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A proliferation of 'Magical Towns'

Could there be such a thing as too many “Magical Towns” in Mexico?

The Magical Towns (Pueblos Magicos) program was started in 2001 by the Tourism Secretariat as a way to recognize the numerous colonial towns in the country with beauty and cultural relevance.

Many of the places awarded as Magical Towns have colonial houses, cobbled streets, ancient churches and beautiful settings.

Late in August, the state gave Valladolid, a colonial Yucatan city close to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, the designation. The map above from the Tourism Secretariat lists some of the others.

Problem in my mind is, Valladolid now becomes the 56th Magical Town in Mexico. How many more will there be? Can they all be so magical? Wouldn’t it be better to limit the number to those that are knock-your-socks-off wonderful?

Item: Click here for a website that discusses various angles of the Magical Towns. It also notes that Loreto in Baja California Sur has also become a Magical Town, bringing the list to 57. 


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Valladolid is a magical town in every way. i love that place, with the women walking the streets in their traditional flower dresses and speaking mayan. their architecture and yucatecan food... all incredible. But why Creel is on the magical list is a mystery to me.

Pink Schnoid

Real de Catorce, with all the peyote and tumbled down shacks, should be on this endless list...

Tim J

A reader emailed this message:

I live in the Magic Town of San Miguel de Allende and was for one day and a half in Valladolid last February. It is one the nicest small towns I have seen in Mexico. Great restaurants, chocolate factory, old Indian mission, and a wonderfully arranged (lighting and staircases) cenote where we swam.


It's just a magical country!

Ed Juline

Mexico is trying to set the Guinness record for Pueblos Magicos.

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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