touristic program in Mexico
North America > Mexico > Pueblos Mágicos

There are well over a hundred Pueblos Mágicos in Mexico, and at least one can be found in every state. Collectively, these are towns and villages that have in some way preserved their local traditions, culture, ethnic customs or unique cuisines. The idea to curate and promote these pueblos was created by the Mexican department of tourism in 2001. Selected locations are often small, rural towns, where visitors can experience indigenous craftsmanship or spectacular natural landscapes. While you've likely heard of a few, the majority of these towns are new to tourism and are greatly helped by your visit.

Criteria edit

Not just any town can become a Pueblo Mágico. Hundreds apply every year and only a few are selected. Towns must have a population of at least 5,000, offer a variety of hospitality and touristic services, and can not be overly burdensome to travel to. The government looks for locations where residents have kept the fire of their cultural and historical traditions alive, and provides some financial assistance with promoting and event production. On rare occasions, towns have been removed from the list for not staying in keeping with the mágicos spirit.

Promotion edit

Logo of the Pueblo Mágicos program

Towns selected to participate in the Pueblo Mágico program are promoted in national and international advertising programs established by the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR). Towns can also use the Pueblo Mágico logo and other branding in their own local and state promotional efforts. The program has become recognizable to visitors and locals who see it as a symbol of a town's legitimacy as a quality tourist destination that offers a memorable travel experience.

Designated towns edit

Map of Pueblos Mágicos

Mision de Loreto, Loreto
Las Playitas, Cuatro Ciénegas
Calle de Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato
Calle del Tepozteco, Tepoztlán
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Cholula
La Pila Fountain, Chiapa de Corzo
Parroquia de Santa Prisca, Taxco
Mexican Venice, Mexcaltitán
Laguna de Bacalar, Bacalar
Lake Lagoon, Bacalar
Convento de San Antonio de Padua, Izamal
Malecon and lakeside park, Ajijic
Calle 16 de Septiembre, Ajijic
Our lady of Dolores, Mascota
Caribbean Beach, Isla Mujeres
Sanctuario de la Virgen de Dolores, Metepec
Dusk, Real de Asientos
Cathedral of Coatepec, Coatepec

Baja California edit

Baja California edit

  • 1 Tecate — a border city best known for Tecate beer

Baja California Sur edit

  • 2 Loreto — a resort town regarded as one of the best places for fishing
  • 3 Todos Santos — small and quaint with many artists and galleries; south of Todos Santos is one of Baja's better surfing destinations, Cerritos Beach

Northern Mexico edit

Chihuahua edit

  • 1 Creel — backpacker mecca, gateway to the canyonlands
  • 2 Batopilas   — historic silver mining town in mountains
  • 3 Casas Grandes — quiet town near the Paquime archaeological site

Coahuila edit

  • 4 Arteaga   — pleasant mountain village surrounded by pine forests; popular as a weekend getaway from Monterrey
  • 5 Candela   — a small, sleepy town with eco-tours and a dash of Revolution history
  • 6 Cuatro Ciénegas — small desert oasis, hometown of President Venustiano Carranza, much of the valley is a protected natural reserve famous for its pozas (pools)
  • 7 Guerrero   — Small town on the border with Texas, known for the San Juan Bautista missions, built to convert savage native Americans into civilized christians
  • 8 Melchor Múzquiz   — remote rural area intended as a multi-cultural acknowledgment of nomadic native American tribes in northern Mexico, especially the Kickapoo people
  • 9 Parras de la Fuente — location of wineries that were established by the old Spanish Dons
  • 10 Viesca   — remote desert town known for its nearby sand dunes

Durango edit

Nuevo León edit

  • 13 Santiago — picturesque town with a pleasant temperate climate, surrounded by forests and groves, ideal for camping and spending a weekend away from large urban centers
  • 14 Linares — city between two rivers, with some interesting colonial buildings. Good place to buy carne seca (dried meat) and glorias.
  • 15 Bustamante — historic settlement of 30 tlaxcalteca families (who were relocated by the government from their home in Central Mexico); famous caverns (Grutas de Bustamente)
  • 16 Montemorelos — small city in a valley of the Pilon River, home to Nuevo León's orange-growing industry

Sinaloa edit

  • 17 Cosalá — highland town, site of Gruta Mexico caverns, interesting mining museum
  • 18 El Fuerte — "The Fort" offers many attractions and a special, pretty-small-town aura
  • 19 El Rosario — coastal mining town, spectacular colonial Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
  • 20 Mocorito — known for banda, norteno, and regional music; home town of Los Tigres del Norte

