We can all use a little more magic in 2020.
Luckily, Mexico has come to the rescue, naming 11 new Pueblos Mágicos or “Magical Towns” before the end of the year.
The Pueblo Mágico designation is awarded to those communities that over time have maintained their original architecture, traditions, history and culture. As well as to those that have been of great relevance to the country’s history.
These towns cast a special spell, connecting modern-day visitors to a diverse and rich heritage.
Today, Mexico has a total of 132 Magical Towns, spread throughout 31 Mexican states. Three of the new entries are in the states of Yucatán and Jalisco, which I had the pleasure of visiting in 2019. As our imagination crafts post-pandemic journeys, let’s explore the enchantment of these newly minted magical destinations.
Maní sits 62 miles southeast of Mérida, the Yucatán State capital, and is home to a vibrant Maya culture and gastronomy. One of the town’s architectural gems, the church and convent of San Miguel Arcángel, was built in the 16th century using the stones of pre-Hispanic Mayan buildings. Today, Maní is renowned for its community of artisans, dedicated to the town’s unique style of embroidery.
Located one hour south of Guadalajara, Ajijic overlooks Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico. Home to one of Mexico’s biggest expat populations, Ajijic is luring new visitors to the boutiques and restaurants along the waterfront promenade, the town’s colorful colonial architecture and the restorative hot springs warmed by volcanic magma.
Add a relaxing stop in Ajijic after a visit to Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city.
Read IQ’s Gay Travel Guide to Guadalajara.
Sisal is a bewitching coastal town located between two natural reserves. Just 30 minutes northwest of Mérida, this port city is a destination for kite surfers, ecotourists and beachgoers. Take a guided tour by kayak to explore the region’s natural beauty or stroll on the waterfront piers. Include Sisal as a daytrip or overnight stay on your next visit to Mérida, the Yucatán’s main LGBTQ city.
Read IQ’s Gay Travel Guide to Mérida.