Taxco de Alarcon, known simply as Taxco (pronounced “Tass-ko”) is a picturesque colonial town in the Guerrero area of Mexico that made its fortune through silver mining. Locals and tourists alike often spend the weekend in Taxco thanks to the rich cultural heritage, relaxed atmosphere, and breathtaking architecture.
Taxco is one of the Mexican government’s Pueblo Magicos (magic villages). These are the 121 towns and villages that they believed would show the world that Mexico has a wealth of culture, history, festivals, and tradition as well as beach resorts and busy bars serving margaritas.
Is Taxco worth visiting? Taxco is the ideal break from your Mexico City itinerary. There are lots of things to do in Taxco and you can easily keep busy on a trip from Mexico City. Sip coffee while watching the world go by in a café trimmed with aromatic bougainvillea, tuck into world-class Mexican food in tiny restaurants that feel trapped in Spanish colonial times, visit interesting museums and soak up the religious history of the town.
- How to reach Taxco from Mexico City
- Where to stay in Taxco
- AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN TAXCO
- Useful links for your Taxco trip
How to reach Taxco from Mexico City
Hire a car in Mexico City: We were in a group so it worked out cheaper and less hassle to drive to Taxco from Mexico City, than taking public transport. Check Discover Cars to compare and get the best deal.
Take a public bus from Mexico City: Catch the bus from Terminal del Sur in Mexico City to Taxco. which will take 2.5-3 hours. You can check your tickets and book online with CheckMyBus.Com
Take a day trip to Taxco from Mexico City: Taxco deserves more than a day trip, but if you do not have the luxury of time, it is possible to get a taster of Taxco with day tours from Mexico City. Check out the Taxco & Cuernavaca Tour or Private Cacahuamilpa Caves and Taxco Tour.
Where to stay in Taxco
BUDGET: Hotel el Ángel Taxco features accommodation with a terrace overlooking the city and is super popular with budget travellers.
MID-RANGE: Hotel Posada Spa Antigua Casa Hogar features spacious rooms with WiFi, an on-site restaurant, a mini pool, and incredible sunsets views over Taxco from the rooftop.
LUXURY: De Cantera Y Plata Hotel Boutique is a stylish hotel set in gardens with an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant offering fantastic panoramic views.
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AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN TAXCO
Visit the Santa Prisca de Taxco
Santa Prisca is an impressive cathedral that is known as one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Mexico. Lovers of architecture will be delighted by the unusual mix of Spanish colonial and Baroque styles known as ‘Churrigueresque’.
Templo de Santa Prisca was built in the 18th century by Jose de la Borda, a rich mine owner. Its rose-coloured walls tower over Taxco’s square, the Zocalo, making this an impressive central landmark in the town of Taxco.
It’s free to enter the cathedral and inside you’ll find colourful Spanish Talavera tiles, huge gold-rimmed altarpieces, and wonderful paintings by renowned artist, Miguel Cabrera. One of the smaller rooms features a polished wooden floor with a pattern that makes it look 3D when the sunlight hits it.
Watch Sunrise at El Cristo Panoramico
The El Cristo Panoramico is a statue of Jesus Christ that keeps a solemn watch over the town from Cerro del Atache hill. The structure towers up to 18m high and took sculptor Alejo Hernández 8 months to complete in September 2002.
Watching the monument of Christ from our lovely Hotel Posada Spa Antigua Casa Hogar on the opposite hill made us want to view this majestic structure up close and catch the sunrise from there, and it was one of the best things to do in Taxco.
We caught a cute VW Beatle taxi while it was still dark and after a 20-minute drive to Cristo Taxqueño, there is a patio with the perfect panoramic spot to see the morning light slowly warm the houses below. It was magical. The taxi waited for us and safely returned us to our posada in time for our well-earned breakfast, all for 150 pesos.
Hiking up the hill for sunset and taking a taxi back would also be a fantastic day out. Be prepared though, those hills are pretty darn steep!
Marvel at Parroquia de Guadalupe
If sunrise at the El Christo Panoramico is tempting, a morning exploration of the Parroquia de Guadalupe on the way back is a great idea. From the courtyard, there are amazing views of the town with Santa Prisca de Taxco at the centre.