Sonora edit

  • 21 Álamos — The main historical attraction of Sonora, and one of Mexico's most splendid colonial cities
  • 22 Magdalena de Kino   — established in 1687 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, but generally of low touristic value

Tamaulipas edit

  • 23 Ciudad Mier   — boasts over 100 historic buildings, including the 200 year old Parroquia de la Inmaculada Concepción, but the town's location in the Tex-Mex border region, with its reputation for cartel violence (half the town's population fled when the mayor was murdered) make it a dubious tourist destination
  • 24 Ciudad Tula   — considered to be the oldest city in the state of Tamaulipas

The Bajío edit

Aguascalientes edit

  • 1 Calvillo — scenic and romantic small town with a main plaza dotted with orange trees, a historic church full of 17th century art, and an Aztec archaelogical site nearby
  • 2 Real de Asientos   — colonial mining town, known for the Church of Our Lady of Belen (don't miss the tunnels underneath)
  • 3 San José de Gracia — popular among outdoor adventure travelers, the town's story centers on its broken Christ statue, whose missing limbs represent population displaced by dam construction

Guanajuato edit

  • 4 Dolores Hidalgo — the city where the fight for independence started in 1810
  • 5 Guanajuato — a beautiful mountain colonial town and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • 6 Jalpa de Cánovas — tiny hamlet with nearby natural attractions, lakes, parks, and historical sites and magnificent churches, like the Templo del Señor de la Misericordia
  • 7 Salvatierra — small colonial city with a number of historic churches

Querétaro edit

  • 8 Amealco de Bonfil — historic 16th century town with 21st century outdoor recreation draws (mountains, lakes, parks)
  • 9 Bernal — colonial town with cobblestone streets, bright boutiques, and tranquil vibe
  • 10 Cadereyta de Montes — gateway to the Sierra Gorda, romantic posadas for night time, adventurous outdoor activities for the day
  • 11 Jalpan de Serra   — Franciscan monasteries of the Sierra Gorda (a UNESCO World Heritage site), follow in the footsteps of Father Junipero Serra
  • 12 San Joaquín — archaeology, regional cuisine, colonial history and a mining tradition wrapped up in a picturesque small town
  • 13 Tequisquiapan — delightful colonial town that hosts Queretaro's famous annual wine and cheese festival

San Luis Potosí edit

  • 14 Aquismón — One of several towns in the heart of the Huastec, Aquismon is also the stepping off point to Sotano de las Golodrinas and the southern access to Casacada Tamul.
  • 15 Real de Catorce — Ghost town featuring many restored haciendas. The surrounding high desert area is popular for horseback riding
  • 16 Santa María del Río — soak in thermal springs, shop for locally made rebozos, see the ex-haciendas and the Church of our Lady of the Assumption
  • 17 Xilitla — Sir Edward James created the surrealistic Las Pozas here, but it required the ingenuity and work of local residents to carry out. The artistic tradition continues to grow as other artists are attracted to this village.

Zacatecas edit

  • 18 Guadalupe — colonial city with a variety of historic churches, a warren of narrow alleys and street corners, and a long history as part of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, a   UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • 19 Jerez de García Salinas — a provincial colonial town situated on a basin
  • 20 Nochistlán de Mejía   — known for the beautiful architecture of its town square and as a city where music always plays
  • 21 Pinos — like all the mining towns, its filled with spectacular churches and plazas, but Pinos diferentiates itself with its celebrations of popular culture, like the dances of Matachines and Feathers
  • 22 Sombrerete — a quiet town that gives a real sense of "old Mexico"
  • 23 Teúl — cobblestone streets, quarry stone walls, and a tradition of mezcal appreciation keep visitors coming back

Central Mexico edit

Hidalgo edit

Prismas basálticos, Huasca de Ocampo
  • 1 Huasca de Ocampo   — small village surrounded by jaw-dropping natural scenery like the Prismas Basalticos
  • 2 Mineral del Monte — an old mining town with centuries of industrial, cultural and gastronomic history
  • 3 Mineral del Chico — classy small town close to El Chico National Park, with its abundance of outdoor adventure activities, from mountain biking to rock climbing
  • 4 Huichapan — elegant viceregal town where the tradition of Mexico's president re-enacting Father Hidalgo's famous cry for freedom first began in 1812
  • 5 Tecozautla — come for the waters...Tecozautla is famous for hot mineral springs, aquatic parks, and spa treatments
  • 6 Zimapán   — 5-star spa hotels at night, adrenaline-rushing outdoor adventure by day. Los Marmoles National Park offers mountain peaks, caves, paragliding, and sheer cliffs for rappelling and rock climbing, including a via ferrata route
  • 7 Zempoala   — a history that dates back to the Toltecs, but a centro that reflects the colonial era, especially the Aquaduct of Padre Tembleque (a UNESCO World Heritage site)

