Contiki Mexican Fiesta: Acapulco to Taxco
Updated June 2020
Goodbye Acapulco, beautiful beaches, and the ocean.
Hello Taxco, the mountains, silver, and jewelry, and hello haunted hotel.
We left Acapulco bright and early to head back inland to the small town of Taxco. Taxco is located on the side of a mountain in the state of Guerrero, southwest from Mexico City.
Taxco, Puebla Magico
At roughly 50 thousand people, the small town of Taxco is best known for its silver mines, jewelry, and its silverware industry. These, plus its colonial constructions and picturesque scenery, are the reasons why Taxco is another one Mexico’s Pueblo Magico towns.
I couldn’t even begin to describe to you what I was thinking when I first laid eyes on this mountainside town. When I look out the window on our bus drive, all I could see were white buildings with reddish colored roof tiles and it took my breath away.
Just outside of town, Ish explained the unique design of this town and how the roads are all over the place. Apparently, this all stems from the fact that Taxco is a mining town. Back when Taxco was becoming a settlement, families and miners would just build house wherever the could in the city. It caused the road system to be all twists and turns. The only cars that could see make it efficiently through this town were VW bugs.
Because of this, the bus had to drop us off on the outskirts of town along the only major road. Thankfully, the bus dropped us off right outside our first stop in the city, a local jewelry shop.
Learning about Silver
At this jewelry store is where we learned about the history of silver and how to identify false silver from pure silver. We learned the differences between .900, .925, and .999 silver and the specific mineral, silver gardenia, mined in Taxco.
Once removed from the mines, the mineral is then processed. The silver mental is extracted and transformed into the jewelry and silverware seen around the city.
During our educational lesson of silver, we were provided with a welcome lemonade refreshment. It was made from honey bee, lemon juice, mineral water and 7.5 drops of tequila, as 8 drops would be dangerous. It was quite strong but delicious none-the-same.
Following our silver lesson, we were able to do little bit of shopping. Then, we made our way into the Zocolo, or centre of town. This was the start to our walking tour.
Taxco Walking Tour
On the walking tour, we passed by the Church of the Ex-monastery of San Bernardino de Siena. This church is known to be the oldest in the area; constructed at the end of the 16th century.
Sadly, it endured the wrath of a fire and in the 19th century underwent a restoration. On the backside of this beautiful church stands three beautiful religious sculptures.
As we continued our way through the windy roads, we passed by a couple of smaller churches and common areas. At one point, Stef and I got a little lost because we were taking app many pictures.
We took a break on our tour to enjoy some grub. I use the term grub in reference to The Lion King. It was here where Ish introduced us to our second bug of this tour, the stinkbug. In Mexico, this bug is commonly known as jumiles.
Jumiles are small stinkbugs that can be consumed roasted, fried, ground, or even raw (yuck). At this particular establishment, they combined the bugs in a salsa form and it wasn’t too bad actually. Crunchy would be the word I would use to describe this particular delicacy.
Parish of Santa Prisca y San Sebastian
Following lunch, it was off to the main cathedral in town, the Parish of Santa Prisca y San Sebastían. This cathedral is commonly referred to as the Santa Prisca Church.
Santa Prisca Church was built by José de la Borda and is one of the few Baroque buildings in the state. Interesting fact, despite Borda’s fortune, made from the silver mines, the construction of this church practically put him into bankruptcy. Could you imagine spending almost your entire fortune on the building and development of a church? Talk about love for a building.
Exploring and Shopping
We were given a little bit of free time to explore the city of Taxco, and to do a little shopping. Ish gave us a little guidance on finding an viewpoint, and that is where I headed. Walking shortly behind me was Bec, John, Mark, and Glenn. Together the five of us walked upwards though the zig-zag roads.
Once we reached a specific point, we had the BEST idea that we would jump into a 3 person taxi, a.k.a. VW bug. I’m not sure if you’ve done the math but there was 5 of us. It required a little bribing from John before the taxi-driver decided to accept our business. Let’s just say that was the most entertaining 7 minute cab ride.
Hotel Posada de la Mision
We met up with the rest of the crew in the zocolo before making our way to our hotel. Our hotel in Taxco was my favorite out of every hotel we stayed in.
We stayed at the Hotel Posada de la Mision. Hotel Posada it’s known to be a haunted hotel. The history behind this hotel is actually very difficult to explain in words.
The story goes that way back when, this location was that of a mission where people would venture too for a number of reasons; wounded soldiers or even exorcisms. These reasons have caused many spirits to remain in this particular location.
Once we were checked in, Bec and I headed up to our room. It took us no more than 5 seconds before we noticed our view.O ur view was unbelievably stunning. I don’t even know if words could describe the beauty of Taxco.
Afternoon by the pool
Once we got settled, majority of us headed to the pool. Between the sun, the heat, and being outside wandering the city for much of the afternoon, swimming was exactly what I needed.
As usual, the afternoon was full of many laughters and the introduction to our new tour mate, Pedro. Pedro is our inflatable dolphin friend and remained with the group the entire trip, including the Yucatan Peninsula. Before we knew it the hilarity down by the pool had to end. We all went our separate ways to prepare ourselves for dinner.
Plaza San Juan Dinner
Dinner was at local restaurant called Plaza San Juan and included a lot of delicious cuisine. It was also located with an amazing view of the city and the cathedral.
Our first course include a fabulous chicken tortilla soup complete with avocados, tortilla strips and cheese! Next, we had a delicious multi-meat dish in a stone bowl paired with cactus. Although I was stuffed before the entree came out, I couldn’t stop eating. It was 100% worth it.
Between the delicious cuisine and the amazing nighttime skyline view of Taxco, this dinner will be one I’ll remember for a long time. The view was more than I could have asked for. To put into words, it was pitch black and all you could see were lights from the houses. High above everything was the magnificent Santa Prisca Church.
After dinner, we decided that tonight was a perfect night for a Contiki Family Gathering. Ish is not only an amazing tour guide, but a wonderful historian. We spent several hours listening to him share about the history of Taxco and the Posada de la Mision hotel. He went on to share personal stories about spirits, afterlife, and family. These moments and nights are those memories that I cherish among the rest. Just hanging out laughing, talking and getting to know each other on a more personal note. What a way to end an amazing day in the beautiful town of Taxco and tomorrow we head back to the big city of Mexico City. Stay Tuned.