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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Taxco, Mexico | Things to do in this Off-the-Beaten Path Pueblo Magico

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

The town of Taxco de Alarcon in the state of Guerrero is quite possibly one of the most charming Mexican towns we have visited to date! Although it is renown for its silver production and Semana Santa celebrations, this off-the-beaten path Mexican colonial city is bursting with charisma and character. Here you’ll find beautiful architecture, including the beautiful rose-colored Santa Prisca church, white-washed buildings and hilly cobblestone lanes that are filled with numerous Volkswagen Beetle taxis. Taxco is all about the quaint details. It was these details that exceeded all our expectations and left us swooning over this Pueblo Magico. While it might not be on the radar of many international travelers, it is one that should be added to your list, as there is plenty to see and do while visiting!


How to Get to the Pueblo Magico of Taxco?

While Taxco, may not have its own international airport, it is a city that is fairly accessible from Mexico City. Departing from Mexico City, it is a 2.5-3 hour drive through the mountains to get to this city. While you could rent a car or take an Uber, there are numerous options by bus to get there as well.


We decided to go the bus route. We took a short Uber ride from the Mexico City Airport to the Mexico City Taxquena Bus Station. There are two bus companies – Estrella de Oro or Costa – that transit between Mexico City and Taxco several times a day. We took Estrella de Oro. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online from sites like clickbus.com.mx but you can also purchase them at the bus terminal. However, it is important to note, the price does increase if purchasing them too close to departure. [For instance, we had to pay the adult fare for the kids because we were too close to departure. On the return trip, we purchased them several days in advance and then received the child price.] Tickets seem to range from about $180-230 MXN ($10-14 USD) per person.


Although the some information states it takes about 2.5 hours, it is actually closer to 3 hours via the curvy mountain roads. (Therefore, if you have anyone who gets carsick be prepared for that.) The buses were all large and modern and had a toilet on them as well.

Once arriving at the Estrella de Oro bus station, you can either walk into the Old Town or get a taxi depending on where your accommodation is located. Taxco is known for its hills, so be prepared for that in regards to luggage. However, that being said, sometimes it can be faster to walk up narrow lanes vs. taking a taxi that will have to take you all the way around.


[NOTE: We did look into a Taxi or Uber to take us directly from CDMX Airport to Taxco, and quotes on Uber were coming in around $200 USD for the trip on the particular date that we were traveling.]

Pueblo Magico of Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico
Taxco is full of charming streets and Volkswagen Taxis.

How Many Days Should I Plan to Visit Taxco?

While we stayed for a week in Taxco due to the Semana Santa “Holy Week” celebrations, if you’re visiting other times of the year then you wouldn’t need to stay that long. Overall it depends on your travel style, but I would recommend staying at least 4 nights and 3 full days in the area. This will give you ample time to explore the town, as well as take some day trips out to nearby attractions.

There are many other people who do it in much less time and even as a day trip, but my opinion is you’d miss so much by shortening it to a day trip.


THINGS TO DO IN TAXCO, MEXICO:

Zocolo & Santa Prisca Cathedral

Without a doubt, if you’re visiting Taxco you’ll visit the Zocolo of this beautiful town along with the prominent Santa Prisca Cathedral, which can be seen from MANY points around the town. While the outside of the church is beautiful, the inside sanctuary is ornate and gorgeous as well. There is also the option of climbing the bell tower to see the Zocolo and city from above.

Santa Prisca Cathedral in Zocolo of Pueblo Magico Taxco, Mexico
Santa Prisca Cathedral sits in the middle of the Zocolo of Taxco, Mexico.

The Zocolo is always abuzz and a great place to observe people as it is a central gathering place for many Taxco residents and vendors.


Mercados de Plata (Silver)

Taxco is probably best known for its production of silver. Whenever we mentioned we were going there, it was the first thing that all Mexicans would mention. As the Spanish conquered the new world, Taxco became Spain’s primary source of silver and precious metals that were shipped back to the crown. While the silver mines were eventually exhausted and closed, silver is still an important industry to the city (in addition to tourism). There are many silversmiths who call Taxco home and sell their art and goods in many of the shops and markets around the city. It is supposedly one of the cheapest places to buy silver goods as well.