Mexico State edit

  • 8 Aculco   — small town located on the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro
  • 9 El Oro de Hidalgo   — mining town
  • 10 Ixtapan de la Sal — natural hot water springs attract thousands of visitors every year
  • 11 Malinalco — ancient pre-colombian settlement with many archaeological sites nearby, known for it's black Christ figure and for shamans and dark magic
  • 12 Metepec   — a touristy town known for its pottery
  • 13 Teotihuacán   — small town adjacent to a very large archaeological site
  • 14 Tepotzotlán — ancient pre-colombian settlement, part of Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, historic Jesuit community
  • 15 Tonatico   — ancient pre-Colombian settlement famous for its cave paintings
  • 16 Valle de Bravo — lakeside town popular as a weekend getaway
  • 17 Villa del Carbón   — historic home of Otomi and Nahua, the town now attracts weekenders for canoeing, fishing, and jet-skiing on 4 man-made lakes

Morelos edit

  • 18 Tepoztlán — Near CDMX, it's famous for the remains of a nearby mountaintop temple, as well as their exotic ice cream flavors
  • 19 Tlayacapan — Home of San Juan Bautista monastery, one of the historic 16th century monasteries on the slopes of Popocatapetl that make up the UNESCO World Heritage site

Puebla edit

  • 20 Atlixco — stunningly beautiful small town with narrow winding alleys and flowers and bright colors everywhere
  • 21 Chignahuapan — ridiculously scenic romantic town that actually has a museum dedicated solely to axolotls -- "the missing link"
  • 22 Cholula — the great pyramid of Cholula is the largest pyramid (by volume) in the world, and is topped by a 16th century church
  • 23 Cuetzalan — charming town with a wealth of natural attractions like waterfalls, caves, rivers, and forests
  • 24 Huachinango — serene colonial town that smells of orchids and azaleas
  • 25 La Magdalena Tlatlauquitepec   — quiet colonial town made for reflective exploration, less serene activities include rock climbing and rappeling on the nearby Cerro Cabezon
  • 26 Pahuatlán — to get to Pahuatlan, you pass through the Serra Magico, full of ravines, rivers, and gorges, the town's scenery melds and contrasts with that of the surrounding mountains
  • 27 Tetela de Ocampo   — colonial small town charm with rugged outdoor opportunities; Saturday before August 15 is the Peach Festival
  • 28 Xicotepec — this is heart of coffee country and you're never far from the wafting scent of fresh ground or brewed coffee
  • 29 Zacatlán — a city in the clouds, fog usually obscures the view of the town's colorful colonial core

Tlaxcala edit

  • 30 Huamantla — colorful traditions and bullfighting capital
  • 31 Tlaxco   — door to the forest of Puebla

Veracruz edit

  • 32 Coatepec   — known for its coffee production and orchids
  • 33 Coscomatepec de Bravo   — cool small town near Pico de Orizaba where cigar rolling is an art form and the public is invited to come watch and learn how to craft a fine smoke
  • 34 Orizaba — a quiet town, crossed by many rivers, with many parks and beautiful churches
  • 35 Papantla — this city near El Tajin ruins is known for its downtown square and its cathedral, where voladores (flyers) perform
  • 36 Xico — colorful town with impressive waterfalls
  • 37 Zozocolco de Hidalgo   — natural wonders, a cool town, and a balloon festival that happens each November

Pacific Coast edit

Colima edit

  • 1 Comala — natural surroundings and traditional architecture, almost all buildings are painted white with red tile roofs

Guerrero edit

  • 2 Taxco — a beautiful, hilly town that is a center for silver mining and smithing

