Our journey began at 10 o'clock in the morning in Mexico City. It takes an Easy 45mins to exit the city streets with their not-so saturated weekend traffic. We stop to buy water, chewing gum and three maps! Our cameras are loaded and ready for the trip. The trip had started!
We go quickly down the street Calz. Ignacio Zaragoza, then from the Benito Juarez Airport across the City Nezahualcoyotl, where the first and last photos are taken before leaving the metropolitan Mexico City. A few minutes along the highway to Puebla, the landscape changes to beautiful areas surrounded by trees and mountains. Our first stop was in Rio Frio ( Photos of Rio Frio ), 64Km from Mexico City, where we stopped to savor some Mexican breakfast sandwiches.
After a refreshing ice cream in Rio Frio we are now going ahead in the direction of Tepetitla. Our next stop will be Cacaxtla, which is driving in the direction of Tlaxcala (29Km Rio Frio).
Cacaxtla is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in central Mexico. According to the archaeological evidence, Cacaxtla has been occupied for a long time, estimated to have been developed around 650-900 BC.
( more info and photos of Cacaxtla ).
Our trip to Puebla ( Info and photos of Puebla ), continued on to the Temple of Santo Toribio in Xicohtzingo. The time of its construction dates from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Fences preserve the main building of the temple as well as a tower clock with two bodies. The facade is brick with inlays of tile; its interior is of baroque and neoclassical style as well as the altarpieces.
Arriving in Puebla, we saw the Temple of the Virgin of Guadeloupe located in the park "Bravo Pass" in the center of the city. Puebla remains in very good condition with many of its original its colonial buildings.
There are a lot of hotels in Puebla, and many have a very detailed colonial style. In the historical center we come to see the Hotel Holiday Inn ( Photos of the Hotel Holiday Inn ), the building it occupies is of an old French style from about 100 years ago. With 80 rooms, 3 suites, 47 rooms with double beds, 30 rooms with one bed, 8 Floors and a restaurant, the hotel makes a good impression in the historical center of Puebla.
Hungry we went to a very simple restaurant "Villa Rosa", known for its rich variations of traditional food and buffet meals, there are not many Restaurants like this in Puebla. The buffet is great, varies each week and includes meals typical of Puebla such as the "Chicken with Mole" and much more. Accompanied by live music we enjoy the atmosphere with the very rich, delicious buffet food.
Reports say that in Santa Clara Puebla where "Mole" was invented, the most typical sweets were invented by nuns, as well as several famous stews including "Chilies in Nogada", created in the 19th Century. The Moles and Pipianes are pre-Hispanic but the religious adapted them integrating seeds: almonds, nuts, peanuts. The latter, in spite of being pre-Hispanic were not utilized in food, which started when the cultures began to crossbreed. With a full belly and a happy heart, our trip continues...
Before leaving for Tehuacan, we take a look at the impressive Hotel Colonial Puebla, which truly is COLONIAL! The hotel is one block from the Zocalo (plaza) in the heart of the historical center of Puebla. The hotel has been on the map of the city since 1668, an astounding 337 years! Hotel Colonial Puebla has 67 rooms all of them with electronic locks, Cablevision TV, a digital safe, telephone and voicemail, an Internet Cafe and the oldest operating elevator in the country (since 1890)! There is no air conditioning but the thermal effect of the walls keeps it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. ( Photos of the Hotel Colonial Puebla )
Something not to be missed is the Church of Santo Domingo. It is impressive how much detail there is in this church. Gold covers almost the entire Church from top to bottom. The side chapel of the Rosary is completely covered with silver. They say it is the 8th wonder of the world. In 1571 the friars of the Dominican Order in Puebla founded a convent dedicated to San Miguel. The temple was completed in 1659 and the high altar of 1688 was the work of Pedro Maldonado. Take a look here it is very worthwhile. Our journey continues ...
Towards Tehuacan ( Photos of Tehuacan ), 154Km outside of Puebla! We were wandering about the city of Puebla for so long; it got dark and turned into the night. The truth is I could not take more pictures on the way because I fell asleep in the car. In front of the Hotel Village Bazaar, I woke up startled. This was the hotel for our night which would be spent in Tehuacan. White walls, more than 40 rooms, Arabic style with exclusive and original details are astonishing taking into account the price is very affordable. The Hotel Bar is one of the places that show the love to detail in Arabic style; rugs and sofas as well as many other fine details are found allover. Personally I like the night better than the day, because the lights are going on all around. This hotel left a large impression on me; I easily finished a roll of photographs. Apart from its detailed structure we found many interesting surprises such as the springs rich in natural minerals, which are extracted exclusively by the Village Bazaar Hotel for treatments such as their unique Pre-Hispanic Spa offer. ( Photos of the Hotel Aldea del Bazar )
The next day is Father's day; we are served a breakfast buffet, not very Arabic with delicious chilaquiles and other traditional Mexican food. Before we continue our journey, the manager of the hotel showed us the cave in which the raw materials for the skin treatments are extracted. This mud rich in minerals is unique to Tehuacan and very few places in the world. 89 steps and 25 yards to the hole in which usually arises a lot of water, but for lack of rain and the climate change, there is not much more than 30 cm of water. Still an impressive display coupled with natural indigenous music.
Tired by the last 89 steps and 24 hours of travel, we approach the last part of our trip in which we learn much about the Cactus, Reptiles, Indians and the environment of Tehuacan and Cuicatlán. Cuicatlán is the name of the protected area near Salinas Zapotitlan. ( Photos of Cuicatlan ) . The Tehuacán - Cuicatlán region represents a unique ecosystem of the semi-arid tropics of Mexico with a very important biodiversity, geological and culture given by ecological and evolutionary processes. One of the most distinctive features of the region Tehuacán - Cuicatlán is its high biological diversity or biodiversity. Indeed, the large number of species and ways of life in this and other arid and semi-arid country belay the popular notion that these regions are biologically poor.
A thousand years and still the wilderness is alive, the Enormous cacti or tree known as "elephant foot" grows a measly 1cm per year! We have a guided tour at the botanical garden and he tells us that the Japanese emperor visited this area in the year 2000; they say that the visit gave him energy. It is not known if it is the truth that the emperor has visited the area, or if it gives power, but Tehuacan Cuicatlan, in central Mexico is a very unique place in the world like the huge elephant foot cacti!