Planning a Trip
Getting There & Departing
By Car -- From Mexico City, take Paseo de la Reforma to Chapultepec Park and merge with the Periférico, which will take you to Hwy. 95D on the south end of town. From the Periférico, take the Insurgentes exit and merge until you come to the sign for CUERNAVACA/TLALPAN. Choose either cuernavaca cuota (toll) or cuernavaca libre (free). Continue south around Cuernavaca to the Amacuzac interchange, and proceed straight ahead for Taxco. The drive from Mexico City takes about 3 1/2 hours.
From Acapulco, you have two options: Hwy. 95D is the toll road through Iguala to Taxco, or you can take the old two-lane road (Hwy. 95) that winds more slowly through villages; it's in good condition.
By Bus -- From Mexico City, buses depart from the Central de Autobuses del Sur station (Metro: Taxqueña) and take 2 to 3 hours, with frequent departures.
Taxco has two bus stations. Estrella de Oro buses arrive at their own station on the southern edge of town. Estrella Blanca service, including Futura executive-class buses, and Flecha Roja buses arrive at the station on the northeastern edge of town on Avenida Los Plateros ("Avenue of the Silversmiths," formerly Av. Kennedy). Taxis to the zócalo cost around 20 pesos.
The State of Guerrero Dirección de Turismo (tel./fax 762/622-2274) has offices at the arches on the main highway at the north end of town (Av. de los Plateros 1), which is useful if you're driving into town. The office is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 8pm, and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. To get there from the Plaza Borda, take a ZOCALO-ARCOS combi and get off at the arch over the highway. As you face the arches, the tourism office is on your right.
The center of town is the tiny Plaza Borda, shaded by perfectly manicured Indian laurel trees. On one side is the imposing twin-towered, pink-stone Santa Prisca Church; whitewashed, red-tile buildings housing the famous silver shops and a restaurant or two line the other sides. Beside the church, deep in a crevice of the mountain, is the wholesale silver market -- the best place to begin your silver shopping, to get an idea of prices for more standard designs. It's open daily from 9am to 7pm. You'll be amazed at the low prices. Buying just one piece is perfectly acceptable, and buying in bulk can lower the per-piece price. One of the beauties of Taxco is that its brick and cobblestone streets are completely asymmetrical, zigzagging up and down the hillsides. The plaza buzzes with vendors of everything from hammocks and cotton candy to bark paintings and balloons.
The telephone area code is 762. The main post office, Benito Juárez 6, at the City Hall building (tel. 762/622-8596), is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30am to 3:30pm. The older branch of the post office (tel. 762/622-0501), open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 2:30pm, is on the outskirts, on the highway to Acapulco. It's in a row of shops with a black-and-white CORREO sign.
Spanish Lessons & Art Classes in Taxco
The Taxco campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM; tel. 762/622-3410; www.cepetaxco.unam.mx) houses the Center of Instruction for Foreign Students on the grounds of the Hacienda del Chorrillo, formerly part of the Cortez land grant. Here, students can learn silversmithing, Spanish, drawing, composition, and history under the supervision of UNAM instructors. Classes are small, and courses generally last 3 months. The school provides a list of accommodations that consist primarily of hotels. More reasonable accommodations for a lengthy stay are available but are best arranged once you're there. At many locations all over town, you'll find notices of furnished apartments or rooms for rent. For information about the school, either contact the Dirección de Turismo (tourist office) in Taxco or write the school directly, at Hacienda del Chorrillo, 40200 Taxco, Gro.