Free Mexico Travel Guide and Travel Information


Atlixco is a city and a municipality in the Mexican state of Puebla.

Situated at the foot of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes, Atlixco offers a unique blend of historical sites, lush landscapes, and modern amenities that attract both locals and visitors alike.

Atlixco is known for its flower markets, festivals, and its dedication to cultivating various types of plants and flowers. The name “Atlixco de las Flores” reflects the city’s association with its floral beauty and attractions.

Geo & Climate

Atlixco is located approximately 25 km southwest of Puebla City at an elevation of 1,881 meters above sea level, twenty-five km from the state capital of Puebla. It lies at the foot of the Cerro de San Miguel mountain.

Its strategic position between two imposing volcanoes contributes to its fertile land and mild climate.

The city is characterized by lush vegetation, including orchards, gardens, and flower fields, earning it the nickname “City of Flowers.” This natural beauty is complemented by the surrounding mountains and picturesque countryside.

The municipality is located in the basin of the Nexapa River, a tributary of the Atoyac.

Various streams run through the territory, which has their source at the Iztaccihuatl Volcano; however, most depend on snowmelt from the volcano. The Nexcapa is one of the few that run year-round and splits the Atlixco Valley in half.

Climate and weather

Atlixco’s climate is influenced by its location and proximity to the surrounding mountains. The city enjoys a mild and temperate climate throughout most of the year, making it a pleasant destination for travelers seeking comfortable weather.

Atlixco experiences a subtropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The climate is characterized by warm temperatures, moderate humidity, and relatively low rainfall. Here’s a general overview of the climate throughout the year:

Dry Season (November to April): This is considered the best time to visit Atlixco. The weather during these months is typically dry, sunny, and comfortably warm. Daytime temperatures range from 18°C to 24°C.

It’s a great time for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and exploring the city’s attractions.

Rainy Season (May to October): The rainy season in Atlixco brings higher humidity and occasional afternoon showers. While the rain can provide relief from the heat, it’s worth noting that some outdoor activities might be limited due to the weather.

Daytime temperatures during the rainy season can still be pleasant, ranging from 18°C to 24°C.

The best time to visit Atlixco is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. During this period, the weather is mild, the skies are clear, and you can enjoy the city’s outdoor attractions and natural beauty without the concern of heavy rainfall.

This is also the time when the famous flower fields are in full bloom, adding to the city’s vibrant charm.

Origin of the Name & Heraldry

Atlixco has a storied history that dates back to pre-Hispanic times when it was inhabited by various indigenous groups. The city’s name originates from the Nahuatl word “Atl-ixco,” which means “place of water.”

Atlixco, also known as Atlixco de las Flores (“Atlixco of the Flowers”).

Atlixco is known for its flower markets, festivals, and its dedication to cultivating various types of plants and flowers. The name “Atlixco de las Flores” reflects the city’s association with its floral beauty and attractions.

Atlixco received its coat of arms from King Phillip II in 1579, which now represents the entire municipality.

History & Timeline

In the pre-Hispanic period, it was part of Cuauhquecollán, today Huaquechula. The first known inhabitants of this area were the Teochichimecas around 1100 CE, before becoming a Xicalanca settlement.

This area was eventually conquered by Tenochtitlan.

Its location made it a battleground among several indigenous peoples, with the populations of Calpan, Huejotzingo, and Cholula claiming possession. After the Conquest, it was named Acapetlahuacan (place of reeds) until its current name.

During the colonial period, the area was an important producer of grain, especially wheat, giving rise to the first wheat mill in the state.

The city was founded in 1579 as Villas de Carrión by Pedro de Castillo, Cristóbal Ruiz de Cabrera, and Alonso Díaz de Carrión. Originally it and the surrounding area were under the jurisdiction of Huejotzingo.

But in 1632, the city became a local independent seat of government. In 1706 the area became under the direct control of the Spanish Crown, with Philip V granting José Sarmiento de Valladares the title of Duque y Señor de Atlixco.

