Cortes Palace and Cuauhnahuac Regional Museum
Palacio de Cortés y Museo de Cuauhnahuac
Location Leyva 100 Centro Histórico
The palacio with 16 halls is the former residence of conquistador Hernán Cortés. Construction started in 1530 on the site of a Tlahuica Indian ceremonial center and was finished by the conquistador's son. The palace later served as the legislative headquarters for the state of Morelos. In 1974 the palace was inaugurated as a regional museum documenting the history of the Cuernavaca area. Among items of interest are pre-Hispanic and colonial pieces, and famous murals by Diego Rivera painted in 1929 and 1930 commissioned by the then U.S. ambassador Dwight Morrow, father-in-law of the transatlantic flyer Charles Lindbergh. They depict scenes from the Conquest, the history of Cuernavaca, the War of Independence and the Mexican Revolution. The image of Emiliano Zapata leading Hernán Cortés' white horse symbolizes the people's re-appropriation of the land. Be sure to visit the museum bookstore next door to the main entrance.
Zócalo & Jardín Morelos
Location: Centro Histórico
The only zocalo in Mexico that does not feature a Cathedral, here and you will view magnificent colonial architecture - including the Plaza de Armas, and Palacio de Gobierno, and Palacio de Cortés, now housing the Museo Cuauhnahuac. The zocalo offers outdoor cafes plus street vendors with food, drink, books and crafts, and park benches in order to sit and “people watch”. Also from here, catch the Tren Turístico trolley-like vehicle which offers driving tours by Cuernavaca historical sights. A table with tourist information can be found in the zocalo.
Robert Brady Museum
Museo Robert Brady
Hours Tues-Sun 10am-6pm
Address Calle Netzahualcoyotl 4
Location between Hidalgo and Abasolo
Robert Brady was born in the United States and after living in Venice, Italy settled in Cuernavaca in 1962. An artist and collector, his former Cuernavaca home now is a colorful private museum containing more than 1,300 works of art including pre-Hispanic and colonial pieces. Paintings by Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo are on display as well as furniture and decorative arts from America, Africa, Asia, and India. The rooms in this Colonial Spanish home are as Brady left them at the time of his death in 1986. Located behind the Cathedral of Cuernavaca, the home was once part of a XVI century Franciscan Monastery.
Catedral de la Asunción de María
Daily 8am-2pm and 4-10pm
Location: Hidalgo and Morelos, Centro Histórico
Known as la Catedral, construction for this one time Franciscan friary began in 1529, just a few years after Cortés conquered what is now known as Mexico City from the Aztec. This fortress/church was completed in 1552 and is one of the oldest churches in Mexico. Frescoes inside were discovered during refurbishing in the 1960s and they date from the 1500s. Having an Asian style, they depict the persecution of St. Felipe de Jesús, Mexico’s first Martyr and Saint, in Japan. Mariachi masses are held on Sundays at 11 a.m.
Location: Hidalgo and Morelos, Centro Histórico
Diagonally opposite the cathedral are the gardens of José de la Borda, once a Taxco “silver king’s” vacation home. Built in the late 1700s it was transformed into a botanical garden upon Borda’s death in 1778. In 1865 Maximilian and Empress Carlota took it over as their private summer home, offering concerts in the gardens to nobility and other distinguished guests from around the world.
The gardens, pools and fountains are now restored and are open to the public. In buildings throughout the park you’ll find art exhibits with paintings depicting the history of the gardens, plus Maximilian’s life including his lover “La India Bonita”. Each weekend arts and craft vendors sell a variety of items from booths they’ve set up in the park. Other cultural events including open-air concerts are held here. There is a café for refreshments and light meals and a small shop with Mexican artensanias.
Daily (hours vary)
Location: 1 Agustín Guemes Celis, Centro Histórico
Resembling a small castle, and made of brick, this is home to the Photographic Museum of Cuernavaca. Inaugurated in 1986, photos exhibit part of the history and development of Cuernavaca
Museum of Traditional Medicine and Herbolarium
Jardín Botánico y Museo de Medicina Tradicional y Herbolaria
Location: Matamoros 14 Colonia Acapantzingo
Located south of the center of Cuernavaca in Colonial Acapantzingo, the museum is a former residence built by Maximilian. It was then known as Casa del Olvido and was used for trysts with La India Bonita, his local lover whom he kept there. The building and gardens were restored in the 1960s and they now display regional plants and flora with information on medicinal, nutritional and traditional uses. The edible plant section includes vegetables and other species cultivated as condiments and includes the history of their uses.
