Cholula is a city in Puebla state, 15 km west of the city of Puebla. The Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest pyramid on a platform in the world. The Spanish covered it with earth and imposed a church on its top. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in North America.
Cholula includes the smaller municipalities of San Andrés Cholula, San Pedro Cholula, and Santa Isobel Cholula.
Cholula is home to one of the main Mexican universities: the Universidad de las Américas de Puebla.
There are two buses (about 40 min) running from CAPU the bus station in Puebla and one express bus (about 20 min) that runs from the Choula-Puebla bus station near the centre of Puebla, M$7.50 (pesos).
There are also collectivos that run from the corner of Calle 5 Pte and Calle 3 Sur of Puebla to Cholula.
Another option is Estrella Roja buses that run direct from TAPO Bus Station in Mexico City, but there are only 4 a day (04:30, 08:30, 12:30, 16:30). M$82.
From CAPU a taxi will cost you about M$90 to get to the zocalo of Cholula San Andres, if you take one from the centre of Puebla and have some bargaining skills you should be about to get one for M$60.
Take the Recta, 10 km from Puebla to Cholula.
Most of the sights of Cholula can walked to in no time at all, the exception may be to Camino Real where most of the bars are located (opposite UDLA) about 25 min walk from the zocalo.
A large majority of the Cholulu's and the university students get around by bike, so if you are thinking a somewhat more long term stay, ask around the various bike shops you should be able to pick one up for M$400-500.
M$5, but for sightseeing you really only need buses to get in and out of Cholula.
Tend to be more expensive than in Puebla, as the drivers are used to the cashed up UDLA students. But M$40-50 maximum should get you where you need to go around town.
Be careful of the many one-way streets in and around the center of Cholula: they can be confusing to the first timers.
- 1 Great Pyramid of Cholula Pirámide Tepanapa. The biggest draw for tourists to Cholula, apart from the nightlife, is the world's largest pyramid by volume and the world's largest monument. You can also take some very good photos from the top, of the volcano Popo and the town of Cholula. The little museum nearby is interesting and too often overlooked.
- Cholula has more than 200 churches and the famous 365 chapels which hold parties almost daily.
- La Quinta Luna is a 17th-century house in the Santa María Xixitla neighborhood, and a historic monument. It was converted into a boutique hotel, affiliated with the Hoteles Boutique de México. It was the home of an indigenous noble by the name of Juan de León y Mendoza, built with adobe walls and very high ceilings. The hotel contains seven luxury rooms, a meeting room, a library, a lobby and a restaurant, surrounding a central courtyard which has a garden. The lobby and restaurant are located in what was the chapel. The library area contains about 3,000 books and its roof is crossed by beams which were rescued during renovations to the building. The decoration is based on paintings by Federico Silva and Gerardo Gomez Brito, various pieces done in local onyx and a number of antiques from various places in the world. The lobby occasionally hosts small concerts.
- Container City is a complex constructed from large shipping containers at the intersection of 12 Oeste and 2 Norte. 50 of these containers have been joined and painted with bright colors to create 4,500 m² of spaces used to house workshops, restaurants, galleries and other businesses. There are even a few homes made of the containers in the area.
- Parque Loro is a petting zoo containing more than 400 animals, including endangered species like monkeys, tigers, jaguars, pumas, reptiles and miniature horses. It has an auditorium with animal shows. It also has a playground, an area for pre-Hispanic dance and an area in which visitors can have their picture taken with an animal.
- The Festival of the Virgin of the Remedies, the patron of the city, occurs at the beginning of September.
- As a university city, Cholula has a tremendous number of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and coffee houses where Mexico's elite go to when not studying these places can fit any budget yet due to so much competition between the venues, prices are usually very low.
- Next to the pyramid there are train tracks that serve as an esplanade for a small handicraft market. There are also established shops to buy typical Mexican sweets and handicrafts.
- The largest market in the city is the Mercado Municipal. It has conserved its traditional look with women seated on the floor selling seeds, flowers, herbs, and more. On Wednesdays and Sundays, this market is augmented by street vendors, which is called a tianguis, because on these days, people from the communities surrounding the city come to buy and sell. The market specializes in locally produced products, especially flowers, fruit, vegetables and others. There are also food stands preparing local dishes.