In 1840 the Marquesa Calderon de la Barca visited the community and noted that it was filled with beautiful churches, monasteries, and other buildings. The town was given the official status of a city by Nicolás Bravo in 1843.

In 1847, the municipal government took over the administration of the San Juan de Dios Hospital. In 1862, troops led by General Tomás O´Horan defeated French sympathizers under Leonardo Marquez, impeding the advance of French troops.

This was an important precursor to the Battle of Puebla.

Since then, the region’s economy has shifted to the production of flowers and ornamental plants, as well as trade and industry. Efforts have also been made to make the area attractive to tourists, with festivals taking place since the late 20th century.

Tourist Attractions & Sightseeing

During the colonial era, Atlixco became an important trade center and played a significant role in connecting Puebla with other regions. The historic downtown area showcases well-preserved colonial architecture, churches, and mansions.

The Cerro de San Miguel mountain stands out as a significant cultural and geographical landmark in Atlixco. At its peak, there is a small hermitage dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

The city boasts various lookout points that offer panoramic views of the city’s surroundings.

The Moorish-style main square is bordered by restaurants and shops. The square is home to notable sites such as the Casa de la Audencia, characterized by Tuscan column support, the Portal Hidalgo, the old Marqués de Santa Martha House, and more.

The municipal palace, facing the main square, stands out with its Talavera tile-adorned facade. The city library, once the original library, features murals depicting the municipality’s history, education in Mexico, and heroes of Independence and Reforma.

Colonia Cabrera is a significant area known for its abundant greenhouse production of flowers and ornamental plants.

The city’s most important churches, crafted in the 18th century, feature intricate “folk Baroque” facades made from stucco by indigenous artisans. The La Merced Temple is a relic of a Mercedarian monastery, displaying ornate architecture and artwork.

The Third Order Chapel is a classic folk Baroque altarpiece design with angels and cherubs. The parish church, Natividad, features a plain facade but houses the elaborate Santuario del Santísimo, added in the late 1700s, adorned with polychrome stucco and intricate reliefs.

Other notable churches include the San Agustin Church, La Soledad Chapel, and the chapels of Santa Clara and El Carmen.

Traditions, Holidays & Festivals

The most important annual event in the municipality is called El Huey Atlixcayotl. This event started in 1965, is a reinvention of an old indigenous celebration that tradition says in the pre-Hispanic period honored the god Quetzalcoatl, giving thanks for the harvest.

On the last Saturday of September, the event begins with the selection of the festival queen, called the Xochicihuatl (lit. flower woman), and a dance called Las Canastas, when women dance with baskets of fireworks on their heads.

The main events are on the following day, Sunday when a parade of between 800 and 1,500 participants from Puebla’s eleven regions leaves the town square to climb Cerro de San Miguel, which has stage areas with stands.

The rest of the day is filled with performances by charros, bands, mojigangas, voladores, and more. These activities are in honor of the Archangel Michael, who has a small church on the mountain. In 1996 the event was named as part of the Cultural Heritage of Puebla.

The Festival de la Ilusión (“Illusion Festival”) was started in the 1990s by two teenagers to reinforce the tradition of Three Kings’ Day in Mexico, on January 6. At that time, many fathers and other family members went to the USA to work, leading to foreign influences such as Santa Claus.

To give January 6 precedence, the teens took a collection from local businesses to buy thousands of balloons and envelopes so that children could have a mass launch, sending their requests for toys.

The fourth of January is still dedicated to this launch, but two days have been added.

On January 5, a 5 km parade with floats in honor of the Three Kings is held, and on January 6 the local convention center hosts musical groups, clowns, and other forms of entertainment for the city.

The Festival de la Iluminación (Lights Festival) or Villa Iluminada (Lighted Village) begins on November 20 with large lighted figures that adorn the city’s streets. This event was begun in 2010, with the lights placed along a corridor of a km and a half.

