Guide to Mexico’s Magic Towns, Part 1: Pueblos Mágicos

While many tourists are drawn to cities teeming with tourists and lush beach resorts, the real spirit of Mexico lies tucked away in the foothills, up on the mountains or along the less-traveled coasts. These wondrous little towns are close enough to major destinations such as Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta or Cancun but echo the rich and wonderful Mexican traditions often forgotten in those major cities. If you are looking to explore a completely different side of Mexico, pack your bags, get your Mexican insurance policy and get ready for an unforgettable trip across Mexico’s Magic Towns.

What are Magic Towns?

Locally known as Pueblos Mágicos, these are towns and villages with vast historical, cultural and gastronomical values that have been named extremely valuable to this country’s heritage. However, each of these towns is unique and has something different to offer. Visiting these towns you can expect a calm and friendly atmosphere, a breath of fresh air compared to often frantic tourist resorts. There are 11 such towns scattered across Mexico, and in our two-part guide we’ll walk you through each one.

Loreto, near La Paz

Loreto has been named a Magic Town back in 2012. A wonderful beach destination, Loreto is just a 4-hour drive away from La Paz. It is one of the oldest towns in the Baja region and it offers a rare insight into the local customs as well as untouched natural havens and a network of isles.

San Sebastian del Oeste, near Puerto Vallarta

San Sebastian is just an hour and a half away from Puerto Vallarta. This little town has been named a Magic Town since 2011 and is located underneath the Sierra Madre Mountains. This wonderful town was once a rich mining center but has since been reduced to a little over 500 residents. Resembling something you only had the chance to see in classic movies about the Wild West, San Sebastian is painted with cobble roads and rustic houses.

Todos Santos, near Los Cabos

Todos Santos is nested under the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains and is a lively oasis amidst the desert of the southern Baja California Peninsula. If you are looking for a relaxed town populated by artistic types and surfers, Todos Santos is a safe bet for your next trip. Enjoy wonderful beaches and catch perfect surfing waves in this cute bohemian gem.

Isla Mujeres, near Cancun

A 25 minute trip aboard a ferry from Cancun, Isla Mujeres was once a safe haven for Pirates, but is now populated by laid-back and friendly locals. A Magic Town since 2015, its turquoise waters and rich sea life guarantee an experience to remember.

Sayulita, near Punta Mita

Another bohemian Pueblo Mágico, Sayulita is a vibrant little town just 30 minutes away from Punta Mita. It offers various colorful shops, relaxed cafes and traditional restaurants. Tourists can enjoy surfing or exploring the rich culture of the area.

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