When in Mexico, make the most of your vacation with a trip down south to Puebla City - a World Heritage Site overflowing with rich historical heritage and picturesque views. This city is located in the Valley of Cuetlaxcoapan, which translates to “where serpents change skin”.
Like many Latin American cities, Puebla is a hub of colour and life. It is home to many historical sites, religious structures and museums, such as Capilla del Rosario, Amparo Museum and the Museo Internacional del Barroco. Continue to make more memories at places like the Historical Passage May 5, the Teleférico Puebla (a cable car that offers beautiful views of the city as it takes you to the top), the Estrella de Puebla (a Ferris wheel), and newer sights, such as the Africam Safari and Flexzone.
Puebla is also one of the most populous cities in Mexico, but you don't need to worry about crime here. It also offers great food and crafts. Before leaving, make sure you've had a taste of Puebla hospitality and cuisine from places like the Hotel Cartesiano, the Zocalo, the Artists quarters, El Parian or the Candy Puebla.
Tourists from long-haul flights (or even just from the 2-hour drive from Mexico City) can take it easy on their first day in Puebla. You can do so by relaxing and getting to know the city on foot. One of the most tourist-approved ways to be laid-back in a new city is to check out (and shop) for the best finds the city has to offer.
Hotel Cartesiano Puebla is believed to have put the city on the luxury travel destination map. Start your first day with a visit to this hotel (whether or not you’re staying here or booking a table for brunch). Then make your way around the city’s historical centre and get acquainted with the Zocalo Puebla, the Artist’s Quarter, the Parian, and finally, the Candy Puebla. All these locations offer a unique taste of Puebla which you can easily stow in your luggage and bring back home.
The Hotel Cartesiano Puebla is a five-star hotel that is built from the city’s old structures. It is a premier location for tourists who wish to have top-quality rest and recreation. What makes this spa-hotel special is that it does not try to set itself apart from Puebla's evidently rich old-world aesthetic, but made the best of it. You'll see colonial mansions, a garage and a tile factory all redressed to deliver a tradition-meets-modernity appeal.
If you’re not staying over night in this hotel, you can still check out its grand architecture and dine at the Centena Cuatro, the restaurant run by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Antonio Trillo.
If there’s one place to describe the heart of Puebla, it is Zocalo. Literally meaning the 'main square,' it is considered to be the city’s political and historical centre. From above, the centre is mapped out in the form of a chessboard. Zocalo used to be a major market, but now it has been turned into a busy tourist spot where locals and visitors hang out.
View Puebla from the eyes of its artists by wandering through the Artists’ Quarter. This Barrio del Artista is a quaint spot in Puebla where works of art adorn the path and artisanal cafes line the alley. For those on the look-out for Instagram “spots”, this is the right place to be when you’re in Puebla. Don’t miss the Genesis sculpture created in honour of Guadalupe Tecuapetla Romero.
El Parian features the best of what you’d expect from a market place, but with a charm that comes from craftsmanship done by hand. It is the only traditional handcraft market in Puebla and is a favourite shopping spot among tourists. Puebla produces the best Talavera pots in the country and you can find them at El Parian. Snacks can also be bought from the market place and is a great place to hang out for those who love art and people-watching.
The Calle delos Dulces is a street in Puebla that sells local candies. This would be a great treat for anyone with a sweet tooth! Taste the sweet side of Puebla with its sugared peaches, oblea wafers, Tortitas de Santa Clara and more. There are about 40 stores to visit and each one has a unique sweet to offer.
Today, you will explore Puebla in more detail as the day is filled with a variety of activities that will allow you to learn more about the city's history. Start with the Rosary Chapel and its gold-encrusted interiors. Get your history lesson from the Amparo Museum and go on an underground tour at the Historic Passage May 5. Afterwards, you can catch a breathtaking view of the city from inside a cable car at the Telerifico Puebla. After a long day of history and adventure, enjoy a sumptuous meal at the Augurio.