Jalisco edit

  • 3 Ajijic — a destination for retirees from the U.S. and Canada on Lake Chapala
  • 4 Lagos de Moreno — known for its architecture
  • 5 Mascota   — the magic of this town is its mountain location with fresh air, oaks, and pines
  • 6 Mazamitla — a historic west Mexican town in the heart of the Sierra del Tigre, popular for outdoor activities in its many forests
  • 7 San Sebastián del Oeste — colonial town, check out the Church of Saint Sebastian built in 1608, and the haciendas in town built of cut stone
  • 8 Talpa de Allende   — the magic comes out at night as crickets chirp, lanterns light the streets, and the scent of bougainvillea permeates the air
  • 9 Tapalpa — known for its traditional buildings with white facades and red roofs
  • 10 Tequila — Mexico's most famous small town, where distilleries offer tours of the fabrication process and into the Agave fields
  • 11 Tlaquepaque   — delightful artisan community on the outskirts of Guadalajara, shops with handmade furniture and carved masks, wandering mariachi trios

Michoacan edit

  • 12 Angangueo — quaint village close to the "main entrance" of the UNESCO Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
  • 13 Cuitzeo   — Purepecha town with the picturesque Augustinian monastery, Santa María Magdalena
  • 14 Jiquilpan — charming riverfront town rich in colonial scenery, birthplace of President Lazaro Cardenas and President Anastasio Bustamente
  • 15 Paracho de Verduzco — known for guitar-making and is full of shops selling handmade guitars and other string instruments
  • 16 Pátzcuaro — an enchanting, colonial mountain town in Mexico's lake region
  • 17 Santa Clara De Cobre — Purephecha town on Lake Patzcuaro, known for its master coppersmiths since pre-colombian times
  • 18 Tacámbaro — Purepecha town dating from the early 1300s
  • 19 Tlalpujahua — hilly, picturesque former gold mining town, now known for its Christmas ornaments
  • 20 Tzintzuntzán — home to the archeological site of Tzintzuntzán and the former monastery complex of San Francisco

Nayarit edit

  • 21 Compostela — small colonial city with a volcanic crater lake, waterfall, and nearby beaches
  • 22 Mexcaltitán — historical island settlement thought to be the origin of the Mexica people
  • 23 Puerto Balleto   — former island penal colony turned Pueblo Magico and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Oaxaca edit

  • 24 Capulalpam de Méndez — charming town in the mountains with a historic church full of 16th and 17th century artworks, travelers come for the traditional healers
  • 25 Huautla de Jiménez   — historic town of the Mazatec culture, famous for indigenous shamans willing to share psychedelic mushrooms and interesting smokeables
  • 26 Mazunte — popular stop on the Pacific Coast Backpacker Route for its pristine Pacific beaches and famous Sea Turtle Museum.
  • 27 San Pablo Villa de Mitla   — Zapotec settlement with a colonial era centro; the Mitla archaeological site is here (near to Monte Alban and culturally related)
  • 28 San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula   — colonial town known for its mixture of indigenous design and textures with European styles of the 16th and 17th centuries
  • 29 Santa Catarina Juquila   — famous for its diminutive statue of the Virgen de Juquila, which has been venerated since 1633

Yucatán and the South edit

Campeche edit

  • 1 Isla Aguada — small town on a coastal island of the Gulf of Mexico, home base for pirates in the early 18th century
  • 2 Palizada — riverfront town in the wetlands of western Campeche, known for the Maya site, El Cuyo

Chiapas edit

  • 3 Chiapa de Corzo — archeologists have uncovered several "firsts" nearby. The earliest Mesoamerican written dates, hieroglyphic writing, and tomb burials have all been found here
  • 4 Comitán — popular domestic and international tourist destination for its colonial architecture, narrow avenues, and clean streets
  • 5 Palenque   — a small village adjacent to the famous ruins, featuring some of the finest sculpture, architecture, roof combs, and bas-relief carvings of the Mayan era, large national park with myriad waterfalls
  • 6 San Cristóbal de las Casas — a beautiful, majority Mayan town with lots of handicrafts and a small ex-pat community

Quintana Roo edit

  • 7 Bacalar — historic town with the beautiful lagoon of 7 colors
  • 8 Isla Mujeres — small cozy retreat close to Cancún
  • 9 Tulum — impressive Maya archaeological site built in a cliff that faces the ocean

Tabasco edit

  • 10 Tapijulapa — Surrounded by a delightful ecological park; quaint white and red houses line cobblestone streets leading up to the colonial Santiago Apóstol church.

Yucatán edit

  • 11 Izamal — a small city with a rich ancient Maya and Spanish Colonial past
  • 12 Maní — 4,000 year old Mayan community, the town's dubious claim to fame is as home to a sect of treacherous Maya who betrayed their people, assisting the Spanish to commit acts of genocide and systematic cultural destruction
  • 13 Sisal — historic port and colonial fortress
  • 14 Valladolid — Spanish Colonial era architecture dominates this small city
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