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In 1917, rebel Emiliano Zapata and his ragged army stormed Cuernavaca, capturing the city as he tried to bait President Venustiano Carranza into a fight on his home turf. Zapata and his idealistic army may be gone, but the unique city of Cuernavaca still holds a sense of romance and adventure.

In recent years, international tourists are learning what citizens of Mexico City have known for generations: that nearby Cuernavaca is a great place to go to escape the smog, traffic and clamor of the Federal District. This small, tranquil town is full of parks, gardens, good shopping and food and friendly people. Internationally, it is probably most famous for the countless Spanish schools that have popped up: it’s by far the best place to learn Spanish north of Antigua, Guatemala and on any given day you’ll see dozens of young North Americans and Europeans leisurely sipping coffee at a café while immersed in a language workbook.

Even if you’re not a student, there are lots of reasons to come to Cuernavaca. The restaurants in Cuernavaca are top notch, and include many fine choices for Mexican and international fare. The hotels in Cuernavaca tend towards the pricy side, but there are still sufficient budget places to house the tightfisted backpackers who are in town for some Spanish lessons.  There are many things to see and do in Cuernavaca, including the palace of Conquistador Hernán CortĂ©s, the Brady Art Museum and more. Ruins buffs will not want to miss the Nahuatl sites located not far outside of town: archaeologists consider them priceless. 

Neighborhoods in Cuernavaca: Reforma,

Other places nearby Cuernavaca: Guanajuato, Morelia, Cholula, Pre-Colombian Ruins of Xochicalco, Tepotzlan, Tlaxcala De Xicohtencatl and Puebla.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
04 Nov 2009

Things to See and Do in Cuernavaca

Tren Turistico

134366For a quirky mix of history and guide antics, hop onto el Tren Turístico, which leaves the Palacio de Cortés numerous times a day on various routes. The most frequent trolley tour takes about an ...
Other Activity
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Museo de FotografĂ­a Antigua

134368In the 130 or so black-and-white and sepia photos at the tiny Museo de FotografĂ­a Antigua, the old days of Cuernavaca develop before your eyes. Photography and history buffs may be the most ...
Cuernavaca, Mexico


134385Aside from its location in the middle of modern Cuernavaca, Teopanzolco is not the most remarkable ruin you can visit. The three-hectare, handicap accessible site contains four large, and several ...
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Jardin Borda

134538Jardin Borda, a 30,000 square meter garden in the city center, is curious for its 225 year history of well-to-do owners, like Emperor Maximilian, and wife Charlotte. The garden itself is pretty, ...
Other Activity
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Cortes Palace

135945From about 1519-1521, Hernan Cortes and his ruthless band of conquistadors laid waste the mighty Aztec Empire, bringing Central Mexico under the control of Spain and sending the King uncounted tons ...
Historical Building
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Top Places to Dine in Cuernavaca

Las Iguanas Green's

Don't let unnecessary apostrophes come between you and Las Iguanas Green's, a cheerfully noisy, bright and friendly purveyor of Mexican-style fast food. The set lunch is filling, tasty and a good ...
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Planeta Café

Funky in a cool way, Planeta Café occupies its own orbit despite being right next to the Palacio de Cortés and the busy Plaza de Armas. With space for about 10 inside, and plenty more seats at ...
Cuernavaca, Mexico

El Garage

The kind of place where the toilets have no seats, El Garage is for people who aren't too uptight to have a good time. Situated among the other nightspots off of the Plazuela del Zacate, El Garage ...
Cuernavaca, Mexico

La Terraza de las Plazas

The view is great from La Terraza de las Plazas, a bar-restaurant that overlooks the Plaza de Armas and the busy street below. The music booms from this popular second-floor perch, and while the ...
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Los Arcos

Every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday night, Los Arcos provides a cure for those with the salsa itch. On such evenings, dancers spill out from under the huge awning of the popular outdoor cafe-restaurant, ...
Cuernavaca, Mexico
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