Active + Adventure

Great Summer Mountain Towns

by Sarah Tuff

Cuetzalan, Mexico

The hills are alive with: Markets and culture

Get elevated: We know, Mexican food and early Sunday mornings haven't always been the best of bedfellows. But you'll have to just toss your notions of tequila and nachos and trust us on this one. Climb into the Sierra Norte, 120 miles northeast of Mexico City, to the colonial, cobblestoned (and steep) town of Cuetzalan. Then set your alarm for early Sunday. You'll see the jade hilltops draped in fog as pots of strong coffee, grown on nearby slopes, begin to brew and native Nahua women, dressed in white with red sashes, set up wares. There are live chickens and dried peppers, along with mountains of fresh produce that would make even the smuggest of American farmers-market vendors blush. Choose from delicate shawls, strong vanilla liqueur, crispy churros, and soft guavas. After the explosion of color, give your eyes a break by venturing into the sprawling caves that surround Cuetzalan. For the best local flavor, stay at the Hotel Taselotzin, an eco-lodge and working cooperative that consists of a cluster of five cabins run by Nahua women; massages and meals are also available.

Peak time: Sunday mornings, all year

Hotel Taselotzin
Tel: 52 233 33 10480
Doubles from $34

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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