PUEBLOS MÁGICOS OF PUEBLA (SCOUTING TRIP)
6-17 MAR, 2022
with Jeremy Woodhouse
(12 Days/11 Nights)
The cultural, historical, architectural and gastronomic value of Mexico's destinations is as great as its country.
The Pueblo Mágico designation is awarded to those communities that, over time, have maintained their original architecture, traditions, history and culture, and that have been of great relevance to the history of the country.
The Magic Towns are defined as places with great symbolism and legend; they are towns whose historical importance has been fundamental for the development of history and that enhance national identity. These places have a special magic that connects the visitor with the roots and customs of Mexico.
Currently, throughout Mexico, there are 132 Magic Towns whose attractions delight travellers from around the world.
These destinations will enchant you with the beauty of their natural settings, the incredible precision of their construction (many of them in the Baroque style), the perfect combination between their pre-Hispanic past and the mixture of ethnic and cultural groups throughout Mexican history.
Discover Mexico and fall in love with its Magic Towns.
Day 2: Tue, 8 March – Puebla/Cholula (13km)
After breakfast we will drive to Atlixco where we will spend as much time as we need to visit this charming town. The view of Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes is magnificent from any angle, especially when you're just a few kilometres away. Atlixco boasts the best climate in the world due to its proximity to the volcano, and flowers are part of the everyday landscape.
Day 5: Fri, 11 Mar, 2022 – Tehuacan/Tecamachalco/Tlatlanquitepec (215km)
Tlatlauquitepec is a beautiful town founded by ancient Toltec and Olmec civilizations. Its name is derived from the Nahuatl words “tlatlahui” (coloring) and “tépetl” (hill), which means “Colored Hill”. In addition to its setting in the beautiful landscape, surrounded by trees and flowers, it offers a magnificent view of nearby Cerro Cabezón. Visit La Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) from where you will have one of the best views of "El Cabezón" in the town.
Tlatlauquitepec has a unique cultural importance and natural beauty, which is why it was recognized as a Magic Town in 2012.
Day 6: Sat, 12 Mar, 2022 – Tlatlauquitepec/Cuetzalan del Progresso (67km)
The traditional, indigenous village of Cuetzalan is famed for its market, coffee and vibrant festivals. Designated a Pueblo Magico by Mexico’s Department of Tourism, the picturesque village is also famed for its voladores, the "flying" dancers who spin around a tall pole. The ritual ceremony has been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, and continues to attract tourism and funding to the remote mountain town.
The Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís towers above Cuetzalan and can be seen from all around the town. Both indigenous and Catholic traditions blend in the Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís.
Day 7: Sun, 13 Mar, 2022 – Cuetzalan del Progresso
We will spend an extra day here in Cuetzalan to enjoy some of the local cultural events, especially the voladores. If you are so inclined, take in the noon Sunday Mass which is given in the Nahuatl language, where the music reflects the town’s roots.
Day 8: Mon, 14 Mar, 2022 – Cuetzalan del Progresso/Tetela de Ocampo/Chignahuapan (110km)
In the state of Puebla, located in the heart of the northern Sierra is Tetela de Ocampo, a recently designated Pueblo Magico surrounded by mountains and abundant vegetation. Located on top of a hill, the views from this community are impressive. The center of the city preserves its traditional architecture, with steep streets and beautiful colonial facades. The name of this Magic Town in Nahuatl, means "abundance of stone mounds".
Chignahuapan is a town in Mexico’s southeastern state of Puebla known for its Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepción and its huge figure of the Virgin Mary, carved from cedar. The central Plaza de Armas features a colorful wooden kiosk and the Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol church, with its brightly coloured facade.
It is also known for its traditional crafts, in particular, the making of Christmas spheres through a glass blowing technique which has earned the town the moniker of "Christmas spheres capital of Mexico".
Day 9: Tue, 15 Mar, 2022 – Chignahuapan/Zacatlan/Xicotepec (73km)
If you enjoy forests enviromnents filled with waterfalls, and often cloaked in fog, you will love Zacatlán de las Manzanas, one of the most beautiful Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns) in Puebla.
In order to become acquainted with the mountainous landscape, we begin our journey at the Mirador de Cristal (Glass Overlook). It's half mile long and protrudes from the summit of the Barranca de los Jilgueros, located a few blocks away from the town square. This natural wonder stands around 1,312 feet high overlooking the San Pedro River snaking its way through the valley.
