Sep 282015

The gradual devaluation of Mexico’s Magic Towns (Pueblos Mágicos) program, reported here in earlier posts, continues with the recent addition of 28 new Magic Towns to the list, bringing the total number to 111.

Magic Towns

At the Second Annual Fair of Magic Towns, held in Puebla recently, the Federal Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid announced that 28 of the 180 applicant towns had been accepted into the promotional program. The designation is supposedly reserved for “cities, towns and villages with special symbolic features, legends and history, and opportunities in tourism”, but several existing Magic Towns have very little indeed to offer tourists, and little cultural or historical significance. The same can be said for several of the latest group of 28 Magic Towns.

Towns, by state (September 2015) [corrected]

Mexico’s Magic Towns, by state (September 2015) [corrected]

Towns in the program are eligible for federal grants towards maintenance, rebuilding historic centers, improving infrastructure, installing underground utilities, developing tourism products, training and other projects. According to Magic Town proponents, the program increases visitor numbers and income by between 20 and 30%, though it is very hard to see where such positive numbers come from.

The latest 28 additions to the Magic Towns program are:

  • San José de Casas (Aguascalientes)
  • Candela and Guerrero (Coahuila)
  • Palenque (Chiapas)
  • Aculco, Ixtapan de la Sal [incorrectly given as Ixtapa de la Sal in the press release], Teotihuacán, San Martín de las Pirámides and Villa de Carbón (State of Mexico – Estado de México)
  • Tecozahutla (Hidalgo)
  • Mascota and Talpa de Allende (Jalisco)
  • Sayulita, (Nayarit)
  • Linares (Nuevo León)
  • Huautla de Jiménez, Mazunte, San Pablo Villa Mitla and San Pedro y San Pablo (Oaxaca)
  • Atlixco and Huauchinango (Puebla)
  • Isla Mujeres and Tulum (Quintana Roo)
  • San Joaquín (Querétaro)
  • Mocorito (Sinaloa)
  • Tlaxco (Tlaxcala)
  • Coscomatepec, Orizaba and Zozocolco (Veracruz)

On a positive note, it means that my Western Mexico, A Traveler’s Treasury (2013) now has descriptions and details of no fewer than 18 Magic Towns, rather than the 15 previously included!

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  7 Responses to “The continued devaluation of the Magic Town program: 28 more Magic Towns named”

  1. Just like the Peso.
    I would have thought that those in charge of the Magic Town program would understand the concept that, in some instances, what is “less is more”.

  2. I agree, and making matters worse is that an already smaller financial pot is now being divided far more ways. With so many “Magic” Towns, maybe some will simply vanish from the list?

  3. Palenque?…. The runes are amazing, the town is not, not at all.

  4. Agreed – I first saw Palenque in 1977 and have been there several times since without ever finding the town very interesting, though, as you rightly say, the ruins are truly amazing.

  5. There is a Pueblo Mágico in Baja Cañlifornia , is Tecate.

  6. Thank you for alerting us to an editing error which resulted in an out-dated map appearing in place of the updated one. Apologies for any confusion created as a result of our error. We have now substituted the correct, updated, map.

  7. Linares N.L. ?

    Small town …. with nothing to attract a visitor who does not have family or friends living there.

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