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The colonial town of Cuetzalan in the Sierra Norte region is one of the most precious and unspoiled attractions in the state of Puebla. The Sierra Norte has been referred to as the Sierra Mágica (magical mountain range) for the mystic beliefs held by the pre-Hispanic peoples who inhabited this lush, dramatic swath of land. Cuetzalan's breathtaking landscape is etched with canyons, rushing rivers,
and caves, and swaddled in dense, outsize vegetation. Because of its elevation the town is often enveloped in clouds.
At the weekly Sunday market, or tianguis, in the town center, local farmers come to sell and trade corn, coffee, beans, spices, and citrus fruits. Most people wear indigenous dress and chatter in Nahuatl, sizing up the cinnamon or bargaining for guavas. The character, color, and fragrant smells of this lively event are not to be missed.
Creeping out from under the shadow of Puebla, Cholula is gradually being restored to something of its former greatness. Before the Spanish conquest...