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What Are Mexico’s Magical Towns And Why Are They So Trendy To Visit

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Home to world-class coastal cities like Los Cabos and Cancun, Mexico is already on track to become the world's top beach destination, but there's another silent trend in Mexican tourism that's been brought to our attention lately. Ever wondered what exactly the so-called Magical Towns of Mexico are and why they are getting so popular?

City Of Taxco, Pueblo Magico In Mexico

Mexico may be America's favorite sunny getaway, but it is also a country with a fascinating historical background. Whether it's the Mayan heartland comprising the Yucatan Peninsula or the inland colonial-era settlements of Guanajuato, it is a pluricultural state that is hardly ever acknowledged or celebrated for its wonderful diversity.

Luckily, change is finally on the way:

What Is A Pueblo Magico?

Young Female Tourist In A Pink Dress Wearing A Straw Hat Posing For A Picture As She Holds The Hand Of Her Partner, Viewing Point In Taxco, A Pueblo Magico In Mexico

Pueblo Mágico‘ is a status conferred by the Secretary of Tourism (Sectur) upon a Mexican town or city that has an outstanding tourist offer. They are part of the country's heritage route, and this title often overlaps with UNESCO's definition of a World Heritage Site.

As per the official definition used by Sectur on their official website, a Pueblo Mágico, or Magical Town, is ‘a place with symbols and legends' where ‘transcendental events' that have shaped the History of Mexico took place. They are an inherent part of the national identity and help illustrate the richness of the nation as a center for both the arts and culture.

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Atotonilco Church In Guanajuato, Pueblo Magico In Mexico

Visiting them is an opportunity to discover the charm of Mexico‘, quotes the entity. Currently, 132 municipalities have achieved the coveted status, and they have all been enrolled in the Magical Towns Program. This is a Sectur initiative aiming to boost investment in tourism infrastructure and promotion of these lesser-known yet very promising areas.

Incredible architecture, picturesque, colorful streets, museums, and antique shops galore – what's not to like?

Why Are Magical Towns So Trendy Right Now?

Man Biking Down A Colorful Street In Cholula, Pueblo Magico In Mexico

Effectively, the Pueblo Mágico route serves as a road map for tourists keen on experiencing a ‘more authentic‘ side of Mexico, as more and more Americans are swapping the hotel zones in Cancun and Tulum and opting for cultural excursions, where they can still enjoy the great weather while taking in some History and appreciating the sights.

A prime example of that is Taxco, one of Sectur's 132 magical towns and an up-and-coming tourist hotspot.

Panorama Of Taxco City, Mexico

It is ‘full of Old World charm‘, evident in the Iberian-style constructions lining the cobblestone streets and the Baroque nature of its churches. Of course, colonial landmarks are not the only distinguishable feature of these settlements:

A Magical Town Is Not Merely A Colonial-Era City

Nature also plays a huge part.

Aerial View Of Bacalar Fort And Bacalar Lagoon, Bacalar, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Other Sectur-protected towns like Bacalar, sitting on the shores of Lake Bacalar, are well-developed resort zones highly sought after by sunseekers, owing their ‘magical' status to the natural beauty of the surrounding region. The 30-mile-long Lake Bacalar, for instance, is best known for the seven shades of crystalline blue found in its warm waters.

Conversely, the small alpine settlement of Arteaga, a pueblo mágico in the state of Coahuila, may not have the latter's tropical charm, but it's nestled deep in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, one of the longest in Mexico and filled with ski stations. In fact, it has been aptly nicknamed ‘the Mexican Switzerland'.

San Isidro Labrador Church, Arteaga, Coahuila State, Mexico

Like the United States, this is a country of many facets. It boasts a Pacific and Caribbean coast, financial centers that are among America's most important, a host of pre-Columbian and post-colonial heritage sites, and distinct cuisine. With the help of tourism officials, vacationers are finally getting to know the ‘real' Mexico – and falling deeper in love with it.

Caribbean beaches are the true gateway into paradise, and there's nothing we love more than burying our feet in those white sands while listening to the waves crashing on the shore all day. But strolling in an elaborate 18th-century maze of colonial houses or sampling some traditional Iberian food with a Mexican flavor is our idea of fun as well.

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This article originally appeared on

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.

Patricia Glickman

Friday 7th of July 2023

I’d like you to send me posts about different places to travel to Mexico. Pueblos mágicos. Im Mexican but have lived in USA for many years.


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

San Miguel de Allende is not a Pueblo Magico and neither is Guanajuato because it is a capital city not a "pueblo".

Tyler Fox

Sunday 23rd of October 2022

Typo on our part. Fixed, thank you!


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

San Miguel is quite pretty and interesting but there are way too many tourists so it's definitely not an 'off path' destination.


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

San Miguel de Allende is not a Pueblo Magico.