By Tyler Black
My time in Mexico City was slowly coming to an end. It was nothing short of fantastic. To read more about my trip, make sure you check out part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five.
I had just one last excursion left before heading home. This time, I was visiting Cuernavaca and Taxco, Mexico. I felt pretty excited about this tour because I couldn’t wait to see small-town life within Mexico. Operated by Olympus Tours, I highly recommend the excursion. The tour not only operated smoothly but was full of fantastic knowledge and interesting facts that kept me intrigued throughout the day.
The tour guide picked me up in a small van right at my hostel, Casa Pepe. Interestingly enough, I was the only English speaker in the van, as the other four tourists were from Colombia. Since I speak Spanish, I told our guide that he could stick to Spanish the whole trip so he wouldn’t have to translate back and forth between languages. He seemed relieved, but not before telling me in English that the sunburn on my face looked pretty bad and how much of a typical “gringo” I was. Okay, he didn’t say that exactly but that’s what it felt like! Luckily, the other travelers couldn’t understand him so I wasn’t as embarrassed.
We set off south of Mexico City passing over mountains before arriving in Cuernavaca an hour later. I won’t lie, I was kind of disappointed right off the bat. We stopped in a small courtyard surrounded by three churches, each built during a different part of Mexico’s history. I do love old churches and cathedrals. That was one of my favorite parts of living in Europe. But I found myself rather bored here. We ended up not seeing anything else in Cuernavaca. After an hour of walking around the courtyard, we hopped on the bus and left. Thankfully, the tour got a whole lot better.
After another hour-long car ride, we came up on Taxco, Mexico. Built on the side of a mountain, the town looked absolutely stunning from a distance. I felt really excited to try and make my way to the top to enjoy the views. The van let us off in the center of town and our guide walked us around a bit explaining the history of Taxco. Unfortunately, I was too busy taking pictures and didn’t listen to a single word he had to say. I can really be the worst tourist sometimes.
After showing us some points of interest that we could explore later, our guide took us to a jewelry store specializing in silver. Apparently, the areas surrounding Taxco, Mexico are filled with deposits of silver. The Aztecs used this area to make jewelry and decorations for their gods. To this day, Taxco silver is one of the most sought after metals. I bought a few souvenirs for my family because, well, when would I get this chance again?
A Few Hours Left
Shortly after, I went to grab lunch with two of the people in our group at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the city. I found it incredibly challenging to converse and eat without constantly taking pictures of the view. The pair — a woman and her father — wanted to do a little bit of exploring in Mexico. I told them how much I’d love to visit Colombia and they gave a lot of great recommendations. It was also great to be able to converse in Spanish again and get some practice in.
With only a few hours left in Taxco, I decided to walk throughout as much of the town as possible. This was quite the feat considering the town was built on the side of a mountain. My legs were on fire (probably still feeling the effects of hiking a volcano a few days earlier). Nonetheless, it was an amazing experience strolling through small streets and alleys, seeing everyone go about their normal routines. I stopped in some more shops to buy some souvenirs. My aimless wandering even led me to a great view of the Taxco, Mexico cathedral with the valley behind it in the distance. Visiting this town definitely made up for the rather slow beginning of the tour. I highly recommend taking a tour of Taxco. Words cannot accurately describe its beauty.
Time to Go Home
I filled the next morning trying to stuff everything back into my suitcase. I definitely bought way too many souvenirs on this trip, but it was worth it. Although my flight was at 1:00pm, I called an Uber around 10:00am. I figured there would be a lot of traffic on the way to the airport. And boy, was I right. What should have been a 35-minute car ride took a little more than an hour. Luckily my Uber driver was a very friendly man with a lot to talk about, so it helped ease my nerves a little bit.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about departing and not just ending this series on a good note. I’m here to tell you my little goof. If you remember from part one, I was given a slip of paper upon arriving in Mexico with all my passport information. It was almost like a tourist visa. I mistakenly threw it away. The lady behind the check-in desk refused to take my bags without that slip of paper. She told me I had to go to the immigration office to file a new one. Panic was setting in.
I raced downstairs to the office. Of course, there was a line to talk with the agent. He explained that I needed to print out my arrival and departure flight information. So, I had to run across the hallway to pay a guy to print the documents out for me. After finally filling out all the proper paperwork, I then had to pay a hefty amount of pesos for them to authorize me a new tourist visa. And of course, they only took cash. I made sure to spend all my cash before leaving. So, I had to race to the ATM just outside the office. And that’s when my bank decided to decline my withdrawals. I was starting to imagine what my new life in Mexico would look like. At least I spoke the language.
