Cholula, a cute colorful city with narrow cobblestoned streets lined with rows of shops painted in pretty pastel shades. As you stroll along Av. Morelos to the market and Plaza de la Concordia (zocalo/square), you will see a little city bustling with activity. Locals, school kids, tourists, restaurants, and shops selling everything from souvenirs to furniture.
To get here, there is a train service from Puebla but it is costlier that taking a guided tour bus which includes visiting other points of interest. Train tickets are 60 pesos one way whereas a 6 hour bus tour is 110 pesos per person and visits 4 locations. Once here, buy a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice from the many shops around to quench your thirst while you wander around taking in the pretty sights. To see more pictures, click here.
Across from the zocalo is the San Gabriel church and monastery. It is truly impressive both from the outside and inside, a must visit. The highlight of the city though, lies across from the train station and where the tour buses drop off tourists. The Great Pyramid with the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies) church on top. To get into the Pyramid site, you have to walk left at the bottom of the hill towards the Regional museum of Cholula. To see more pictures, click here.
The pyramid base is four times the size of that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and is the largest pyramid base in the Americas. It stands 55 meters tall, however, the pyramid has been over grown for centuries. 8 kms (5 miles) of tunnels have been excavated for archeological purposes but only 800 meters are open to the public and they are well lit passageways.
Sitting majestically on top of the overgrown pyramid is the Church of Our Lady of Remedies. After climbing the pyramid, you ascend 260 mts (850 feet) to the courtyard. The church is gorgeous on the inside and the view from the courtyard is spectacular in all directions.To see more pictures, click here.
In the distance you will see the Popocatépetl volcano (better to view from Atlixco) with its perpetual plume of smoke. Next stop on the tour bus is the 16th century church of Santa Maria Tonantzintla noted for its indigenous Baroque styled decoration. The courtyard is full of blossoming orange trees and looks so pretty and peaceful!
The inside of the church is very prettily decorated with intricately sculpted designs. From here, we move on to another 16th century church, San Francisco Acatepec. it used to be a Franciscan monastery dedicated to Diego de Alcalá. To see more pictures, click here.
This Church as all others, is beautiful inside. The altar, ceiling and walls are decorated with statues of saints, angels, cherubim and asexual children,
- Visit the Pyramid first, then the Church of Our Lady of Remedies and finally the city as otherwise, you might run out of time.
- Pace yourself when climbing to the top of the pyramid and to the Church of Our Lady of Remedies. It is a steep, breathtaking climb.
- Tour designated time at each location flies pretty quick so, move.
- Public washrooms are located everywhere and accessible for 5 pesos
- The church of Santa Maria and San Francisco aren’t in the historical centre, the tour bus will get you there.