Puebla is state whose towns are known for their beauty and rich gastronomy. That is why we decided to roam through this enchanting state, and to bring you a top 5 of the paces you must see!
Wander around this foggy town that has been chosen by UNESCO as one of the most iconic “Magical Towns of Mexico”. Renowned for its mild humid weather and quaint sloping streets, you can practically embrace how the small houses and buildings painted in red and white give life to an atmosphere of welcome comfort. Visit the stunning cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi and be amazed by the traditions of indigenous life that lie scattered on every detail.
When in town, don’t forget to try out the tlacoyos, a Mexican snack made out of a special dough mixed with avocado, animal fat, green chile and salt, that is either filled with peas, mashed potatoes or beans. And yes, there is a typical alcoholic beverage called yolixpa –which kind of tastes like Jägermeister– also known as “drink of the heart”. This spirit is made out of about thirty different plants, roots and spices, including mint, basil and thyme, and sweetened with honey and unrefined brown sugar.
It is famous for its centuries-old weekly marketplace reunion. Native indigenous groups from surrounding areas gather together in their traditional dress and offer their homegrown wares, clothing and pottery. The interesting thing here is that they still honor the barter system, whereby they trade a few vanilla or cocoa beans with their neighbors for whatever they need and vice versa. Of course they also use modern currency for the city dwellers and foreign visitors. This was the town chosen for its remarkable colonial architecture and cobblestone streets and landscapes by international movie producers for films such as “For Greater Glory”, starring Andy Garcìa, Peter O’Toole and Eva Longoria, and is also the scenario of an extraordinary event called the “Voladores or Flying Men”, originally from Papantla, who whirl atop a high pole, and circle it upside down until they alight, while a guardian stands at the top of the pole on a small wooden square playing the flute and a small drum. Amazing!
If you are interested in visiting the natural beauties of the area, there is a breathtaking community nearby with pools, puddles and small waterfalls one can bathe in, called San Andrés Tzicuilan.
San Pedro Cholula
This town’s magnificent architecture and colonial atmosphere stands out for its unusually large amount of churches and cathedrals: three hundred and sixty-five, one for every day of the week, as the locals proudly point out, such as the Ex Convento de San Gabriel with its beautiful gothic style. Roam through the Plaza de la Concordia, the second most spacious in the country as the three major volcanoes look down majestically in the background.
As in every other town in Puebla, give yourself a break to relax with the scrumptious gastronomy of the area. Mole, of course, is a must. Also, the Choluteca soup, made with zucchini, corn and mushrooms is a local delicacy. The “elephant ears”, huge tortillas with beans, cheese and a rich spicy sauce, are perfect to go with every meal. And to drink, try out the local cocoa or a nice glass of cider.
If you are into Christmas, this is a town you must visit, since one of its key features is the variety of spheres of every possible color and shape you can imagine. There are over two hundred sphere factories where you can purchase them. The main kiosk at the Plaza de Armas of Mudejar style stands out for its delicate construction, with an inner fountain as a symbol of purity.
However, it is not all about Christmas in this town, since the festivities of the Day of the Dead are some of the most magnificent in the country. Early November, as the sun goes down, hundreds of locals march with torches towards the lake on a solemn display of remembrance and beauty.
For an outdoor adventure, the Quetzalapan waterfall is just 3 miles away, where you can hike and swim in the local thermal waters of the area
This is the place for those who wish to get acquainted with the traditions of the state of Puebla. Pahuatlán is one of the Mexican entities that still have a strong hold to its indigenous roots and customs. Superstitions and rites come alive in everyday life, and flowers can be found everywhere –there is even a Flower Fair in the in the days of Lent–.
Here, you can taste a vast majority of pre-Hispanic recipes, right next to traditional mole, onion tacos, pork skin and acamayas, a kind of full-flavored shrimp found in many dishes. And is it well worth mentioning that the local coffee is outstanding.
Atlixco, a town of fertile ground and spring weather has some of the most beautiful architecture in the country. There are plenty of remarkable convents, buildings and cathedrals of striking beauty to visit. There are also several waterparks with slides and camping sites nearby. Climb the Cerro de San Miguel, an emblem of Atlixco where you can admire a top shot of the town nestled in a perfect landscape as you enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
And when appetite strikes, be sure to try some of the local dishes: the Atlixquense consommé with chicken, chipotle and slices of avocado and quesillo, cecina (dried beef) or a taco placero (charbroiled beef). Jeripa (a rice-flour based candy) is the perfect dessert for every meal. Enjoy, and Buen provecho!