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These Are The Top 6 Trending Magical Towns In Mexico According To Locals 

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We know that Mexico’s popularity as a tourist destination is gaining more and more traction, and despite some travel warnings and negative media coverage, this vast and intriguing country is still number one on many people's wish lists, and for good reason. 

Young woman back view wearing hat walking throung the arch corridor in the historical part of Valladolid town, Mexico (1)

While the amazing beaches are a big draw in Mexico, there’s another growing trend for travel, focusing more on culture and legends. These are Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos, or magic towns.

Mexico has 132 magical towns right now, scattered across the country in various states.

They are loved mainly for their beauty, the colorful streets, the culture and nature you can find there, and of course for the people who live in these towns. 

colorful Caribbean houses tropical vivid colors Isla Mujeres Mexico

We know that these Pueblos Magicos are also becoming more and more popular with foreign tourists who are looking to add some culture and local connection to their Mexican travel itinerary 

Magical towns are not only popular with foreign tourists, as many Mexicans visit them each year as well.

According to one of Mexico’s leading booking platforms, Despegar, 6 out of 10 Mexican travelers prefer to travel to magical colonial towns, and on average, they stay from 3 to 5 days per visit.

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Mini taxi (Volkswagen Beetle) against the streets of Taxco

The concept of Magical towns has helped Mexico to recognize and protect some aspects of the specific heritage and cultures in these places.

Each town has different legends, history, and daily lifestyles, and all present great opportunities for visitors to learn about these often undervalued cultures.

By offering a rich cultural experience, these towns draw many visitors, both domestic and from abroad. 

According to data from Despegar, these are the magical towns with the most travel reservations in the first quarter of 2023:

1. Tulum

You probably haven’t heard of Tulum, the beachside destination on the Riviera Maya.

Just kidding; of course, you have heard of Tulum! It seems you cannot go on social media without seeing it.

Located on the Yucatán Peninsula, Tulum was once a sleepy fishing village and has now exploded into a massive world-famous tourist destination.

Despite the crowds, there is lots to see here, from the world-famous ruins to the gorgeous beaches. There’s no wonder why it’s number one on this list. 

If you are put off by the big crowds of Tulum, get out of town and explore these Mayan Ruins instead of Tulum's.

The ancient lighthouse in the Tulum ruins

2. San Cristóbal De Las Casas

There are many things to see here in this magical town located in the southeastern state of Chiapas.

From interesting architecture to some very well-preserved buildings, everything here seems like a backdrop for a photoshoot.

Don't forget to get your heart rate up by climbing the 100 stairs to the beautiful Guadalupe Church. Or visit El Arcotete Park for caves, hiking, and beautiful views. 

View of an old building with outdoor seats in San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico

3. Bacalar

Having recently become mega-popular since its rise on social media, this magical town is becoming more and more famous with tourists from both Mexico and abroad.

Known as the Maldives of Mexico, Bacalar is running the risk of becoming spoiled by the masses, so if you are going to visit, make it soon.

People are drawn to Bacalar for its famous crystal clear lagoon, which gives any of Mexico’s Caribbean beaches a run for their money. While it might not be a party destination like some other Riviera Maya places, it still feels authentic and chill.

After you are done playing in the waters, head to the area's restaurants for some Mexican fare.

Male Tourist Swimming In Lake Bacalar, Southern Quintana Roo, Mexico

4. Valladolid

Also known as the Sultan of the East, there's a lot to love in Valladolid.

This magical town in the Yucatán Peninsula is a place where you can experiment with authentic Mexican culture while wandering around the cobblestone streets and marveling at the brightly colored buildings.

Admire the cathedral squares and the locals getting to and from on their bicycles, and revel in the relatively small tourist crowds you will experience here.

Many visit as a day trip, stopping on their way to Chichen Itza, but Valladolid is really worth a night or two to soak in the local flavor. 

Church of San Servacio ( Saint Servatius) in Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico

5. Tepoztlán

With a list of reasons to visit this magical town, an easy day trip from Mexico City, as it's only 46 miles away.

Over 5000 feet above sea level, Tepoztlán offers some beautiful nature, and fantastic culture can be found at the city’s beloved markets.

Another reason people come here is for the wealth of alternative therapies you can experience; Aztec steam baths are an especially rejuvenating choice here. 

View of Tepoztlán's church Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad, a focal point of the city

6. Valle De Bravo

There are many reasons travelers love this magical town. Known as the Mexican Hamptons, Valle de Bravo is a well-preserved colonial town found about a two-hour drive from Mexico City.

The main attraction here is the beautiful Lake Avandaro, where people swim, boat, picnic, and take part in every other water activity you can think of.

Boat tours are an option here as well if you don't feel like kayaking your way around the shores. If you are after some views, head to Parque El Pino for some stunning panoramas of the lake and surrounding rolling hills. 

valle de bravo lake

Finishing off the top 10 most booked magical towns are:

Temples of the Cross Group at mayan ruins of Palenque - Chiapas, Mexico

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.