ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting North America

Want the World's Best Weather? Visit Cuernavaca.

Updated on November 9, 2010

A few views from this desireable destination

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ancient town of CuernavacaPalace built by Conquerer, Cortez, that he would never enjoyPeaceful town center, the ZocoloSalto (falls) de AntonMural "Crossing the Barranca," by Diego Riviera.  In the Cortez Palace, Cuernavaca
Ancient town of Cuernavaca
Ancient town of Cuernavaca
Palace built by Conquerer, Cortez, that he would never enjoy
Palace built by Conquerer, Cortez, that he would never enjoy
Peaceful town center, the Zocolo
Peaceful town center, the Zocolo
Salto (falls) de Anton
Salto (falls) de Anton
Mural "Crossing the Barranca," by Diego Riviera.  In the Cortez Palace, Cuernavaca
Mural "Crossing the Barranca," by Diego Riviera. In the Cortez Palace, Cuernavaca

This lovely valley has attracted the rich and famous.

Remarkable, 80-mile, scenic drive from Mexico City.

Never hears of Cowhorn? Well, translate it into Spanish and you come up with Cuerna (horn) and Vaca (cow). Put it together and you have Cuernavaca, in fact, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, the city and environs voted many times as having the world’s best weather, and is known as "The City of Eternal Spring." If you think the current name is a tongue twister, you might consider the Indians had named the place "Cuahnahuak," or "The place near water." This Nahuatl title was too much for the Spanish Conquerers who gave the place its current name.

Cuernavaca is 80 miles south of Mexico City, on a motorway that winds through the Sierras to a height of 10,000 feet, before plunging into the valley below, where Cuernavaca and surrounding villages nestle. Or used to nestle. Unfortunately, and depending on where your priorities lie, Cuerna, as some call it, has grown exponentially since the 1985 earthquake in Mexico which caused 25,000 deaths in the capital, Mexico City, and thousands to panic as they fled to all points to escape the danger. Cuernavaca and its valley caught the bulk of these emigrants, known locally as Chilangos, (and heartily disliked), swelling the population to around 350,000 in the metropolitan area, according to official statistics, and causing mayhem on the already inadequate infrastructure. (The true figure of the population is probably closer to 1.2 million and is certainly more than that if you include outlying areas and close villages). Cuernavaca’s roads are especially badly affected and those feeding into the city centre and Zocolo are choked with taxis and “peseros” mini-buses.

Despite this overwhelming surge in population, Cuernavaca remains one of the world’s beauty spots and it still has this great weather. So much so, that people living there can be forgiven for thinking their barometers have broken as the temperature commonly remains a steady 70 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit year round, with the occasional high to the 90‘s. Not only the temperature, but the valley has more than 300 days of full sunshine a year (cry, UK residents); when the rain does come, mostly at night, it does so with a vengeance, usually accompanied by glorious thunderstorms, which boom and echo off the nearby volcanoes and the surrounding ring of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Then the floods through the city begin as torrents flow through the barrancas (canyons) that cut through Cuernavaca like the fingers on your hand pushing into a pastry. The clouds vanish after a couple of hours; the sun returns, and the place steams like the hot breadbasket it is; the valley grows much of the products used by the whole country. These staples: veggies, fruit, meat and poultry, as well as manufactured goods of all kinds, are represented in one of Mexico’s busiest and atmospheric markets. Trucks come from all over the Republic to ship the produce to other states. Buses from here go to all corners of Morelos, the state of which Cuernavaca is the capital.

And it’s all so cheap, cheap, cheap!

The quality will amaze visitors from the UK where shoppers are restricted to flavourless, often unripe or over-ripe, unattractive fruits and vegetables in the soulless Tescos. et al. But shoppers in this huge market will have to get used to the hubbub and bustle: the aisles are crammed to bursting point with happy Mexican housewives; you can have a “prueva” (taste) of anything you fancy. Avocados, creamy and ripe, are sliced ready to pass a piece to a prospective buyer. Same with oranges, cheese, olives. The vendors are as generous as the rich soil that provides this bounty. Not like Sainsbury’s in the UK where everything is so tightly wrapped and guarded in case a shopper might dare to pinch a bit.

