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Trip Report

Level Contributor
763 posts
102 reviews
Trip Report

Just spent a few days based in San Pedro Cholula. I was there for a few days last summer and had a chance to return for a few more days - this time with my husband.

We combined this with vacationing in La Paz. This may sound a little strange but it worked well for us. We fly out of a minor US airport and the only places that we can fly to in Mexico that don’t involve ridiculously long flights are on the coasts. Even Mexico City is a pain to get to. (Please, Southwest, resume flights to and from Mexico City!) But it’s only a 2 hour and 20 minute flight from La Paz to Mexico City and cost us $60 one way per person. And we really enjoyed combining beach time with time in Puebla.

One new thing: the light rail or train or whatever you call it that runs between San Pedro Cholula and the train museum in Puebla is now running. It departs 3x per day on weekdays and 4x on weekends and holidays. You have to buy a ticket at least 24 hours in advance. Since we didn’t find out about this until the day before we left I can’t tell you anything about the ride. That will have to wait until next time.

We arrived late Saturday night so only had time to eat. But Sunday is a wonderful day to spend in San Pedro Cholula. First we went to the Cosme del Razo market just west of the central park. I love markets. This one is a local market and not aimed at tourists (I was able to do that in La Paz.) Lots of fruits, vegetables and other foods and then a little bit of everything from socks to flowers to screwdrivers. If I had been staying longer I would have bought some food. In retrospect, I should have bought some food anyway. It’s going to be a while until I can get any local fresh fruit besides citrus at home..

Then over to the central park. (Or should I call it a zocalo or an alameda?) Again, Sunday is the best day for visiting. So many cute little kids, all dressed in white after having their first communion at the church next to the park. A bride and groom posing for photos before their wedding. Bands playing - one was in the courtyard of the Casa del Caballero Aguila and another over at the other end of the park, as well as smaller groups of musicians playing by the restaurants. We just people watched for a while and stopped for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants on the west side of the park (which was surprisingly good, wish I remembered the name)

Decided to take the tranvia bus tour. My husband has some issues with chronic pain which limits his mobility so it seemed like an easy way to visit San Francisco Acatepac and Santa Maria Tonanzintla.

Two drawbacks to this tour. One is that the seats on the top level are ridiculously low - at least for me and my husband who are 5’ 7” and 5’ 10”, respectively. I have had quite a bit of back pain after getting home and it’s still a bit sore today. I’m not sure how much is due to the tranvia and how much is due to that hard bed I endured in San Pedro Cholula. But I can understand why those seats are so low. The tranvia travels city streets with low hanging utility lines and even with the low seats we had to duck a few times when those lines were a little too low for our liking.

The second drawback is that you get only about ten minutes at each of these churches. I’ve been to them before and my husband was fine with ten minutes but if you want more time you’ll need to take a taxi. But it’s only 60 pesos per person and you drive by quite a few other churches (you can see Nuestra Senora de los Remedios only from a distance but from several different angles).

After getting off the tranvia we walked around the ex-convent of San Gabriel. Finally, we went over to Jazzatlan which was fabulous. As the name implies, Jazzatlan features jazz music. It’s a small space so you can see and hear the band very well. We listened to some dixieland style jazz. Tried to go again on Monday evening but they had a special band and only people with tickets were admitted.

This is getting long. I’ll post more later.

2 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
2,024 posts
55 reviews
1. Re: Trip Report

Thanks for your report -- looking forward to the rest of it!

Level Contributor
763 posts
102 reviews
2. Re: Trip Report

Thanks, Peter.

Day 2: Cantona. It's a long drive to Cantona from San Pedro Cholula but it's worth it. Probably took around 90-100 minutes or so but it's good road the entire way and almost all of it is highway. I'd guess it's maybe 15 minutes less if you leave from Puebla's Centro Historico.

We spent about 2 to 2.5 hours exploring and we didn't see all of it. It is huge! You initially go through an area where families lived. There are patios with stone platforms. Originally there were houses made out of wood, topped with thatch roofs, on those platforms but those disappeared a millenium ago. You walk uphill on what was a main walkway. There are walls on each side of the walkway but at the beginning they are fairly low since locals have taken some of the stones to use in other constructions. But the walkway goes uphill so the walls are taller the further you walk.

After a rather steep climb up - again, it's original walkway so we were careful with our footing - we arrived at the non-residential area with a whole bunch of pyramids. I'll eventually cut and paste this to a review on TA's things to do section where I can include photos. It's so much easier to show how amazing this site is with photos than to try to do so with words. Amazing number of pyramids.

And that's as far as we went. The walk to the last part of the site is flat but my husband has some mobility and pain issues and this was as far as he could go. So I can't tell you anything about the ball courts. But, seriously, I was quite happy with what we were able to explore.

And then there's the views of the surrounding areas! We did go by one area which we were told where the members of the military lived and we could understand why they lived there - great views of the surroundings. No way could anybody successfully sneak up on this place.

It's a loop walk and the way back wasn't too difficult. It even had the occasional railing to hold onto. It's a metal railing and it was warm to the touch on a cloudy and cool January day. You'd need oven mitts to touch it on a sunny summer day.

I recommend wearing good shoes and a wide brimmed hat. It was fairly cloudy when we went so we got away without sunscreen but I'd bet you'd usually want to have some. Bring plenty of water and some snacks might be good, too.

There's a museum on site and we visited that first. Nice museum (and clean bathrooms). I think it cost 50 or 60 pesos to enter. And it's open on Mondays. Most of the info is only in Spanish but they do have summaries that give you the gist of the info in English.

Evidently there's an ex-hacienda in the nearby town that has good food - but their restaurant is closed on Mondays so I'm glad that we had some snacks with us.

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