Ahh Puebla, the gorgeous colonial city about two hours South of Mexico City. It’s a favorite of many a tourist to Mexico and tour companies know that, so if you want to take a day trip while your vacationing in the city there are plenty of organized tour companies you can go with.
Organized tours in Mexico are not my cup of tea. They tend to be over-priced, they rush you through the destination, and you wind up walking in a crowd of other tourists.
So I’ve been slowly figuring out other ways to get out of the city and see what else the neighboring countryside has to offer.
Here are the destinations that I have so far discovered by public transportation.
1. The Ex-Hacienda de Chautla
If you’re an Instagram photo type of traveler, then this is a must-see destination. The Ex-Hacienda and surrounding trails and lake are a photographer’s dream. It’s also a great place to get some fresh air and get out of the city for a few hours.
I got there by public bus using this TripAdvisor post. It’s in Spanish, but if you can’t read Spanish just turn on Google translate, and boom. You’re sipping Michelada and taking in the views.
This is an easy-peasy destination and one you’ve undoubtedly heard of if you’re going to Puebla. You can see the the giant hill with the Spanish church on top that’s actually the biggest pyramid in the world. There’s also good food, local artisans, and really just a very pretty, well-kept town. Also there’s some pretty fabulous night life.
Catch a bus for less than 20 pesos and in 20 minutes you’ll be at this popular destination. Check out Wikitravel for instructions.
To get there from Puebla, check out the instructions on this helpful blog called Peter’s Travels. Atlixco is crazy pretty: flowers everywhere, old churches, colorful buildings. If I recall correctly it only took about an hour to get there and it was one of my favorite easy day trips from Puebla. If you go on a Sunday, stop and have a cup of coffee at the Ex-Convento de San Fransisco for a gorgeous view.
Getting to Zacatlan was super easy from the CAPU bus station. If you want more explicit instructions check out this blog called Mochilerosoy.
In Zacatlan you have to drink Zacatlan cider and try their baked goods. There are also some great hikes around Zacatlan. You can visit the hikes on a guided tour or you can ask around. I’ve heard there are camiones or camionetas (*basically small buses or trucks) that’ll take you to the start of the hikes for cheap. However, I got so sidetracked taking photos of everything in Zacatlan, that I didn’t wind up having time for a hike. Oh well, next time!
So that’s the end of the day trips that I have personally made; however, there are quite a few more that I plan on taking in the near future. I’m going to list those here, but know I haven’t personally tried these day trips.
I cannot guarantee that these trips are actually good ideas. If anyone knows if these are possible or not, please, advise me. 🙂
It’s supposedly a massive archaeological site about an hour away from Puebla; however, I’ve read that getting there isn’t super easy. This Spacious Earth Travels blogger has a really in depth post that I plan to follow at some point.
Basically from what I understand you go here to eat. It’s an old town that’s mostly inhabited by Venetian descendents who speak Veneto. There’s supposed to be good Italian food, coffee, organic cheeses, and milk products. I plan on going sometime in the next few weeks to eat lots of pasta.
I’ve heard that one of the easiest ways to get there is take a bus to Cholula then take another bus from Cholula to Chipilo. I’ll give more details here if I manage to make the trip.
Tlaxcala seems to be a bit of a running joke in Mexico. I guess because the people there are old-fashioned? But that sounds perfect to me and I’d like to go check out the historic center there.
I plan on catching a bus from CAPU on some free weekend and walking around downtown. I’ll post here more specific instructions after my trip.
Update: Easy peasy. It costs 32 pesos to take a bus from CAPU to Tlaxcala. The bus takes about an hour. The town is super walkable, has lots of cute restaurants, museums, and pretty streets. I highly recommend this quiet, historic city for a little day trip.
It’s a town that’s been named a National Historic Monument for its well-preserved colonial style architecture. It’s also famous for it’s silver. My plan to get there is follow instructions from this Lonely Planet post.
Here’s Trip Advisor saving the day again with instructions for getting to Cuernavaca on this old forum. I’d like to visit Cuernavaca, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s quite dangerous there at the moment. There’s apparently been a spike in violence over the last year or so. If anyone has any opinions on whether this is true or not, I’d really appreciate you weighing in in the comments section.
10. Iglesia de Tonantzintla
This is supposed to be a beautiful church outside of Cholula. From what I’ve heard, you go to Cholula first and catch a public bus from there. As with all of these last few destinations, if I make the trip, I’ll provide more information here.
Spacious Earth Travels has a seriously killer blog and you should check him out if you’re traveling in Central and South America. Here are his instructions for getting to Caxactla. Caxactla is another archaeological site that I want to visit whenever I get the chance.
Update: I visited Cacaxtla! It was great. Go on a Sunday and it’s free to get into the pyramid. There’s also a really awesome market surrounding the pyramid on Sundays. I got here by taking a bus from Puebla CAPU to Tlaxcala, and then I asked in the Tlaxcala bus station how to get to Cacaxtla and was pointed to a camion. It was a cheap, easy day trip and the surrounding area has fabulous food and sunshine to enjoy on your day off.
With pyramids and museums, this is supposedly a must-see city in the state of Morelos. Here are instructions on how to get there from… you guessed it, Trip Advisor.
Anybody taken any of these trips? Have any more information for me? Or have you got any other suggestions for day trips from Puebla? Let me know down below in the comments.