And if you told a Mexican stall owner about “Elf and Safety” here, he would at first frown in disbelief than burst out into hearty laughter at our anal stupidity. No, flies have a good time in Cuernavaca’s market; this food attracts everything! It’s amazing how healthy the people are!

The city has a large immigrant population of Gringos: North Americans and Canadians make up the bulk of the approximately 5.000 retirees, European and other nationals make up the rest. They do organize their own functions under the auspices of the excellent Newcomer’s Club, but a large percentage of Mexicans are included in the membership and most foreigners speak good Spanish as their hosts speak English. This is a fully integrated community, not like in other parts of Mexico, such as Los Cabos in Baja, where foreigners separate themselves from the indigent population and continue to mouth the idiotic prejudices you hear in the United States by many as they denigrate “The Beaners.” (Mexicans). “Gringo,” on the other hand, is no longer a derogatory title and most Gringos refer to themselves as Gringos, too. (as some black people in the USA refer to themselves as “niggers,” and working class Mexicans, primarily in the Capital, refer to themselves as“Nacos.”)

Cuernavaca - the whole valley - sits on a constantly replenished and fast flowing aquifer of torrential water running off the 18,000 foot , active (very!) volcano, Popocatepetl, to the north-east and the other high Sierras. This has given rise to a whole slew of spas: about 40 in all. The best is Las Estacas, which you can find described in glowing terms in another hub article of mine herein.

One barranca remains flowing fast all year round in the city, terminating in the San Anton waterfall, about 30 meters in height. For a small entrance fee, you can walk around and behind these falls and visit the artisans shops and eateries outside. Many people have built houses and flats clinging to the sides of the canyons, among tropical vegetation, and, I must admit, a large percentage of the city’s rubbish during the dry season. This can be unpleasant, but you can’t see it from the street, parks and squares above the rims. When the floods come in the rainy season, this all heads on out towards the mighty and accommodating Pacific some 200 miles distant. As I said, any Elf ‘n’ Safety nannies around here would likely find themselves bobbing around with the old mattresses and 20-year-old Fords.

One of the reasons Cuernavaca’s native population is so accommodating towards foreigners is that they have been coming here for 400 years. The Conquistador, Hernan Cortez, loved the place and built the imposing palace named after him by the Zocolo; he intended to retire here with his new Spanish bride. Unfortunately for the self-involved warrior, he died in Spain of a stomach complaint before he could return. (Perhaps, as many have said, it was a curse put on him by Malinche, the Indian mistress, who had helped him subdue the Aztecs, and whom he cast aside as not being high-bred enough for the Spanish Court).

Before even Cortez, the mighty Moctezuma, king of the Aztecs, had a summer place in this valley. And Cuernavaca was also first choice of the ill-fated Emperor, Maximilian and his tragic wife, Carlotta: their mansion is now a botanical garden. Famous residents have also included The Shah of Iran, Octavio Paz, actressess Marie Feliz and Katy Jurado, Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth’s heiress and US ambassador Dwight Morrow.(see another hub), among many other luminaries.

Cuernavaca is very accommodating to well-heeled visitors, there’s not a lot for the economy class. Some of the top hotels are converted sugar haciendas, others are offshoots of large, international chains, all done with a special touch, as benefit’s the outstanding beauty of the area. This is a town and state well worth a visit - and an even better place to call home.

(The author of this hub lived and worked in Cuernavaca for 5 years from 1997 and has returned regularly each year since)

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      ABC 6 years ago

      STUPID

    • diogenes profile image
      Author

      diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Thanks for your comments, Leog and your kind correction of the two spelling mistakes. However, you are wrong about people not seeking Cuernavaca as a retirement destination; there are at least 3 thousand retirees there.

      Now. The tone of your comments is aggressive and sarcastic. Please don't comment further in this vein as I shall have your commnents removed and "Leog" banned from commenting on Hubpages. Bob

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)