On weekends, the whole city (including roads, hotels, and restaurants) fills with people from Mexico City. This makes weekends more hectic, but also more fun. You can spend 1 or 2 days sightseeing pleasantly enough. If you've come on a day trip, you may not have time to make all the excursions listed below, but you'll have enough time to see the sights in town. The traditional mercado (public market) adjacent to the Cortez Palace is open daily from 10am to 10pm. The colorful rows of stands are a lively place to test your bargaining skills as you purchase pottery, silver jewelry, crystals, and other trinkets. Note that many sights, including the Cuauhnáhuac museum, are closed on Monday.

Pyramids of Xochicalco -- This pre-Columbian ceremonial center provides clues to the history of the whole region. Artifacts and inscriptions link the site to the mysterious cultures that built Teotihuacán and Tula, and some of the objects found here would indicate that residents were also in contact with the Mixtec, Aztec, Maya, and Zapotec. The most impressive building in Xochicalco is the Pirámide de la Serpiente Emplumada (Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent), with its magnificent reliefs of plumed serpents twisting around seated priests. Underneath the pyramid is a series of tunnels and chambers with murals on the walls. At the observatory, from April 30 to August 15, you can follow the sun's trajectory as it shines through a hexagonal opening. The pyramids (tel. 777/374-3090 for information) are 36km (22 miles) southwest of Cuernavaca, open daily from 9am to 6pm. Admission is 51 pesos.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.