Chilpancingo de los Bravo (Chilpancingo) is the capital of the state of Guerrero, Mexico, and is the state’s second largest city, behind Acapulco. It is located 284 km (176 miles) from Mexico City and 129 km (80 miles) from Acapulco. Chilpancingo is known as a university town and agricultural center with a focus on its governmental and administrative responsibilities.
Chilpancingo has the traditional Zócalo, or Main Square, surrounded by the Palacio Municipal (Government Palace), grandiose church, businesses, and shopping areas. While there is not much of a tourist draw to the city, if you are visiting here, it offers some interesting highlights that merit some attention.
On the Zócalo sits the former Palacio Municipal, inside of which are murals depicting one of the city’s most important claims to fame and its position in the history of Mexico. In 1813, Insurgent leader José María Morelos y Pavón and his band of rebels encircled Mexico City, demanding that a congress be instituted in Chilpancingo. The congress issued a Declaration of Independence and discussions began in Chilpancingo regarding the future of Mexico as an independent nation and around the principles of a new constitution. Meanwhile, Spanish troops breached the insurgent’s circle around Mexico City, after which, Morelos was tried for treason and then executed.
Another major attraction is the new civic plaza, First Congress of Anahuac, which is the location of the new Presidential Palace, as well as the buildings occupied by the Constitutional Council, the House of Representatives, and the High Court of Justice. The Regional Museum is also on the plaza. All of the buildings were remodeled based upon a neo-classical architectural design.
And what is Mexico, without its beautiful and ornate churches? There are several for you to enjoy in Chilpancingo. The city’s main temple, the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption (aka St. Mary of the Assumption), is located along the First Congress of Anahuac Plaza. Other fascinating churches to visit include the San Mateo Church and the San Francisco Church.
If your trip to Chilpancingo happens to include a Thursday, you won’t want to miss out on the “Thursday Danzon”. It takes place every Thursday of every week at the First Congress of Anahuac Plaza. People meet at 6:00 pm, sharp, at the central plaza kiosk, in which the Guerrero state government band performs popular dance music and people dance, dance, dance!
Chilpancingo’s other interesting attractions include:
- A Bullfight Arena
- The Interactive Museum La Avispa, aka The Wasp Museum of the Child – this museum’s purpose is to promote education and has 3 rooms with 46 museum exhibits.
- The Guerrero Regional Museum – it is really Chilpancingo’s House of Culture and features two permanent exhibit showrooms; it is also host to frequent temporary exhibitions.
- The Juxtlahuaca Caves – are located 52 km southeast of Chilpancingo and are a very popular destination for cavers where rock art and Olmec iconography can be observed. The 5-km-long cave system was declared a natural park and is open to the public, however, visitors can only access it with a guide.
- The Zoochilpan Zoo
- The Tehuacalco Archeological Site
- A Wresting Arena
Shopping is always a favorite thing to do in a traditional Mexican town, and Chilpancingo is no different. Be sure to check out the city’s open-air markets and handcraft centers to pick up souvenirs, such as locally crafted masks and art pieces made of pine and cedar.