city of the Mexican state of Puebla

Tehuacán is a good-size city of almost 300,000 people (2020) in Puebla (state). It is the second largest city in the state and is known for its nearby poultry farms and the rural scenery of the Balsas River Valley. It's a safe and pleasant town to pass a couple days with some fascinating historical sites and good restaurants.

Catedral de Tehuacán

Understand

edit

Tehuacán is one of the oldest areas of human settlements in Mexico, and is believed by many anthropologists to have been an early agricultural area where corn (maize) might have been first domesticated almost 9,000 years ago. The city was occupied by different indigenous cultures over the centuries, including the Mixtecs. It is listed by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve (as Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley), the citation for which implies it is the origin of Mesoamerican civilization. They may be right since an agricultural base is necessary for big city-states with their leisure classes to exist.

Get in

edit

By bus

edit

From Mexico City, ADO and other bus lines serve Tehuacán via the TAPO bus station. The ride takes 4 hours and costs M$300 to M$1200, depending on class and demand.

From Puebla, ADO has direct buses to and from Tehuacán at least hourly. The ride takes 2 hours and costs M$100 to M$1000, depending on class and demand.

  • 1 Terminal ADO Tehuacan (Bus station), Av Independencia Pte 137, Centro, +52 238 382 0096. Large, clean bus terminal with waiting area, though you probably don't need to wait long because there are many buses continually traveling the route between Mexico City and Puebla (the two main direct destinations from this terminal).

Get around

edit

Many hotels, restaurants, and shops are located in the central downtown area, so walking will often be your best option.

Taxis and Uber are the most reliable ways to get around to places outside the city center. The city has local bus services and combis.

 
Parque Juarez in Tehuacan
  • 1 Parque Juarez (Zocalo, Plaza Principal), Rayon 7, Centro. The heart of Tehuacán is its main plaza, Parque Juarez, a beautifully maintained urban oasis with sculpted topiary, shade trees, and lots of park benches along its many sidewalks, radiating out from the center like spokes in a wheel. Great place to feed pigeons and watch people, especially on Sunday.
  • 2 Catedral de Tehuacan (Catedral Inmaculada Concepción y Cueva), Morelos 2, Centro. Neo-classic and baroque-style 18th-century church, started in 1724, that was built over a cave as a refuge in times of persecution. The interior is large and bright and features gold leaf ceilings along its nave.
  • 3 Museo de la Evolucion (Evolution Museum), Carretera Federal Puebla - Tehuacán 1211 ó Km 114 , Col, San Lorenzo Teotipilco, +52 238 388 1452. 10:00 - 18:00. How did life begin? How did it change over millions of years? This beautiful modern museum attempts to answer those questions through a range of interpretive exhibits, including lots of dinosaurs and fossils. Also includes the Museum of Minerology, showcasing minerals and the geological wonders of the underworld. Features the private collection of Don Miguel Romero, whose collection included scientific pieces, such as moonstones, fossil minerals, and meteorites, as well as local specimens found in the Balsas Valley during a lifetime of explorations. M$42.
 
Mixtec mask found at Tehuacán
  • 4 Zona Arqueológica de Tehuacán Viejo (Archaeological Zone of Old Tehuacan), Guadaloupe. 09:00 - 17:00 (closed M). Small, little-known site that's still undergoing exploration and renovation. This was the town before the Spanish conquest. Several pyramids and structures are in excellent condition. A small site museum is closed, as of May 2023. To get there from centro, use the route 23 San Isidro bus and tell the driver you are going to the pyramids. He will drop you off at the site entrance. When you are ready to go back to the centro, tell the site staff and they will call for transport. M$75.
 
Countryside in the Balsas Valley of Tehuacán
  • Cueva Coxcatlan (Cueva de Maiz, Coxcatlan Cave), +52 238 236 7238. 08:00 - 14:00. If you're interested in how humans came to populate the Americas, this will be a fascinating site to visit. This was the cave where, in the 1960s, American archaeologist Richard "Scotty" MacLeish discovered the oldest examples of domesticated corn production. 10,000 cobs of a small type of corn called teosinte. Radiocarbon dating showed they dated from 3600 BC. Don't expect anything big or elaborate, it's a small cave, but the locals are passionate about it, and anthropology geeks will be too. A second cave in the Valley of Tehuacan, known as Cueva Brava, was found nearby in the 1980s with similar evidence of early Mesoamerican corn production. (Note: This place is south of the town at lat=18.19933520707822 and long=-97.14753350902453. These coordinates are not included as geo coordinates because it makes the dynamic map useless.)
  • 1 Parque Ecologico, Calle 4 Ote. 119, Centro. This is a smaller, quieter, more upscale version of the town plaza. It's a small urban park centered around an old water fountain. The square is lined with trendy bakeries, coffee shops, and ice cream parlors. It's a place made for romantic walks and slow conversation.
  • 1 Mercado 16 de Marzo, Calle 3 Sur s/n, Centro. 08:00 - 21:00. This is the city's main traditional marketplace. Lots of vendors fill the aisles with fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats while food stands offer a dizzying range of authentic regional cuisine at very low prices.
  • 1 Casa Vieja, Calle 1 Pte 108, Centro, +52 238 382 1005. 08:00 - 22:00. Tasty, traditional Mexican cooking in an historic house. Family-friendly atmosphere.
  • 2 La Chatta, Calle 1 Pte 124, Centro, +52 238 107 5391. 07:00 - 16:30 (until 13:30 Su). Breakfast and deli items for lunch. Good coffee.
  • 3 La Gloria, C. 2 Sur 124, Centro, +52 238 136 2552. 07:30 - 13:00. Good place for breakfast. Fast and loud. Cash only.
  • 4 Grilia, C. 12 Sur 107, Arcadia, +52 238 382 5099. 14:00 - 22:30. Wood fired oven pizzas and pasta.

Drink

edit
  • 1 Terrazo, Calle 2 Pte 216, Ignacio Zaragoza. 14:00 - 00:00 (closed M). Lively place with good atmosphere, big drinks and slow service. Food is burgers, pizza and light fare.

Sleep

edit
  • 1 Hotel & Spa Casa Cantarranas Tehuacán, Av. José Garci-Crespo 2215, San Nicolás Tetitzintla, +52 238 383 4922. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 13:00. Modern hotel with clean, spacious rooms. Gardens and swimming pool. On-site restaurant. M$900.
  • 2 Aldea del Bazar, Calz. Adolfo López Mateos 3351B, Conjunto Exhacienda, Agrícola el Porvenir, +52 238 382 2558. Large rooms in an ersatz Middle Eastern style property. Off-street parking, on-site restaurant. Swimming pool available. Dogs allowed at extra charge (M$200). M$1200.
  • 3 Hotel Paraiso Inn, C. 7 Pte 620, +52 238 138 5348. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Clean spacious rooms and friendly service. Excellent value. M$500.
  • 4 Hotel Plaza Iberia, Av. Independencia Oriente 211, Centro, +52 238 383 1500. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Spacious rooms in traditional courtyard style hotel. Rooms are basic and a bit worn but spacious. Restaurant on-site.
  • 5 Hotel el Campanerio, C. 5 Sur 110-Interior 7, Centro, +52 238 383 8082. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Modest hotel with cool ambience and location that is 1½ blocks from zocalo. Can be noisy.

Go next

edit
This city travel guide to Tehuacán is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.