Located very close to Mexico City, these two villages are a Christmas icon for their handmade spheres and cider.
View of the park of the center of Chignahuapan. / Photo: Google Street View
LatinAmerican Post | Luis Liborio
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Leer en español: Chignahuapan y Zacatlán, sumérgete en la colorida Navidad mexicana
Few places in Latin America live the magic of Christmas like Chignahuapan and Zacatlán, located in central Mexico, in the state of Puebla. Their traditions make them stand out every Christmas season, Chignahuapan is known, among other things, for its Christmas spheres and Zacatlán for its apples, from which its famous cider is produced, customary at the end of the year in the country.
How to go there?
Both places have the category of Magic Towns, distinction of the Mexican government to those sites with a remarkable tourist and cultural offer. Therefore, the experience offered by Chignahuapan and Zacatlán is unmatched. Getting there is very simple, from Mexico City there are regular bus routes starting at $ 10 dollars that will take you to them in less than 2 hours. Or you can hire a tour, like the one offered by Turibus, which includes various activities in both towns for $ 18 dollars.
This town has workshops where, throughout the year, thousands of Christmas spheres made of blown glass that adorn the trees every season are produced by hand. According to the Chilango magazine, the Sphere Fair is held annually, there hundreds of exhibitors present their traditional designs of this product, do not miss the opportunity to take unique spheres. You can tour the different workshops, have guided tours and learn how these products are made, with techniques that are over 50 years old.
In addition, the town is filled with ornaments such as monumental spheres, a giant Christmas tree and an ice rink that is complemented by the extensive poblano cuisine, where the mole stands out, of course, a mixture of peppers and spices dating from the colonial era , one of the national dishes of Mexico.
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Chignahuapan is not famous only for its spheres and traditions, its climate and architecture also it creates a unique atmosphere worthy of being photographed. According to the Heart of Puebla site, its location in the middle of the mountainous area gives the town a cold climate, especially in the autumn and winter, since the fog and low temperatures take over the region, reinforcing the Christmas feeling. This season is the best to know this place, traveling its streets with old buildings that will surely leave a pleasant impression.
Chignahuapan, algo para Admirar! pic.twitter.com/v1AywFQaay— Turisteandopuebla (@turisteandopueb) 9 de noviembre de 2019
Just 35 minutes from Chignahuapan is Zacatlán, also called "de las apples" for being one of the most important producers of this fruit in the country. It is also located in the mountains, so cold and fog are also its hallmark. Its colonial architecture shows why it is considered Magic Town. Thanks to apples, wines and cider are produced that cannot be lacking at Mexican tables at Christmas and New Year's Eve, according to the EFE agency, up to 100,000 bottles are produced each year.
The factories are open to all visitors, nationals and foreigners, so that they know the production processes of wines, soft drinks and cider. Don't forget to bring your cider to celebrate these holidays. In addition to the production of apples, Zacatlán is also famous for the architecture and natural wealth that surrounds it, the Adventure Magazine highlights some important places that can not be missed when visiting this place:
The floral clock
A clock of 5 meters in diameter that is located in the main town square.
Almost since the beginning of the 20th century this factory has created all kinds of watches, it is a reference in the construction of monumental watches. In the factory itself you can enjoy a musical show with automatons dressed in typical costumes on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Behind the municipal Pantheon is a spectacular viewpoint, whose structure protrudes from the shore to generate the feeling of floating. From this place you can see the Barranca de los Jilgueros and even a waterfall.
Valley of the stones above
Millions of years old, these stones form capricious forms, which seem taken from a science fiction movie, because heavy rocks are placed on smaller ones defying gravity. In this valley you could even camp.