Taxco de Alarcón (usually referred to as simply “Taxco”) is a small city and administrative center of a municipality of the same name (Taxco de Alarcón) located in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The name Taxco is most likely derived from the Nahuatl word tlacheco, which means “place of the ballgame.” However, one interpretation has the name coming from the word tatzco which means “where the father of the water is,” due to the high waterfall near the town center on Atatzin Mountain. “De Alarcón” is in honor of writer Juan Ruiz de Alarcón who was a native of the town. Like many municipalities in central Mexico, the municipality’s coat-of-arms is an Aztec glyph. This glyph is in the shape of a Mesoamerican ballcourt with rings, players and skulls, derived from the most likely source of Taxco’s name.
The city is heavily associated with silver, both with the mining of it and other metals and for the crafting of it into jewelry, silverware and other items. This reputation, along with the city’s picturesque homes and surrounding landscapes have made tourism the main economic activity as the only large-scale mining operation here is coming to a close.
Taxco is located in the north-central part of the state, 36 km from the city of Iguala, 135 km from the state capital of Chilpancingo and 170 km southwest of Mexico City. The city was named one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Towns) due to the quality of the silverwork, the colonial constructions and the surrounding scenery.
Taxco de Alarcón is one of the 81 municipalities of Guerrero, in south-western Mexico. The municipal seat lies at Taxco de Alarcón. The municipality covers an area of 347 km².
As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 98,854.