Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Cuernavaca is 50 mi/80 km south of Mexico City. It is 2,000 ft/610 m lower than the capital and enjoys a wonderful climate where people go to relax, enjoy the sunshine and get out of Mexico City's smog for the weekend. There are frequent bus connections to and from Mexico City, and you get beautiful views of the valley of Mexico and the volcanoes along the way.
Resort hotels abound in Cuernavaca, the most exceptional being Las Mananitas, with its beautiful garden containing large Zuniga sculptures, peacocks and flamingos. There are many language schools there: Cuernavaca is a popular destination for visitors seeking to learn Spanish and has a high proportion of foreign residents, many from the U.S.
In the centro (downtown), look for the Palacio de Cortes (Palace of Cortes), a medieval fortress directly in front of the zocalo, or Plaza de Armas. The Palacio's museum has displays of the history of Mexico, plus murals by Diego Rivera. Also worthwhile are the Jardines de Borda (Borda Gardens).
Be sure to walk around the main cathedral downtown, which was built in 1529. It's at Avenida Morelos, at the corner with Hidalgo (directly in front of Borda Gardens). Behind the cathedral is the Brady Museum, an unusual home housing antiques and objects collected by U.S.-born artist Robert Brady, who lived in the house until his death in 1986.
An hour from town is the pretty village of Tepoztlan, in the shadow of the Pyramid of Tepozteco. Reached by a steep hiking trail through the forest, the pyramid offers a stunning view of the village and surrounding mountains.
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