The State of Tlaxcala:
This smallest of Mexico’s
states is rich in culture and history, architecture
and artisans. Ancient peoples painted in caves and
carved figures in stone over 10,000 years ago.
Pre-Hispanic peoples built magnificent ceremonial
centers complete with huge pyramids and vividly
colored murals, whose ruins still impress and
fascinate today. And it was here in “the cradle of
the nation” that the fiercely independent
Tlaxcaltecas forged an alliance with Hernán Cortés
against their bitter enemy, the Aztecs, thus playing
a crucial role in the conquest of Tenochtitlan.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The Spanish influence is evident in the many
colonial buildings, baroque churches, abundant tile
work and decorative wrought iron.
For more about Tlaxcala, click on the following links:
Estado de Tlaxcala. Ni te imaginas Descubrelo
Mexico Mystic's Blog — Expat In Tlaxcala
This is the historic capital of the state and one of
the first cities founded by Cortés in “Nueva España”
almost 500 years ago. Nestled in the hills of the
central highlands, Tlaxcala retains it small-town
colonial charm even as it moves toward increased
growth and modernization. Its tranquil beauty and
historic importance make Tlaxcala a wonderful place
from which to explore central Mexico. While here you
may wish to:
- RELAX in the shady, flower-filled
central plaza, where you can listen, or dance,
to live music on weekend evenings.
- ENJOY a cup of coffee or a delicious
meal at one of the colorful sidewalk cafes
tucked under the graceful arcade that borders
- LEARN about the traditional Tlaxcala
way of life at a living history museum. See
artisans demonstrate weaving and the making of
pulque (fermented cactus juice). Or visit any of
Tlaxcala’s several other museums, which feature
art from pre-Hispanic to contemporary.
- VIEW the spectacular colorful murals
that recount the history of Tlaxcala from the
gods’ gift of corn to the indigenous people to
the time of the Conquest.
- VISIT any of the many baroque
churches, such as the hilltop Basilica of
Ocotlan, described as “a dazzling white
wedding-cake confection filled with marvelous
- STEP BACK in time as you tour any of the
many ex-haciendas in the area. Some are in
ruins, but others have been restored to serve as
luxury hotels or as ranches dedicated to raising
fighting bulls or making pulque.
- SHOP for regional handicrafts:
serapes, blankets, pottery, ceramics, decorative
tile, embroidered clothing, silver jewelry.
- BRAVE the bustling open-air market,
where your senses will be assailed by a tumult
of colors, textures, smells and sounds.
- PARTICIPATE in one of the many lively
fairs and festivals that take place year round.
Hike or mountain climb in Tlaxcala’s natural
beauty. Team up with professional guide Paco Montiel
to rock climb, hike to the top of nearby volcanoes
La Malinche or Iztaccíhuatl, or trek through
Tlaxcala’s alluring hills and canyons.
Cacaxtla / Xoxhitecatl:
Just 15 miles from Tlaxcala lay
these pre-Hispanic ruins, whose astonishing murals
retain their brilliant color after more than 1,000
Tecoaque Archeological Zone:
Archeological zone recently opened
to the public with an impressive museum and
preserved ruins of a once large and thriving
settlement near present day Calpulalpan, Tlaxcala.
It was partly destroyed and abandoned after Cortés
and his men raided it in 1521 in revenge for the
community’s previous attack on a contingent of
Cantona Archeological Ruins
Canton is a spectacular site believed to be the largest
urban center yet discovered in MesoAmerica.
It covers five square miles and reached a population of 90,000
at its peak between 600 and 900 AD. The ruins display
a sophisticated urban design with an
extensive roadway network connecting over 3,000 individual patios,
residences, 24 ball courts,
numerous pyramids and an elaborate "acropolis"
with ceremonial buildings and temples.
La Malinche Volcano
The verdant pine forests of
this dormant volcano beckon hikers and picnickers to
the National Park on its slopes. Amenities include
recreational and picnic areas, lodging and food
service, and miles of hiking trails.
La Peña, La Gloria
and Santa Maria de las Cuevas
Visit the sites of prehistoric cave
paintings and petroglyphs, estimated to be 10,000 to
12,000 years old. La Peña is only a short hike up
the hill from the Quinta Amada and features a small
cave with paintings. La Gloria and Santa Maria de
las Cuevas are larger and more complex sites.
This small historic city 35 miles
from Tlaxcala is home to the largest ancient
structure in the Americas, the Great Pyramid of
Tepanampa. You can explore its labyrinth of tunnels,
then climb to the Spanish cathedral built on top of
the now-overgrown pyramid.
This fourth largest city of Mexico
is renowned for its culture and colonial splendor,
but it is probably most famous for its distinctive
hand-made Talavera tile, which decorates everything
from buildings and church domes to fountains and
park benches. It is the site of the heroic battle
against the French in 1862 that is widely celebrated
in the U.S.A., as well as Puebla, on Cinco de Mayo.
Puebla is also known for its signature dish, "mole
poblano", created by Dominican nuns in 1680 in an
incredible talavera-tiled kitchen which is now a