Contiki,  Mexico,  Travel

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s off to Taxco we go

Goodbye Acapulco. Goodbye beautiful beaches. Goodbye ocean.

Hello Taxco. Hello mountains. Hello silver and jewelry. Hello haunted hotel.

Are you singing it? “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go” from the famous Disney movie Snow White. I bet you are now. I use this play on words in the title for 2 reasons: 1) To introduce our next spot on the tour, Taxco, Mexico, and 2) to give a reason to WHY we are visiting this town.

We left Acapulco bright and early to head back inland with EVERYONE! Always a plus when leaving Acapulco. We were headed to Taxco, a small town on a mountain side southwest from Mexico City in the state of Guerrero. This small town of 50+ thousand people is best known for it’s silver mines, jewelry, and silverware industry. These, along with its colonial constructions and the picturesque scenery are the reasons why Taxco is another one Mexico’s Pueblo Magico towns. I couldn’t even begin to describe to you what I was thinking when I first laid eyes on this mountainside town. When I looked out the window all I saw were white buildings with reddish colored roof tiles and it took my breath away. 

While on the bus just outside the town, Ish was explaining to us the unique design of this town and how the roads are all over the place. Because Taxco is a mining town, back in the heyday, families and miners would just build house wherever the could in the city, which has caused the road system to be all twists and turns. This fact is why the bus had to drop us off on the outskirts of town along the one major road outside a local jewelry shop, and honestly the only cars that can make it efficiently through this town are VW bugs. This jewelry shop was our first stop in the city and it was here where we learned about the history of silver and how to identify false silver from pure silver. We learned the differences between .900, .925, and .999 silver and the specific mineral, silver gardenia, mined in Taxco. Once out of the mines, the mineral is than processed and the silver mental is extracted and transformed into the jewelry and silverware seen around the city.

During our educational lesson of silver, we were provided with a welcome lemonade refreshment, made from honey bee, lemon juice, mineral water and 7.5 drops of tequila, as 8 drops would be dangerous. It was quite strong but delicious none-the-same. Following our lesson, we did a little bit of shopping and began our way into the Zocolo, centre of town. This was the start to our walking tour.

On the walking tour, we passed by the Church of the Ex-monastery of San Bernardino de Siena. This church is the oldest in the area and was constructed at the end of the16th century. Sadly, it endured the wrath of a fire and in the 19th century underwent a restoration. On the backside of this beautiful church stands three beautiful religious sculptures. As we continued our way through the windy roads, we passed by a couple of smaller churches and common areas, and at one point, Stef and I got a little lost because we sort of, well had too much fun taking pictures. I know, I know, this is a complete shocker! 

We took a break in our tour and enjoyed some delicious grub. I use the term grub because it was here where Ish introduced us to our second Bug of choice, the stinkbug, commonly known as jumiles. Jumiles are small stinkbugs that can be consumed roasted, fried, ground, or even raw (yuck). At this particular establishment, they combined the bugs in a salsa form and it wasn’t too bad actually. Crunchy would be the word I would use to describe this particular delicacy.

Following lunch, it was off to the main cathedral in town, the Parish of Santa Prisca y San Sebastían, commonly referred to as the Santa Prisca Church. This church was built by José de la Borda and is one of the few Baroque buildings in the state. Interesting fact, despite Borda’s fortune, made from the silver mines, the construction of this church practically put him into bankruptcy. Could you imagine spending almost your entire fortune on the building and development of a church? Talk about love for a building. Then it was off to a few other popular jewelry stores for more shopping!

We were given a little bit of free time to explore, and thanks to the lovely guidance from Ish, I ventured off to an overlook of the church and zocolo. Walking shortly behind me was Bec, John, Mark, and Glenn and we continued to walk upwards though the zig-zag roads. Once we reached a specific point, we had the BEST idea that we would jump into a 3 person taxi, a.k.a. VW bug. I’m not sure if you’ve done the math but there was 5 of us and it required a little bribing from John before the taxi-driver decided to accept our business. Let’s just say that was the most entertaining 7 minute cab ride.

It was back to the zocolo where we met up with the rest of the crew and made our way to our hotel. Oh, our hotel. Hotel Posada de la Mision. This was probably the greatest lodging we had on the entire tour. Reason being, it’s a known HAUNTED HOTEL. The history behind this hotel is actually very difficult to explain in words (hopefully I’ll get the video done soon) but I’ll try to summarize. Way back when, this location was that of a mission where people would venture too for a number of reasons, wounded soldiers or even exorcisms, which has caused many spirits to remain in this particular location.

Once we were checked in, Bec and I headed up to our room and it took us all but 5 seconds before we realized “the view.” Yes, our view was unbelievably stunning. I don’t even know if words could describe the beauty of Taxco. Since the day was amazingly sunny and hot, many of us headed down to the freezing cold pool to relax, which as usual ended up in many laughters and the introduction to our new tour mate, Pedro. Pedro is our dolphin friend (inside tour joke) and remained with us the entire remainder of the trip (including the Yucatan Peninsula). With a little hilarity down by the pool, we all went our separate ways to prepare ourselves for dinner.

Dinner was at local restaurant and included a lot of delicious cuisine and an amazing view of the city and church. Our first course include a fabulous chicken tortilla soup complete with avocados, tortilla strips and cheese! Next came a delicious multi-meat dish in a stone bowl paired with cactus and although I was stuffed before the entree came out, I ate a fairly decent amount and it was 100% worth it.

One of the best part of dinner, besides the amazing food, was the view. It’s to put into words, but all I can say is that it was pitch black and all you could see were lights from the houses and stood high above all the rest was the magnificent Santa Prisca Church. It was quite the dinner!

After dinner, we decided that tonight was a perfect night for a pool party/story time. Ish is not only an amazing tour guide, but a wonderful historian. We spent several hours listening about the history of Taxco and the Posada de la Mision hotel, which ended up with personal stories about spirits, afterlife, and family. These moments and nights are those memories that I cherish among the rest. Just hanging out laughing, talking and getting to know each other on a more personal note. What a way to end an amazing day in the beautiful town of Taxco and tomorrow we head back to the big city of Mexico City.


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