Update: Spring 2022
CUERNABUS, THE CITY’S TOURIST ATTRACTION
The Cuernabus tours that had been reduced only to weekends and holidays are now running again seven days a week. The one-hour-twenty-minute tour of Cuernavaca departs from centro daily at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm. This is a private service owned by Pullman de Morelos. Prices are 100 pesos for adults, 60 pesos for children and elderly with INAPAM.
The bus is parked adjacent to the Cortes Palace facing the Plaza de Armas. Tickets are sold by the driver. Get there at least 15 minutes prior to departure to get your ticket. One boards the bus according to the number on the ticket. If you want to take photos you need to be on the upper deck so bring a sun hat and wear sunscreen. Someone with a parasol was asked to put it away since it blocked the view of other passengers.
The bus departs the zócalo punctually and heads north on Calle Morelos where traffic is almost always bumper to bumper in daylight hours. The Spanish-speaking guide points out sites of interest with (in my view as a former guide) minimal information. The loudspeaker is adequate if the street noise isn’t overbearing, but this can’t compare with the plug-in earphones with narration in multiple languages one enjoys on tour buses in large cities in the U.S. and Europe. There was no mention of the sensational Museo de Arte Indígena Contemporáneo, and the old Casino de la Selva was described five minutes before we passed the site.
You have to be very fast with your camera because the bus barely slows down and does not stop at sites like the entry to the Barranca Amanalco, Parque Melchor Ocampo, and Teopanzolco pyramid, probably because it is followed by heavy traffic with lots of impatient horn blowers.
On the upper deck, one gets a view of many homes and gardens behind the walls, not all of them attractive, some quite the opposite. One treat this time of year is a great view of all the flowering trees. On the other hand, many of the streets taken are over-grown with trees whose branches lashed the passengers and at times someone had to move forward and hold the larger branches up with a pole to prevent damage to the upper windshield.
Frankly, the bus is too large for the narrow streets of Cuernavaca. In several places it had to back up and turn off onto another street due to construction or inability to pass when cars were parked on both sides of the street. In justice to the driver, some of the blocked streets were open the previous day. But we were stuck in the hot sun unable to move for ten minutes on Calle Leyva with angry drivers lined up behind us. I suspect the narrow streets prevent it from passing the Casa Maximiliano/Jardin Botánico in Acapantzingo.
I had taken the smaller Tren Turístico years ago and enjoyed its ability to maneuver more easily on the narrow streets, and that vehicle was more charming albeit lacking the views afforded by the upper deck on the new bus. The earlier service also allowed for complete stops including a walk in the Barranca Amanalco and the Cathedral grounds. The new one keeps moving at as steady a pace as the traffic allows with no stops at all.
This is a good way for newcomers to the city and tourists from outside Morelos to learn their way around the city and see its main features. Knowing Cuernavaca well, I did not find this a very enjoyable ride, but I do recommend it to first-timers in the city and your visiting house guests.