Mexico’s tourism industry is thriving, especially due to its world-class beaches and resorts. Los Cabos continues to break tourism records, and Cancun shows no signs of slowing down either.
Mexico may be their northern neighbor’s favorite sunny escape, but beaches and resorts are not all the country has to offer with its rich history and one-of-a-kind culture.
Sure, tourists can have the time of their lives living the good life at one of Mexico’s finest all-inclusive resorts, or perhaps living in Mexico City as a digital nomad with a scenic view of Chapultepec Park.
Mexico’s travel experiences are seemingly endless, but these small, cultural towns designated as new Pueblo Magicos across the country should be on your radar.
What Is A Pueblo Mágico?
While there are a ton of cultural experiences travelers can enjoy in major cities and resort towns, some of the most alluring are what’s known as Mexico’s Pueblo Magicos.
These are small towns throughout the country, which translates to “Magical Towns”. There are now 177 of them to choose from since Mexico just added 45 new towns to showcase this tourism program.
With the recent announcement, 25 states will now be featured as worthy destinations for an enriching cultural experience.
These lesser-known gems promote tourism and give the local economy a boost. Visiting these towns will not only fill your soul with a unique travel experience but also give back to the community all at once.
Pueblo Magico’s are essentially a road map to take visitors on an authentic journey through Mexico’s history through food, art, and culture.
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What A Pueblo Mágico Is Not
Mexico has so many charming towns it can become confusing to know what is considered to be a Pueblo Magico.
Just because a place is historic with cobblestone streets, old cathedrals, and cuisine passed down from generations doesn’t make it a ‘Magical Town’.
Take Oaxaca, for example. A beautiful city, rich in culture and phenomenal food dating back ages and ages.
You won’t find skyscrapers in Oaxaca like you would in say, Mexico City. Even though Oaxaca is large in landmass, walking through its historic streets gives you a small-town feel.
But that doesn’t make it a Pueblo Magico. It’s important to know all 177 Pueblo Magicos are classified directly by the Secretary of Tourism (Sectur).
This is the key difference, as Sectur has been meticulous in determining which towns make the cut for the Pueblo Magicos program since 2001.
When the program first launched, San Miguel Allende and Guanajuato were the first designated Magical Towns.
In 2008, that designation ended when they were declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. If specific standards are not met, towns can be stripped of this designation too.
Nayarit lost its designation in 2009.
45 New Magical Towns To Explore
Sectur announced the latest additions to the Pueblo Magicos program are worth exploring for their “natural, cultural and culinary richness.”
Over 120 made the final list for potential destinations, but only 45 towns across 25 states made the cut for the coveted title. According to Sectur officials, the goal is to boost tourism and prove Mexico is more than just a place to catch some rays with your toes in the sand.
So the next time you are planning a trip to Mexico, be sure to include a visit to one of the Magical Towns below to have an experience unlike any other!
The 45 new Pueblo Magicos: City (State)
- Acaxochitlán (Hidalgo)
- Ahuacatlán (Nayarit)
- Amatlán de Cañas (Nayarit)
- Candelaria (Campeche)
- Ciudad del Maíz (San Luis Potosí)
- Cocula (Jalisco)
- Copainalá (Chiapas)
- Cotija (Michoacán)
- Cozumel (Quintana Roo)
- Córdoba (Veracruz)
- Espita (Yucatán)
- Frontera (Tabasco)
- General Cepeda (Coahuila)
- General Terán (Nuevo León)
- General Zaragoza (Nuevo León)
- Guachochi (Chihuahua)
- Hidalgo del Parral (Chihuahua)
- Huejotzingo (Puebla)
- Ixcateopan de Cuauhtémoc (Guerrero)
- Ixtenco (Tlaxcala)
- Ixtlán del Río (Nayarit)
- Jilotepec (México state)
- Metztitlán (Hidalgo)
- Motul (Yucatán)
- Naolinco de Victoria (Veracruz)
- Ocozocoautla de Espinosa (Chiapas)
- Otumba (México State)
- Pabellón de Hidalgo (Aguascalientes)
- Pinal de Amoles (Querétaro)
- Puerto Balleto – Islas Marías (Nayarit)
- San Blas (Nayarit)
- San Carlos (Sonora)
- San Ignacio (Sinaloa)
- Santa Rosalía (Baja California Sur)
- Sayula (Jalisco)
- Teapa (Tabasco)
- Tekax (Yucatán)
- Temacapulín (Jalisco)
- Teziutlán (Puebla)
- Tierra Nueva (San Luis Potosí)
- Tlaltizapán de Zapata (Morelos)
- Ures (Sonora)
- Villa Nueva (Zacatecas)
- Xochitepec (Morelos)
- Zihuatanejo (Guerrero)
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com