Typically, when people think about vacationing in Mexico, they picture the beautiful beaches of Acapulco or the fantastic nightlife of Cancun. But if they neglect the smaller, lesser known city of Taxco, they're missing out on a true vacation experience.
Everyone has stories about trips to Mexican beaches – and sometimes they even talk about visiting the Aztec ruins – but how many people do you know that have taken the time to visit the beautiful "Silver City" of Taxco? When Cortes first claimed Mexico under Spanish rule in 1521, one of the first things he did was set up a mining operation in Taxco. Before long, the silver taken from these mines had made its way across the globe and was one of the most well-known sources of income for Spain in the New World. Eventually though, more well known mining sites were found, throwing Taxco into obscurity for more than two hundred years.
Then, in the 1700's, an explorer by the name of Don Jose de la Borda, found a vein of silver once again in Taxco. He was so grateful to the city that he spent a lot of the money he made putting beautiful things back into its landscapes. One of his contributions is the ornate Santa Prisca Cathedral that's so encrusted with gold and charms that it practically glitters in the sunlight – drawing the eye of everyone who visits the town, making it a focal point of the village.
Even after all of this, the city still remained relatively untouched by the outside world until the highway connecting it with Mexico City was opened in the late 1920's. The relative isolation of this community for so many years helped to preserve much of its appeal and rich cultural traditions.
This beautiful little city is currently home to approximately one hundred thousand residents and is located in the hills of the southern part of Mexico. The town itself is actually built upon the hills, invoking the same charm and beauty that fills many European landscapes. You can walk along the cobblestone streets or enjoy looking back through time at one of Taxco's museums that chronicles the city's historic upbringing. Many of the streets are haphazardly built, intertwining with each other in a maze of red-tiled roofs and adobe homes that showcase Taxco's odd story of development.
You'll also find a variety of stores that make, sell, and distribute jewelry, talismans, and other artifacts made from the silver that's been mined from their town. The residents of Taxco are very proud of their small city's history and are usually courteous to everyone they meet.
Even though Taxco is a little off the beaten path, it's definitely worth the trip to visit this scenic little city. There are many places in Mexico that exist solely for the benefit of tourists, but Taxco is not one of them. There are several small mom-and-pop type stores that dot the streets, and while there are some of the standard, touristy type trinkets that you can buy to take home, there are also quite a few culturally authentic tokens for sale.
So stop by this out-of-the-way gem and find yourself immersed in a piece of the true culture and history of old-time Mexico. Mix that in with the town's beauty, charm, and hospitable citizenry and you have a perfect little stop-over on your Mexican vacation. Allow yourself to get caught up in the mystique of Taxco and enjoy the pleasure of visiting somewhere off the normal vacation superhighway.