Travel: Taxco, pronounced "TAS-co," is located about 100 miles southwest of Mexico City. There is no airline service, but modern highways make reaching the city easy by car or bus. Comfortable bus service, with reclining seats, video movies and snacks is available from Mexico City for $7 and from Acapulco for $13. Credit card reservations are accepted through Estrella de Oro, (52-5) 549-8520 or 549-8524. Remember to buy your return ticket ahead of time as buses out of Taxco fill up early. Package tours with round-trip service and hotel accommodations are available through travel agencies.
Climate: Taxco's temperatures are normally comfortable year-round, with the hottest period between April and May averaging in the mid- to upper-80s. Fortunately, the town's inland location keeps the humidity low. Rains during the summer typically are only afternoon showers.Lodging: Hotels near the center of the city are the best bargain, with simple but comfortable rooms available for about $20 or less a night. The four-star Hotel de la Borda, which offers views of the city and relatively easy access to the town's center, runs about $50. Rooms at the five-star Hotel Monte Taxco, which sits at the edge of a city on top of a surprisingly steep road, range from $100 to $150.
Transportation: Parking within the center of Taxco may complicate travel by private car. The best option is to leave autos at hotel parking lots and rely on either taxis, usually converted Volkswagen bugs, or the local "combis," which are VW vans serving as small buses. Taxi fares are typically only a couple of dollars, depending on distance, and combi service is even more economical.
Currency: American dollars are accepted at some businesses, but travelers will get a better exchange rate if they exchange their dollars for Mexican pesos at local banks. The rate recently has floated at around 8.9 pesos to the dollar.
Locals: Shoppers will find that Taxco merchants and peddlers are not nearly as aggressive as in other tourist destinations. The locals are proud of their courtesy and insist that those who are rude must be from out-of-town. Many speak English, and a few stores advertise their clerks' fluency in French or German.
Restaurants: Local fare is quite affordable and tasty, typically costing less than $5. Dinners at more upscale res-taur-ants catering to tourists can range up to $25 or so. Traditional meals such as tacos, enchiladas and pozole are easily found, along with steaks, seafood and pizzas.
Information:: For more information call the Tourist Information Office at (52-762) 2-07-98, which has staff workers who speak English, French and German. Maps and images of Taxco and information in Spanish are available on the Web at (http://taxco.silver.net.mx/taxco/).