With a mild climate, once described as the “eternal spring,” Cuernavaca has been a favorite retreat from the winter months for tourists and Mexico residents alike. There are a number of remarkable hotels and restaurants along with many pristine gardens. So be sure to enjoy the peacocks and flamingos strolling through the emerald-green gardens, after you’ve gotten a taste of Cuernavaca’s unique cuisine.
The zócalo, also called Plaza de Armas, is the heart of the city and the best place to begin a tour. A number of traditional restaurants and tourist sites such as the Governor’s Palace are nearby. Cuernavaca’s cathedral stands in a large high-walled compound. It was built on a grand scale and in a fortress-like style to help defend against the natives. The cathedral compound also holds two smaller churches: the Templo de la Tercera Orden de San Francisco, built in baroque style, and the 19th-century Capilla del Carmen, where believers seek cures for illnesses.
Cueranvaca has no distinctive handicrafts, but you can find onyx ashtrays, leather belts and silver, as well as assorted ceramic figurines of campesino women, animals and miniature buildings. To find the best values, venture a couple blocks south of the center.
Cuernavaca also boasts a lovely park, Chapultepec. It has a playground with a miniature railway, zoo and restaurants. It is extremely popular with families on weekends. Jungla Mágica is a children’s park with a jungle theme and a popular bird show, as well as boating and picnicking facilities where you can even swim with dolphins. Another popular attraction that you don’t want to miss is Salto de San Antón, a 36m waterfall. A walkway is built into the cliff face to go right behind the falls, where they have set up a few picnic tables to enjoy lunch or a snack in this beautiful and unique setting. The village of San Antón, above the falls, is a traditional center for pottery and a great place to find a wide variety of both decorative and functional pottery.