Cuautla (kwouˈtlä) [key], city (1990 pop. 110,242), Morelos state, S Mexico, in the Cuautla River valley. It is a highway junction and the heart of a sugarcane and rice district; in the late 20th cent. it experienced growth as an outlying suburb of Mexico City. Cuautla's hot springs and lovely scenery make it a popular resort and tourist attraction. Historically, Cuautla is famous for the heroic defense made there in 1812 by patriot forces under José María Morelos y Pavón, who cut through Spanish besieging forces. The city is sometimes called Ciudad Morelos.