Mexico is a diverse country filled with bustling metropolitan cities and small towns tucked back in the mountains, and these smaller communities are some of the best places to visit in Mexico if you want to experience the country’s cultural traditions. In these magical places to visit, you can walk through fields of agave that are grown to produce tequila, or browse art galleries and studios. While wandering the bestsmall towns in Mexico, you’ll be greeted by the scent of sizzling meat and fresh salsa, and when you look out over the horizon, endless natural beauty stretches out before you. To experience all this, put these small towns in Mexico on your travel bucket list.
While tequila is the country’s most famous export, you might not know that Tequila is actually the name of one of the best small towns in Mexico. In fact, the Mexican government has named Tequila as one of the Pueblos Magicos, or Magic Towns in Mexico, because it preserves local traditions and culture. Despite its famous reputation, it's still one of the most charming small towns in Mexico where you can spend your days touring distilleries, tasting tequilas, and strolling the cobblestone streets with a cantarito.
There are several small towns in Mexico known for their distilling, and down the road from Tequila, Herradura and Jimador tequilas are produced. To taste more varieties of tequila and experience more of small-town life, stop by Amatitán on your tequila tour.
South of Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa is nestled between verdant mountains and blue waters, and since it’s only accessible by boat, it’s one of the best places to visit in Mexico for a jungle escape. You won’t find any large hotels, chain restaurants, or even any cars. A highlight of vacationing here is hiking to the two waterfalls in the mountains behind the city, and afterwards, you can relax and unwind with freshly grilled fish on the beach and a slice of the city’s famous pie.
On the list of official Magic Towns in Mexico, Sayulita is a surfer’s paradise, but even if you’re not planning on taking a class or renting a board, watching the surfer catch waves is a relaxing way to spend the day. You can also take in all the public artwork and brightly decorate streets while shopping at local boutiques and checking out the street vendors. Practically every corner of Sayulita provides an artistic and vibrant backdrop for a photo, and its local culture makes it one of the best places to visit near Riviera Nayarit Mexico for a laidback vacation.
Mexico’s west coast is known for large cities like Cancun and Cozumel, but travelers who want to escape all the bustling and partying head to Bacalar, which is further south towards Belize. This small town is located along a huge lake nicknamed the Lagoon of Seven Colors for all the varying hues of blue. When you’re not swimming in the calm water or lounging in a hammock, explore the nearby cenote sinkholes and lush mangrove forests.
Not all of the Magic Towns in Mexico are along the coast, and Pátzcuaro has a rich culture and unique traditions. It’s one of the best small towns for celebrating Day of the Dead celebrations from October 21 to November 2 when the streets are filled with candles, orange flowers, and processionals of catrinas. If you visit outside these dates, you’ll learn about Mexico’s indigenous history and discover locally-made crafts and goods while you walk the pretty streets.
The mountains of Mexico are rich in minerals and metals, and two and a half hours southwest from Mexico City, you’ll find Taxco, a city famous for all its silver mines. The winding streets rise up and down hills, charming visitors with visions of old Mexico and classic fairy tales, and the best way to take in the views is while riding in a VW bug taxi.
Colorful buildings and verdant cacti line the streets of Santos, and according to local legend, the hotel that inspired the Eagles’ hit song “Hotel California” is located here in Todos Santos. Located on the tip of the Baja Peninsula, it has that laid-back vibe that’s welcomed artists and surfers for years. After grabbing a drink at the Hotel California bar, do a little shopping in town before relaxing on the beach.
San Jose del Cabo is just one of the incredible places near Cabo San Lucas where you’ll be surrounded by warm hospitality and natural beauty, and once you’ve strolled the cobblestone streets, you’ll feel the friendliness of this vibrant town for yourself.
For an outdoor adventure, the small town of Cuetzalan is one of the best small towns to discover. Overlooking verdant mountains and lush forests, this small town has all the quintessential Mexican charm and culture. The striking bell town of the church and the winding, narrow streets will capture your imagination, and from here, you can hike to waterfalls and caves, explore archaeological sites, and soak in natural pools.
Each of these magical places to visit showcases a unique side of Mexican culture, leaving you with beloved memories and indescribable experiences.