Morelos is Mexico’s second smallest state but one of its most appealing tourist destinations. Located on the border of the Federal District in south-central Mexico, it is only a 90-minute drive from the Mexico City airport and two and a half hours from Acapulco. Its near-perfect year-round climate has attracted visitors since the days of the Aztec emperors. The climate is so agreeable that many Hollywood films have been set here, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Under the Volcano, and Two Mules for Sister Sara.


Jardines de Mexico in Jojutla municipio off the Autopista del Sol, thirty-minutes drive south of Cuernavaca.

Agriculture and tourism have been mainstays of the economy. In the 19th century it was one of the largest sugar-producers in the world, and its high-quality rice is deservedly famous. Flower production is considerable, including substantial exports of roses. The Poinsettia, cultivated by the Aztecs as Cuitlaxochitl, is native to Morelos.


The Italian-style garden at Jardines de Mexico.
Photos by James Horn

The state is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world for which investors chose it to create the largest and most magnificent flower garden in the world. The multi-million-dollar Jardines de Mexico constitutes almost 250 acres with millions of plantings  and a sculpture park, just a thirty-minute drive from the capital city, Cuernavaca.


The ruins of Xochicalco, Morelos

The state’s pre-Columbian heritage can be admired at spectacular archaeological sites like Xochicalco, Malinalco, and Chalcatzingo. Since its conquest from the Tlahuica Indians by Hernán Cortés in 1521, Morelos has played a major role in Mexican history especially in the war of Independence from Spain, the War of the Reform, and the Mexican Revolution, famous for the leadership of Emiliano Zapata. One can follow his heroic footsteps on “La Ruta de Zapata.” During the colonial period beautiful religious convents were constructed that are now world-heritage sites that can be visited easily by following “La Ruta de los Conventos.”


Morelos excursion map from James J. Horn, Cuernavaca, A Guide for Students & Tourists, Click on photo to enlarge.

The state is home to more than 35 aquatic parks and bathing resorts (balnearios) described online at Lake Tequesquitengo offers quality-vacationing and sporting activities including water skiing, wakeboarding, and one of the first cable-skiing parks in Mexico.

Hacienda Cocoyoc

Water plunges from the ancient aqueduct at Hacienda Cocoyoc.
Photo courtesy of the hotel.

 Hacienda Vista Hermosa

The pool at Hacienda San José Vista Hermosa
Photo by James Horn

Several charming colonial haciendas have been converted to deluxe vacation resorts. A web search will reveal tempting photographs and lists of amenities.

Among them are Hacienda Cocoyoc, Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas, Hacienda San José Vista Hermosa, San Antonio el Puente, Ex-Hacienda Santa Cruz Vista Alegre, and Ex-Hacienda de Cortés in Cuernavaca. Well worth a visit are the enchanting pueblos mágicos (magic villages) Tepoztlán and Tlayacapan.

Many cities and pueblos in Morelos have become home to US and Canadian retirees who enjoy the felicitous climate and lower living costs as well as the superb medical and dental facilities available at low cost. Morelos boasts an excellent State University and over 30 other institutions of higher education.

 Rain of Gold tree

Lluvia de Oro, a Golden Rain tree, in the Cathedral garden, Cuernavaca. Photo by Ben Cordoba.


The Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Asunción,
Cuernavaca. Photo from internet images.

The capital city, Cuernavaca,  “the city of eternal spring,” is famous for its schools specializing in teaching Spanish to foreigners, second only to Salamanca, Spain. Its historic attractions include the 16th century Cathedral, the Borda Gardens, the Robert Brady Museum, and the Cortés Palace museum, home to some of Diego Rivera’s finest murals


The Cortés Palace, Cuernavaca.
Photo from internet images.

Perhaps the state’s greatest attraction is the warmth of its people who will welcome you with open arms a tu casa en Morelos, México.

For more information on day trips in the State of Morelos, see James J. Horn, Cuernavaca, A Guide for Students & Tourists, available as an e-book at



  1. What a stellar piece on Morelos expressed with appropriate enthusiasm without being braggy. Two things: Cuernavaca has been eclipsed as a center fo language studies by Antigua, Guatemala or Cuenca, Ecuador. Also, the map was not easy to read, even magnified. Great work!! Will send to my friends and relatives.

    • Thanks Jake… Antigua’s schools are one-on-one but the total number of students is not equal to Cuernavaca. It’s a fantastic city and I love it but I think one-on-one is too much pressure in a class. You need to be able to rest a bit at times. Cuenca Ecuador is so remote that, albeit beautiful, is too far away and too far to reach to ever be a center for tourism. Cuernavaca’s schools are slowly making a comeback. Not sure what device you are reading on but when I click on the map on my laptop it comes out easily readable. I do appreciate your following my blog and taking the time to comment. Jim


  3. Pingback: DAMAGED BUT UNDAUNTED,  MORELOS BECKONS TOURISTS, October 3, 2017­­­ | Jim Horn News

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