Noviembre 22-26
Tonantzintla - Puebla - México

Contact: iberamia2004@inaoep.mx

Getting to Puebla:

From Mexico City International Airport, Estrella Roja buses depart for Puebla every half hour, with the last bus of the night leaving at 12:20 a.m. The fare was 130 pesos (= about US$ 11.60) in August 2004.

From Mexico City's TAPO, the eastern bus terminal, fares are slightly lower and service is available almost 24 hours a day via Estrella Roja and ADO (Autobuses de Oriente) bus lines. Buses depart every five minutes from 6:00 a.m. to midnight.

Express, non-stop service with guaranteed seating is available every 15 or 20 minutes. The departure time for your bus is printed on the ticket, and tickets are non-refundable. Travel time between Mexico City and Puebla by express bus is 1 hour and 50 minutes. Buses arrive at Puebla's main terminal, the Central de Autobuses Puebla (CAPU), in the northwest sector of the city.

The Estrella Roja bus line also makes a stop further south (at 4 Poniente, near 11 Norte), which is closer to the Historic District.

Taxis and Buses in Puebla: At the CAPU bus terminal and elsewhere in the city, kiosks sell government-authorized taxi rides at flat rates to specific destinations. Pay the attendant at the kiosk for your ticket. Pay no money to the driver except for an appropriate tip (10% of the fare). A map at the kiosk tells you the fare zone for your destination.

Public buses are plentiful and cheap (3.50 pesos in August 2004), but you should carry exact change. If you need to hail a taxi in the street, which is not recommended, use only marked cabs and negotiate the fare with the driver before accepting the ride. Always write down the taxi identification number for your protection.

General Information: Puebla (pronounced PWEH-BLAH) is located in the Puebla Valley, 129 km (80 miles) southeast of Mexico City. Altitude: 2,149 m. (7,091 ft.). Population in 2000: 1,346,000. It is the capital of the state of Puebla and one of Mexico's oldest Spanish cities, founded in 1531. Puebla is reknown for its distinctive colonial architecture, savory cuisine, Talavera ceramics, onyx crafts, and textile industry. The indigenous language of the region, Náhuatl, is still spoken in some rural areas of the Puebla Valley. In 1987, UNESCO designated Puebla a World Heritage City.

Money: The Mexican currency is the peso ($). The present exchange rate with the U.S. dollar is about $11.20 = 1.0USD. Many local stores and branch banks do not accept foreign travelers checks, U.S. dollars, or credit cards. Change money at the Mexico City International Airport, which offers the best exchange rates. Or visit the central office of any bank in downtown Puebla or Cholula (the currency exchange window), Monday through Friday, before 1:00 p.m. Ask for at least 100 pesos in small bills and coins. Taxis, buses, and smaller stores often refuse to change anything larger than a 50 pesos bill. Foreign credit cards are accepted in major restaurants, stores, and hotels. Best exchange rates are found in CASAS de CAMBIO (exchange houses) open only on weekdays, usually from 9 am to 5 pm, in downtown Cholula there are several of them. . Most banks open only on weekdays, also from 9 am to 5 pm. USA cash or travelers checks are easier to change into pesos than other types of currency. In INAOE there is an ATM (cash machine).

Weather: Sunny days (70-80o F, or 21.1 -26.6o C) and chilly nights (40-50o F, or 4.4-10o C) mean you'll need layers of clothing and warm pijamas. There is almost no precipitation from November through March. Afternoons are rainy from April through October. We strongly recommend that you bring a good jacket.

Language: Spanish is the official language in Mexico. And in Puebla very few people speak English. We advise you to have a good dictionary and a phrasebook when you venture out.

Food: Mexican cuisine is among the best in the world, but those visiting for the first time should take some precautions. Mole poblano, a chocolate-chile sauce poured over turkey or chicken, was invented in Puebla. It is Mexico's national dish. Other poblano specialties include: chiles en nogada, meat-stuffed green peppers covered with a walnut-pomegranate sauce; sweet-potato candies called camotes; and tacos arabes, spit-roasted, seasoned pork served in puffy wheat tortillas, a dish invented by Middle Eastern immigrants. There are some spicy sauces (salsas picantes) which could be very aggressive to unaware mouths: before adding any sauce to your food, try a small amount of it in a piece of bread. Avoid consuming tap water, ice cubes, and foods sold by street vendors, especially water-based desserts. Use bottled water, even for brushing your teeth, and ask for beverages without ice.

Mexican culture and archeological sites in the region.
Tourism in Puebla.