— Puebla —

Here are the keys to visiting Puebla and its surroundings in a few days.


To find your way

If you're coming for a weekend you probably won't have time to do everything. But I'll share you the best places to have a great stay.​

Around Puebla, there are many things to do: Atlixco, Cholula and La Malinche among others!

Whether you are a student in Puebla/Cholula or coming to spend a few days, you will not be disappointed in this part of Mexico.

Puebla is the fourth largest city in Mexico and has a population of approximately 3.3 million people. It is located 2 hours by bus from Mexico City and is very easily accessible from other cities in Mexico, whether by bus, car, BlaBlaCar or plane. You will have no problem setting foot in this city.

As a student in Puebla, I will share in this blog the different activities to do for those who want to visit, as well as for those who stay longer.

1. Visit the centre of Puebla

I could recommend you to visit the Zocalo, the Palafoxiana Library, the Chapel of the Rosary and the Cathedral. These are the main attractions in Puebla and you will surely find them mentioned on other blogs.

However, I prefer to give you some lesser known places or activities that you can discover during your visit. But these places are still the basis of a real visit to Puebla!

Baroque Museum

When visiting a city, there is always a visit to a museum. I advise you to visit this museum, which has a remarkable architecture, often with a very nice temporary exhibition.

Outdoor thrift store

Vous trouverez probablement votre bonheur dans tout ce tas de vêtements. Ça se passe le lundi, jeudi et samedi et pour augmentez vos chances de trouver la pépite, je vous conseille d'y aller tôt.

Xanenetla district

Beau p'tit quartier à 20 minutes du Zócalo. C'est le quartier du street art, où tous les murs sont couverts de peintures et de portraits.

2. Cholula

C'est un passage obligatoire si vous êtes amené à visiter Puebla ! Cholula se trouve à seulement 15 minutes en voiture du centre de Puebla. C'est une ville qui a été désignée "Pueblo Mágico" en 2012.

Il y a beaucoup de jeunes et d'étrangers, grâce à la présence de l'Université de l'UDLAP située dans San Andres Cholula. Autrement dit, c'est une ville qui respire la fête, et il y a de quoi faire. Notamment sur la Calle 14, la rue des bars et boîtes !

But not only that, it is also a city known for its cultural heritage.

What to do? Cholula attracts tourists in particular for its magnificent church "Santuario de la Virgen de los Remedios" located on the heights of San Pedro Cholula. This beautiful church overlooks Cholula and Puebla, but above all offers magnificent sunsets over two of the three highest peaks in Mexico: the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes.

This church also stands on the largest pyramid base in the world! You can visit it, but only from the outside.

Good places in Cholula :

Restaurants —> Ocho 30 (Puebla/Cholula), La Berenjena, Spiezza, La Cobacha, Takote/Patio 14 (french tacos !), Las Quekas (Mexican street-food with certainly the best tortas of Mexico).

Bars —> Bilderberg (Belgian draught beers !), Diggin’.

Domestic market

If you are looking for good local produce, including good avocados and mangoes, this is the place to be! You can also have lunch at the stalls, and it's well worth it. It is located behind the zocalo of San pedro Cholula.

Church of Cholula

The famous "Santuario de la Virgen de los Remedios", which is obviously the historical monument of Cholula. I advise you to go there at sunset time!

Great Pyramid

The largest pyramid base in the world is actually in Cholula. You will have the opportunity to visit it, but only from the outside, because of the COVID.

El Aguacate

Les cascades d'El Aguacate vaut le détour si vous rester longtemps à Puebla !

Il faut y aller en voiture (1h15) puisque ce n'est pas desservi et le chemin pour s'y rendre est assez escarpé. L'entrée est d'environ 50 pesos par personne.

Avant d'arriver aux très jolies cascades, vous devrez faire une petite randonnée de 45 minutes, mais ne vous inquiétez pas, ce n'est pas La Malinche, c'est très facile.

Un conseil : Évitez de vous y rendre un dimanche, il peut y avoir du monde. Mais l'ambiance est très familiale, c'est vraiment très sympa !

Hiking around Puebla

Puebla is located at the foot of several volcanoes and the highest peaks in Mexico. If you are at all sporty, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to discover the most beautiful landscapes in Mexico.

En revanche, les sommets présentent une difficulté importante en raison de l'altitude élevée. Alors si vous n’êtes pas habitué au 2000m de Puebla, je vous conseille de rester plusieurs jours en altitude avant de vous lancer ! 

Magnificent view of the Popocatepetl in full explosion

La Malinche

At 4461m, La Malinche volcano is the fifth highest peak in Mexico. A page dedicated to this hike containing all the practical information is already available. If you wish to access it, click here !

Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl National Park

Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl are two volcanoes located respectively at 5426m and 5220m (2nd and 3rd highest in Mexico). According to the legend, they take their name from a couple of young lovers, the woman being the Ixta and the man the Popo.

Several hikes are possible in this park. I propose you to do one that will take you to 4552m on the road to the ascent of Ixtaccíhuatl. To get there, you will have to take a bus to San Nicolas de los Ranchos from the station de combis at San Pedro Cholula (there should also be one from Puebla, check it out). This bus will cost you 14.5 pesos and will take you a little further than San Nicolas, to Santiago Xalitzintla (there is one every 20 minutes from 6.20am).

You get off at the Zocalo of this village, and you have two options to get to Paso de Cortes : soit prendre une voiture qui fait taxi, soit un autre mini-bus (seulement 2 par jour environ). L'option voiture est très facile, plusieurs font spécialement l'aller-retour plusieurs fois par jour. Nous en avions eu pour 90 pesos par personne (on était 4) pour 1 heure de route. Il y a pas vraiment de prix donc ça peut être beaucoup plus (à la gueule!).

In Paso de Cortes, you will have to buy a bracelet for 58 pesos to enter the National Park. Then you can start. A very nice hike is to go to Portillo 3 and back. It's 18km and about 1000m of positive elevation gain.

For the return to​ Santiago Xalitzintla from Paso de Cortes, plusieurs options également s’offrent à vous : Soit prendre le même taxi qu’à l’aller en gardant son numéro, soit, ce que je vous conseille, de repartir avec des inconnus en stop. Ou soit attendre le colectivo (mais il n'y a pas d'horaires...). Pour info, le dernier bus à Santiago pour Cholula est à environ 20h30 (et souvent ils partent plus tôt !).

To complete the ascent of Ixtaccíhuatl, you will need a guide. This ascent requires you to bring mountaineering equipment, as there is a glacier on the final part. In order to climb to the end, you must also spend a night in a tent or refuge in order to acclimatise to the altitude.

For Popocatépetl, however, no hiking is possible due to the activity of the volcano.

Monte Tláloc

A new hike with a summit at over 4000m. At 4,120 metres high, this volcano, which is located next to the Iztaccíhuatl National Park, is the ninth highest peak in Mexico.

How to get there: If you are coming from Puebla/Cholula, you must take a bus to Mexico City, for example Intermedio at Cholula.It is a bus that stops when you want to get off, so the journey can be quite long. You will have to get off at Rio Frio de Juarez, a small village at an altitude of 3,000 metres.

Once in this village, follow ce parcours that will take you to the top.

This hike is quite long, about 25 km round trip, with about 1,200 meters of positive elevation change. The scenery is very different from the other hikes, it is also less steep but much longer. There are also 2 small waterfalls on the way, where you can refresh yourself.

For the return journey, you will have to take a bus from the other side of the road. Buses cost about 120 pesos.