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Taxco, the silver city on a hill.

Taxco is about 100 miles south of Mexico City, perched on the side of a mountain that became one of the invading Spaniards’ most productive silver mining areas after they discovered silver there about 1532. The city was founded by Spanish leader Hernán Cortés himself sometime shortly after.

Large scale mining has ended there, with the last major mining operation having closed only about 10 years ago. Now, tourism is the most important industry, along with the fabrication and sale of jewelry and other silver goods.

As soon as you arrive in Taxco, you’ll be swarmed by silver vendors and hawkers for silver tours, shops, and galleries. The main plaza is surrounded by silver shops.

The most important consideration as a tourist is the terrain. Taxco is situated on the side of a steep mountainside. The main highways enter Taxco about 150 feet in elevation downhill from the downtown area. Taking a leisurely walk means walking up and down the mountainside.

A street slopes sharply uphill in downtown Taxco, Mexico.
Sprawled up the mountainside, Taxco is known as a center for silver goods.
This is actually one of the main streets into and out of the main plaza of Taxco, Mexico.
The new large-letter sign of Taxco in front of the Santa Prisca Cathedral.
In Taxco, the walk home from school will keep you in shape.
You could say that Taxco is a switchback city.
Heading up the mountain means you get to come back down again.
But coming down the mountain means you have to go back up.
Old-model Volkswagen Beatles are one of the most common automobiles in Taxco, Mexico, because of the narrowness of most of the city’s streets.
A view out over Taxco just before sunrise.
A bug passes under Taxco’s colonial-era aqueduct.
A typical pedestrian alley in Taxco.
Surrounding Taxco’s zocalo, shops and cafes are just a few steps up.
The streets of Taxco are beautiful and steep.