Home Expat Blogs Cuernavaca Is Mexico’s Forever Spring City

Cuernavaca Is Mexico’s Forever Spring City

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Jardin de Mexico Cuernavaca, Mexico
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hello to all and greetings from beautiful Puerto Vallarta where our winter weather is always wonderful!  Many visitors and expats have called It paradise, or paraíso in Spanish. But our wonderful weather with sunshine every day, high temperatures in the 70s F to low 80s and low temperatures in the 60s F, lasts for just four months before the temperature and humidity begin creeping up again. But, Cuernavaca is Mexico’s forever spring city and that’s what we will show you today.

Many people think the weather in Cuernavaca is nearly perfect, or as close as it can be, all year long. Now, we know that what people consider a perfect climate varies widely by individual taste, but we think it is generally agreed upon that Cuernavaca has the best year-round climate in the country.

Just over 50 miles (86 km) south of the capital city is Cuernavaca (Spanish pronunciation is kweɾnaˈβaka) in the State of Morelos. Cuernavaca is the largest city and the capital of Morelos. Its name is derived from the Náhuatl “Cuauhnāhuac”, meaning surrounded by trees. The name of the city changed a few times to its current name because the Spanish conquerors couldn’t pronounce the Náhuatl word.

Before colonial times, Cuernavaca was founded by the people called Tlahuicas who paid tribute to the Aztecs. Even then the city was known for its warm and stable weather throughout most of the year.

At nearly one mile in elevation, Cuernavaca’s climate is moderated by its altitude. The warmest month is May with an average temperature of around 74 F (23.5 C) and the coolest month is January, an average of about 66 F (18.7 C). Interestingly, the municipality has two distinct climates. In the north, the climate is temperate with rain predominantly in the summer. In the southern urban area, the climate is warmer but has the same moisture pattern. The average annual temperature is 70 F (20.9 C). April and May are the warmest months and December the coldest. Temperatures only occasionally exceed 93 F (34 C) or fall below 50 F (10 C). Average annual rainfall is about 50 in. a year (1263 mm) and humidity averages only 57 percent during the year. And the sun shines most of the time!

Cuernavaca’s gentle spring-like weather year-round has caused many poets and writers to praise its climate. In his “The City of Eternal or Forever Spring” Alexander von Humboldt writes:

To the south east of the city of Cuernavaca (the ancient Quauhnahuac), on the western declivity of the Cordillera of Anahuac, in that happy region, designated by the inhabitants under the name of tierra templada (temperate region) because it is the reign of perpetual spring, rises an isolated hill, which, according to the barometrical measurement of Mr. Alzate, is one hundred and seven metres high.

— Humboldt (1810)

Besides its beautiful weather, there are many historical places to see in Cuernavaca. For example, El Palacio de Cortés, or The Palace of Cortés. It is considered the most representative building of Cuernavaca. It was built by Hernán Cortés and it was finished in 1535. It is one of the oldest European, Renaissance-style buildings in the Americas. The series of arches of the central terrace, the battlements and the thick walls are the most representative aspects of the original construction. Just outside in front of the palace is an old pyramid base over which Cortés had the structure built, on a hill that dominated the old city.

After having been the residence of Cortés and his descendants for several centuries, the building became a warehouse, a jail, a military barracks, and then the State Government Palace (until 1969). From 1971 to 1973, the building was restored extensively and today houses the Museo Regional Cuauhnáhuac, which is dedicated to the history of Morelos State.

It has 10 exhibit halls with maps, illustrations, photographs, works of art and everyday items from various periods of time representing the first human settlements in the state to the present day. It has murals created by Diego Rivera that reflect both Morelos and Mexican history. Adjacent to the Palacio, there is a permanent local handcraft market, which we highly recommend. You can purchase silver jewelry, T-shirts, beaded bracelets, pottery, hammocks, blankets and much more.

Another place to see is the Jardín Borda, or Borda Garden. It is located near the cathedral. Originally, this was a house bought by José de la Borda, the mining magnate of Taxco, in the mid-18th century. Later, his son, Manuel de Borda y Verdugo, transformed the grounds of the house into gardens filled with flower and fruit trees to satisfy his passion for botany. The gardens also contain a number of fountains and an artificial lake that were completed in 1783. Today the complex contains an art gallery, offices, a restaurant and an open-air theater. In 1865, this was the summer home of Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Carlota Amalia.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Borda Garden sponsored soirees, such as those sponsored by Porfirio Díaz and Emiliano Zapata. Today, the area is a public park where the gardens have been maintained and it is possible to take a short boat ride on the lake. The house has been converted into a museum. Six of its halls are dedicated to temporary exhibits while the other seven are devoted to recreating the characteristics of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, another interesting place to visit, is located next to the Borda Garden, and was constructed by Manuel de la Borda in 1784. It has a Baroque facade and what is considered to be the best dome in the city. It was the royal chapel of Emperor Maximilian.

Yes, Cuernavaca is Mexico’s Forever Spring City with a storied climate, but it is also much, much more as you will discover when you visit this wonderful city just a short drive south of Mexico City.

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