In the state of Tlaxcala lies Huamantla, a charming little town full of color and things to discover.
In 2007 became an official Magical Town for its artistic, religious, and culinary traditions such as “La Huamantlada.“
Huamantla is the second most populated city in Tlaxcala; besides being a unique place, you can find spectacular landscapes and cultural treasures.
History of Huamantla Tlaxcala
Huamantla Pueblo Mágico is considered the second colonial city founded in Tlaxcala.
Thanks to Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza in 1534 with the name of San Luis Huamantla.
Due to its location, it has stood out as a place where significant events in the history of Mexico took place.
Such as the confrontation between Hernan Cortez and the Otomis led by the warrior Tocpaxochiu.
It also served as a stage in the Battle of Huamantla-Puebla, during the American-Mexican War in 1847.
In short, it is a place that brings history to our country and carries a plaque that serves as a testimony of the events and archives kept in the Municipal Palace of Huamantla.
But what has given Huamantla its recognition is its traditions.
In particular, the main festival in honor of the Virgin of Charity is also known as Huamantla Tlaxcala’s fair.
Floral carpets, handmade balloon festivals, donkey and car races, huamantladas, and games stand out everywhere.
How to get to Huamantla
Huamantla is located east of Tlaxcala. It borders the municipalities of Terrenate and Alzayanca, about two hours from Mexico City.
If you’re driving, you must take the exit to Puebla on the Federal Highway; the toll at the San Marcos booth is about 100 pesos.
Then, take the exit to Tlaxcala at San Martin Texmelucan, passing the toll booth towards Veracruz; after 20 minutes, you will find the turnoff to Tlaxcala.
On the other hand, you must take the Apan, Hidalgo highway if you come from Pachuca.
The trip takes approximately 50 minutes, but if you decide to take the federal highway, it can be about 2 hours.
Traveling by bus can be more economical; from Mexico City, at the Tapo bus station, you will find the bus line ATAH, and the ticket costs approximately 200 pesos.
And, from Puebla, at the CAPU bus station, take the Verdes bus line; the average ticket cost is 35 to 50 pesos per person, and the ride is approximately 1 hour.
Best things to do and see in Huamantla, Tlaxcala
Visit the Hacienda Soltepec
The history of this beautiful Tlaxcalan hacienda dates back to the late 19th century. It used to be one of the great pulque producers in Tlaxcala.
However, the production was resumed due to the Mexican Revolution and became one of Mexico’s most crucial pulque producers.
Later, in the ’40s, it passed into the hands of Don Angel Zamora Briones and, nowadays, his descendants.
They are still owners of the hotel restaurant that offers a unique experience. Many travelers visit the hacienda every year for the rich Tlaxcalan gastronomy.
And above all, for the millenary culture of pulque and corn and the hotel services, bar, and horseback riding activities.
In addition, a fascinating fact is that the famous Mexican movie “La Escondida” was filmed in 1956 at the hacienda with María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz.
This is where its destiny as a tourist attraction and an important symbol in the history of Huamantla Tlaxcala began.
Admire La Malinche National Park in Huamantla
La Malinche is a mandatory destination for anyone who enjoys contact with nature and activities such as hiking.
In 1938 it was declared a National Park, has a protected area of 46,112 hectares and shields the fifth-highest mountain in Mexico.
Inside the park is the extinct volcano La Malinche, one of the oldest volcanoes in Mexico, at 4,464 meters high. It is also part of the Atoyac and Guadalupe river basins.
And at the top, a beautiful view where you can also appreciate the landscape of Huamantla, the Pico de Orizaba, Iztláccihuatl, and Popocatépetl.
Also, you will find a vacation center with cabins, a camping area, and recreational facilities. Some of the activities available in the park are mountaineering and mountain biking.
To get to La Malinche National Park from Huamantla Pueblo Magico, you must follow highway 136.
Experience the “Huamantlada”
This Magical Town keeps an uncommon tradition in Mexico called “La Huamantlada.”
The most awaited bullfighting spectacle by travelers and locals during the festivities.
“La Huamantlada” is a striking spectacle similar to the Spanish tradition of Pamplona in the San Fermin fairs.
It starts at noon on the last Saturday of the Virgen de la Caridad festivities. It is a tradition in Huamantla Tlaxcala to let more than 30 bulls run freely on the city’s main streets.
Where attendees must hurry to avoid being caught and be able to “torearlos,” an entertaining activity, this tradition began in 1954 with a group of local bullfighting enthusiasts.
They knew about the pamplonada and decided to organize it with a different name but the same model.
Keep in mind that, being a high-risk event, the Huamantla City Hall, Civil Protection, and Public Safety are not responsible for any mishap.
That is to say, everyone attends at their own risk, and if you dare to participate, you need to reserve your place in the burladeros with approximately 300 pesos and have the uniform, blue pants, white shirt, and red handkerchief.
