Escape from Mexico City to Tlaxcala
Lulled by a few hours spent at a café in one of the colonnades near the zócalo*, several tourists come to Tlaxcala and linger longer than they had earlier planned. But that’s not all about this historic state capital.
Situated in east-central Mexico, the capital city of one of Mexico’s smaller states – Tlaxcala is neither parochial nor timid. The unself conscious & unhurried city features one of the nation’s most stunning central plazas, imposing churches and grand government buildings that define it as a compact colonial downtown.
Surprisingly, the city has a vibrant cultural life, good bars & restaurants and a large student population. Despite being located within a short distance from the famous Mexico City, Tlaxcala has remained largely undiscovered due absence of a prominent attraction to put it on tourist itineraries.
Why visit Tlaxcala
Tlaxcala is one of the few destinations in South America where people troop into from far and near to unplug themselves to get set for a laid-back vacation. Unarguably, there are countless, amazing opportunities to enjoy in this city. As a matter of fact, this city is the site of the oldest church in North America – the Church of San Francisco founded in 1521.
The state capital is nicknamed Ciudad Raja (Red City) due to its distinctive terra-cotta roofs. Anyone can easily catch sight of the appealing sea of ruddy roofs by climbing up to any of the hilltop churches in the area.
What to see & do
Tlaxcala offers many options to have fun. This is a place where the most interesting ecosystems, including majestic volcanoes can be found, a place to connect with nature & extreme sports such as mountain biking. This is a place that takes visitors back to the 16th century where bull runs were organized during the arrival of the viceroys or feats in honor of the patron saint. Visit Huamantla and check out their cattle haciendas to see these secrets.
At the corner of Avenidas Independencia and Muñoz are two large central plazas. Plaza de la Constitución which is located at the northern side is referred to as the zócalo – it is surrounded by colonial buildings. Meanwhile, taking a journey by bus to the city’s hilltop station will lead to Plaza Xicohténcatl which is the southern square. It is only a short distance (just 10-minute walk) from the zócalo.
Where & what to eat
Taste traditional food at the Hacienda Tecoac, a national historic monument – a place filled with sober beauty. The cuisine here is highly enriched with Spanish ingredients which tend to give it a traditional pre-Hispanic twist of aroma, color and flavor. Don’t forget to taste its maguey egg salads, quintoniles, nopales, lengüita, fried tortilla and the tlatloyos of chickpeas, albergos, beans or acoyote.
Where to stay
Tlaxcala is renowned for its great hospitality. As a place of heritage, tradition, and pulque, the former Hacienda de San Francisco Soltepec offers the full quietness and peace of mind, a countryside experience that can never be forgotten. For more than 200 years, this hotel has been a place of rich history and tradition. Its striking architecture still remains a wonder.
Tlaxcala is an well-known to many people, but this undiscovered destination has got all it takes to rejuvenate a weary traveler and boost the joy & excitement of an tourist.
*zócalo(in Spanish) means a public square.