Planning a Trip
Getting There & Departing
By Car -- From Mexico City, take Insurgentes or Periférico south, which will take you to Hwy. 95D, the toll road on the far south of town that goes to Cuernavaca. From the Periférico, take the Insurgentes exit and continue until you come to signs for Cuernavaca/Tlalpan. Choose either the cuernavaca cuota (toll) or cuernavaca libre (free) road on the right. The free road is slower and very windy, but more scenic. The toll road costs about 90 pesos.
By Bus -- Important note: Buses to Cuernavaca depart directly from the Mexico City airport. The trip takes an hour. The Mexico City Central de Autobuses del Sur exists primarily to serve the Mexico City-Cuernavaca-Taxco-Acapulco-Zihuatanejo route. Pullman de Morelos has two stations in Cuernavaca: downtown, at the corner of Abasolo and Netzahualcóyotl (tel. 777/318-0907 or 312-6063), 4 blocks south of the center of town; and Casino de la Selva (tel. 777/312-9473), less conveniently located at Plan de Ayala 14, near the railroad station.
Autobuses Estrella Blanca (tel. 777/312-2626; www.estrellablanca.com.mx) depart from the Central del Sur, with four buses daily from Mexico City. They arrive in Cuernavaca at Av. Morelos Sur 329, between Arista and Victoria, 6 blocks north of the town center. Here you'll find frequent buses to Toluca, Chalma, Ixtapan de la Sal, Taxco, Acapulco, the Cacahuamilpa Caves, Querétaro, and Nuevo Laredo.
Estrella de Oro (tel. 777/312-3055; www.estrelladeoro.com.mx), Morelos 900, serves Iguala, Chilpancingo, Acapulco, and Taxco.
Estrella Roja (tel. 777/318-5934; www.estrellaroja.com.mx), a second-class station at Galeana and Cuauhtemotzin in Cuernavaca, about 8 blocks south of the town center, serves Cuautla, Yautepec, Oaxtepec, and Izúcar de Matamoros.
Cuernavaca's Municipal Tourist Office is at Calle Hidalgo 5, next to the Jardin Morelos (Morelos Garden; tel. 777/314-3920; www.cuernavaca.gob.mx). It's open daily from 9am to 6pm. The Morelos State Tourism Office is located on Av. Morelos Sur 187 (tel. 777/314-3881; www.morelostravel.com). It's open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. There's also a City Tourism kiosk (tel. 777/329-4404) at Morelos Sur 278, beside the El Calvario Church, open daily from 9am to 5pm.
In the center of the city are two contiguous plazas. The smaller and more formal, across from the post office, has a Victorian gazebo (designed by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame) at its center. This is the Alameda. The larger, rectangular plaza with trees, shrubs, and benches is the Plaza de Armas. These two plazas are known collectively as the zócalo and form the hub for strolling vendors selling balloons, baskets, bracelets, and other crafts from surrounding villages. It's all easy-going, and one of the great pleasures of the town is hanging out at a park bench or table in a nearby restaurant. On Sunday afternoons, orchestras play in the gazebo. At the eastern end of the Alameda is the Cortez Palace, the conquistador's residence, now the Museo de Cuauhnáhuac.
Note: The city's street-numbering system is extremely confusing. It appears that the city fathers, during the past century or so, imposed a new numbering system every 10 or 20 years. An address given as "no. 5" may be in a building that bears the number "506," or perhaps "Antes no. 5" (former no. 5).