Let this enchanting town blow you away with its beautiful cobblestone streets, mountains filled with vegetation, and colonial architecture that will transport you to the old times with colors that will catch your eye and make you fall in love. The magical town of Taxco is located in the state of Guerrero, and it is internationally renowned for its artisanal work with silver and for being a hidden gem among the mountains.
Only 110 miles away from Mexico City, a 2:30-hour drive passing the city of Cuernavaca, you will reach this captivating pueblito mágico (magical town) that will take you on the journey of your life! Upon entering, this enchanting town greets you with the view of the entire town that was built with mountains surrounding it. And what a view! All of Taxco's buildings are painted white with roof tiles made of clay and they sit on top of each other throughout the mountain, making this a sight to see.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, indenous peoples did not exactly settle where the current Taxco is located. The town known as Taxco el Viejo, situated south of Taxco, was the original settling place for indigenous peoples. There the Aztec empire designated a governor to lead one of the seven state tax provinces, established by the Mexica in that region. According to the Macedonio codex, these taxes would be paid with honey, incense, pottery, and garments among other goods.
When the Spanish arrived, they established some mining operations until José de la Borda in the 18th century arrived and created more established mines. Due to its closeness to Mexico City and the history of the state, Taxco was home to many conflicts and change of leadership, which slowed down its mining potential. However, in the 1920s, an American named William Spratling established silver design workshops and reintroduced Taxco to working with this precious metal. From this date on, Taxco earned its fame and prestige for incredible works of art in jewelry and other pieces.
The Taxco that we know today is located in what was known as Tetelcingo, which means small hill in náhuatl. The way in which “Taxco” is pronounced is by pronouncing x like an “s” (tas-kow) and the origin of the word came from the Nahuátl Tlachco which means “ball game or place”. The “de Alarcón” part that gives the town its complete name Taxco de Alarcón, was added later, and plays tribute to Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, a Spanish dramatist of the colonial era who was born in this town.
Taxco holds a very special place in our hearts, being the hometown of Julián, Luis, and Manuel, the owners and founders of Lolo, and that is why we would love to share with you all some of the most important places to visit with the hopes of motivating you plan a trip around Mexico, taking at least a couple days to enjoy this unique and special town.
Santa Prisca, Mexico Desconocido
Zócalo and Parroquia de Santa Prisca
Let's start our day at the center of this small town on the main street, Plaza Borda, where the Zócalo, or main plaza is located. The zócalo is the place where people gather every day, which makes this the perfect opportunity to sit down at a coffee shop, or restaurant to enjoy witnessing how local life is live in this colonial town. There is also a famous bar with its signature drink: El Bar Bertas, where you can order a Berta (made of tequila and honey) and go up one story to sit at their balcony in the afternoon.
In this plaza one can also find one of Mexico’s most beautiful churches and the most recognized symbol of this town: the distinguished Parroquia de Santa Prisca y San Sebastían, or Parish of Santa Prisca. It has a beautiful talavera design dome and two monumental towers that have made it iconic for Guerrero making and one of the most popular images. Many people tend to confuse it for a Cathedral but in reality, it happens to be a common parish like the one that you will find in your neighborhood. The person responsible for the making of Santa Prisca was José de la Borda. During that time, he was one of the wealthiest miners in the region and with his wealth he was able to provide the money for the making of the parish with the consent of the archbishopric. Finally in 1758, it was inaugurated and was crowned the tallest building in Mexico at 311 feet!
Taxco Teleférico, Visitor
Teleferico de Montetaxco (Taxco Cableway)
Catch a glimpse of the entire city of Taxco from high above! With a route of 800 meters and at a height of 175 meters you will be able to look at all the important and admirable landscapes. The tour starts at the Hotel Monte Taxco and at the end you can eat in the restaurants with the delicious gastronomy of this unforgettable town. It is recommended to bring your camera to capture all the moments plus you can't forget to purchase a souvenir made out of silver! Want to learn more about its silver production? Read all about it right here!
Pre-Hispanic Mine, Mexico Daily Post
Mina Prehispánica de Taxco
Taxco is full of surprises and this happens to be one of them! This mine is considered one of the first Pre-Hispanic mines in Mexico founded in 2014. The surprise part comes in the way it was discovered! It all started during the remodulation of the Hotel Posada de la Misíon that’s when they came across this beauty with more than 500 years old and about 500 feet of explorer space conserving a large portion of its metals. To this day, this mine is being protected by the The National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH, which was adapted with ladders and winch that descends 26 ft down. Specialists say that for every 20 tons of stone they obtained only 800 grams of silver, which then was bargained for food like animals like chickens or turkeys, corn, beans, seeds or whatever they could obtain. This space will help you learn about the hard work that was put into finding these precious metals. Ready for the adventure?
Encruzados de Taxco, la dolorosa tradición de Semana Santa en Guerrero, El Heraldo de México
Best Time to Visit
As a small colonial town in Mexico, Taxco has maintained several colonial traditions throughout the years. One of them and the most important one that has gained international recognition for Taxco is the Spanish celebration for Holy Week leading up to Easter, which dates back to the 16th century when the Catholic Church decided to present the story of the Passion of Christ in a way that the all could understand. During Colonial times, this practice was brought over to Mexico (and other Spanish colonies) to teach African slaves and Indigenous peoples about Catholicism and as a scare tactic for obedience and devotion.
Beginning as early as 40 days before Holy Week, different parishes hold celebrations every Friday during lent. However, Starting with Palm Sunday, every day of Holy Week is celebrated differently with processions around the town that are impressive and awe inspiring. Independently of your faith, this celebration is the perfect opportunity to imagine how these processions where held in colonial times, as they have remained fairly intact. Witnessing these processions is something that cannot be explained with words, so we have found this video from youtube that we hope can provide a glimpse of this impressive event (trigger warning: this video contains images of blood and flagellation): Semana Santa en Taxco. If planning to visit during these times, please be mindful that those participating are not acting, but rather following their faith and they take these processions seriously, solemnly, and with the highest respect.
If Holy Week seems too far away or big crowds are intimidating, we recommend visiting any other time. Spring offers the perfect warm weather with a light chill at night, but Fall offers majestic sunsets and the occasional rain that make this cobblestone white town so special. However, make sure to visit during a Thursday where all people in Guerrero make this day the day for eating pozole and be sure to visit one pozolería in any local establishment.
As many of you might know, Taxco is very special to us and we hope that we were able to share some of its beauty with all of you and that you also enjoyed it as much as we did! Let us know what you think about Taxco, Guerrero... Has it made it on your bucket list?
Shop some of Taxco's Silver Jewelry!