The city of Cuernavaca may not ring a bell to most people, but it’s one of Mexico’s most treasured cities. For many years, it was a popular destination among the international elite, and today it still remains a high-society spot for locals. This isn’t surprising, though, given the fact that Cuernavaca has earned the nickname, “City of Eternal Spring” due to its year-round sunshine and beautiful, lush gardens.
So when I found myself in Mexico City with a few days to spare, I decided to take a quick drive down to Cuernavaca. Since Cuernavaca is just 50 miles away from Mexico City, this quieter, beautiful city is a coveted weekend destination for businessmen and families who want to escape the chaos of Mexico City for a couple of days. I, too, wanted to get out of the traffic and noise of Mexico City, so I booked a last-minute hotel in Cuernavaca through HotelTonight, and within minutes I had a hotel room waiting for me in this scenic town. I packed my bags, hopped in my rental car and headed out of Mexico City.
I was lucky enough to score a hotel in the heart of Cuernavaca, known as the El Centro district. This historic downtown looks like it’s something out of a painting, with its brightly colored colonial buildings, an opulent palace, and a majestic cathedral. The streets of downtown Cuernavaca offer many surprises and interesting sights, but it was the city’s unique energy that really struck me. Downtown Cuernavaca isn’t too crowded or chaotic, but there’s a pleasant, feel-good energy in the heart of this city, and you can just tell that the locals of Cuernavaca really cherish the beautiful little moments in life.
For anybody who loves gardens, this is a spot you can’t miss during your stay in Cuernavaca. The Jardines de Mexico is the largest floral garden in Latin America, and the sheer size of the garden as well as its floral variety will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to a secret garden paradise. There are a number of different gardens here, such as a tropical garden, a Japanese garden, and an Italian garden, and each one is beautifully maintained. Wandering through the Jardines de Mexico will give you a great idea why Cuernavaca is such a desirable destination for Mexico’s elite.
After spending a week in Mexico City, I was grateful for a bit of peace and open space, so I headed out to the Zempoala Lagoons National Park. This gorgeous national park consists of several sparkling lagoons, where you can kayak and enjoy a leisurely boat ride. Zempoala also features a number of great hiking trails, and I was more than a little happy to spend the morning hiking through the lush greenery in this expansive park. Since this is a popular spot for locals who want to hike, camp, or even go horseback riding, I was glad I was able to see and experience Zempoala in person.
As with every city in Mexico, the zocalo in Cuernavaca is one of the most important areas of the city. The zocalo is located in the city center, and it is one of the locals’ most beloved spots in their town. After all, the zocalo is home to the beautiful Jardin Juarez as well as the Plaza de Armas, so it’s full of incredible architecture, gorgeous scenery and popular restaurants. After a long day of exploring Cuernavaca and its surroundings, it’s relaxing to walk through the zocalo and really soak in the laidback energy of this unique city.
Since Cuernavaca is known for its lush surroundings, I wanted to explore one more of the city’s hidden gems. A couple of locals recommended that I visited this beautiful park, which is definitely off the beaten path, and I was certainly glad I listened to their advice. The park is located in the middle of the city, but it feels as if you’re suddenly transported into the middle of a jungle, and it’s perfect for an easy hike or even a romantic walk at any time of day.
Prior to my recent trip to Cuernavaca, I knew relatively little about this popular Mexican town. Fortunately, I made the spontaneous decision to visit Cuernavaca, and I fell in love with this beautiful, idyllic city. I now understand why locals have dubbed it the “City of Eternal Spring”, and I hope to return to Cuernavaca sometime in the future. When I do have another chance to plan a spur-of-the-moment trip to Cuernavaca, I’ll be sure to book my last-minute hotel through HotelTonight. As someone who likes the freedom that comes with spontaneous travel plans, I consider HotelTonight one of my most helpful resources when it comes to planning my weekend escapes.