The event draws over 500,000 visitors to the city during the 46 days it is set up from the end of November to the beginning of January. In addition to the lights, the event also features amusement rides and an exhibition of sky lanterns.

Some of the annual events are related to Atlixco’s economy.

The Festival de la Flor (Flower Festival) celebrates the municipality’s main economic activity of growing flowers.

Starting in the second week of March, giant “carpets” are created by arranging flowers on the street. During the last two weeks of the month, large flower sculptures are created to attract visitors, along with musical events and other attractions.

The Feria de la Nochebuena begins on November 25 and runs through the Christmas season to promote plants of this type grown in the municipality. The Feria de la Noche Buena began in 2001 and is timed for the start of the Christmas season.

The Feria de la Cecina (Cecina Fair) promotes the local version of this meat, in August with artistic and cultural events.

The last two weeks of October are dedicated to the regional fair.

La Noche de las Estrellas (Night of the Stars) occurs on the last Saturday of February when about 5,000 people come together on the Cerro de San Miguel mountain to observe the night sky, through the telescopes of the observatory there.

The event promotes the organizations’ courses and workshops as well as a program to provide telescopes to families.

For Holy Week, the streets of the Nexatengo community are adorned with flowers, pine branches, and sawdust carpets for a procession of Jesus in which 8,000 people participate in an eight km procession.

The Desfile de Calaveras (Skull Parade) takes place on November 2, the Day of the Dead.

It is during traditional festivals that local food specialties and dress most often appear.

Traditional dishes include cecina, a local variety of consume called “atlixquense,” chiles en nogada, barbacoa, mole poblano, mole de panza, mole de olla, mole verde, pozole blanco, tostadas, enchiladas, pambazos, tortas, cemitas, molotes and tlacoyos.

The most traditional dress is now seen only on certain occasions and dances.

For women, this is the style of the China Poblana, or alternatively a long full-flowered skirt with a white blouse and rebozo. For men, this consists of a shirt and pants made of undyed cotton, huaraches, and a hat made of palm fronds.

Souvenirs & Crafts

The city of Atlixco is a regional commercial, manufacturing, and industrial center with textile mills, distilleries, and bottling plants.

Traditional handcrafts also are made here and in the rest of the municipality including ceramic utensils, embroidered shirts blouses, and candles. However, the municipality is best known for its cultivation of ornamental plants, flowers, and fruit trees.

Flowers include roses, geraniums, chrysanthemums, and Cornish mallow (Lavatera Cretica). All of its potted plant production is sold in Mexico, with eighty percent of the cut flowers sent abroad, mostly to the United States.

How to get there & Transportation

By bus from Puebla via Los Limones 0:45 min (each 5 min)
By taxi from Los Limones to Atlixco 0:25 min

From Puebla to Atlixco by car or taxi at 0:25 min

By bus from Mexico City via Cholula at 1:30 hours (every 4 hours)
By taxi from Cholula to Atlixco 0:25 minutes

From Cuernavaca to Atlixco by car or taxi approx 1:45 hours
From Tlaxcala to Atlixco by car or taxi approx 0:50 min
From Cuautla to Atlixco by car or taxi approx 0:55 min
From Izucar de Matamoros to Atlixco by car or taxi approx 0:35 min

Tourist Assistance + Emergency Numbers

You can dial 078 from any phone, where you can find free information about tourist attractions, airports, travel agencies, car rental companies, embassies and consulates, fairs and exhibitions, hotels, hospitals, financial services, migratory and other issues.

Or dial the toll-free (in Mexico) number 01-800-006-8839.

You can also request information to the email


General Information: 040 (not free)

National Emergency Service: 911

Radio Patrols: 066
Police (Emergency): 060
Civil Protection: +52(55)5683-2222
Anonymous Complaint: 089

Setravi (Transport Mobility): +52(55)5209-9913
Road Emergency: 074

Cruz Roja: 065 o +52(55)5557-5757
Firefighters: 068 o +52(55)5768-3700

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