7 WONDERFUL THINGS TO DO IN TAXCO, MEXICO
Taxco, Mexico is a charming town in the state of Guerrero about three hours southwest from Mexico City. It’s most famous for being Mexico’s silver capital and for its narrow cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, steep hills, and the ubiquitous vintage VW beetles.
Being slow travelers we took our time staying for several days wandering around, but if you’re short on time Taxco makes a great day trip to escape from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City.
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Most visitors come for the silver shops, but we didn’t spend much time silver shopping as I’m more of a gold girl myself (what can I say, it’s the Indian in me). If you decide to shop for silver, try to buy it from a reputable shop, avoid fakes by reading these tips, and consider that it’s likely less expensive away from the main plaza.
Looking back, Taxco is one of our favorite pueblo mágicos. For being so little, it really has a lot to offer. We hope the list below helps you make the most of your time there!
1. Enjoy Plaza Borda and go inside Santa Prisca Church
No pueblo mágico would be complete without a charming plaza and an ornate church, and Taxco has both. The plaza is super laid back with families sitting on benches, vendors selling ice cream, and live music on the weekends. Watch a cute old couple dance cumbia, or try it for yourself.
The plaza is named after José de la Borda, a wealthy Spaniard who made a fortune as the owner of Taxco silver mines. He ordered the Santa Prisca Church to be built between 1751 and 1758 and nearly went bankrupt in the process.
It was constructed in a baroque style and ironically, in a town famous for silver, its interior is covered in gold leaf. The Santa Prisca church stood for nearly 50 years as the tallest building in Mexico. It’s best viewed and photographed at sunset when the warm light illuminates the pink sandstone.
2. Mirador de Cristo Taxqueño
Perched high above Taxco on a hill this statue of Jesus may not compare to Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro but it still comes with a nice panoramic view. This is one of the best places to watch the sunset.
The statue seems to be getting a little old and has now lost a hand but it’s still worth a visit for the view. You can walk up if you’re looking for a strenuous two-hour hike. Otherwise, it’s 50 pesos for a hair raising ride in a VW beetle taxi.
3. Parque Nacional Grutas de Cacahuamilpa
I’ve been obsessed with caves since visiting Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico, so this was a must for me. The caves at Cacahuamilpa National Park make up the largest cave system in Mexico and one of the largest cave systems anywhere in the world. Formations inside the cave are still growing which means it’s aliiiiive!
Inside the cavern system are up to 90 large “rooms”, of which only 20 have been explored and are open to the public. Pottery found inside the cave has led people to believe that Olmecs and other indigenous groups used the caves for ceremonial rituals. You’re only able to enter the caves as part of a guided tour that leaves once every hour.
Entry is 80 pesos per person and mostly consists of your guide cracking jokes and pointing out what stalactites and stalagmites look like in Spanish for two hours, nothing much about the geology, but it’s still a cool experience. It can get humid down there so keep that in mind and bring bug spray. Sneakers are a must! Rappelling, rafting, and ziplining are also available.
To get there you’ll catch a bus from the Estrella de Oro station in Taxco. Look for the bus company Flecha Roja. The 20-minute ride will cost you 42 pesos per person and you’ll get off at Crucero de Grutas. From there you’ll take another taxi for 15 pesos to the entrance.
4. Pozas Azules de Atzala
Pozas Azules de Atzala is about 40-minutes from Taxco and makes for a perfect day trip if you like the outdoors. These bright turquoise pools are formed from crystalline mountain water flowing over limestone. The blue color comes from minerals and is best seen between November and March when the rain isn’t muddying the water. These are the best pools we’ve found in Mexico aside from swimming in cenotes spread throughout the Yucatán.
A ride from Taxco will cost you 27 pesos in a combi (shared van taxi). You can find the combis in front of a large department store on the main road coming into town named Coppel. Just type Coppel into your phone for navigation and when you arrive you’ll see them waiting out front. Look for the vans with signs that say “Pozas Azules” or “Atzala”. That’s the ticket to paradise!
As of 2019, it costs 30 pesos to enter Pozas Azules. Talk about cheap entertainment! You can rent a table for 30 pesos and buy a michelada for 45 pesos. This trip costs very little and offers so much. We went in January and felt like we had the place to ourselves.
There are six open pools, with depths between 1-11 meters (3-36ft). The water is frigid, but once you start swimming you’ll warm-up, if not your body becomes numb so you can’t tell the difference anyway.
The best part about the place other than the amazing natural beauty? There are several cliff jumps! If you’re not sure where to jump just ask a local. It’s so fun to test your nerves! Just be safe and know your limits.
Remember not to wear sunscreen or bug spray before entering the pools to avoid contaminating it. Pozas Azules is run by the local community and they do a great job of maintaining it. It’s rather quiet for now, but we can totally see it blowing up someday.
5. Teleférico de Taxco (cable car)
If you’re looking for another beautiful view over Taxco and you’re not deathly afraid of heights, check out the teleférico. It’s a ten or fifteen-minute gondola ride up to Hotel Montetaxco overlooking the surrounding valley. Once you arrive head to the hotel to have dinner or a glass of wine (or both). Stick around for sunset and on Saturdays, there’s a dance performance that ends with a firework show!
The cost of the teleférico is 95 pesos roundtrip and 65 pesos one way. We suggest taking the cable car up to the top and then getting a taxi back to the main plaza or your accommodation to save time and money.
6. Eat Pozole
When visiting Guerrero state you must try pozole! What is pozole you ask? It’s a traditional hominy stew with meat (chicken or pork) and plenty of fresh condiments including radish, onion, peppers, avocado, lettuce, lime, and oregano. It comes in three varieties red (rojo), green (verde), or white (blanco). Basically, it’s heaven in a bowl!
Pozolería Tía Calla
This restaurant is famous in Taxco for its pozole. Pozole blanco is served every day of the week, and the red and green varieties are available on Thursdays. Try a bowl (or three) while you’re in town. We recommend going around 2pm, as it tends to sell out fast. If you’re not into pozole, the tacos dorados are also muy rico!
The couple that owns this place, Blanca and Marcelino, is super sweet and the cooks inside the restaurant make some seriously delicious food. Don’t miss their green pozole and jalapeno salsa dip. It’s especially excellent with bread! I’m drooling just thinking about it.
7. Sip on a cocktail or craft beer
If you like to drink, why not visit the oldest bar in Taxco? This bar is known for the Berta cocktail, invented in the 1930s. It consists of tequila blanca, honey, lime juice, and mineral water poured over ice. Sit out on the patio to people watch and to admire the views of Santa Prisca Church at sunset.
Yolotl Tap Room
Stop by this subterranean craft brewery near the ex-convent and sip a cold one. Have a chat with Victor, the owner and an awesome guy who speaks great English and has some stories to tell. Yolotl translates to heart in Nahuatl (the Aztec language). Try the Black IPA if you’re looking for something strong (9.7% ABV). Open only Thurs-Sun afternoons and evenings.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Buses for Taxco leave from the Taxqueña Central del Sur station in Mexico City. A taxi from the center to the station takes about 30 minutes and cost us 100 pesos. Once you reach the bus station look for Costa Line Aers. Our tickets cost 255 pesos/person and it’s about a three-hour ride. Heading back to Mexico City the last bus appears to leave from Taxco at 8pm.
Have you ever been to Taxco, Mexico?