Taxco is a silver paradise. It has a long history of periods of prosperity and obscurity. Initially silver and other metals were found in the area and mining became the foundation of Taxco`s economy. The mining industry faded away over time and Taxco was reinvented by a US professor Mr. Spratling who came to the town to study Mexican culture. He encouraged locals to learn the craft of using precious metals and helped Taxco to earn worldwide recognition once again. Now it is still the center of artesanal silver jewellery and silverware in Mexico. There are thousands of workshops and stores all around the city to scour for a beautiful piece of jewerly.
To be honest I was a bit hesitant to go to Taxco by myself. The fact that Taxco is located in the state of Guerrero, one of the unsafest states of Mexico, wasn’t making me feel any safer. Many of my friends have however been, and say that they felt pretty secure. So, I decided to go and come back the same day without staying the night.
The trip is very comfortable, it takes 2.5-3 hours by bus. I went with “Estrella de oro” bus company from Terminal Central de Sur station and didn’t regret it. They have luxurious buses with toilets, screens, comfortable adjustable sits, water and Sabritas:). A one way ticket costs 194 pesos.
You arrive to the Estrella de oro bus station which is very close to the center and you can walk to Zocalo in 8 minutes. Taxco with its white houses, red-tiled roofs and cobble-stoned streets looks like a small Spanish town. For a moment I forgot that I was still in Mexico. Santa Prisca Cathedral, which you can see from almost any point of the city, is a masterpiece and the numerous beautiful plazas make it a very nice city to walk through. The taxis are also white Volkswagen beetles which adds extra charm to the picturesque streets of the city.
When I found myself wondering through silver workshops two hours later I understood that the 4 hours I had between arriving and having to leave would not be enough. I would have to come here again.
There are many things to do and to see in Taxco and around like museums, Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa limestone caves, Rancho Sprawling – a workshop where you can witness silversmiths at work.
You can find many nice bars and restaurants in Taxco. I was very hungry and did not have time to search, so I found the taqueria “La Bendita” on the central square, Plaza Borda, in front of the cathedral and I loved it. You can sit on the balcony and enjoy the view while drinking beer or a michelada (..) I had only half an hour to eat – I ordered a taco with coconut crumbed shrimps and a quesadilla with chorizo and queso. The taco was delicious and I definitely recommend it. I was full and happy and paid only 100 pesos with a bottle of Bohemia beer included.
Some pieces of advice:
- Be patient and check out many stores before buying anything. The prices vary significantly
- There are too many standard silver pieces, you need time to find a real gem
- Make sure that the silver that you buy is real and it is not “apaca”. I heard that in the center there is a place where you can check the quality.
- If you go on Saturday there is a market (tianguis) where you can find the variety of pieces at very good prices.
- Don’t be afraid to bargain, sometimes you can get around a 40% discount, but be careful because that 40% may have just been added to the price beforehand.