Magic Towns

Unlocking Mexico’s Treasured Traditions

Mexico’s collection of Magical Towns goes far beyond the stereotypical image of a spring break destination. These historic towns and villages, adorned with the prestigious designation of Pueblo Magico, offer a captivating glimpse into Mexico’s rich heritage.  These towns, carefully chosen based on stringent criteria encompassing natural beauty, cultural preservation, and historical significance, showcase a side of Mexico that goes beyond the party-centric reputation.While the revelers in popular beach destinations may seek sun, sand, and parties, these treasured towns offer a deeper and more enriching experience. Immerse yourself in the captivating tales of history and culture as you wander through the cobbled streets of these ancient settlements. From Cozumel’s blend of island paradise and vibrant heritage to Zihuatanejo’s peaceful coastal charm, these towns showcase the soul of Mexico. Embark on a journey to San Carlos, Ures, or Candelaria, and witness the awe-inspiring natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural richness that make Mexico’s Magical Towns an unforgettable destination.

Mexico’s collection of Magical Towns stands as a treasured assortment of historical towns and villages, truly captivating and highly esteemed. These towns have earned the prestigious designation of Pueblo Magico, granted by the government based on a comprehensive set of criteria that includes stunning natural beauty, preserved culture, and historical significance. In 2023, the Mexican government announced the addition of 45 towns to the coveted Magical Towns roster.

To receive the distinction of a Magical Town, a town must have a population of at least 20,000 people and be located within 124 miles of a major tourist destination. Additionally, it must demonstrate a sustained tourism development program for a minimum of three years, ensure the safety and well-being of tourists, and possess unique symbolic or cultural attractions. In the year 2023, the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico received over 100 nominations from 27 states.

Out of these nominations, 45 towns successfully met the stringent requirements, bringing the total count of Magical Towns to 177. Among the newly added towns, a few standout recognitions deserve special mention. Firstly, Cozumel, a world-famous island in Quintana Roo, has been acknowledged as a Magical Town, joining the ranks of Bacalar, Isla Mujeres, and Tulum in the same state. Sonora, too, reached a significant milestone this year. After a period without any new additions, San Carlos and Ures were included in the list. San Carlos is renowned for its natural beauty, including the mesmerizing Arcos y Cuevas (rock arches and sea caves) teeming with wildlife.

The summit of Tetakawi Hill is a popular spot to witness breathtaking sunsets over the Sea of Cortez. Ures, on the other hand, holds historical significance as the former capital of the state before it was relocated to Hermosillo. Zihuatanejo in Guerrero has achieved the much-desired Magical Town status. This fishing village, overshadowed by the nearby resort-heavy Ixtapa, is known for its tranquil coves, epic surf, charming restaurants with a toes-in-the-sand atmosphere, and exceptional whale-watching opportunities. Deep within Campeche lies the wild and rugged town of Candelaria, nestled in the heart of the jungle. It captivates visitors with its stunning natural beauty, ecotourism offerings, and pre-Hispanic ruins. Notably, El Tigre (or Itzamkanac), an alleged site of Cuauhtemoc’s tragic end at the hands of Hernan Cortes, can be found here. The town also boasts the awe-inspiring Salto Grande waterfall, one of Mexico’s largest.

The complete roster of Mexico’s latest additions to the esteemed Magical Towns collection comprises:

• Pabellon de Hidalgo, Aguascalientes
• Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur
• Candelaria, Campeche
• Copainala, Chiapas
• Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, Chiapas
• Guachochi, Chihuahua
• Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua
• General de Cepeda, Coahuila
• Jilotepec, State of Mexico
• Otumba, State of Mexico
• Ixcateopan de Cuauhtemoc, Guerrero
• Zihuatanejo, Guerrero
• Acaxochitlan, Hidalgo
• Meztitlan, Hidalgo
• Cocula, Jalisco
• Temacapulin, Jalisco
• Cotija, Michoacan
• Tlaltizapan de Zapata, Morelos
• Xochitepec, Morelos
• Ahuacatlan, Nayarit
• Amatlan de Canas, Nayarit
• Ixtlan del rio, Nayarit
• San Blas, Nayarit
• Puerto Balleto (Islas Marias), Nayarit
• General Teran, Nuevo Leon
• General Zaragoza, Nuevo Leon
• Huejotzingo, Puebla
• Pinal de Amoles, Queretaro
• Cozumel, Quintana Roo
• Ciudad del Maiz, San Luis Potosi
• Tierra Nueva, San Luis Potosi
• San Ignacio, Sinaloa
• San Carlos, Sonora
• Ures, Sonora
• Frontera, Tabasco
• Teapa, Tabasco
• Ixtenco, Tlaxcala
• Cordoba, Veracruz
• Naolinco de Victoria, Veracruz
• Espita, YucatanMotul, YucatanTekax, Yucatan
• Villa Nueva, Zacatecas
• Sayula, Jalisco
• Teziutlan, Puebla

These enchanting additions reflect Mexico’s ongoing dedication to preserving its cultural heritage and showcasing the diverse beauty that lies within its borders. Each town on this list possesses its own unique charm and allure, inviting visitors to delve into the most treasured traditions and communities that reside in the southern realms of this extraordinary country.