Mina Preshispanica de Taxco

Due to the important part of history that silver played in Taxco, there are many historical references to it. Mina Prehispanica de Taxco is an old silver mine that now serves as a place for tourists to come learn about this unique history. This particular mine remained hidden for years and was just rediscovered in 2014 wen the hotel was repurchased by a Mexican family. Upon doing renovations they discovered a hole in the ground which was the mine. Through historical research they believe the locals hid the mine when the Spanish explorers started to make their way to Taxco.

Tours are offered several times a day and are all Guided Tours that last about 1 hour long. They are mainly offered in Spanish, unless special arrangements are made. Our guide did speak English, so he tried to share a few facts regarding the history, historical mining techniques and geology in English with us as the tour happened. The tour takes you from the hotel down a mining shaft to the mines underground. There are several stairs to climb and it wouldn’t be accessible for those with mobility limitations.


Cost: $160 Pesos (about $9 USD) per person. It also includes soft drink or water at the end (or you can purchase other drinks) to enjoy near the hotel poolside. Children under 7 years old were free.


El Cristo Panoramic Viewpoint

This viewpoint takes you to the Christ statue that overlooks the white-washed buildings of Taxco.

The easiest and most efficient way to get to the viewpoint is to take one of the colectivos from the Old Town or a taxi; OR it might be a perfect opportunity to try out one of the iconic Vokswagen Beetle taxis. Most taxi drivers will give you about 15 minutes to checkout the viewpoint and then take you back down to the Old Town, as there isn’t much up at the top other than the viewpoint and some vendors.


Teleferico de Taxco

Going up to the Cable Car is another thing to do on most lists. However, just be aware there is no specified viewpoint upon arriving at the top – so the best views of the town are as you ascend and descend.

Cable Car in Taxco, Mexico - one of Mexico's Pueblo Magico towns.
Teleferico de Taxco (Cable Car) takes you on a ride high above the city.

The Cable Car takes about 10 minutes to ascend 175 meters and over a distance of 800 meters. The cable car is owned by the MonteTaxco Hotel, but non-guests can take the cable car. At the top, you’ll find some shops and food places, but otherwise not really a lot of options. The main eating option being the MonteTaxco Hotel, where you can sit on the patio with a view of the pool. (Non hotel guests cannot get access to the pool.)


Cost: $95 Pesos round-trip ($5.50 USD) and children over 2 years old were $65.00 MXN ($3.72 USD) round trip. The base of the cable car is just a few meters from the Ex Hacienda El Chorrito and the cable car runs Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but make sure to always confirm times ahead of visit.


Wander the Streets and Mercados of Taxco, Mexico

This was honestly one of my favorite things to do in Taxco – it seemed like every little corner or alley would surprise you with what you found. If you enjoy visiting local markets, Mercado Tetitlan, is tucked away at the base of the Old Town and consists of many different levels of food stalls and vendors. The prices are the best you’ll find for food, as it is where all the locals go. The market area can be reached via Camino de Tetitlan or taking any of the alleyways down from Cuauhtemoc Road or Camino Don Miguel Hidalgo.

And for some unique and tasty churros, check out CHU CHO churro where you can decide which dip and up to 3 toppings you’d like to add to your churro treat!

Chu Cho Churros the tastiest churros in Pueblo Magico of Taxco, Mexico
Chu Cho Churros y Chocolate has the tastiest churros with toppings!

DAY TRIPS FROM TAXCO, MEXICO

Pozas Azules de Atzala

A day trip to Pozas Azules de Atzala to see these natural aqua pools is a great way to cool down and spend a day in nature at this off-the-beaten path location just outside of Taxco. Although the water is cool, we stayed and enjoyed the spot much longer than I anticipated we would.

Day Trip from Taxco, Mexico - the Poza Azules
Pozas Azules de Atzala is a great day trip outside of Taxco with several natural pools to enjoy.

Getting There:

The most budget friendly & efficient way is to take the colectivo from Coppel Plateros in Taxco. Look for the one that has ‘Pozas Azules’ in the front window. The colectivo is first-come first-serve and it departs when full. The cost is approximately 35 pesos per person for the 40-minute ride. Be forewarned, the roads are curvy, so if you get car sick, take some medicine ahead of time and sit towards the front.

