Puebla lacks the name recognition of San Miguel de Allende, at least for United States travelers. But fans of San Miguel’s colorful colonial architecture, fine restaurants and mild climate will find much to love about Puebla. Founded in 1531 to compete with the nearby indigenous religious center of Cholula, Puebla retains a well-preserved historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage site) that feels less touristy than that of San Miguel. Perhaps that’s because many of the visitors to Puebla come from Mexico City, about two hours by car to the northwest, rather than from the U.S. or Canada.
We spent four nights in Puebla, but we still didn’t have time to visit all the sites we would have liked. Having a guide and driver was very helpful — ground operator Journey Mexico made our arrangements, with the assistance of the Andrew Harper Travel office — but experienced travelers may prefer to explore Puebla on their own, by foot and using inexpensive ride-shares.
Here are the sites and activities in Puebla we found most memorable.