Located an hour and a half to the south of Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Mexico, is the largest city in the state of Morelos as well as its capital. While it's currently in a bit of a touristic slump internationally due to fewer foreigners choosing to come here to learn Spanish, the domestic tourist scene is still bouncing along, with thousands of residents of Mexico City coming down to spend a weekend away from the big smoke in the smaller smoke.
Hostels in Cuernavaca, Mexico, tend to be centered around the Centro region of Cuernavaca or within easy walking distance of it. Centro is the beating heart of the city, containing all the major sights Cuernavaca has to offer -- the Palacio de Cortes, Cathedral de Cuernavaca, City Museum, and the rows and rows of arts and crafts souvenir stores that seem to deliberately link these sites together. Note that there aren't many hostels in Cuernavaca, Mexico, so book in advance, especially on the weekends and the weeks when festivals (especially one particularly popular one in August) are held; beware that they tend to be full regardless of the time of the year. Book far in advance for these busy times or come at a earlier/later time when the gridlock traffic and citywide detours are no longer in effect.
The paired Avenidas Emiliano Zapata (or Alvaro Obregon and Avendia Morelos depending on where in the city you are) form the spine of Cuernavaca with one street running north only and the other only south. Cuernavaca, Mexico hostels tend to be strung out along these roads as they are the main drag through Cuernavaca with most points of interest located near them and most of the city's bus stations being dotted along these roads as well. With the exception of family-style restaurants and a few bars, there is not much happening in the centro at night and those looking to stay out into the wee hours will need to head into the residential areas to find the happening places.
Cuernavaca's major appeal is its beautiful location. Nestled in the mountains, the city earns its nickname as the city of Eternal Spring, with barely fluctuating temperatures that hover around the thirties Celsius; rain during the day is a rarity. It does regularly rain at night, so if you're staying out late be prepared. Less than an hour to the northeast perches the popular Mesoamerican ruin of Tepotzlan, and to the south sprawls the underrated and appreciated Xochicalco. Both are easy, half-day trips from the city -- regular buses run to and from Tepotzlan and more fiddly buses run almost to and from Xochicalco. Tepotzlan does have a town that can serve tourists wishing to spend longer around the site, but Xochicalco does not, making Cuernavaca the best jumping off spot to it.
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