One. Lucha Libre
I had no idea that I’d enjoy las luchas as much as I did.
Originally I assumed it was going to be like wrestling or boxing, or maybe a combination of both. Either way, I’m not a fan of violence and don’t tolerate watching it happen very well at all. Luckily, I decided that when in Mexico one should do as Mexicans do, so I thought “what the heck, I’ll close my eyes if it comes to it”, paid my 100 peso (~AUD$7) entrance fee, and in I went. And I couldn’t be happier that I did. There’s no real violence, it’s much more of a show involving theatrics and stunts and humour than anything else. There’s a lot of skill to the moves performed, and it’s extremely entertaining.
Every Monday night you can see los luchadores at Arena Puebla, Ave. 13 Oriente 402, starting at 9pm. Tickets cost between 90 and 200 pesos; I strongly recommend buying at least the 100 peso tickets.
Two. Eating ice cream in the park
At least once during your stay in Puebla, make your way to Parque del Carmen. The park itself is a great place to people-watch, with novice skateboarders practising, shoe shiners everywhere, families walking their dog or children learning to ride bikes, a lovely big fountain in the middle, and many people enjoying the sensational ice cream that can be bought right next to the park. If you’re not sure what flavour you want (and there are many!) you can get as many tastings as you like (from my experience); and at only 20 pesos (~AUD$1.40) for a big cup of two flavours (mediano size), it’s great value. My favourites are jamaica (hibiscus) and tejocote (a small orange fruit that tastes like applesauce). An added bonus to this park is the beautifully decorated church right next door that you can admire from a distance as you eat your delicious treat.
You can find Parque del Carmen on 16 de Septiembre between Calle 15 Oriente and Avenida 17 Oriente.
Three. Visiting Los murales del barrio de Xanenetla
There is a whole suburb of Puebla, north of the zócalo, that is decorated with incredibly beautiful street art. I had no idea it existed until a local teacher showed me around, and I’m so grateful he did. Warning – there is quite a lot of walking to be done, so wear good walking shoes! You won’t regret spending your afternoon wandering these amazing streets and alleyways; make sure you have plenty of memory and battery left on your camera because you will definitely want to take lots of photos!
You’ll find this enchanting space starting at Bulevar 5 Mayo, where it intersects with Calle 4 Norte.
Four. Learning about the history of the famous Cinco de Mayo battle at Zona Histórica de los Fuertes
A decent walk out of the centre of town, Los Fuertes is a beautiful area filled with monuments commemorating the incredible history of Mexico, particularly in relation to the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. There are several museums, fountains, cafes, lakes, and an incredible view over the magical city of Puebla. Budget a day for this – the walk from town is at least 40 minutes; you’ll want to spend a good while wandering around the historical zone; and you can wind your way wistfully through El Barrio de los Murales on your way back, too.
To get to Los Fuertes, ask anyone about Centro Cívico 5 de Mayo Los Fuertes; or you can usually just ask about Los Fuertes and someone will be able to direct you.
Some of the museums there are only open Tuesday through Sunday, so don’t schedule it in for a Monday! General admission to the Museo de Sitio, Fuerte de Guadalupe is 50 pesos (around AUD$3.50), but on Sundays you can enter for free. Each of the several museums has its own admission price, so be prepared for that.
Five. Trying some of the local delicacies
Puebla is known as the gastronomic capital of Mexico, and for excellent reason. The food is sensational, varied, and unique. Once you’ve left Puebla, you’ve left behind the flavours, scents, and experience of eating typical comida poblana (Pueblan cuisine). If you’ve journeyed so far out of your comfort zone as to be in Mexico, make sure you continue that journey. Try things on the menu, the names of which you can’t understand. Trust locals when they say they want to take you out for tacos, and you end up at the dodgiest-looking place you’ve ever seen. Stop in at that place you’ve walked past that smelled so good you couldn’t help but salivate. Live, eat, enjoy – the only thing you’ll regret is not trying enough!
For more information about what to try in Mexico, check this out.