Famed for its historic obsession with the bullfighting sport and an exuberant “Festival of Flowers” each August, the city of Huamantla maintains a distinctly Mexican collective of centuries old traditions and rites. Puppetry remains a theatrical fascination, celebrated with an exuberant parade in July. The colonial streets are transformed from impeccably neat pedestrianized routes, to stall-lined corridors of drama and color. Dressed with life-like mannequins, quirky wooden animals and scenes depicting civil struggles between the indigenous peoples and invading Spanish of the 16th Century, even the shop windows receive the flamboyant transformation in preparation for the “Day of Titeres”. Huamantla is a city that thrives on cultural heritage - its festivals, fetes and commemorative rites the primary reason for it's incorporation onto SECTUR's “Pueblos Magicos” program in 2007.
Located within the lower South East portion of the Tlaxcala State, historic Huamantla thrives on a temperate climate and over 250 days of uninterrupted sunshine each year. Its warm semi-tropical climate is influenced by an enviable situation smack, bang in the center of the Mexico's Southern peninsular, bounded by the Caribbean and Pacific Seas, along with the Gulf of Mexico. Huamatla is often used as a base for exploration of the La Malinche volcano, just 5 km from the town. Dormant for over 3,000 years, La Malinche is a popular climb for mountaineering fanatics and those with a bubbling curiosity about the awesome power of a (only recently extinguished) volcano. At 4,642 meters in height, La Malinche is the fifth largest in height in Mexico.
Central Huamantla continues to be a popular stop-off on culture-tours of Mexico; the curiosity of many visitors is aroused by the history of bullfighting in the town. Indeed, its very heart appears to be dedicated to the champions and animals of prolific competitions, with statues and replica bull-rings (on a model scale) decorating the main Zocalo, Parque Juarez. Museo Taurino brings the best of Huamantlas hundred year bull-fighting history together in a series of exhibitions, video shows and guided talks – displays featuring the medals, cups and merchandise for many a past championship and include a section on the female bull rider Sono Díaz. The highlight of a visit to Huamantla for bullfighting is a visit to La Taurina, the town's bull-ring adjacent to the museum and on August 14th, the famous Bull Run – the moment all bulls are freed to dash along a well fenced course through the streets of Huamantla, prior to being re-herded.
Colonial architecture is rife within Huamantla, since the town was favored by the Spanish for its guarded ring of mountains (thought to be vital protection against possible invasions.) San Luis Obispo Church is without doubt one of the most enchanting buildings of the town; the Franciscan convent stylized in the Profiriato fashion, dedicated to San Anthony. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the convent's main altar is widely regarded one of the best 17th Century examples in Mexico. The slate grey San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish Church sits almost parallel to the convent, yielding an equal array of beautifully sculpted statues, coupled with the Solomonic and Saint Luis altars – built by local stonemasons. A town of spectacular beauty and ageless customs, Huamantla is wholly deserving of its new title as a pueblos magicos – an accolade bestowed upon fewer than 39 other towns in Mexico!
Attractions & Things To Do in Huamantla
Museo Nacional del Títere – step into a world of painted faces and traditional wooden mannequins that once fulfilled the role of actors for that famous August celebration. Exhibits date back as far as the 18th Century, inclusive of the garish Rosete Aranda puppets – the third largest collection in Mexico. Open: Monday – Saturday, 8: 30 am – 5: 30 pm.
Museo Taurino – dedicated to the history of bull-fighting, the Museo Taurino features a plethora of photo collections and exhibits dating as far back as the pre-1900's. Of particular interest is the Sono Diaz exhibition dedicated to one of the few females in Mexico, daring enough to go head-on with an 1,500 lb bull – and win. Open: Monday – Friday, 9: 30 am – 4: 30 pm.