Spot to collect Colectivo to Pozas Azules in Taxco, Mexioc
You can catch the colectivo to Pozas Azuls at the Coppel in Taxco.

Admission: $100 MXN pesos per person or ½ price for children. The pools are open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 7 days per week. However, be aware there are extra costs once you enter, such as renting tables/chairs to sit at, bathroom, food, lifejacket rentals, as well as options to tip a guide to take you to the upper pools and a zipline.


Other Important Info:

There are several natural blue pools to explore and swim in, but they are COLD! Despite the cooler water temps, we spent all day there and the kids found some areas to play on the rocks in some of the lower pool areas. While there aren’t a ton of international tourists, it is a popular spot for many Mexican tourists to visit and can get crowded. We experienced less crowded pools in the morning hours prior to noon.


Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

This National Park cave system is another great day trip option just 40 minutes outside of Taxco and is one of the largest cave systems in the world. We have visited several different cave systems and the size and grandeur of this one was very impressive.


Getting There: While there are organized tourism tours offered Taxco, it is possible to travel independently to the National Park. The Flecha Roja Bus leaves from the Taxco Costa Bus Station every couple of hours throughout the day. (Ticket price is $47 MXN pesos one-way.) The bus drops you at the intersection & then you’ll have to walk about 10 minutes to the entrance of the Grutas.


Tour Information: Tours begin at the top of the hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so likely you’ll have to wait for a tour to start upon arriving & purchasing a ticket.


Cost: $150 Pesos per adult or $100/child.

You are required to enter the cave with a guide and group. The tour is Spanish-speaking and can last up to 2 hours. Although I can’t understand Spanish, I didn’t feel this hindered my visit as it was still impressive to see the size and natural beauty of the cave. From my limited understanding, there was some history, geographical information, as well as some stories about what certain rock formations resembled. At the end of the tour, you can return at your own pace, but the cave formations aren’t lit up like when going through with the guide. The cave pathways can be slick from the condensation, so wear good shoes and watch your footing.


NOTE: There is limited to no cell signal from the bus stop to the cave, but wifi is available for purchase at the ticket booth.


MAIN LEARNING: Get an early start to the day if taking public transportation to the cave.

The most stressful part of the visit was trying to get information about the timing of the return bus. Hardly anyone spoke English at the Taxco bus station or at the caves, so I had to piece together information. I talked to some English-speaking visitors to confirm we’d be okay to start the 5 p.m. tour and get back to the bus in time, which the last bus is just before sundown. However, we reached a point in the tour where the guide mentioned something about “no regresso”; then my ‘English-speaking friends’ left the tour early without saying anything to me. I decided to play it safe and leave as well. Therefore, make sure you arrive earlier in the day, to give you a buffer of multiple return buses.


Mil Cascadas

This is another day trip outside of Taxco – about 45 minute drive – and is a series of waterfalls and pools. The name literally means 1000 waterfalls and from what I read it accurately describes the spot. Similar to Pozas Azules the water is chilly year-round; but it still sounds like an impressive spot. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to visit as our daughter got sick partway through our stay in Taxco, but most recommend going to visit with a tour group, although there are options on traveling there independently as well.


Is Taxco Safe to Travel to?

If you look at a Travel Advisory Map of Mexico, it becomes quickly apparent the state of Guerrero falls under the “Do Not Travel” status amongst several country’s state departments due to increased levels of crime. Simply Guerrero is not without its issues, but we personally didn’t have any issues and felt safe during our stay in Taxco. In fact, if you read the U.S. State Department’s Travel Advisory closely, you see that the U.S. government does allow its employees to access the area via Hwy. 95D and stay in downtown areas of Taxco, which are mainly the areas we stayed in. There is a strong police presence within the city of Taxco as well, but likely even increased due to the Semana Santa celebrations taking place. However, it is ultimately an individual decision.


Make Sure to Put Taxco on Your List of Places to Visit in Mexico

There is definitely no shortage of things to do and see in Taxco, which is truly a hidden gem in Central Mexico. I can guarantee that after visiting Taxco, you’ll leave charmed and in awe of the colonial history and feel of this very special Pueblo Magico. Taxco is definitely a place we want to return one day!


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