Day 1 Arrive Puebla
Arrive in Mexico's capital city and meet your guide, who escorts you 80 miles south to the UNESCO world heritage city of Puebla. The first stop on your Taste of Puebla culinary tour is, of course, lunch in Puebla! After lunch, travel on to your hotel and spend the afternoon strolling through the shady central plaza on your own after a brief introductory tour with your guide.
Day 2 Puebla & Cooking Class
Enjoy a half-day experience taking in the sights of Puebla City, which sits at the foot of the Popocatepetl volcano. Founded in 1531, Puebla retains its authenticity, as you'll notice on your guided tour of the Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Roam the Zócalo (city center), home to beautiful colonial architecture, including more than 70 churches and thousands of buildings, many adorned wtih painted Talavera azulejos (ceramic tile). Wander down la Calle de los Dulces (the candy street) and visit the National Palace in the main plaza. You'll also see the Palafoxiana Library, Barrio de Los Sapos and Cathedral, which boasts two of the tallest bell towers in Mexico. At lunch time, transfer back to your hotel for time to refresh.
After historic city center exploration, it's time to roll up your sleeves with the executive chef and learn how to prepare delicious traditional Pueblan fare, including several of the famous sauces. Meet with the chef at Meson de La Sacristia Cooking School for a 2-3 hour cooking lesson. Depending on the season, you may take on salsa verde, salsa roja, chalupas, pipián verde, or arroz con leche, and enjoy fresh hibiscus water or many other local favorites. Following preparation is tasting time!
Day 3 Cholula, Tonanzintla & Acatepec
This morning head out for a tour of Cholula, considered the oldest living city (continuously inhabited) in the Americas. The Popocatepetl volcano towers over Cholula, which is home to the Great Pyramid, the largest in the world today. Frightened by zealous Aztec worship of the indigenous, the Spanish hoped to seize power by demolishing ritual centers and building their own churches right on top of the temples' foundations. You'll have a chance to walk the tunnels and climb the temple dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl, as well as see the museum and the Plaza de los Altars.
After wandering through this historic town, drive just six miles to the tiny village of Santa Maria Tonantzintla to visit its church, one of the most exquisite places of worship in Mexico. Combining European and indigenous Mexican cultures, the 17th-century church showcases an architectural style known as Indigenous Baroque. While strolling through town and exploring the plaza, you will see Popotillo, Mexican straw art, created by local artisans. Be sure to sample a cacao beverage in a jícara (cup made from a gourd) from a street stand before heading to Acatepec, where the village church presents one of Mexico's best examples of viceregal architecture and Baroque Talavera. Delight in the building's colorful exterior, intricately covered with locally produced ceramic tiles. The dramatic ornamentation is a fundamental characteristic of Puebla's trademark pottery, a traditional art that began centuries ago and still exists today.
Your tour continues as you head back to Puebla for a visit to the Barroco International Museum, designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, where your guided tour will give you the essence of the complex Baroque period of the 17th and 18th centuries, while also touching upon features of the contemporary Neo-Baroque.
At the close of this full day, transfer back to your hotel to spend your evening at leisure.
Day 4 Depart Puebla
Enjoy your last breakfast in Puebla and transfer back to Mexico City for onward travel.