When visiting Mexico one of the most common things to visit is obviously the big cities and the beaches. We, as tour guides, know that the secret to getting to know the real charm of Mexico and its beauty is visiting its magical villages. In the whole country of Mexico, ‘Pueblos Magicos’ where an initiative from the government to get tourism closer more into the rural areas of the country and away from already crowded tourism destinations. By now there are 132 magical villages spread all over the country with this renowned title, but even without the titles, we can say that visiting the villages of Mexico gives you a completely different experience of this marvelous country.
Our top 10 list is based on our experience as tour guides, the value the destinations have for you as a tourist. We never recommend places just to recommend them, they all have unique aspects and are close to nature and adventure. Let us show you our Top 10 favorite magical villages in Mexico.
1. Tepoztlán – Morelos
One of the magical villages we have talked about already in our Guide to visiting Tepotzlan is the magical village of Tepoztlan in Morelos. It lays in the middle of lush green mountains just between Mexico City and Cuernavaca and makes for a perfect day trip from either of those cities. The region is known for its spiritual retreats, healing resorts, and relaxing atmosphere. We love to get to know the market and hike up to the Tepozteco. When we feel especially adventurous we take a canyoning tour with one of the local companies.
2. Cholula – Puebla
The magical village of Cholula in Puebla is known for its church built on top of an ancient pyramid with a beautiful view towards the volcano of Popocatepetl. When visiting you can walk through a tunnel in the pyramid (which is rare).
This magical village is a great day trip from Puebla City and can also be visited from Mexico City.
If you feel like some more nature take a trip to the volcanos and hike in the national park there to complete your day trip.
3. Xilitla – San Luis Potosí
Xilita, the first magical village in the Huasteca Potosina has a special place in our hard as we worked here for quite some time. It is known for the surrealistic castle by Edward James and is often visited together with many other destinations in the Huasteca Potosina as read in (link: visiting xilita). Around the magical village, you can swim in crystal clear rivers, do adventure tourism, rappel and go hiking in the middle of coffee fields and forests. This is a great destination to visit for a weekend since it is a bit far away from any bigger city and not as easy to get to, but the ride is well worth your time.
4. Bernal – Querétaro
The magical village of Bernal in the state of Queretaro is special due to the monolith that is right beside it, giving it a unique look. Try coming early so you can hike up the monolith before enjoying the village and its delicious esquites that are a local delicacy. Bernal makes for a perfect day trip both from Mexico City as well as from Queretaro City. To complete your trip you can visit Tequisquiapan a close by magical village with the most beautiful colors and the best wine of the region.
5. Real de Catorce – San Luis Potosí
In the state of San Luis Potosi, the village of Real de Catorce is one of the most famous places, because of its culture of peyote, a reality enhancing, a natural drug used by shamans to connect with the real self.
Many people visit to get this unique experience and get to know the ghost town and its surrounding mines and mountains. When visiting try taking a tour by 4x4 wheel cars from the Estacion Catorce which delivers great views and even better stories told by locals.
6.Izamal – Yucatán
Izamal is one of the lesser know magical villages in Mexico and is located in Yucatan. It makes for a great day trip from Merida and is known for all its buildings being drenched yellow – which makes for a great story about the pope and corn the local guides can tell best.
A great way to explore Izamal is by bike with a local guide taking you to the most important and historical buildings all over town. We love visiting this village to get some culture into our experience when visiting mainly the Yucatan beachy areas and cenotes.
7. San Miguel de Allende- Guanajuato
San Miguel de Allende has been one of the first magical villages named so in Mexico. By now it has grown into a vibrant town with a beautiful cathedral and great places to eat out or go shopping. In the central areas of Mexico, this is a must on any itinerary and makes for an amazing stop when visiting the Huastea Potosina, Guanajuato, Queretaro, and the Mexico City area. The detail we love most about this city is the thermal springs which are a great spot to relax and get into contact with nature in the desertic area.
8.Teotihuacan – Estado de México
Most people know the pyramids of Teotihuacan close to Mexico City but are not aware of the Pueblo Magico of Jan Juan de Teotihuacan right beside it.
When visiting the pyramids – which are a must-visit spot – you should definitely stop by the village for a few hours, get to know their market and the streets. It is the closest magical village to Mexico City, therefore a great spot if you are staying in Mexico City but do not have a lot of time.
9.Tulum – Quintana Roo
The magical village of Tulum in Yucatan seems like a very obvious choice but is very worh it. Without having to drive much you can visit the most beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, a magical village and do some adventure tourism. This is also a great village to visit if you have all inclusive vacations planed in Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Just visit this one magical village, you will not regret getting some knowledge of the culture of the country you are visiting. When coming to Tulum make sure you do also visit the magical village as such, most tours do not take you here but it is worth to stop, even if it is just for lunch.
10. Coatepec – Veracruz
Veracruz has a special place in our hearts, mainly because of its diversity in rivers, waterfalls, and jungles. The magical village of Coatepec is just 1h distance from the capital of Xalapa and is a coffee plantation region. Here you can drink some excellent coffee, visit coffee fabrics and plantation fields and enjoy the quiet center of the village. For us, the proximity to the villages of Xico and Jalcomulco make Coatepec such an amazing village. Here you can do rafting, kayaking, visit waterfalls and do canyoning. The perfect magical village for some adventure tourism close by.
Did you like these magical villages but have no idea how to start planning your trip? We can do this for you and make you live an incredible experience tailored just for you. Send us a mail or contact us on Instagram to get in touch.