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Magic village of CUETZALÁN

Driving north on the sinuous road 129, you’ll go through hills , woods and splendid valleys covered with fruits, pepper, corn, beans and coffee plantations. The view is fantastic if the weather is nice.

You shouldn’t leave this state without visiting the village of Cuetzalán, 174 km (108 miles) north from Puebla. It is a "pueblo mágico", famous for its traditional market on Sundays. It is a market with Mestiza, Nahua and Totonaca traditions.
Indian going to the market of Cuetzalán

Left picture : Indian going to the market of Cuetzalán

Go there absolutely on Sundays, to see the traditional market attended by the indigenous in their traditional clothes. The market is held over the whole downtown from 7AM to 6PM. You will find every kind of goods : flowers, vegetables, meat, kitchenware, craft and nice traditional embroidered shirts and dresses. Taste the drink : Maracuya; you will love it !

The visitor center (open 9AM-4PM) is very welcoming: it gives you maps and good information, (233) 331 00 15.
By the side of the visitor center, you can visit the small museum (free) with mainly traditional clothes; it is open from 9AM to 6PM.

Wear comfortable shoes because the village is characterized by sloping cobbled streets. Take a taxi to go from the Bus Terminal to your hotel (mxn$40) to avoid walking up with your luggage and walking down to start the visit of the village

market of CuetzalánYou can visit the Parish of San Francisco de Asis and the sanctuary of Guadalupe as well as the municipal Palace, of Russian neoclassic style. In the area, you can go to Masatepec, San Andrès Tzicuilan and the archaeological site Yohualichán (8 km or 5 miles from Cuetzalán). Take a pesero (mxn$10) from the street of the museum, at the entrance of the village to go to this free site, of little interest, open 10AM-5PM, daily, $31.

     Right picture : market of Cuetzalán

Voladores totonacas in CuetzalánEvery Saturday at 6PM, the Voladores Totonacas make their show on the Church plaza, then at 9PM at the restaurant Los Jarritos.

How to get there ? From the Capu in Puebla (Central de Autobuses de Puebla), blvd Norte # 4222, (222) 249 72 11 : The price is $150.

        Left picture : Voladores totonacas in Cuetzalán

Other villages or small cities

If you have time and like the “mountain villages” atmosphere, take the road 119 to go to Xicolapa and Chignahuapan, villages 110km (68 miles) north from Puebla.
There is also an interesting handcrafted market in the south east of the State, on Saturdays, in Tehuacán (120 km or 74 miles from Puebla).

If you travel by bus, it will be difficult to void downtown Mexico City to go to the northern part of Mexico. But, if you travel by car, go through Tlaxcala, Capital of the smallest state, Cacaxtla and Texcoco before heading to Teotihuacán.

Walk thru Cuetzalán

Comments in spanish


Comments of Unesco about Cuetzalán

Totonaque Indian going to the market in CuetzalánExtract of UNESCO website : Cuetzalán and its Historical, Cultural and natural surroundings. Inscription on the Tentative List in September 2006 (A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination during the following years).

"Cuetzalán cannot be conceived without the forceful presence of the indigenous communities integrating the municipality and inhabiting the entire region. The site is a reflection of the color, the dances, the rites and religious commemorations practiced by its ancestral settlers.
The testimony of its architectonic expression is unique in the Poblana mountain range. Its urban fabric is elevated in a winding formal concert of eaves and stone with strange closings as singular is the character shaped in the hierarchy and the showing of its lines of vision caused by its original and majestic.

    Right picture : Totonac Indian going to the market in Cuetzalán

The parish of San Francisco and the Sanctuary of Guadalupe, exceptional in proportions and styles, cause an impressive resistance of the syncretism of master builders and craftsmen, of rain, fog and sun.
In that context, an opened space of enormous proportions is conserved, which allows the lodging as much in three uses different from settlers as visitors: First "Religious Ceremonial" of the vestibule of the parish, place where the Huipil celebration and the rite of the rockets take place. In ascending sense what follows is the "Plaza de Armas" in front of Municipal Palace, of just usufruct by the settlers of the indigenous communities. And the steps where the tianguis is made, every Sunday event of rooted embellish tradition polychrome that is to national and foreign visitors.

flower market in Cuetzalán
This ensemble provides to the city with a great urban space that is not repeated in any other mountain population. These are elements that drew up consolidating, in cross-sectional sense to the natural topographic runners by whom the urban fabric of the population was seeded.
As an extension of the urban plan the natural habitat presents/displays the effect of the changes of altitude with its manifestations and own ecosystems of the semitropical creeks. Also in their immediate surroundings are slopes of system Cuetzalán the Grotto, formed by underground water-bearing current millenarians.

Left picture : flower market in Cuetzalán



In that atmosphere, where the pre-Hispanic culture merges with the green one, in a look of forests, habitual sounds and diverse forms of life rise Yohualichan, explaining the first presence of a human nucleus in the municipality." (End of the extract). Entrance of Yohualichán, $35, 10AM-5PM, daily. Looks like El Tajin.

     Map of the state :

market of Cuetzalán      





       Right picture : market of Cuetzalán



ruins of Yohualichán, west monticule

     Left picture : ruins of Yohualichán, west monticule


El trabajo de un grupo de mujeres artesanas de San Miguel, Cuetzalán, estado de Puebla, México.
Working group of ladies.


Video in spanish



Your comments about the content of this page
  • posted on 04/01/2014 - 13:01 by Prof Jim Becker  0 votes   
    Sir/Madam: I recently wrote a travel blog on Cuetzalan for senior visitors and wanted you to have a copy. Please share this site below and information with other interested persons. I thank you. http://seniorcitizen.travel/types-of-vacationtravel/adventure-travel/seniors-return-to-mexico-2/ Jim Becker, Webmaster Professor Emeritus University of Northern Iowa ============================ jebecker@hughes.net The daily travel blog link:  http://seniorcitizen.travel/
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