DescriptionThe small villages of San Francisco Acatepec (ah-kah-teh-PEHK) and Tonantzintla are just off Mex. 190 a few miles south of Cholula. Both are distinguished by baroque churches that are magnificent examples of Indian craftsmanship—local artisans employing pre-Hispanic imagery to depict Christian beliefs—and are well worth seeing for their visual splendor. The two towns are only about a mile apart, and both churches can be visited by taking a local bus or taxi from either Cholula or Puebla.
Amiable little Acatepec is dominated by the beautifully preserved Church of San Francisco Acatepec, which dates from the 18th century and is one of the most ornate in the Americas. The facade is an extravagantly colorful feast of blue, yellow and orange ceramic tiles arranged in intricate geometric patterns, reminiscent of Puebla's trademark talavera tile building exteriors. The interior is more restrained but still lovely, with paneled doors, wall paintings and folk art decoration. The church is open daily 10-1 and 3-5; admission is free.
Bus tours aboard a double-decker tram visit the two churches as well as the Cholula archeological zone to see the Great Pyramid of Tepanapa. The trip departs from downtown Puebla's main plaza. For more information contact the Tip Tours Puebla travel agency; phone (222) 248-5492.