Mexico is a tourist hotspot, and in recent years the number of visitors to this great and diverse country is simply exploding, despite travel warnings due to some localized issues.
While areas such as the Yucatán Peninsula remain the mega centers for most visitors, the reality is that you can find places worth seeing virtually all over the country of Mexico.
With the recent addition of 45 new Magic Towns, the number of places throughout Mexico deemed Pueblo Mágicos went from 132 to 177. In order to qualify for this prestigious label, the towns have to put forth an application and meet certain criteria.
The new additions are spread across 25 states and aim to help distribute the tourism that the country is seeing past the traditional beach and city destinations.
Here Are 6 Of The Best New Magic Towns In Mexico To Visit This Year:
Named after Spain’s Cordoba, this new Mexican Magic Town located in central Veracruz is definitely worth a look. Tucked into the lush rainforest and on the edge of the Eastern Sierra Madre mountain range, the area is loaded with natural beauty.
This melting pot city is fascinating, and being famous for its coffee, a visit to the coffee museum is a must-do.
Known as the City of the 30 Knights, the main square is where to head to get yourself acquainted with the stunning architecture of the area, including buildings such as City Hall and the Zevallos Portal. The Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral of course cannot be missed, afterwards you can walk around and bask in the history of this important city.
The closest major airport to Cordoba is about an hour and a half’s drive away from the coastal city of Veracruz (VER), which can connect you to other Mexican cities and to the U.S.
Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, Chiapas
Ocozocoautla de Espinosa (often referred to as simply Coita) is a newly deemed Magic Town located in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.
The town is famous for its Carnival de Coita, which is based on native Zoque traditions, tracing their roots back to pre-Hispanic times. As one of the oldest carnivals in the country, it is a big draw with tourists from both within Mexico and abroad.
Ocozocoautla de Espinosa is a town of a town that’s made up of Zoque culture and can be reached in about an hour and a half drive from the trendy San Cristobal de Las Casas.
San Blas, Nayarit
San Blas’s main claim to fame is its importance to bird watchers, as it is one of the best spots in the Western Hemisphere to observe bird migrations. But if watching the over 300 species of birds that live here is not your thing, there is plenty more to do instead.
Enjoy the four miles of powder sand beaches, hit the Pacific for some epic waves, or enjoy the views of the seaside cliffs.
The small beach town revolves around fishing, tourism, surfing, and farming. An ancient fort overlooks the town and offers a great view, and you can explore the ruins of the church of Our Lady of the Rosary.
The closest airport is Tepic International Airport (TPQ), although the larger Puerto Vallarta airport is only about three hours away as well.
Perhaps you have heard of Zihuatanejo but can’t place where from; the Mexican beach town was brought to many people’s radar thanks to Andy telling Red about it in the Shawshank Redemption.
Zihuatanejo (often shortened to Zihua) is a favorite to many for its local culture and authentic beach town vibe. The fish market, the shacks, a new dock, cobblestone alleys, and the small-town feel provide a great escape from the many nearby much more commercialized beaches.
The Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH) is nearby, offering many flights each day to other Mexican cities.
Pinal de Amoles, Queretaro
In the central Mexican state of Queretaro, you can find the small town of Pinal de Amoles, nestled in the Sierra Gorda region. This underrated gem allows visitors some chances for adventure, with a healthy dose of history, culture, and epic views of natural landscapes.
Can’t-miss sights include the El Chuveje Waterfall, Heaven’s Gate Road, and of course the stunning The Cuatro Palos Viewpoint.
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You can also get your heart rate up and take in the rivers from Puente de Dios (God’s Bridge) and rappel down at El Infiernillo Canyon.
Pinal de Amoles can be reached via a four-and-a-half-hour bus ride from Mexico City, or the nearest airport is Querétaro International Airport (QRO).
San Carlos, Sonora
The state of Sonora has not had a Magic Town for 11 years, and this year they got not one but two to call their own. The seaside beach town of San Carlos (or Nuevo Guaymas as it is also referred to) is now one of the state’s main tourist areas, and the caves and arches in the sea are a main draw.
Watch some epic sunsets over the Sea of Cortez at the viewpoint on Tetakawu Hill, and if you are lucky, catch some whales, dolphins, and seabirds.
The nearest regional airport to San Carlos is General Jose Maria Yanez International Airport, but the major airport with international flights is Hermosillo. Or you can always drive here from the American Southwest, but keep in mind the delays at the border can be long, not to mention safety can be an issue at times as well.
Here Are All The New Magical Towns in Mexico:
• 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
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com