The Capilla del Rosario is a minor chapel within the bigger Santo Domingo Church. What makes this chapel special is its New Spanish Baroque design. Once inside, you’ll be mesmerized by the intricate walls and ceilings, most lined and embedded with gold. Statues and paintings also adorn the walls. Puebla and Mexico are blessed with stunning churches, and the Rosary Chapel in the Santo Domingo Church is a great place to start.
Make the Amparo Museum your must-see museum in Puebla. It stands on what used to be a hospital and college, but they were repurposed to be the home of the Espinoza family before being remodelled into a museum. The Amparo Museum houses defining artifacts and items that cover Mexico's Pre-historic, colonial and modern eras.
For sure Cinco de Mayo rings a bell for most. The annual Cinco de Mayo event is a celebration for Mexico's win over the French in the Battle of Puebla. This Historical Passage May 5 (Pasaje Historico del 5 de Mayo) is a chance to walk through the tunnels believed to have been used to transport people during the battle. Take the guided tour to learn more about this tunnel system and see the artefacts that were unearthed during the excavations.
The Teleférico Puebla, or the Puebla Cable Car, is a great way to have a bird's eye view of the city. From the tunnels of Puebla, go full circle and see the city from above on this cableway. This new addition to the city gives tours a modern spin after a day of learning about Puebla’s culture and history. Some tourists prefer to ride in the late afternoon to see the sunset.
Top Chef Angel Vasquez conquers the hearts and taste buds of locals and tourists in his Augurio Restaurant. A must-eat Puebla dish is the mole poblano, and Augurio makes this with a hand-me-down recipe from his great-grandmother. Wine pairings and bread dishes are also well commended by patrons. Give this place a try to have a taste of fine dining in Puebla.
Your last day in Puebla deserves to be fun and action-packed! Kick off Day 3 with a trip to one of Puebla’s most popular destinations, the Africam Safari. Then travel for a few hours to reach the International Museum of the Baroque which houses the design style that inspired many of Puebla's (and Mexico's) artistic and architectural flavour.
After a day in nature and learning more about Puebla's history, keep on the active side and spend a quick afternoon at the new Flexzone Jumping Park! When the sun sets, head over to the Estrella de Puebla. View Puebla from above (this time at night) and see the city sparkle with evening lights. Finally, cap your Puebla tour with more traditional gastronomic treats at El Mural de Los Poblanos.
The Africam Safari will be further out than the other Puebla sites on this list, but it is a must-see! It is a private animal safari park owned by Carlos Camacho Espíritu, hence the name Africam Safari (Africa + first part of his surname Camacho). Like a usual safari trip, visitors get to see the animals from their vehicle as they roam freely.
The International Museum of the Baroque is housed in an eye-catching building. It is designed by Japanese architect Toyoo Ito and features beautiful Baroque-style artworks and sculptures. In the museum, visitors can also find Baroque expositions on period music and theatre. Aside from its superb art, many tourists find the design of the building and its interiors themselves amazing. Don’t miss the inverted fountain in the garden as well!
Keep your Puebla trip moving and spend your downtime in the late afternoon at the Flexzone! This Jumping Park will surely add a spring to your tour (and step). If you’re on the hunt for a unique hang out place that is neither a museum, a cafe or a church, this is a potentially fun alternative for you. There are numerous Flexzone parks across Mexico, so be sure to have fun in one while in Puebla.
Meet Puebla’s answer to the London Eye. This giant Ferris wheel is a great way to take one last look at the city. Tourists are encouraged to ride it at night, as the top of the Ferris wheel offers a majestic view of the city with twinkling lights. A VIP ride can also be arranged, which can fit up to 5 people. Check the weather before riding so you can make sure it isn’t too windy when you go on it.
Cap off your Puebla tour with one last culinary adventure. After you’ve had a taste of Puebla’s cafes and more modern fusions, go back to its roots and dine at the El Mural de Los Poblanos. It is situated right in the heart of the city. Enjoy a meal in a colonial courtyard lined with leaves and age-old charm. The restaurant’s speciality includes varieties of mole and cemitas (Puebla’s unique burger-type dish). Don’t miss this one last treat to the senses at El Mural de Los Poblanos!
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