Regions and States

Morelos crestThe state of Morelos is part of the Central Highlands Region of Mexico, along with the states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico (State of), Mexico City, Puebla, Querétaro and Tlaxcala.

The state of Morelos is Mexico’s second smallest in land area (after Tlaxcala) but has a high density of population. The state capital is the historic city of Cuernavaca.

Morelos has numerous tourist attractions including water parks, spas, archeological sites, lakes, historic haciendas and museums. Some of the key events of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) played out in this state, with Emiliano Zapata at the forefront.

Here are select articles and recipes related to Morelos:


© 2000 by Maria Elena.

El Panteon: Cuernavaca’s new cemetery

In Cuernavaca, on the top of a hilly barranca, parallel to Calle Morelos on its way out of town, lies a beautiful new cemetery. A Panteon, already lush with bougainvillea and shrubbery lovingly planted on graves and crypts. Trees had been left standing, framing the natural landscaping and parading like sentinels for the dead on the upper levels of […]


Life translated to art: the works of Mexican painter Mara Odette

“I like to see the human body as the work of my Higher Power, who I choose to call God,” says artist Mara Odette. “I not only like to paint nudes, but also faces and gestures because the expressions in a face or in a body tell a lot more than words.” An attentive observer, […]

The Oldest Railway Station in the World. Cuautla. Inter-Oceanic Railway.

Did you know? Cuautla, Mexico, has the world’s oldest railway station building

In the golden age of steam, railway lines were built all over Mexico. Rail quickly became THE way to travel. Depending on your status and wealth, you could travel third class, second class or first class. Anyone desiring greater comfort and privacy could add their luxury carriage to a regular train. To avoid mixing with […]


Morelos: land of culinary contrasts

The Mexican state of Morelos, although diminutive in size, boasts an impressively large cultural amalgam. Long before Europeans arrived and settled in Cuernavaca and Tepoztlan, now upscale resort areas, groups from many parts of Mexico found their way to this area of natural springs and a nearly perfect climate. The Olmec presence in Chalcatzingo in […]


The Reader’s Companion to Mexico

Cogan’s Reviews This is an odd volume. I originally bought it because it advertises itself as “a gathering of some of the best travel writing ever” about Mexico. However, you quickly find as you dip into it that not all the articles are about travel. Also, very few of them have been written in recent […]


Mexicasa: The Enchanting Inns and Haciendas of Mexico by Gina Hyams and Melba Levick

Cogan’s Reviews I’ve been heard a couple of times lately saying out loud: “What an absolutely amazing country this is!” We were in Patzcuaro a short time ago one Sunday morning when the town’s market was in full swing. An incredible variety of goods were on display. And with all that colorful activity around us, […]

Malinalco plaza

Malinalco: A fount of Mexico’s history

As you drive the winding road into town, you catch glimpses of it perched like an eagle’s aerie on a ridge of the mountains that ring the valley. The small archaeological site, which overlooks Malinalco, is probably the best-preserved Aztec site in Mexico, but this charming town, set amid spectacular scenery has a lot more […]

Chinelos dancers, Morelos

Chinelo Dancers And The Original Hip Hop

From many streets away, we could hear the band playing the distinctive music. It was Carnival in Tepoztlán, and the Chinelos were dancing. We headed in the direction of the music to a small clearing outside the entrance to the church where children, dressed in spectacular costumes and wearing bearded masks, were jumping and hopping […]

Detail of relief on the Pyramid of the Serpents

Did you know? Mexico’s ancient astronomers had sophisticated calendars

Several ancient civilizations developed astonishingly accurate calendars. Even so, occasional adjustments were needed to bring the calendar back in line with solar events. Archaeologists studying the site of Xochicalco, just outside the city of Cuernavaca in central Mexico, believe that a major conference of astronomers was held there in the eighth century A.D. in order […]

A message declaring "Palm Sunday" spins atop a castillo during Palm Sunday festivities in Mexico. © Julia Taylor, 2007

Santa Maria – Morelos Puts Heart Into Its Festivals

What is at the heart of festivals in Mexico? Mexican festivals have something special that those of us non-Mexicans just have to experience to understand. Santa Maria Ahuacatilan, Morelos is the place to experience church centered community celebration. This little town just north of Cuernavaca is maintaining its festival traditions into the 21st century. For […]

Paddling upstream. © Julia Taylor, 2007

Las Estacas – Riverside Aquatic Park In Morelos

The aquatic park Las Estacas came out of your dreams and became reality in the tiny Mexican state of Morelos. The park is sunny, breezy, lush, fun, and relaxing, all rolled into one. The focal point of this park is a sparkling, clear, cool, artesian fed river that borders on much of the bathing and […]

