In Search of Magic: Why We Love Mexico's 'Pueblos Mágicos'
If you’ve ever strolled through the cobble-stone streets of San Miguel de Allende at dusk, waded through the turquoise waters of Tulum’s Caribbean shores at sunrise or gotten lost amongst the vermilion-hued walls of Izamal, chances are you’ve had this thought: this place is magical. “Pueblos Mágicos” exist; a select group of Mexican villages whose culture, history and natural wonders intersect, transporting visitors into a realm of colonial antiquity and virgin beaches.
Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos program was developed by the Mexican Ministry of Tourism to promote the rich cultural heritage through smaller, often unknown towns. Currently, there are a total of 121, each boasting diverse architecture, regional cuisine and environmental treasures.
While their aesthetic beauty inspires many, the true spirit of each town is brought to life by those who have been cultivating its magic for thousands of years. Mayan clay ceremonies and temazcal experiences are led by local experts in Tulum, educating participants on ancient traditions and rituals. At our home, we incorporate copal into our welcome ceremonies, a tree resin that aides in energy cleansing and renewal.
The tangible and intangible combine to create a sense of magic that reflects the deep pride of each community. Our home in Tulum and our upcoming home in San Miguel de Allende are both located in these magic towns, enriching the experiences we create, from wellness to adventure and beyond.
The following Pueblos Mágicos embody our adventurous spirit and remind us that the present moment is where the magic happens:
Turquoise waters, beach-front pyramids and ancient cenotes strewn along the Yucatan’s coast intersect to immerse travelers in a myriad of sensory experiences. While many seek out this pueblo magico’s healing properties, from Mayan Clay ceremonies to temazcales, festivals like Art With Me are garnering attention for their environmental pioneering. Ancient prehispanic traditions like open-fire cooking are weaved into the small town’s ethos. Boutique hotels and restaurants work alongside local communities, educating visitors on the importance of preserving Tulum’s pristine coastline and cultural authenticity.
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
Cobblestone streets and multicolored facades lead down winding paths rich in history and baroque Spanish design. Nestled in the highlands of central Mexico, San Miguel de Allende’s breathtaking sunsets serve as the perfect backdrop to the city’s thriving artisan markets, world-class gastronomy and architectural prowess. A World Heritage Site, San Miguel de Allende is home to a thriving creative community of aesthetes and romantics.
Todos Santos, a sleepy fishing village located in Baja California’s sprawling desertscape draws surfers, artists and travelers to its virgin, often secluded beaches like playa balandra. A short drive from Cabo San Lucas and Valle de Guadalupe, Todos Santos’ culinary portfolio competes with many world-class dining experiences. Accessibility to fresh, locally sourced ingredients means seasonal menus that highlight the region’s diverse culture. Sunsets here are not to be missed.
Known for its lagoon boasting seven different shades of blue, Bacalar is a short drive from Tulum town. Small boutique hotels and homes line its perimeter. 70 kilometers long and 50 kilometers wide, Bacalar’s lagoon can be explored by catamaran or pontoon with options to scuba dive in its cenote or enjoy its clay sand bars with healing medicinal properties.
The birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec feathered serpent god, Tepoztlan is located an hour outside of Mexico City. Visit the Mercado de Artesanias for local treasures or stroll through the town’s gardens where you’ll find the Museo Nacional de Virreinato. The small town’s 600-year-old Ahuehuete tree attracts visitors to its natural spring which flows from under its roots.