Road Notes–State of Puebla

view of smoking volcano from Balneario “Los Cactus

The toll road from Ixtapaluca to Puebla (150-D) costs 130 pesos. The cuoata, which is in great shape, passes through beautiful pine-covered mountains. We saw a couple of camping areas that looked nice, but wanted to press on a little further.

We’d just spent several days in Mexico City and didn’t feel like another big city, so we bypassed Puebla in search of something more tranquilo.  We were in luck. Highway 190 from Puebla to Izucar de Matamoros passes through verdant fields of cane and alfalfa. Balnearios and quaint towns abound, all overshadowed by the smoking volcano Popacatepetl.

We particularly liked the colonial town of Atlixco, which boasts several unusual churches and an abandoned monastery. The verdant square features an over-the-top tiled gazebo and beautiful park benches decorated with local scenes. I ate the best tacos al pastor yet (for this trip) at taqueria “El Sabroso y los Molcajetes” (great band name).

The nearby town of Metapec is also worth a look. (Located off the main highway, west of Atlixco.) Buildings of black volcanic rock with peaked, tiled roofs line the streets. A camping recreation area is located at the northwest corner of town. A fence circles green lawns, eucalyptus trees, sheltered picnic tables, and a pretty little lake. Adults can camp for 100 pesos each (55 for children). Tent rentals are also available. We didn’t stay, but get back to us if you decide to check it out.

Miss Lousiane watches the sunrise.

The first balneario we stopped at, “Las Fajanas,” is located just south of Atlixco. The place looked really nice—landscaped grounds, sparkling pools, water slides etc., but at 130 pesos per person to camp, it was a little fancy for us. We drove further south to Balneario “Los Cactus”, about five or six miles south of Atlixco. A short but rough road leads to  well-tended grounds with three cold but large pools and rudimentary bathroom facilities. The price of 50 pesos per person was more our style, and we decided to stay the next day. We were somewhat dismayed to learn that the fee doesn’t cover 24 hours—We payed 50 pesos each for a stay from six to nine, another 50 pesos for the next day, and yet another 50 pesos each for the following night. That said, a one night stay is still cheaper than your average RV park. No hook-ups, electricity, or showers, but water can be hauled from the spigot that flows into the pools. Tables topped with palapa  roofs are a nice touch, and the place is quiet and feels safe at night. Other than the family who owns the land, no one else was there, a nice change of pace from the bustle of The Big Enchilada.

6 Responses to “Road Notes–State of Puebla”

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  1. El Codo says:

    I am never too bashful to pass by a gasolinera or tienda and ask about local balnearios for spending the night.

    “Tell Chuey” (the velador) “That Sancho recommends you” is one answer I got. Apparently they were friends. “Chuey” let us in and we camped for free.

    A camp stove burner a pot for water a solar shower and embudo (funnel) are all that is needed to enjoy a nice hot shower. Small pulleys and ropes used by hunters are plenty good enough to yank the solar shower bag high enough to work well.


  1. […] lot of damn good tacos. But to my surprise, we discovered the best tacos al pastor of the trip  in Atlixco, a colonial town near […]

  2. […] prompting officials to restrict access in the area and to prepare for evacuations. We camped within view of Popo in calmer times on our […]

  3. […] our recent trip we enjoyed stops at Ex-Hacienda Los Remedios in Chihuhua, Balneario Los Cactus in the state of Puebla, and Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca state. Another old favorite is Las Estacas, […]

  4. […] most spectacular image, but it jumped out at me, because I have pictures of the same buildings from our recent trip to Atlixco. Check it […]

  5. […] most spectacular image, but it jumped out at me, because I have pictures of the same buildings from our recent trip to Atlixco. Check it […]