Shops and restaurants line the street, inviting visitors and residents alike inside to browse. © Julia Taylor 2007

Tepoztlan, Morelos Has It All – Part One

To Part Two Tepoztlan also has a feeling of extra magic. It is home to a mountaintop pyramid, UFO sightings, one of Mexico’s best midwives, and clairvoyants. Spanish speakers or not, experienced travelers or newbies, adventurous or shy, shoppers, history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts-Tepoztlan, Morelos welcomes them all and still manages to stay Mexican. There’s something […]

The colorful Tepoznieves shop is a famous and extravagant ice cream store. It offers hundreds of tempting original flavors created from local fruits and other ingredients. © Julia Taylor 2007

Tepoztlan, Morelos Has It All – Part Two

Here it is the long-awaited second half of this article. Now you can make your plans to bring the whole family to Tepoztlan. The Monastery To the left of the church is the old monastery (Exconvento de Tepoztlan), now open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. free of charge. INAH […]


The State Of Morelos – An Overview

The state of Morelos is like a little heart, beating in the center of Mexico. It is fitting that it was named after José María Morelos y Pavon who took over leadership of the revolution after Miguel Hidalgo was killed . Another important leader in the Mexican revolution, Emiliano Zapata was born in Anenecuilco, Morelos […]

Join us to experience the other Mexico and the roads our ancestors traveled.

The Pre-Hispanic, The Colonial, The Royal Roads Of Morelos And Puebla

Step by step, all roads are formed by those who walk them. The roads of Mexico were first formed by native people walking from city to city. These roads – some paved – were used for conducting warfare, cultural interchange, and commerce. Later these same roads were trod by the heavy horses of the conquering […]

Zapote negro. © Julia Taylor 2007

Morelos’ Exotic Foods For The Brave At Heart

A variety of traditional foods that formed part of the pre-Hispanic palette are still available in Morelos today. Adventurous tasting makes traveling more fun so I encourage you to sample them as part of any trip to Morelos. Most of the foods are easier to eat than pronounce so don’t be scared off by their […]

The Zapata Route in Morelos Part 2: Museum at the ex-hacienda in Chinameca. © Julia Taylor 2007

The Zapata Route In Morelos Part 2: His Heart Stopped Beating

Part 1 – The Land Was in His Heart Zapata’s Death After leaving Museo Casa de Zapata your next stop in the Zapata Route is in Chinameca where he was shot. It’s quiet at the ex-hacienda Chinameca and it’s easy to feel the sadness of knowing that Zapata died there. There are three things of interest in […]

The Zapata Route in Morelos Part 1: Mural at the Museo Casa de Zapata. © Julia Taylor 2007

The Zapata Route in Morelos Part 1: The Land Was in His Heart

At the heart of liberty is land. Emiliano Zapata knew this better than anyone; his slogan was “Tierra y Libertad!” (Land and Liberty!) This key figure in the Mexican Revolution was born in the heart of the state of Morelos and today you can travel la Ruta de Zapata (The Zapata Route). In the course of one […]

Our son with two of his neighbors

Kooks in the Kitchen and Great Social Skills: A Mother’s Trade-off in Mexico

Sometimes circumstances in Mexico make it harder to care for a child. But overall, Mexico has given us many blessings as parents. “Kook! Kook!” our son, standing on a chair and pointing emphatically at one particular spot on our kitchen shelves, kept repeating, “kook.” “¿Qué quieres? No te entiendo. ¿Qué es ‘cuc’?” My husband was getting […]

This Diego Rivera mosaic was originally built near the swimming pool of a private home. It depicts native Mexicans bathing in a stream. © Julia Taylor 2008

Cuernavaca’s Muros Museum: There’s Heart within These Walls

Muros, which means “walls” in Spanish, opened to the public in May of 2004. It is the only museum in Cuernavaca, Morelos originally designed to be a museum. The space is flexible with movable lighting, high ceilings and open areas in which display environments can be constructed. The museum gets its name from its 3,600 square […]

The lovely complex has both deep and shallow pools. The park is perfect for family fun in Mexico. © Julia Taylor 2008

Family fun at Parque Aquatico Oaxtepec near Cuernavaca, Morelos

As soon as you walk in the gates of PAO (Parque Aquatico Oaxtepec) you know that everyone in your family is going to have fun. Right in front of the entrance is a sparkling pool with child-accessible water slides under towering palm trees surrounded by an impeccable lawn. All the paths are swept and, if […]