Luckily, my bank sent me a text asking if it was actually me trying to take out money. Once I got that authorized, I was finally able to pay for my replacement tourist visa. My heart rate was through the roof. But, problem solved! I wasn’t going to be stuck in a foreign country. Moral of the story: DON’T THROW AWAY ANY DOCUMENTS YOU GET FROM CUSTOMS.
Thank you for taking the time to read this series on Mexico City. I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip and hopefully, it has inspired you to visit. Mexico City blew all my expectations out of the water. It’s a beautiful city filled with wonderful people and an amazing culture. It’s quite a shame that Mexico City, and the country in general, is viewed so poorly in our media. I’m so glad I decided to see it firsthand and witness just how wrong everything is portrayed. I encourage you to do the same.
26 thoughts on “A Tour of Taxco, Mexico: Part Six”
I’ve been to Mexico one time and it was many, many years ago. I probably would’ve sat in the corner and cried if I got to the airport and didn’t have the right paper work. Someday, I will travel abroad again. I’ve never owned a passport because going to Mexico, back in the day, you didn’t need one. Love your pictures. Beautiful place.
Keeping all those papers they give you when you enter Mexico is important for sure! I’ve always been terrified I’d lose them.
So totally miss travel but I actually may be going to Mexico at the end of this month!! I have never been, but you’re enticing me!
Mexico is somewhere I would love to go one day, it seems like an interesting place to explore and discover!
Cabo san Lucas is my home away from home. I learned the same lesson many years ago. Glad it all worked out.
Very well written. I know that sinking feeling when they ask for something and you can’t find it. I thought that only happened to me. We used to go to Cabo until traveling in Mexico with the cartel stopped up. We even had bought a nice condo and paid extra to make it 99 years. We never returned and quit paying for it. We still love Mexico but until the drug cartels go back to Colombia, we’ll stay north of the border.
Your fascinating retelling of your time in Mexico has whetted my appetite for a visit, Tyler. The closest I’ve ever got was California. Yes, not that close.
However the Mexican food I enjoyed in San Francisco was the best I’ve ever tasted. I didn’t realize the country was viewed so negatively by the US press. Thought that was just a POTUS thing.
You sure had a good time. How I wish I can also travel in these days.
I think Mexic is a fascinated country with a beautiful culture! I hope to visit it one day!
I haven’t been to Mexico since before I was married. It is a fun culture to explore, but driving through some poor areas was sad.
I am glad it all worked out. This can be a very scary situation. I can’t wait to travel again! I love Mexico!
Wow, I’ve not been to Mexico, but this looks like such a unique place to visit! Loving your shots of the scenery as well. I’ll definitely have to look into a visit there sometime!
Taxco is such a beautiful area! We’ve been to Mexico a few times, but we always stayed in the more well known resort areas. I’d love to see this gorgeous area the next time we go.
getting to the Time to go home, I didn’t even want it to end! It seems so wonderful.
You really had a good time. How I wish I can also travel in these days.
Your photos are lovely and now I miss traveling even more! Thank you for sharing this beautiful part of Mexico.
I really think Mexico would be a nice place to see. They have so much culture and a lot of amazing things to experience.
The place kinda looks like one of the province in our country. I probably wouldn’t be able to stop myself from taking pictures too.
Mexico is really a great place to visit! I grew up in Mexico and it was really memorable. Hope you had a wonderful time!
I have never even heard of Taxco, but it is beautiful! And I am glad that you made it through customs without too much of a disaster!
I’ve been to Mexico a few times and I absolutely love it! I hope to visit Taxco one day!
I am so happy for this virtual tour. Sitting at home has been really tiring with no vacation and travel. Thank you very much, I enjoyed reading your article.
This is the first time I heard about Taxco, Mexico. I hope to check it out soon after pandemic. I enjoyed your article.
What a beautiful place to live and visit. I am adding Taxco to my list of must see places in Mexico.
Cuernavaca!!!!! I have heard of this place for I believe, the 5th time this year. It is a place I would love so much to visit.
I’m so glad you had a terrific time in Mexico (minus the airport fiasco). Taco sounds really interesting, and I’m looking forward to visiting it someday!