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Colonial Cuernavaca has a mild climate and 17 million fewer people than massive Mexico City. It has been a traditional getaway for upper-crust chilangos (Mexico City residents) and popular with artists and foreigners attracted to its plentiful Spanish language schools. But, for many years it has not been a tranquil, traffic-free haven. Visit Cuernavaca for its historical heritage, art museums, high-caliber hotels and restaurants, and its location in the beautiful high country that surrounds Mexico's capital. Its pre-Hispanic name, Cuahnáhuac, meant "at the edge of the forest." Cuernavaca's central plazas are truly ...

Colonial Cuernavaca has a mild climate and 17 million fewer people than massive Mexico City. It has been a traditional getaway for upper-crust chilangos (Mexico City residents) and popular with artists and foreigners attracted to its plentiful Spanish language schools. But, for many years it has not been a tranquil, traffic-free haven. Visit Cuernavaca for its historical heritage, art museums, high-caliber hotels and restaurants, and its location in the beautiful high country that surrounds Mexico's capital. Its pre-Hispanic name, Cuahnáhuac, meant "at the edge of the forest." Cuernavaca's central plazas are truly special. On Plaza de Armas is the fine Palacio de Cortés which Hernán Cortés had built upon the base of the pyramid that he destroyed. The palace houses the city's history and culture museum and an intriguing Diego Rivera mural. The adjacent Jardín Juárez has a Gustav Eiffel-designed gazebo and is the place to appreciate local life. Cuernavaca's fortified cathedral contains debris from the destroyed pre-Hispanic city. For a scintillating look at Mexican art, head to the Centro Cultural Muros and Museo Robert Brady.

John Noble
About the Expert

John Noble is a coauthor of Lonely Planet's Spain, Andalucia, and Mexico as well as many other LP titles from Indonesia to Belize to Brazil.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Cuernavaca is the capital and largest city of the state of Morelos in Central Mexico.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Carnaval (late Feb/early March); Feria de la Primavera (late March/early April)