Arches from the original Mexican hacienda's structures are exceptionally beautiful. © Julia Taylor 2008

Play to Your Heart’s Content at the Ex-Hacienda de Temixco in Morelos Part Two: A Long and Varied History

Julia Taylor Ex-haciendas have a feeling of elegance that you can experience only in Mexico. ( Part One: 32 Acres of Aqua Fun) As if the water park weren’t enough, the buildings of the hacienda still stand and have been converted into lovely gardens, providing an elegant area that can be rented for a mere 84,000 […]

A "secret" cave makes this pool fun to explorein the Ex-Hacienda Temixco in Morelos, Mexico. © Julia Taylor 2008

Play to Your Heart’s Content at the Ex-Hacienda de Temixco in Morelos Part One: 32 Acres of Aqua Fun

Just twenty minutes from downtown Cuernavaca, you pass from the noisy, hot traffic of Temixco, Mexico, into the relaxation and fun of the Ex-Hacienda de Temixco water park. As you walk through the gate of the main entrance you instantly begin to enjoy the exquisite gardens surrounding the immaculately kept swimming pools and other facilities. […]

This ceramics shop in 3 de Mayo offers Mexican ceramics, porcelain and resin handcrafted figures. Clusters of tiny wicker baskets hang in the open doorway. © Julia Taylor, 2008

Handmade Mexican Art from 3 de Mayo, Morelos and getting it home in one piece

If you are planning a trip to the state of Morelos in central Mexico you’ll probably want to enjoy a fun day of shopping in the small colonia of 3 de Mayo. (Yes, they spell it with a real number “Three.”) Spending some of your time and money on any of the distinctive products for […]

Daring swimmers on inner tubes race head first down the six-lane water slide to end the ride with a cooling splash in the shallow pool at the end of this popular ride at El Rollo in Morelos, Mexico. © Julia Taylor, 2008

It’s about variety at El Rollo water park in Morelos

Parque Acuático El Rollo (pronounced “ROW-yo”) in Morelos Mexico combines extreme fun with relaxing. It particularly stands out for groups or couples, with many rides that can be enjoyed hand in hand. If you love sun, water, and adrenaline rushes – or if you have teenagers who do, plan a day or two at El […]

The garden and Casa Principal of Hacienda del Cortes.

Relive the romance of colonial Mexico at a hacienda hotel

Staying at a Mexican hacienda hotel is like being transported back in time. The casa principal or main house usually stands before an elegant garden ablaze with purple bougainvillea and red flamboyant. The perfume of orchids fills the air. At some haciendas a massive brick aqueduct arches above and through its arches flows a cerulean blue swimming […]

Las Estacas The main attraction of Las Estacas is floating down the crystal clear river in inflatable inner tubes through a serene, if somewhat manicured, jungle habitat starting from where a spring bubbles out of the ground into a large pool at 8,000 liters a second. Photography & Annotations by Bob Brooke © 2001

Taking the “waters” in Mexico

Ahhhh. Oohhh. Awww. Mmmmmm.” These are the sounds most often heard as bathers first step into a warm mineral pool. More and more North Americans are discovering the pleasures and benefits of soaking in mineral baths, as they seek cures for rheumatism, arthritis, and a multitude of other ailments. But the Mexicans have known the […]

Untitled 8

Inner reality: Ary Stillman in Cuernavaca

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Mexican city of Cuernavaca served as the home of Russian American artist Ary Stillman, whose art was profoundly impacted by his stay there. “As Ary said, in Mexico he felt ever more strongly the essence of the ‘inner reality,’” wrote the artist’s wife, Frances Fribourg Stillman, in […]

spa photo

Inviting spas in Cuernavaca, Mexico

The following information has been summarized and updated from my book, Spas & Hot Springs of Mexico. I recently had the hard duty of visiting three of Mexico’s world-class spas. There are about a dozen spas and hundreds of hot springs throughout the country, and these are among the best. Something that has changed at the spas in […]

This beautiful church in Zacatepec, Mexico faces the zocalo, or main plaza.© Julia Taylor, 2008

It’s hot in Zacatepec, Morelos

There are two reasons you might want to go to Zacatepec, Morelos. The first is to warm up your frozen bones after a few months of northern winter – it’s hot in Zacatepec, really hot. The second is to be in a place off of the beaten tourist track, seeing the “real Mexico” as many […]

Seen from the summit at Xochicalco, vistas of surrounding hills taper away in the shimmering heat. © Anthony Wright, 2009

Busting ghosts at Xochicalco, Morelos: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

