Mexico’s Magic Town (Pueblo Mágico) program seeks to promote inland destinations that offer a complementary tourism based on historic and cultural attributes. The federal Tourism Secretariat has announced there will be 52 Magic Towns by 2012, when the promotional program is currently due to end. As many as 70 towns are reported to be seeking accreditation as Magic Towns. Some of these applicants are likely to join similar promotional groupings such as “Pueblos con Encanto” (Towns with Charm) and “Pueblos Señoriales” (Noble Towns).
Mexico currently has 44 Magic Towns:
The three latest towns to be added to the list are:
Magic Town #42: Mineral del Chico (Hidalgo)
Mineral del Chico is a small town (population 6700 in 2005; altitude 2351 m) at the entrance to the El Chico National Park in Hidalgo. The National Park, with its forests, mountains and waterfalls, is much better known than the town itself. This was the one of the earliest forested areas to be officially protected in Mexico. It was declared a Forest Reserve in 1898 and became a National Park in 1922.
Magic Town #43: Cadereyta (Querétaro)
The designation of Cadereyta as a Magic Town creates a great multi-day tourist trip including two other Magic Towns: Bernal and Jalpan de Serra. Cadereyta is known for its noisy and ebullient Holy Week (Semana Santa) processions, a tradition said to date back to the 18th century. The town has several interesting churches and two genuine colonial treasures. The gilded retable of the church of San Pedro and San Pablo has to be seen to be believed.
Magic Town #44: Tula (Tamaulipas)
Close to the northern border, Tula, founded in 1617, is the oldest still-inhabited settlement in the state of Tamaulipas. The town has several colonial buildings but is best known for making elaborate leather jackets (cuera tamaulipeca), first designed in the 1950s.
These three latest newcomers all have their attractions, but, at least in my humble opinion, are not in the same league in terms of their historical and tourist interest as most previously-designated Magic Towns.
- Mexico’s Magic Towns program to continue at least until 2012
- Mexico’s Magic Towns now include Zacatlán in the Sierra Norte of Puebla