As our bus approaches the town of Taxco on the winding mountain highway, I find the view reminiscent of the hillside towns of Italy. The most striking feature is that almost every structure is painted white. The obvious exception is the stunning Cathedral of Santa Prisca. Built over a 15 year period starting in 1758, the twin bell towers of the cathedral were the tallest structures in Mexico at the time. Silver baron, José de la Borda, nearly went bankrupt funding the elaborate Baroque-style construction of the church.
The taxi ride from the bus station to the Museum of Viceregal Art is incredibly similar to a Disneyland ride as we whirl through a maze of steep inclines and turns between three-story buildings until we arrive at the museum. All the taxis are white VW Bugs with a seating capacity for two passengers only as all the front passenger seats have been removed.
We are told the taxi is free, which I wondered about. When I saw the museum proprietor give each driver several pesos, I realized why the ride was free. The “museum” made a nice profit on our free tour based on the three hundred pesos ($25) we spent on gifts made of silver. Admittedly, it is difficult to not purchase these beautifully crafted items. An elegant silver chain necklace cost under $10.
Since pre-Columbian times Taxco has been renowned for its silver mines. Even though the last silver mine in the area closed just a few years ago, Taxco remains a focal point for handcrafted silver goods and jewelry. Tourism is now the number one industry of Taxco, and the shopkeepers and street vendors are eager to please to the point of ushering people into their shops whenever possible. Hotels and restaurants also provide many options. We had lunch at a rooftop restaurant near the cathedral with a view of the whole town.
Taxco is a shopper’s paradise. The town is strategically located on the principal route from Mexico City to Acapulco. To those for whom shopping is a not a priority, Taxco is essentially a tourist trap. While there are many options for dining and sightseeing, a visit to the Cathedral of Santa Prisca is enough to make a stop in Taxco worth the effort.
This is a wonderful post Mike! Makes me want to head right down… So scenic and interesting!
Thank you, Dawn. We were fortunate to share this outing with our new friends from Quebec. This was their last outing before heading home for the tail end of winter, and it was a great way to solidify new friendships.
I’ve nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! If you’d like to take part and help spread the blogging baton, have a look here: http://anotherbiteofthecherry.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/exciting-times/
Thank you kindly for the recognition!
Wow! I LOVE this blog. What a wonderful way to travel, I’m excited to follow your travels and the videos are wonderful. Don’t see much travel in my future and how wonderful to be able to travel via your explorations of such a beautiful planet.
Thank you for your enthusiastic endorsement! My wife gets credit for the visual portion of the blog. We both feel we have so much to see and share that we are delighted to consider those who wish to share our experiences as “fellow travelers.” Welcome!
BTW: Mike, I’ve sent a Liebster award your way. Check out my current post to claim your big prize. Just sending some love. 🙂
That is just too sweet! Thank you, Dawn.
Would like to go back, was a junior in high school when I visited here! Thank you for the memories and great post!
I think Mexico might have been perceived as a friendlier place when you first visited, and like most places, it was less known than now. Nonetheless, it is still beautiful, and as is the case with most places that rely on tourism, the people are appreciative of visitors. Thank you for sharing your comments. – Mike
Beautiful! Taxco, and Mexico in general, has been on my list for a very long time.
They have beautiful places to stay in Taxco, so you do not have to do as we did and make a day trip of it. We would have to travel for months in Mexico to take in the incredible diversity. You will love it! I hope more people overcome the hesitation to visit Mexico due to the negative publicity about violence. It would be like comparing all of the United States to East L.A. It is simply an unfair characterization of this beautiful country, and the people of Mexico are open and friendly making Mexico as hospitable as any Latin American country.
Very interesting post about Taxco, I’ll put it on my LONG list of places to visit here! I have seen a couple of churches in the Oaxaca area that are built/adorned in that churrigueresque style, and they are indeed spectacular. I think your comment above is right on…both the incredible diversity and the violence. People continually ask me, “is it safe there?” forgetting what it is like in the US.
Unfortunately, it is not just the bad press that overshadows Mexico. I believe the underlying sentiment toward Mexico is negatively influenced by the immigration issue in the U.S. That is why I think it is so important to travel. When we meet the people of Mexico, we learn how genuinely warm and hospitable they are. Then people are able to discover more of the scenic treasures of Mexico. Thank you, Marilyn, for adding your comments. – Mike