Home and Studio of David Alfaro Siqueiros
La Tallera Casa Estudio de David Alfaro Siqueiros
Hours Tues-Sun 10:00-6:00
Location: Venus, #52, Fracc. Jardines de Cuernavaca
This museum once was the home and studio of artist and activist David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974). The studio has been preserved as it was at the time of his death. Siqueiros was one of several well-known Mexican muralists during the time of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and Rufino Tamayo.
Papalote Museo del Niño
Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-5pm
Location: Av. Vicente Guerrero 205, Col. Lomas del la Selva
More info at http://www.papalotecuernavaca.com
San Anton Waterfall
Salto de San Antón
Weekdays 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Location: Colonia San Antón
You’ll walk along a trail through lush vegetation to Salto de San Antón, a 98 foot cascading waterfall located in the western city limits of Cuernavaca in Colonia San Antón.
Piramid of Teopanzolco
Piramide de Teopanzolco
Weekdays 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Location: Colonia de Vista Hermosa
In Nahuatl, Teopanzolco means "Behind the Old or Abandoned Temple". On this site there are actually two pyramids, one inside the other. Climb up the outer base to see the older pyramid within. Several other smaller platform structures surround the double pyramid which is considered one of the most important temples of the pre-Hispanic culture in the region.
Las Estacas Water Park
Parque Natural Las Estacas
Park entrance fee: adults around US$20, children US$13.
Las Estacas artesian fed river's main spring is flowing at 7,000 liters per second through all the different sections of the park. You'll find several ways to enjoy this magnificient river: swimming, rafting, kayaking, snorkeling or scuba diving. Also, children's pool, lap pool, mini-golf, climbing wall, basketball, spa, hotel, hostel, restaurant, snack bar, picnic tables. Lifeguards along the river and guided tours on weekends.
SHOPPING IN CUERNAVACA:
There are many place to shop in Cuernavaca. We've included a few that are usually of interest to tourists:
Next door to the Palacio de Cortés is Mercado de Artesanias Zocalo an interesting and affordable crafts market offering items for sale from different states in Mexico. Cuernavaca is a center of "natural energy" and here you can buy stones, including onyx, quartz and natural crystals which come from the nearby Tepozteco Mountains.
Across from the cathedral is the Mercado de Artesanias Catedral, including shops for clothing, paintings and Mexican folk art.
In Col. Vista Hermosa, shop Izcalli on Avenida San Diego No. 823-3 located in Plaza Caracol. They feature guayaberas, dresses and clothes for children. Tel. 316-42-64. www.izcallistores.com
For silver visit María Elena Muñoz on Calle Ricardo Linares No. 112 in Col. Centro across the street from Las Mañanitas Hotel and Restaurant. Tel. 312-27-27.
A favorite shopping destination, but located north of the downtown area, is Azahares. Situated on Blvd Zapata # 810 in Colonia Buena Vista. They feature quality furniture, ceramics, pewter, and folk art from different states of Mexico. Tel. 317-01-32. www.artesaniasazahares.com
FAVORITE CUERNAVACA RESTAURANTS:
Las Mañanitas (Mexican, International)- Ricardo Linares 107, Centro Histórico
Restaurant La Gaia (Mexican Contemporary)- Blvd. Benito Juarez # 102, Centro Histórico
Casa Hidalgo (International)- Hidalgo 6, in front of Palacio de Cortés
El Madrigal (Mexican, International)- Sonora 115, Col. Vista Hermosa
Casa Piemonte (Italian)- Galeana #55, Col. Acapantzingo
El Faisan (Yucatecan Specialties)- Av. Emiliano Zapata # 1233, Col. Buenavista
Restaurant Provence (French)- Plutarco Elías Calles # 22, Col. Club de Golf Cuernavaca
18 HOLE GOLF COURSES:
Club de Golf Cuernavaca, Plutarco Elías Calles #31, Col. Club de Golf 314-0207
Club de Golf Los Tabachines, Km 93½ Autopista Mexico-Acapulco 314-3999
Club de Golf San Gasper, Av. Emiliano Zapata s/n, Col. Cliserio 319-4424
Club de Golf Santa Fe, Km 22.5 Autopista Cuernavaca-Acapulco 391-5862
Carnaval - In the five days before Ash Wednesday there will be Mardi Gras celebrations, Chinelo dancers, art exhibits, food and more.
Feria del la Primavera (Spring Fair) - March 21 to April 10 includes cultural and artistic events and exhibits, concerts, exhibitions of spring flowers, and plenty of good food.