- Another popular market with local food specialties is the Cosme del Razo, between Calle 3 Norte and Calle 5 Norte.
- Lupe Báez, #610, calle 8 Norte, San Andrés Cholula, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Vintage and second hand clothes, accessories, furniture, and other goods.
Some of the local specialties include Cholulteca soup, cecina with chili pepper strips and queso de canasta cheese, a type of edible larvae called cueclas, "tacos placeros," prepared with cecina, Bolivian coriander (pápalo), avocado, cheese and green chili pepper strips and "orejas de elefante" (elephant ears) which is an enormous tortilla with beans inside and salsa, tomatoes and cheese outside.
- Ice & Grill. A funky atmosphere is what sets this place as an interesting point of gathering, it works as a self-serve restaurant. One goes to a table with raw products and chooses. After that a chef weighs the food you chose and prepares it right in front of you. Usually one dish is enough for two people.
- Jugos Conchita. The same menu as Las Quekas, but with a extremely large variety of freshly made juices, also very recognized by its 15 meat sandwich called "gula".
- Ocho Treinta (in the opposite corner of San Andres Cholula´s zocalo). This eccentric restaurant offer eclectic food with a mix of a rich European taste and Mexican creativity. Nothing conventional.
- Las Quekas. Inexpensive traditional food is served in this place. One can order hand made quesadillas, enchiladas, or a set meal. Edven though service is usually extremely slow, prices and portions are incredible. One liter of freshly squeezed orange juice costs less than US$1, and some enchiladas are about US$2. Recommended order: 1 L of chocolate milk or orange juice and a quesadilla atomica.
- Zapata (In Cholula's Container City). Traditional Mexican tacos. The Jamaica, a taco of the Jamaica flower, is extremely rare because it tastes like meat.
There is a locally produced hard apple cider called "Copa de Oro", a cold drink made of chocolate and water, whipped until foamy and served in wooden bowls with flowers painted on them, and "ponche," which in Cholula is a drink prepared with blue corn and milk.
- Awasha - A horribly decorated place, but has extremely cheap drinks.
- Bambukos - Famous for its one liter cocktails, good music and delicious food is served while students and tourists mingle with each other watching some football or simply making plans for the night. A typical cocktail averages US$4 and a big meal would cost the same. Most people order a copa de nada and a baguette.
- Bombay - This lounge is recognized as a landmark for the city, People gather at the small venue to listen to live DJs while drinking some well quality cocktails; it also works as a restaurant.
- Chipilin - If you're hungry and thirsty and have very little money, Chipilin is the place to go. It is a botanero concept which means that they will feed you as much as possible while you are enjoying your drink. Very good traditional Mexican food is usually served.
- Clamateria - Usually students come here to have a "Clamato" which is believed to cure hangovers. After that, a couple of beers is what initiates another day in Mexico's sin city.
- Mandala - In Cholula's Container City, a very good spot to have some tea with vodka while smoking a hookah and having a great talk on their retro 1960s chairs. Recommended order is the Mandala Christmas or the vodka con pepino.
- Pulque Para Dos - Some of Mexico's most important bands have gone to play concerts in this venue. Great place to drink "pulque", a native Mexican drink.
- Siete Santos - A more alternative rock venue, where people gather in flocks to dance in the psychedelic decor.
- Tiki - one of Cholula's most famous precopeo joints. Shares much of its menu with Bambukos, but has a salad bar and surf boards as tables.
- Classico - Bordering the city of Puebla, this extremely large and prestigious club is where the city's elite tend to hang out. A bit more expensive than the rest.
- Roka - Cholula's largest night club, and becoming one of Cholula's best.
- Tigre - One of Cholula's oldest night clubs. Not a very popular place anymore for the locals, but usually beginning each semester many international and juniors tend to go there to rock all night long.
- Unit - Good music is played while locals have fun dancing the night away in the horribly decorated pink and green venue, but don't let it trick you, Unit is the best known place in Cholula.
- Hostal de San Pedro, 6 Norte 1203, Barrio de Jesus (About 4 blocks from the central square). Probably the only hostel in town. Very friendly and helpful staff, hot water, Wi-Fi. M$170.