272km (170 miles) SW of Taxco so really about a 3 to 4 hour drive. One thing they did not tell me and that we would go trough about 3 to 4 different climates from really hot in Acapulco to really cold going over the mountains on our way to Taxco. We stopped for breakfast and coffee up in the mountains and the climate must have dropped from 80F to 60F or at least it felt that way. The one good thing about it, and maybe the colder temperatures had something to do with that but the coffee was the best in Mexico.
Then we went trough some desert type climate with some of the tallest cactus plants that I ever seen. Apparently this is the cactus that is used to make the Tequila with the worm. So the trip was almost as interesting as the town of Taxco. Of course we also had an opportunity to find out what the expressway was like from Acapulco, but about the only thing I can remember about that super road was that it was almost deserted and I guess at about $50.00 US in toll most Mexicans do not use the expressway. We did use the regular road to get into the town of Taxco and it was winding and full of cows, donkeys and other animals, so care had to be given to where we were driving.
Before I show and tell you a little about Taxco let me go into some of the history of the mining town. I must say that I borrowed some of the information from books and other websites on Taxco. One of the web sites that I found interesting on the history is
So here's a little History of the Silver City, Taxco, Mexico.
For most people in Mexico and in fact around the world, as well as I remember our trip, the word silver is most associated with the hillside city of Taxco (pronounced tahs-ko). As we drove along the mountainside at 5,000 feet we came upon this wonderful interesting city, Taxco de Alarcón, as it's officially known. I can remember that from numerous locations in the town of Taxco there were these incredible views of the city.
Then there are those narrow and often hidden cobblestone streets and alleys, with charming cafes and restaurants, and a wide variety of lodgings to meet any budget. So the history of silver in Taxco is a fascinating combination of legend and fact. Taxco is located in the hills between Acapulco and about 100 miles Southwest of Mexico City. Taxco in located in the state of Guerrero is one of the oldest mining sites located in the Americas.
It has retained its natural charm with its colonial ambiance, red-tiled roofs, cobblestone, narrow winding streets and the towering, impressive 240 year old Santa Prisca Catheral. Of course the main reason is that in 1990 Taxco, with its colonial architecture, cobblestone streets that wind narrowly up and down the hillside, and the magnificent Temple of Santa Prisca on Borda Plaza, was decreed a National Historical monument. So if you are in the historic part of Taxco or you want to build in that area of town you must build or maintain the same style of architecture of whitewashed buildings with red tiled roofs. Making Taxco what it is today, a historic well preserved and a must see town when you visit Acapulco or Mexico City.
Of course much of the city resembles the Spanish architecture, but before the Spanish arrived the native Indians called it Tlacho meaning the place of the ballgame.
Well back to the tour, the first thing we did was visit the silver smiths and factories. Well if you seen one silver smith or store you seen them all, however not all was lost as many had great locations to take pictures. So while the girls were window shopping I was taking photographs. Many of the places had upstairs windows with some of the greatest views of the city. Of course one of the landmarks is the beautiful and now famous Santa Prisca Catherdral, an ornate cathedral. So from just about every place we stopped I could church glittering in the sunlight as the focal point of Taxco. And I found this interesting that even though the people are poor and there is of course plenty of silver the church is not covered in silver but is gold trim in the Spanish Baroque style
Many travelers make Taxco an overnight trip, but with so much to see and do in such a compact area, it's well worth at least a two night stay. Getting around town is done on foot along the narrow but safe streets (pace yourself up the steeper sections), plentiful taxis, or in the very inexpensive, open door VW buses called burritos that that locals use, they are open doors since the door is missing and so is the passenger front seat, would we call this easy in easy out?
Now when we took our tour we were only in Acapulco for one week so going to Taxco for two or three days was not an option. So we took the regular one day tour, but that really only gives you a taste of Taxco, a taste making you want more. Yes remember I said that we got picked p at our hotel at 6:00, but it was almost 7:00 before we left for Taxco since we had to pick up passengers from two other hotels. So now it is almost 11:00 by the time we get there, and of course we first go and visit four silver factories (expensive stores) and soon it is 1:00 and it's time to go for a lunch (included in our ticket, Cerveza extra). We are done eating by 2:00 and the guide tells us that we can now go and explore the town and please feel free to take all the time you want just make sure you are back at the bus as it is leaving at 4:30 - 5:00. Wow a whole two to three hours to see, explore and photograph the many wonderful architecture, the church, the market, the people and the list goes on. So going for only one day really gives you more something like an appetizer or a tease not even a taste of Taxco.
Take a look, here are just some of the better known sights in Taxco including: the world famous Parish of Santa Prisca and San Sebastian church, one of Mexico's best baroque churches; Plaza Borda, the central plaza in town with shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels nearby; the Casa Borda, housing Taxco's cultural museum; the Humbolt House, now a historical museum of 18th-century items; the Spratling Archaeological Museum; the Taxco Silver Museum.
Getting to Taxco is easily done by bus, from either Acapulco or Mexico City/ Cuernavaca. From Acapulco, the first class Estrella de Oro bus line leaves five times daily, cost is just $45 pesos. From the Mexico City airport, first class buses leave directly from the airport for Cuernavaca ($90 pesos) aboard the Pullman Line, and from Cuernavaca the first class Estrella la Blanca bus drops you off in Taxco for $41 pesos (prices as of May 2002). Buses in Mexico are cheap and comfortable. Compare that to a tour of $100.00 US or so to take the tour. According to the http://www.travel-acapulco.com/tours/taxco.html
The Tour is Approximately 12 Hours, Departure Time: Daily at 6:30 am and the Price (total): US$300 (up to 3 people) or US$400 (between 4 and 7 people). Of course knowing a little Spanish or taking someone who does would help, if not it might be better to take the tour
Well I hope that this page will be informative as well as enjoyable. Take care and have a great time in sunny Acapulco and Taxco.
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