Journey into Authentic Mexico in its "Magical Towns"Posted on 12/14/2023
Mexico is more than beaches. It’s also a country rich in folklore, traditions, culture, history, nature and cuisine. And some of Mexico’s towns have such a concentration of significance and authentic experiences for visitors, they’ve earned the label “Magical.”
As of 2023, 177 towns in Mexico have been designated “Magical Towns,” or “Pueblos Magicos” by the Mexican government. The program empowers local communities to celebrate and share their unique characteristics, and towns are provided a budget to help maintain the special traditions and experiences that make them so appealing. There are Magical Towns in each of the country’s 31 states, so no matter where in Mexico you are planning to visit, there should be a Magical Town within reach whether you're an adventure seeker, a history buff, a foodie, or simply craving an off the beaten path authentic Mexican experience.
One of the most captivating aspects of Mexico's Magical Towns is their historical significance. Each town has its own story to tell, and you can embark on a journey through time as you explore their cobblestone streets and well-preserved architecture. For example, San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (pictured, top), is renowned for its colonial charm, with its colorful buildings, baroque churches, and vibrant art scene. Strolling through its narrow alleyways feels like stepping into a living history book.
Another jewel among the Magical Towns is Taxco, nestled in the mountains of Guerrero. This town is famous for its silver mining heritage, and you can admire intricate silver jewelry and artisanal crafts in its bustling markets (pictured, below.) The winding streets of Taxco are a photographer's paradise, offering stunning vistas of white-washed buildings and red-tiled roofs against a backdrop of lush greenery.
Nature lovers will find inspiration in the Magical Town of Bacalar, known as the "Lagoon of Seven Colors." Here, you can lose yourself in the mesmerizing hues of the lagoon's crystal-clear waters. Explore its cenotes, lush mangroves, and charming waterfront promenade. Bacalar offers a tranquil escape for those seeking relaxation and connection with nature.
Each Magical Town has its own unique cuisine, allowing food enthusiasts to savor the diverse flavors of Mexico. Oaxaca's culinary delights, for example, are a testament to its rich indigenous heritage. Try the mouthwatering mole, savor tlayudas (large tortillas), and taste traditional mezcal in this gastronomic paradise.
Adventure lovers find thrills in Magical Towns, too.You can hike through the Sierra Gorda's lush forests in Queretaro, go horseback riding in the Copper Canyon of Chihuahua, or explore the underground rivers and caves of Tulum in Quintana Roo. The natural beauty and diversity of these towns make them excellent destinations for outdoor activities.
Many Magical Towns that preserve cultural traditions host festivals and events throughout the year, giving travelers the chance to be a part of ancient rituals and celebrations. For example, the Day of the Dead festivities in Patzcuaro, Michoacan, are world-renowned, and the town comes alive with colorful altars, marigold petals, and candlelit processions each November.
Exploring Mexico's Magical Towns gives you the opportunity to celebrate some of the best and most cherished aspects of Mexico’s incredible tapestry of history, culture, nature and cuisine. You’ll meet local people passionate about their community and sharing it with visitors, and your heart will also be warmed knowing you are playing a part in helping preserve the country’s local treasures, and support communities, local artisans, small businesses and responsible tourism for generations of travelers to enjoy in Mexico.
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