Just 90 minutes away from Mexico City, you will get an incredible experience in a very beautiful colonial city and an ancient prehispanic place, where the biggest pyramid in all over the world in volume was built. Nearby Popocatepetl (active volcano).
Puebla de los Angeles, also known as Puebla de Zaragoza is Mexico's 4th largest city and among the oldest cities in the country. It is one of the mexican cities that has best preserved its colonial architecture and was chosen by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Puebla's warm hospitality, relaxed atmosphere, colorful surroundings and distinct colonial history make it a worthwhile destination.
Located in a valley flanked by volcanoes (one of those “The Popocatepetl which is active in fact), Puebla lies 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Mexico City at an altitude of 7091 feet (2149m). It can be visited as a day trip from Mexico City but it's well worth staying a few days.
Founded in 1531 as Ciudad de los Angeles, the city represented a bastion for Spaniards mid-way between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz. Later the name was changed to Puebla de los Angeles. The Battle of Puebla, in which Mexican troops defeated French invaders took place in 1862 at the Forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. The victory is celebrated annually throughout the country as the 5 de mayo holiday. General Ignacio Zaragoza was in command during that battle and died soon after. The city was re-baptized Puebla de Zaragoza in his honor.
Cholula is situated 12 km outside of Puebla. This small, colonial city filled with 365 catholic domes, many built over pre-Columbian monuments by the Spaniards such as the enormous Cholula Pyramid where you can admire beautiful pre-Hispanic murals and on the top you can find the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Church.
You certainly enjoy a walk through the streets of Cholula, filled with many outdoor restaurants and coffee shops.
Cholula is home to the widest pyramid ever built “Pirámide Tepanapa”. Despite this claim to fame, it’s a surprisingly ignored place largely because unlike its contemporaries Teotihuacán or Tula.
The pyramid has been so neglected over the centuries as to be virtually unrecognizable as a man-made structure. Indeed, the pyramid was so overgrown even when the Spanish arrived that they built a church on the top, not realizing that their ‘hill’ was actually a native religious site.
The Indian church at Tonantzintla
This is the church of Santa María Tonantzintla located in Puebla. A supreme example of barroco novohispano, or what they also call indigenous baroque the proper name is TEQUITQUI ART. The style is basically a fusion of colonial architecture with pre-Hispanic design principles and the site most often associated with indigenous baroque is
Santo Domingo in Oaxaca.
The facade of the Tonantzintla church -- Nahautl for the place of our little mother or lugar de nuestra madrecita -- looks like how we imagine the exteriors of pyramids looked, not just ruins of stone but brightly colored and textured with dense ornamentation.
The saints and angels that adorn the exterior and interior niches are formed, vaguely, in the manner of the old Aztec sculptures.