Huamantla: Pulque Producing Haciendas

Tlaxcala is a place rich in history, so much so that strolling through its colonial streets is the nearest thing many of us will ever experience to time travel. Many rustic haciendas continue as they have been since they were built hundreds of years ago. Others have been extensively restored and remodeled into luxury boutiques and accommodating bed and breakfasts where one can still feel the whispers of sixteenth-century life, in a simpler time where bull runs were held with the ceremony to honor the patron saint or celebrate the arrival of European Viceroys. 

Tlaxcala’s picturesque natural environment allows for many other sports and activities like kayaking, golf, rappelling, and other attractions.    

Tenexac Hacienda in Huamantla is one of the haciendas that remain functioning today. This was the setting for many films in the Mexican showcase. One such film, “Arranqame la Vida” (Tear My Life Out of Me), is one of the highest-grossing Mexican films of all time. Now you can stay and enjoy five-star accommodations and a spacious environment situated on 485 hectares of an ecological reserve. 

And at noon, what better way to explore the estate than on horseback? Take your entire family on a group horseback tour of the surrounding ranches. Need something a bit more extreme? The kayak trips and high cliffs to rappel from will take your breath away. Don’t forget to check out the center of Huamantla, where you can take a dip in the pools, practice your backhand on the tennis courts, or swing on a well-manicured 9-hole golf course.    

In the afternoon, visit the pulque distillery of Don Vale de Soltepec, reputed to brew the finest pulque in all of Tlaxcala. To appreciate the quality of this potent drink, you should be aware of a few qualities in good pulque. Good pulque should not smell strong nor be slimy (maybe just a little). It should have a white milky aspect to it also. The variety of pulque in Don Vale’s cellars is that it contains the “seed.” A type of aguamiel (syrup collected from an agave plant) used is so pure that it ferments on its own when placed in the shade. 

After the pulque sampling whets your appetite, drop into one of the restaurants in Soltepec and try the duck cooked in pulque accompanied by a pine nut curado. Have a second helping of the superb lamb barbecue, and don’t say no to the maguey worms plucked right from the stalks. If you get a chance, the mutton mixiotes and the chicken in pulque never disappoint.    

To top off the day’s experiences, rest easy at the Santa Barbara Hacienda, built on the slopes of the volcano La Malinche. Commonly referred to as Casa Malinche, this small three-room establishment offers excellent service and the most beautiful postcard view of the volcano. Trips to the top can be made with a guided tour or aboard a hot air balloon. 

Complete your adventure with a soothing temazcal, a steam bath using herbs of an ancient origin, to relax your body and cleanse your spirit. A perfect place to reflect on the journey you have made, the warm people you have met, and the delicious food you will never forget.

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