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Tlaxcala, Mexico

Tourism Information

The small territory of Tlaxcala is located in Mexico’s central region. Despite its small size, it has a huge cultural offering, as it has kept its pre-Hispanic and colonial influences intact over the years. In this state you can visit various pre-Hispanic settlements founded by the Olmecs and Xicalancas: about 19 km (12 mi) west of the capital lies Cacaxtla, where you can see ruins and murals; 2 km (1mi) north of Tlaxcala is the archaeological zone of Ocotelulco, where an altar was built to honor Tezcaltlipoca; and finally there’s the ceremonial center of Xochitecatl.

Among the capital’s notable attractions is its architecture. During your stay, you’ll see such beautiful constructions as the Catedral de Ocotlan, which has a local Baroque style. You’ll also take notice of the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza de Toros, built in the 18th century, and the art nouveau-style Xicotencatl Theater.

Also of interest is the town of Huamantla, known for its festive religious celebrations and colorful prayer rugs. You can also visit Huamantlada, which has an entertaining running of the bulls. Another option is the so-called taurine tour, which includes visits to ex-haciendas and farms, allowing you to enjoy various recreational activities, learn about bulls and have a very relaxing experience.

About 13 km (8 mi) from Huamantla and 26 km (16 mi) from the capital is La Malinche National Park, a wooded area of 45,711 hectares (112,906 acres), which is near an inactive volcano called Matlalcueyetl. The volcano is 4,461 meters (14,721 feet) above sea level. There you can go mountain bike riding and rappelling. For a day of swimming, check out the balnearios Las Cumbres and La Trinidad. If camping is your thing, the best options are Palo Huerfano and Valle al Final de la Senda.

As for local cuisine, be sure to try mixiotes (steamed mutton), barbacoa de hoya (baked mutton) and turkey mole. Tlaxcala is also famous for its pre-Hispanics recipes, including salsas made from the maguey worm, pulque, chinicuiles (red maguey worms), chapulines (fried grasshoppers), escamoles (ant larvae) and ahuautli (larvae of syrphid flies). For souvenirs, you can buy crafts made of cornhusks, red pottery, alebrijes (colorful wooden figurines), onyx items, masks and silver from Tlaxco.