The elegant colonial city of PUEBLA, the republic’s fifth largest city (after Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana), is an easy forty-minute trip from Tlaxcala, or a couple of hours by bus from Mexico City – with glorious views of the snowy heights of Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl on the way. Known for its fine cuisine, Puebla has a remarkable concentration of sights – a fabulous cathedral, a “hidden” convent, museums and colonial mansions – while the mountainous surrounding country is in places startlingly beautiful. The city centre and Cerro de Guadalupe, where all these sights are to be found, form quite a compact area, easy to get around, and you can see the best of the city and nearby Cholula in a couple of leisurely days, or even – at a brisk trot – in one packed day.

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