Cuernavaca Attractions | Things to do in Cuernavaca
Cuernavaca offers visitors an extensive selection of activities and places to explore, including natural, historical and cultural attractions as well as leisure areas that are perfect for relaxation. As you walk through downtown Cuernavaca you’ll see the museums and old buildings that show you what life was like in colonial Mexico even as you notice the modern expansion of the city.
Along with former sugarcane haciendas, many of which are now hotels, you’ll also find several palaces, churches and archeological sites. However Cuernavaca is most famous for its spas, lakes and water parks.
"Agua Hedionda" Water Park
This attraction has a freshwater pool that, thanks to its healing properties, is considered to be one of best in the world. It is located on Felipe Neri Street in Cuantla.
This beautiful geographic feature can be reached by taking one of the oldest and most traditional routes in the city. A 400 yard trail takes you to where you can admire exotic vegetation and enjoy ecological walkways at the riverbed of the canyon, along with hanging bridges and esplanades that serve as lookout points. Be sure to take in the impressive sound and light shows, open-air theater performances, musical events, workshops and guided tours offered at the canyon during your visit to Cuernavaca.
The Salta de San Anton is a waterfall that is more than 145 feet high. In 1933, a staircase and walkways were constructed which allow visitors to admire the natural splendor of this attraction.
The Spaniards conquered Cuernavaca in 1521 and began building the cathedral in 1529. The large complex resembles a fortress, is surrounded by several small chapels, and features restored murals that demonstrate the influence of eastern cultures. It is thought that the murals were created by artists from China and the Philippines. One fascinating aspect of this attraction is that the cathedral was completed in 1552, more than 20 years after construction began.
The cathedral is located in a place where earthquakes are common and has held up quite well throughout the years. It forms part of a group of convents that were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in 1994, and it's considered one of the most significant attractions in the city of Cuernavaca due to its architectural and historical value.
The famously beautiful flora of Cuernavaca is possible thanks to the geography and climate of the city, allowing plant species from different ecosystems to coexist harmoniously. Several golfing entrepreneurs have taken advantage of this, creating a tourism and sports market that allows golfers to enjoy a fantastic round in a truly heavenly setting.
There are seven excellent golf courses designed by experts like Percy Clifford, Joe Finger and Mario Shjetnan, each offering different challenges, surprise traps and beautiful greens that are not only incredible to look at but inspiring for those who enjoy competition. The golf courses in Cuernavaca are listed among the best in the country and have hosted various national and international competitions.
This outstandingly beautiful garden is perfect for an enjoyable walk near downtown Cuernavaca. Created in the eighteenth century, it once belonged to a silver magnate named Joseph Borda and features countless flowers and plants as well as swimming pools and fountains. Many cultural activities are held here, including photography workshops, literary events, conferences, dancing, concerts and film showings for both children and adults. Within the garden there is a small museum that houses fascinating art and history exhibits.
The Museum of Traditional Medicine and Herbology or Ethnobotanical Garden is located within a country house that is also known as Casa de la India Bonita, said to be built by the Emperor Maximilian on behalf of a local woman. Inside the garden you’ll find a small pavilion with an herbal museum and on the remaining land, which was once an orchard, is an ethnobotanical garden that is considered to the most important in all of Latin America.
Traces of the Tlahuica culture have been found throughout this ancient town, including winches, stamps and arrows. These lands have been the site of many important historical events, from pre-Hispanic times to the arrival of the Spaniards. Among its most fascinating attractions is a sixteenth century Franciscan convent that was built in the early years of the colony. Jiutepec borders Yuatepec on the east, Emiliano Zapata to the south and Cuernavaca to the west.
Casa Zapata Museum
Built on the iconic site of the birthplace of General Emiliano Zapata in Anenecuilco, this cultural center has an open-air auditorium and a mural that tells the story of the hero of Morelos. The property also features a multipurpose room, temporary exhibits, gardens and a museum that houses the archeological, colonial and historical collections that the villagers wished to preserve.
Antigua El Castillito Museum of Photography
Built to house the Mexico-Cuernavaca Railroad switchman during the Revolution, this castle like property now displays treasured photographs. Newspapers, photographic experiments and countless images that represent the area’s history are exhibited in the museum.