The church was created as a tribute to the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. She appeared several times to a Mexican man who had recently converted to Christianity in 1531 and is an important symbol of Mexican Catholicism. Inside the church, you can find four canvases that depict the apparitions.
When we visited, this colourful 18th-century church was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The Parroquia is an important part of the Holy Week celebrations at Easter. However, it is on December 12th that it becomes the focus of town life. A huge party is held in honour of the Virgin, there are cookery competitions, candlelit processions, and fireworks.
Enjoy the balcony views of the Plaza Bordo Zocola
Plaza Bordo Zocolo was named after the Taxco resident who made his fortune from the silver mines and who built Santa Prisca Church, the iconic cathedral that overlooks his namesake.
Known locally as simply, the Zocalo, the square is a dainty, tree-lined plaza that has become the heart of the town. Steep callejones (stairways) and cobblestone streets branch off, maze-like, into the rest of the town. It’s the perfect location to begin and end a tour of Taxco on foot.
I loved people watching from the balconies of the coffee shops that edge the square. The gorgeously sweet churros they serve are a tasty afternoon treat to fuel up with before shopping the ceramic and silverware stalls behind the cathedral.
In the evening, soak up more of the chilled atmosphere of the town with a cold beer. There are often live musicians and folk dancers to enjoy, and the adjacent streets are home to the best restaurants in Taxco.
Visit Templo de la Santisima Trinidad
If you wander along the Calle Moneda away from the bustle of Zocolo Square you will stumble upon the Templo de la Santisima Trinidad, the oldest church in Taxco. It is also known as the Church of the Holy Sacrament and is a sumptuously ornate piece of baroque architecture.
It was built between 1755 and 1783 and all the intricate carvings were done by artist Lorenzo Rodriguez. If you visit at night, when the church is artfully lit, the impressive busts of the 12 apostles that decorate the façade look positively ghostly.
Inside there’s a depiction of Christ with his head in God’s lap that is moving to see, even if you’re not a Christian or Catholic.
Visit the Silver Mines of Taxco
If you want to capture an insight into the oldest silver mine in Taxco, navigate your way to Hotel Posada de la Misión. This prehispanic mine was discovered in 2015 when the hotel wanted to lower the floor and were blissfully unaware they were literally sitting on a silver mine that was in use until 1500.
The tour takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour and the guide spoke English well. He led us down several flights explaining how all work was completed manually from mining with deer horns to carrying the precious metals up a ladder. There was no evidence of any train tracks that are constructed in more modern mines to carry materials and workers in and out. Look up at the ceiling to see the silver shape of Mary who is thought to be guarding the fortune.
Alternatively, if you’re fascinated by how silver is mined and crafted, a trip to Museo de la Plateria is a fab place to see when visiting Taxco. You see exquisite pieces of silverware on display and discover the intricacies of an ancient tradition.
Silver owned by Don Antonio Pineda, the famous Mexican modernist and talented silversmith, is part of the exhibition too. Museo de la Plateria is located centrally on Plaza Borda 1.
Visit Guillermo Spratling Archaeological Museum
Travellers who love history and archaeology should visit the Guillermo (William) Spratling Museum. Founded by William Spratling, a famous silversmith, it is home to a huge and extraordinary variety of art, jewellery, sculpture, and silverware from the pre-Hispanic era.
Ancient artifacts from Mesoamerica, now known as the South American countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, are displayed in interesting exhibits.
The highlight of the vast collection is a human skull that has been decorated for an important ceremony with mosaics in jade green hues.
Shop for the famous Taxco silver
Silver is the precious metal that, many years ago, made Taxco into a thriving town. It is known as ‘the silver capital of the world’ thanks to the silver mines that, for centuries, have been the main source of power and money in the area. Locals will have used silver as a currency at the time of the Aztecs.
Shopping for silver on Tianguis de la Plata is one of the highlights of a trip to Taxco and Mexicans frequently travel from Mexico City to buy silver jewellery and crafts for special occasions. There are lots of styles available, from quirky and unusual to traditional and elegant, and the prices are great too.
Pieces are sold by weight and the quality of the silver. The 925 stamp means a necklace is crafted from sterling silver and is made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% toughening copper. If you’re very lucky, you might find a 950 stamp, a rare find that would be perfect for a precious gift.
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