Zacatlán de las Mazanas is considered the birthplace of monumental clocks? Here, you can learn about the process of fabricating monumental clocks: from the metal smelting to creating the device, to the final tests they go through.
Xicotepec, a Magic Town, perfectly located in the mountainous region of Puebla, is place of impressive colonial beauty. Founded in 1571, the Church of San Juan Bautista in Xicotepec features two impressive towers that dominate the landscape of this town. Its neo-Gothic architecture was inspired by that of the famous Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral.
The Monument to the Virgin of Guadalupe, at a height of 30 meters, is located on the Cerro del Tabacal, from where you can photograph the panoramic views of Xicotepec.
O/N Hotel Casablanca, Xicotepec
Day 10: Wed, 16 Mar, 2022 – Xicotepec/Huauchinango/Pahuatlan (80km)
The Pueblo Mágico of Huauchinango is surrounded by hills, rivers that descend in waterfalls, and deep ravines belonging to the Sierra Norte de Puebla. It is said that Huauchinango is scented by the azaleas and orchids that grow on the banks of the Texcapa River, which borders the town. The aroma carries up to the streets around the zócalo (main square).
Pahuatlan, located near the bordering State of Hidalgo is a Pueblo Magico with a Nahuatl and Otomi heart, protector of the pre-Hispanic production of amate paper. Pahuatlán is located in the Puebla Sierra, the region surrounded by "emerald" hills, valleys and ravines.
Daily life in Pahuatlán begin with the aroma of freshly milled coffee percolating through the cobblestone streets of the small town center. The bean harvest is one of the main riches of this Magic Town, as well as its wood-oven bakeries. Therefore, a cup of coffee and a warm polvorón (short bread) or concha (a sweet bread roll) are the perfect breakfast to start the morning.
Amata Paper Workshops
Thanks to a population of nearly 400 master craftsmen, the Pueblo Mágico of Pahuatlán is known historically as the source of amate paper, originally made by Mesoamerican cultures. This community, considered the cradle of this craft, is located 20 minutes from the municipal capital of Pahuatlán in the small town of San Pablito, whose inhabitants are of the Hñahñu (Otomi) ethnic group. Here, the workshops proudly open their doors to show visitors their ancestral techniques for the making of the paper.
Day 11: Thu, 17 Mar, 2022 – Pahuatlan/Mexico City (160km)
After our sunrise shoot, we head back to the airport in Mexico City. We should arrive by the middle of the day so you will be able to take a mid-afternoon flight back home.
END OF THE TOUR
Sun, 6 Mar, 2022 – Arrive Mexico. Make your own way to the NH Collection Mexico City Airport T2 hotel
Average Weather During March in Puebla State
The first month of the spring, March, is still a pleasant month in Puebla, Mexico, with average temperature ranging between min 9.8°C (49.6°F) and max 22.8°C (73°F).
In Puebla, the average high-temperature is almost the same as in February - a still pleasant 22.8°C (73°F). In Puebla, in March, the average low-temperature is 9.8°C (49.6°F).
12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS
GROUND TRANSPORT INCLUDED
GROUP SIZE: ONLY 6
Tour Price Includes
- All Ground Transportation during the trip
- Transfer to the airport at Mexico City at the end of the tour on 17 March, 2022
- All Lodging Included
- In-Field Photography Instruction
- Breakfast where included at hotels
Tour Price Excludes
- Flights to and from Mexico City
- Meals and snacks (where not mentioned)
All lodging has been booked and a room will be assigned to you on registration.
Paying by check
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Dress for the Weather
Personal Gear List
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat
- Layers for cooler mornings
- Waterproof Shell in case of rain
- Sturdy hiking shoes
Photo Equipment Checklist
- Sturdy tripod and ballhead
- Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body
- Wide angle lens in the 16-35mm range
- Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm
- Long telephoto lenses in the 100-400mm range.
- Circular polarizer filters and ND filters for your lenses. If you like shooting with grads, bring them along. A 6 or 10-stop ND filter will be useful for creating very long exposures.
- Backpack to carry your gear
- Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies
- Laptop if you wish to backup your photos.