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What is a Magic Town in Mexico?

LIFESTYLE | Published on 09/03/2022
Optimizada mascota jalisco mexico a magic town

Mexican culture combines ancient traditions and Spanish influence, but as the country grows and changes, modern life brings innovations that can overshadow traditions. While progress is important, the Mexican government is embracing and preserving its traditional ways of life. To do so, the Secretariat of Tourism created the Programa Pueblos Mágicos, the Magical Towns Program, supporting famous places in Mexico and keeping them as some of the best small towns to visit. Put these magic towns in Mexico on your travel bucket list, and you’ll experience true Mexican traditions.

What is a Magic Town in Mexico?

Being named one of the Magic Towns in Mexico is a source of pride and honor for a community, and while hundreds of towns apply to the Secretary of Tourism, only a few meet the strict set of criteria. Those who become a Magic Town or "Pueblo Mágico" in spanish, are known for their cultural richness, folklore, traditions, cuisine, art, and warm hospitality. To keep them as the best small towns to visit, the federal government provides them with a budget for improving their infrastructure and tourism while maintaining their traditions and festivals.


4 Magic Towns Near Puerto Vallarta

While there’s plenty to explore in Puerto Vallarta, you may want to find out what is a Magic Town in Mexico, and when you do, you’ll see several options that make perfect day trips.

1. San Sebastián del Oeste


Tucked back in the emerald green hills behind Puerto Vallarta, San Sebastián del Oeste is one of the best small towns to visit, especially when you want to cool off in the mountain air. Stroll the plaza in the heart of this Mexican town before taking an ATV ride up to La Bufa, a lookout point where you can see Puerto Vallarta in the distance. As you explore the town, you’ll find artisan goods, delicious restaurants, cigar shops, and small museums.

2. Mascota

Mascota is another Mexican town surrounded by green forests in the mountains outside Puerto Vallarta. To take it all in, hike up the Mirador de la Cruz, and while it’s a steep hill, it’s under a half a mile to the viewpoint. The Templo Inconcluso de La Preciosa Sangre is an unfinished church in Mascota whose ruins are worth exploring. Around the central plaza, wander the cobblestone streets to discover delicious food and small museums, including the Stone House Museum and the Mascota Archeological Museum.

3. Tequila

Tequila is one of the most famous magic towns in Mexico, and it’s just a four-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta. Despite the international fame of the drink, the town of Tequila is a humble yet charming place where you can tour fields of blue agave plants and local distilleries. Preserving the country’s traditions, this magic town has truly earned the title.

4. Sayulita


Each Mexican town is unique and has its own local culture, and Sayulita is a coastal village known as a surfing destination, and its colorful streets and local art make it one of the most Instagrammable famous places in Mexico. After wandering the boutiques and art galleries, settle on the beach for sizzling fish tacos and a cold beer. If you’re up for an adventure, rent a surfboard or take a class.


On your next Puerto Vallarta vacation, discover what is a Magic Town in Mexico for yourself. They’re not just famous places in Mexico, but they’re cities where old traditions are alive and well. Immerse yourself in the local art and history of a magic town to discover a new side of Mexico.

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