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Papantla

The Papantla main square is good for starting any tour, digging into the customs and beliefs of its inhabitants and, especially during the weekends, enjoying a contagious festive atmosphere.

Some old photos show how this space, which today is occupied by large trees and beautiful flower planters, was completely covered with vanilla pods to dry in the sun. The intense aroma produced by this practice had earned Papantla the nickname “city that perfumes the world”.

Around the main square, the first thing that stands out is the 16th century Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Ascension Parish), built in a very simple style by Franciscan monks on a small elevation. The fence-delimited church’s courtyard has a 27-meter-high pole where the dance of the Voladores de Papantla is practiced and it’s also a space for other typical dances.

At one side, on one of the exterior walls of the church, you can see the high relief called Homenaje a la Cultura Totonaca (Homage to the Totonaca Culture), created by the artist Teodoro Cano.

The layout of this Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) streets is irregular, something that favors capricious routes and the discovery of picturesque corners as you pass between houses with red tile roofs. So it’s a good idea to wander aimlessly, perhaps looking for the murals that decorate the walls here and there.

In addition to taking a look at some of the colonial mansions, with their large patios called “asoleaderos” (sundecks) where the vanilla beans were put to dry in the past.

Very close to the main square is also the Capilla de Cristo Rey (Cristo Rey chapel), which is striking for its Gothic style. Finally, on the side of a mountain is another of Teodoro Cano’s sculptures, the Monumento al Volador (Monument to the Flying Man), from where you can get a beautiful panoramic view of Papantla.
The Papantla main square is good for starting any tour, digging into the customs and beliefs of its inhabitants and, especially during the weekends, enjoying a contagious festive atmosphere.

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Some old photos show how this space, which today is occupied by large trees and beautiful flower planters, was completely covered with vanilla pods to dry in the sun. The intense aroma produced by this practice had earned Papantla the nickname “city that perfumes the world”.

Around the main square, the first thing that stands out is the 16th century Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Ascension Parish), built in a very simple style by Franciscan monks on a small elevation. The fence-delimited church’s courtyard has a 27-meter-high pole where the dance of the Voladores de Papantla is practiced and it’s also a space for other typical dances.

At one side, on one of the exterior walls of the church, you can see the high relief called Homenaje a la Cultura Totonaca (Homage to the Totonaca Culture), created by the artist Teodoro Cano.

The layout of this Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) streets is irregular, something that favors capricious routes and the discovery of picturesque corners as you pass between houses with red tile roofs. So it’s a good idea to wander aimlessly, perhaps looking for the murals that decorate the walls here and there.

In addition to taking a look at some of the colonial mansions, with their large patios called “asoleaderos” (sundecks) where the vanilla beans were put to dry in the past.

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