Cuernavaca is the capital and the largest city of the state of Morelos, with a population of about 750,000 permanent residents. With this convenient size, it is large enough to provide the attractions of an urban environment, while maintaining its small-town feel, and free of the problems of a major city. Located about 1 1/2 hours southwest of México City, Cuernavaca is known as "The City of Eternal Spring" due to its temperate year-round climate, prevailing sunshine, and abundance of flowering trees and bushes.
The original Indian name for the city was Cuauhnáhuac, which means "at the edge of the forest", and the city's symbol today is an Indian pictogram of a tree talking. When the conquistadores arrived from Spain, they had trouble pronouncing the word Cuauhnáhuac and changed it to Cuernavaca, meaning "cow's horn".
Aside from beautiful hotels, fine restaurants housed in old mansions, a lively downtown area, and a fun night life , Cuernavaca has many cultural things to see and do. Some of the city highlights include:
Palacio de Cortés (Cortés Palace)
Located downtown, this former residence of Hernán Cortés now houses the Museo Cuauhnáhuac, built atop the ruins of the Tlahuica temples. The history of México is shown in its museum and depicted in the Diego Rivera murals, as well as through the displays in the interior of the palace. Situated outside the museum is an arts & crafts silver market.
Robert Brady Museum
This ex-residence of North American artist Robert Brady holds an impressive collection of imported art and furniture from all over the world. Encasing one wall of the cathedral, over 1300 articles are arranged in 14 rooms, each with its own theme.
The zócalo is the town square in the heart of the city where you can sit in one of its many outdoor cafés to people-watch. Thursday and Sundays you can listen to traditional live Mexican music played in the adjoining Kiosk plaza.
Piramides de Teopanzolco (Teopanzolco Pyramid)
Visit the pyramid at this archeological site, which remains from the Tlahuíca tribe that inhabited the area prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.
Catedral ( The Cathedral )
Also known as Church of the Assumption. Located in the historic downtown, this ancient cathedral was begun by Cortés in 1525. Daily mass is offered as well as a special mariachi mass on Sundays.
This enormous residence was the home of José de la Borda, a Taxco silver king, who ordered its construction in the late 18th century. Emperors Maximilian and Carlotta lived here later, during their brief reign in México. Today, it serves as one of Cuernavaca's cultural centers, featuring art exhibitions, cultural events, a cafe, a bookstore, a small lake with rowboats and of course spacious gardens.
Recently rejuvenated, the park has a large aviary and a dolphin show along with a planetarium. A scenic train passes through the park.
This big open-air market is an interesting site to browse and buy. Just about anything you might need can be found here: food, appliances, typical clothing, jewerly, decorations, etc. The flower section shouldn't be missed.