The night that no one sleeps: A tradition in Huamantla Tlaxcala
Like the Huamantlada, “The night no one sleeps” is celebrated on the Virgin of the Caridad feast. The streets are decorated with carpets of sawdust and flowers.
But what is most striking is the carpet lying in the basilica’s atrium. It is called “The night that no one sleeps.”
The carpets are handmade; they are for the Virgin’s walk, where she is carried with music and fireworks all night.
It should be noted that no one is allowed to step on the carpets before the event, and on this day, both locals and tourists stay awake to witness the tradition.
Another thing to do in Huamantla is to attend the parade of flowers, which has been held since 1976. The Virgin is honored with flowers at the foot of the altar and in the basilica’s atrium.
Cultural activities, artistic presentations, car shows, dances, mechanical games, and fireworks shows. Something very common in Mexico.
Visit the Hacienda Tenexac
Historical Patrimony due to its state of conservation since the XIX century, the Hacienda de San Pedro is located in the municipality of Terrenate, in Tlaxcala. A Pulque, agricultural, and livestock area.
Also, since 1982 it has been listed as a National Historic Monument by the National Institute of Anthropology and History and currently preserves original furnishings from the Porfirian era.
In particular, it was used as a political and administrative center for several communities since it had a store, church, and cemetery.
It also has a garage where old cars dating back to 1900 are kept, such as cabriolets, carts, and sedans used for long distances.
The National Puppet Museum
This fascinating museum has a collection of the Rosete Aranda brothers’ puppets and more representative puppets from different countries.
Germany, France, Italy, Indonesia, and Pakistan were among these countries, which are exhibited in 8 rooms.
The Rosete Aranda brothers founded the Rosete Aranda puppet company that existed between 1834 and 1957.
After their success, former President Benito Juarez requested a performance at the presidential palace.
The National Puppet Museum is an institutional organization located in an 18th-century mansion and is recognized worldwide as one of the most complete.
In addition, inside, you will appreciate more than 500 pieces, a room for the golden age theater in Mexico, and pieces of puppets most prominent in those times.
Huamantla Bullfighting Museum
A one-of-a-kind museum located at 205 Allende Norte st, in a building of the XVIII century next to the Plaza de Toros la Taurina.
It was inaugurated in 1981, where models of the main bullfighting arenas can be seen.
It also has six halls and three gardens, where sculptures, costumes, photographs of bullfighters and bullfighting chroniclers, relief murals, and paintings of various artists of national bullfighting.
In particular, bullfighting lovers will find a true paradise. Another important fact, in Huamantla Tlaxcala, you can enjoy the best bullfights during the fair.
Hacienda La Laguna
Built in 1908 by Romárico González González, it was destined to be a cattle ranch from the beginning. But in 1985, it became an elegant colonial-style building to receive travelers.
In other words, the idea of bullfighting festivals, where fans can be a bullfighter for a day and receive acclaim from family and friends who watch from the stands, began to be promoted.
On the other hand, you must visit the hacienda’s cantina, where you will be welcomed with tequila.
Then you will find an exhibition where the novilleros open the bullring and win the public’s applause. And, at the end of the festival, you will taste the food prepared at the hacienda.
You can also hold private events such as weddings in its chapel and gardens, where you will feel like you are in a dream.
Visit the Church of San Luis Obispo
It was built during the XVII century and had three bodies striking and imposing baroque facade.
It is adorned by five alabaster images interspersed in the columns.
On the other hand, in the interior are preserved baroque altarpieces of great artistic value dedicated to San Luis Obispo, Our Lady of the Conception, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ.
In addition, the main altarpiece stands out for being asymmetrical and with the light placed on it.
It gives the impression of watching a sunset, and in the domes, you can see the influence of the indigenous baroque among the angels and fruits.
On the other hand, next to the church is the former Convent of San Luis Franciscan, built in 1585, and characteristic of its beauty that stands out and its works of religious art.
Ride a Balloon flight in Huamantla Tlaxcala
Balloon flights are one of the most fun and memorable activities in Huamantla, where you can appreciate the beauty of the place besides seeing the tourist sites like no one else.
Concerning the flights, they take place every day without exception.
As an extra, they offer you the possibility of staying in important haciendas of the city, such as Hacienda Soltepec or Santa Barbara.
In addition, prices can be more economical than in other places, although they may vary for special packages, where SPA treatment and romantic dinners are included.
The culinary richness of Huamantla revolves around corn and maguey.
As for the pulque, the tradition is due to the Otomi Indians who lived in the area, and they used to make the drink for ceremonies and as a stimulant for combat.
You will find other dishes: mixiotes, mole de guajolote, memelitas, crystallized sweets, Tocatlan style chicken, escamoles a la mantequilla (butter), tamal tatemado, and xolostle de hongos con papas y nopal (mushroom xolostle with potatoes and cactus).
I hope you enjoyed this travel guide about Huamantla, wherein every corner, there will be something unique to surprise you, landscapes, gastronomy, history, and traditions, all in one place.