A state whose greatness lies in its people, thanks to their rich customs and traditions

Small in size but great in culture and history: the state of Tlaxcala sits in the center of Mexico and is a living example of the nation’s admirable traditions. Throughout its 60 municipalities, this enigmatic locale allows visitors to relive past times through its archeological legacy and architectural heritage.

In the state’s more rural outskirts, visitors can take in the volcano Malintzin (also known as Malinche) as well as the mountains that surround it. In addition, the countryside is home to vast plains that make it perfect for getting in touch with nature through activities such as hiking, cycling and rappelling.

Its temperate climate matches the warm disposition of its inhabitants who keep its old customs alive, such as the traditional festival of Huamantla. This Pueblo Mágico (“Magical Village”) comes alive for this celebration every August. The Huamantlada – a running of the bulls through the city’s streets – is just one of the many activities that animate this festivity.

Tlaxcala’s Carnival – which begins the Friday before Ash Wednesday with the burning of an effigy that represents bad feelings – is characterized by the performance of ancient dances of the Nahuatl indigenous group. The dance of the huehues (old men) and many other dances reveal the spirit and folklore of the local area. The region’s culture is also kept alive through its folk art, much of which is made out of corn stalks, and through its cuisine, which is inspired by ancient indigenous and European influences and known for its traditional mixiotes, different types of stewed ingredients wrapped in maguey leaves.

There are little nooks in this state where the past is hidden and tucked away: military, civil and religious constructions built long ago continue to delight visitors with their beauty and history. Among the most famous are the Palacio Municipal (Town Hall) in the city of Tlaxcala, a building that dates back to the sixteenth century; the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption), which was originally built as the Templo de San Francisco de Asís (St. Francis of Assisi Church) in the sixteenth century; and finally, the Basilica of the Virgin of Ocotlán.

Tlaxcala also provides archeological areas to explore, such as Cacxtla, where monumental murals painted in mineral pigments by ancient inhabitants can be found. Such a visit reminds us that Tlaxcala is a state with a deeply rooted pre-Hispanic past and a fascinating present.

Climate:  Temperate and semi-humid
Average Temperature:  57° F/14° C
Location:  Central-eastern Mexico
Area:  2,478 sq. miles
Capital:  Tlaxcala de Xichoténcatl

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