Robert Brady Museum
Located next to the cathedral, this museum contains a unique collection of paintings and decorative artwork from around the world. Traveling tirelessly throughout his lifetime, Robert Brady brought together a collection of more than 1,300 pieces that includes colonial furnishings, Mexican pre-Hispanic figures and art from Africa, Oceania, India, the Far East and America. Brady was a painter and designer, so he had the creative vision required to organize this rich mosaic of styles and works from various eras. The fourteen rooms are still as Brady left them.
Palace of Cortez (Cuaunahuac Regional Museum)
The Palace of Cortez is a beautiful building that dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. It was constructed on top of a destroyed Aztec pyramid and served as the residence of conquistador Hernan Cortez until his return to Spain in 1540. It currently houses the
Cuaunahuac Museum and is home to a significant collection of pre-Hispanic and colonial artifacts as well as some famous murals painted by Diego Rivera in 1930, which cover the history of Mexico from the time of the conquest until the Revolution. It is located next to the main square in the heart of Cuernavaca.
Having fun is the most important thing in this museum. From the moment you enter and begin your adventure, all activities, workshops, exhibitions and shows are aimed at promoting learning and experimentation. This museum is the brother of the Papalote in Mexico City and it's located within a building that is decorated with murals created by great Mexican artists, including Diego Rivera and Alfaro Siqueiros. These museums are now recognized as the most important children’s museums in the world.
Las Estacas Natural Aquatic Park
The preservation and maintenance of this beautiful natural attraction over the years, has resulted in a park that is beyond compare. The name of the park comes from the stakes (estacas) that were placed by the shores of the river to control the rise of the water and irrigate the annexed lands. This location has been declared a nature reserve in the state of Morelos, and offers various services and attractions, including swimming areas with rapids that are up to half a mile long, rivers with clear water, restaurants, bars and other convenient facilities. Las Estacas also has an ecological program that protects the flora and fauna as well as water treatment and forest restoration programs.
Designated a Magic Town due to its mystical atmosphere and mountainous surroundings, Tepoztlan has been famous since pre-Hispanic times. The town is a favorite with those who love mountains and the unmatched energy power of the pyramids. This is also the perfect place to discover the traditions and ancient legends of the country. Tepoztlan rests on the Tepozteco hill and is considered the second most important energy point in the country, after the pyramids of Teotihuacan.
Tequesquitengo Ecological Lake
Tequesquitengo Lake is located in the southern part of the state, between the towns of Puente de Ixtla and Jojutla, just 30 miles from Cuernavaca. This attraction dates back to 1650, when a small village was established in the crater of an extinct volcano. For reasons not yet known, it gradually flooded to form the beautiful lake that today is known for water skiing and diving, giving you a glimpse of the mysterious village now located at the bottom of the lake. When the water level drops, the village’s church tower can be seen, creating a truly unique sight.
This wonderful cultural journey takes you through the main streets of Cuernavaca’s historic center and other areas of the city. You’ll learn about the most significant aspects of the city and hear about the lives of famous people who have left their mark. This train can be boarded at the General Carlos Pacheco roundabout in the city center.
Located just 25 miles southwest of Cuernavaca, this is considered one of the most beautiful and important archeological sites in Mexico, not only for its historical value but also as a sacred place of energy. You can visit the site museum and the Ceremonial Plaza, where you’ll see the pyramid of Quetzalcoatl, the “feathered serpent”. Xochicalco was a significant religious and administrative center that was constructed in the style of a fort and is now considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Teopanzolco Archeological Zone
This beautiful archeological site consists of a main pyramid and 14 smaller monuments. Teopanzolco is famous for the equinox, a major solar event that takes place each March 21. Its construction style is similar to the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan and the areas of Tlatelolco and Tena. Within one of the residential areas in Cuernavaca you’ll find the remains of what seems to have been one of the most significant shrines in the area during ancient times.
Zoofari is a unique zoo where thousands of animals and 150 different species live freely outdoors. More than one million visitors come to see incredible creatures from both Mexico and around the world while enjoying the safety and security of the park.
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