Time permitting, some visitors venture away from Acapulco to explore the State of Guerrero. One such trip is to Taxco, 272 kilometers north of Acapulco. Known as the “silver city”, this colonial gem is one of the prettiest towns in Mexico. The city tumbles across a hillside with winding cobblestone streets, tile-roofed buildings, cozy squares (plazuelas) and a strong Old World ambience that has survived for hundreds of years. In pleasant contrast to the glitz of Acapulco, Taxco is draped in an air of Spanish antiquity right out of the pages of “Don Quixote.”
The city was founded in 1529 by Rodrigo de Castañeda, a captain of Hernan Cortes; but it was a silver mother lode that fueled development in the 18th century. One of Mexico’s grandest churches was built in 1759 by French immigrant Jose de la Borda who literally stumbled upon a huge silver claim.
The church, known as Santa Prisca, is stunning. Built between 1748-58 of soft pink stone, it is a riot of ornate baroque styling flanked by twin bell towers. The interior displays some of Mexico’s most beautiful gold leaf ornamentation. Begin exploring by taking a ride on the city’s unique teleferico, or aerial tramway. The ride climbs over 570 feet to the posh MonteTaxco resort perched on a hilltop just north of the city. The views are magnificent. A short distance from here is the historic Hotel de la Borda.
Taxco is a shopper’s paradise for silver jewelry. For serious silver shopping, head to Calle Nacional and the La Mina silver shop (complete with an old mining shaft) or along Calle Juarez toward the city’s charming main square (Plaza Borda). There are dozens of shops along the way (Taxco has over 300 silver shops!). There is also an excellent artisans market at the corner of Calle Miguel Hidalgo and Calle Cuauhtémoc. Remember to look for the “.925” stamp on all silver items. This guarantees a product’s authenticity as sterling silver.