After happily leaving Acapulco we arrived in Taxco, a quaint colonial town perched on the side of a hill in Guerrero state. From the bus station we had no accommodation booked but knew there was heaps of hotels located around the zocalo. The problem was that the zocalo was up the hill from the station, up a steep hill in fact. Knowing that it would only be a short climb of about 500 meters we set off. Wow was it steep, even without my sore toe which was bandaged and jammed into my walking shoes it would’ve been a mission. But we made it with only minimal sweatiness and no other issues. Oh and if you are wondering why I have a sore toe check out our blog post on Acapulco.
Again taking up the assistance of a local, this time by foot we set off around a few streets until we came across a hotel where we were offered an apartment instead of a room. A bedroom, bathroom and a small kitchen sounded great and the small space suited us perfectly. Knowing that I’d need a few days to regain full walking capabilities with my wounded toe we paid for a week and settled in.
First stop was the mercado and I slithered down the streets in my sandals. Slithered because being a beautiful colonial town there were smooth cobbled streets and as my bandage inhibited wearing shoes easily I was wearing my leather soled sandals. So I looked cute and was comfy at least.
The mercado here is a crazy maze of passages selling all the usual things, it took us the full week until we could navigate it. Even then we would still have arguments about where to find the food, meat, fruit stalls etc. from different entrances. Stocking up on fruit, breakfast items, dinner ingredients and beer we headed back to our room.
We spent the week here in a very relaxed manner, usually only doing one thing a day after a late start. My toe was still quite sore and I was babying it a lot so day one we didn’t leave the apartment except to go for a short walk around centro and to the market. Day two followed in much the same way and we also managed to get some washing done, yay for hand-washing! But by day three I was determined to see something further out. Sooo we went for a hike up the hill to the lookout and statue. Not sure if that was the best choice as I was still wearing sandals but we succeeded. A tall statue of Cristo looks out over Taxco from the highest point on the hill. From the Zocolo it doesn’t look like far but wow the streets are steep to get there. Instead of winding our way round the streets we found a crazy set of stairs which lead vertically almost the whole way up. They were steep, uneven concrete stairs, hundreds of them. To date the only ones which have been crazier have been on pyramids on the archaeological sites we have visited. But we made it to the look out for a stunning view of the town, the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Finally getting more mobility; the following day we took a bus to the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, a cave system about 40 minutes away. Not entirely sure what they would be like we paid our entrance fee and followed the guide down the path. We have visited caves before in Nelson, NZ and South Western Australia. They were all fantastic but not on a scale like this. The grutas are 2km long (that you can access without needing air) and in places the roof height was over 80m. A seriously big cave system! The whole two hours we were there in the spot lit darkness I felt like I was on a movie set, the place is surreal. The guide pointed out formations that looked like people, animals and scenes also explaining about the history of the cave. It was in Spanish but there was a personal guide with a group of other tourists and we listened to her translations.
The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa have made it into my top three for Mexico so far, along with the Monarch Butterflies we visited from Morelia and the Paricutin Volcano in Michoacan. Click them to read about those great experiences.
Another excursion we went on was to see Las Pozas Azules or Blue Pools. This time we travelled the 30-40 minute trip by colectivo (the small vans that operate like buses). The pools are very pretty and would be great for a swim on a hot day. But because they are spring fed they would be a little chilly on anything other than a hot day though. We ventured up past the pools following the stream on our own until one of the staff came to collect us. Apparently tourists aren’t allow to go exploring.
That afternoon we returned via Las Cascadas, a large waterfall near the road on the way back to Taxco. We were dropped next to a small waterfall but Tom was certain that there was a bigger one. Asking a local we set off up a track through the trees. It was steep (everything seems to be steep in and around Taxco) and the path was covered in crunchy leaves which had a tendency to be a little slippery. From the top we got a stunning view back over the landscape and after walking a little further the view of the falls itself. Being the dry season it wasn’t that impressive in water quantity but the height was surprising, the below photo doesn’t do it justice.
On our final day in Taxco we visited a couple of museums around the centro; the William Spratling Museo and the Museo Casa Humbolt. The first is a collection from a American silver smith who lived in Taxco. He was also a writer and collector of pre-Hispanic art. His museum shows some of his silver work as well as pieces from his collection. Overall it was OK. We have seen better museums but the silver work was beautiful. Casa Humbolt is a beautiful old house behind the zocolo. It has a collection of old religious artefacts from the old church which was replaced when Santa Prisca was built.
The week in Taxco was just what the doctor ordered. I was able to rest my toe so it could heal as well as catch up on some blog posts and laundry. We slept in a lot, cooked at least once each day and drunk a lot of beers. The town is a lovely place and definitely worth a day trip or weekend visit if you are near Mexico City.