These days, for some tourists, it seems that physical history, a sense of history, a sublimity of walking in the footsteps of the ancients by the light of nature itself, is not enough – one’s senses, incapable of an exercise of pure imagination, need to be kick-started into an appreciation of one’s surroundings. Flashing laser […]

Crowds flock to Cuernavaca's Cathedral at lunch time. © Anthony Wright, 2009

In Morelos, Cuernavaca springs eternal

“Slightly to the right and below them, below the gigantic red evening, whose reflection bled away in the deserted swimming pools scattered everywhere like so many mirages, lay the peace and sweetness of the town. It seemed peaceful enough from where they were sitting.” -Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano In the purest sense of things, not […]

Magueyes grow as tall as a man and are many times as wide. These grown in the state of Morelos, Mexico, outside Cuernavaca. © Julia Taylor, 2010

Tears of the maguey: Is pulque really a dying tradition?

A long time ago, before the Spaniards came and changed everything, the people of the Mexican highlands cultivated maguey plants. Like the people, the magueys are native to the cool, dry, high elevation climate. The plants grew well and were useful for many things. Today, the various varieties of these agaves are sometimes called “century […]


Cuernavaca, Morelos – Photo Galleries

Cuernavaca is one of the most interesting cities in Mexico. The dozens of pictures here only scratches the surface of attractions. Commanding the high ground above an agriculturally productive state and on an important land route the location has been prized since Aztec times. Cortes and his family made a base here after the conquest […]

People of all ages enjoy the water. © Julia Taylor, 2007

Everybody’s Happy At Morelos’s Las Huertas Adventure Paradise

Close your eyes and imagine warm water rushing over your shoulders and massaging your back as you recline in the shade, leaning against a log. Open your eyes and you are at Las Huertas enjoying the artesian fed stream at the heart of the park. Paraiso Adventura Las Huertas (Adventure Paradise Las Huertas), located in […]

Don Jose shows the hollow gourd, or acocote, that he uses to extract the aguamiel from the maguey plant. He is an expert at creating pulque. © Julia Taylor, 2011

Tears of the maguey: Is pulque really a dying tradition?

To Part One: Pulque and the people of Mexico If pulque can create such positive results in all of our daily lives, why is it in danger of extinction? What happened to pulque? It appears to be the victim of “classism,” which can be defined as “the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and […]

The Expiatorio church In Guadalajara, Mexico, is a faithful reproductio of a classic Gothic temple. © Sergio Wheeler, 2011

Driving from Guadalajara to Oaxaca

My guide book tells me that it’s exactly 1,000 kilometers from Guadalajara to Oaxaca. That’s about 660 miles. I know of people who say they’ve driven the distance in one day and I have to concede that it’s possible. The only way you can do it is to take toll roads the whole way, start […]


Oyster Mushroom Frittata: Tortilla de Huevo con Cazahuates

Cazahuatenanacatl is the Nahuatl name for oyster mushrooms. While these delicious, meaty mushrooms may be difficult to pronounce in Nahuatl, they are very easy to eat in a variety of dishes. The following, nearly identical to an Italian frittata, is from the CONACULTA collection of nahua recipes. Ingredients: 3 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil […]

Map of Morelos

Map of Morelos

Map of Morelos Map of Morelos SCT, 1999.

Cuautla Map

Cuautla Map

Cuautla Map courtesy of Lonely Planet Travel Books.


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Mark and Tina Wise

On being a gringo in Mexico: From Colonel to Cuernavaca

OK, so it’s really from Lieutenant Colonel to Tehuixtla, Morelos… you’ve heard of poetic license and alliteration? We’re Mark and Tina Wise (and Alexa, our sweet golden retriever). We live in our country home (mi casa es su casa) in Tehuixtla, Morelos, 85 miles SW of Mexico City, 30 miles SW of Cuernavaca and 150 […]


Refreshing Mexican lime leaf drink: Agua con hojas de limon

Since lime trees are so abundant in central and southern México, it’s no surprise that good use is made of the leaves as well as the fruit. The following agua, or fruit drink, is probably one of the cheapest and best drinks in the country and perfect for anyone with access to a lime tree. The amount […]


An American Chef In Mexico

Mexican Kitchen Readers of this column often write to inquire about taking cooking classes in Mexico, though I never recommend one that I have not visited personally. This month, another can be added. Casa del Angel, in Cuernavaca, is a cooking school, spa and bed-and-breakfast run by American chef Billy Cross, whose culinary training and […]


Tepoztlan Map

Tepoztlan Map courtesy of Lonely Planet Travel Books. Their Guide to Mexico is the best Mexico travel book on the market.

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