2.5 hours from Puebla. Known for its apple production (“where the symbol of sin becomes the symbol of pleasure”), Zacatlán is a quiet town with two main churches and lovely views of the surrounding mountains. If you’re looking for preserved fruits and chiles, you’ll find them here, along with apple sodas and sweet bread filled with cheese.
The surrounding area, which also borders Chignahuapan, is full of beautiful natural areas. Two waterfalls you can visit are Quetzalapan and Tulimán. Quetzalapan is impressive, but even better is the waterfall at Tulimán; you can only see the Quetzalapan waterfall from above, while you can stand at the bottom of Tulimán and feel the wet breeze blasting the hair off your face. The waterfalls are near each other and you can visit them both one after the other. At Quetzalapan they charge $15 pesos, and at Tulimán $20.
If you’re looking for an exhilarating and beautiful experience, don’t miss the zip line and the wire bridge over the waterfalls (at Quetzalapan). The park attendants equip you with a helmet and gloves, as well as a wire to prevent you from falling. It’s great fun to see the falls from above and feel the vertigo of being suspending over a huge cliff.
If you’re looking to spend a relaxing weekend in Zacatlán, you have many options: apart from hotels, there are also plenty of cabins. There are two sites that I recommend. If you’re into having a quiet weekend, but like your luxuries, then the Sierra Verde cabins are a good choice. They’re on the outskirts of Zacatlán, in Tlatempa, and the property includes an expansive green lawn, lots of shrubs, and plum trees everywhere you look. The four cabins each have three bedrooms (two queen-size beds and one king-size), two bathrooms, a living room, and a fireplace. The best part is the service, which is provided by the family that lives on the property and their hired help. The family fell into the tourism industry by accident and love to chat with whomever comes and help out in any way they can. The family dog, Bosley, also likes to stop by for some loving pats. The cabins can be paid for per person ($250 pesos/person) or in their entirety (cost unknown). You can reserve a cabin by calling (011 52) 797 973 3092 (landline) or (011 52) 797 100 9424 (cell), or by emailing email@example.com
If, on the other hand, you want a more rustic, natural option, then the Tulimán cabins, near the waterfall, are excellent. The whole area, including the waterfall, is community land (an ejido) and is run by community members. After you’ve visited the waterfall, you can climb a tree, slide across the river on a cord, and sleep in the cabins, which have hot water, two beds, a shower and toilet, and lanterns instead of electricity. The cabins cost $200 pesos per person. You can reserve by calling Señor Fernando Navarro at (011 52) 797 976 1833.