Pueblos Mágicos

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The Programa Pueblos Mágicos (Spanish: [pweβloˈmaxiko] ; "Magical Towns Programme") is an initiative led by Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism, with support from other federal agencies, to promote a series of towns around the country that offer visitors "cultural richness, historical relevance, cuisine, art crafts, and great hospitality". It is intended to increase tourism to more localities, especially smaller towns in rural areas.

The program promotes visiting small, rural towns, where visitors may see indigenous crafts, landscapes and other attractions. The Government created the 'Pueblos Mágicos' program to recognize places across the country that have certain characteristics and traditions that make them unique, and historically significant, offering "magical" experiences to visitors. A "Magical Village" is a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events, festivals, traditions, great food, and enjoyable shopping, day-to-day life – in other words, "magic" in its social and cultural manifestations, with great opportunities for tourism.

The programme was launched in 2001. After 9 years and 32 towns having been selected, it was improved and relaunched in 2010. The government added resources to support local efforts and made it a priority under Secretary Guevara.[1] Every town was assigned a budget to continue improving its infrastructure, image, product offering, and experience, while making sure they were maintaining their traditions and their festivals were promoted.[2] By 2012, a total of 83 towns and villages in all 31 states have been awarded the title or nomination of Pueblo Mágico. The program created pride, recognition for its local citizens, and a diversification strategy to promote culture and Mexican traditions.

Towns with more than five thousand residents are receiving more than 20 thousand visitors during the weekends.

In late 2018, it was reported that the program would be canceled and would not continue for 2019 due to the lack of support of the president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). However, in February 2019, Humberto Hernández, Under-secretary of Development and Tourist Regulation in the Ministry of Tourism, said that the program would continue "more strongly than ever." Under the new decentralized strategy, while the tourism ministry will continue to handle qualification of prospective Pueblos Mágicos, its promotion, and branding of the program, state governors will handle the allocation of government funds to projects in the towns.[3]

A new class of 11 Pueblos Mágicos was inducted into the program on 1 December 2020, bringing the total to 132. This included the reinstatement of Mexcaltitán, one of the original Pueblos Mágicos, after it lost the designation in 2009.[4] As of August 1, 2023, there are 177 Pueblos Mágicos, located in each of the 31 Mexican states.[5]


The objectives of this program are:[6][7][8][9]

  • To structure a supplementary and diversified touristic supply within the interior of the country for locations that contain important historical and cultural attributes.
  • To diversify the country's tourism offerings.
  • To create and promote craftsmanship and support traditional festivals.
  • To preserve local traditions, culture, ethnic customs and the unique cuisine.
  • To create tourist products like adventures, extreme sports, ecotourism, festivals, local itineraries, wine and food activities and sport fishing.
  • To reassess, consolidate and reinforce touristic attractions of these towns in the country which represent fresh and different alternatives to meet the rising demand of national and international visitors.
  • To create jobs and reduce poverty.
  • This program was also developed with the purpose of recognizing the labor of its residents who have kept their cultural and historical riches of their home towns.


In order to qualify for the program, towns should have a population of at least 5000, and be located no more than 300 km, or the equivalent of traveling three hours by land, from a city with a well-resourced market or good connectivity.[10] The town's municipal and state authorities must request incorporation from the Secretariat of Tourism so that assessment visits can be arranged to evaluate the potential of the site.[6][10][11] In addition, towns had to meet specific requirements in order to be considered.

The criteria included some of the following:

I. A formally constituted "Pueblo Mágico committee", citizens who represent the pueblo or local community. If the town is accepted into the program, they are responsible for maintaining the designation by working with the local citizens. Their job is to represent the residents of the town and their interests to make sure that the declaration will benefit all and by working together to maximise the opportunities. This group has to be diverse, with no more than 15 people who are willing to contribute their work pro-bono. Group members should rotate periodically.

II. A town council accord, which states an agreement to apply for admittance into the program. The local authorities have to support inclusion in the program, as their support is essential for success. This document affirms the formal support.

III. Agreement of the state congress; state support is needed to assign resources, mainly for infrastructure.

IV. Direct economic contribution towards touristic development in projects, action plans and programs. Each town must try to differentiate from other towns. The plans should relate to the unique features of the town and why it should be considered.

V. An updated municipal touristic development program, with a time frame of at least three years. A long-term plan should be for 3 years to make sure the declaration is maintained, and that the town is working to improve conditions for tourists. The program should be updated every three years.

VI. Rules and local regulations should be updated to have a touristic focus during the current administration of the Municipality. This is to support and protect visitors and people dedicated to tourism activities.

VII. Evidence of the symbolic attraction of the aspiring community, or what makes the town unique.

VIII. Availability of health and public security services for tourists in case of an emergency.

IX. Documentation of private and social investment in touristic development and quality, including hotel rooms, restaurants, tours, museums, activities, etc.

X. Other elements that the committee considers relevant for touristic activity.


  • The Pueblo's citizens committee and relevant stakeholders create the file containing all documents, details fulfilling all the requirements, and the request of candidacy to the Secretary of Tourism and the evaluation committee.
  • A formal presentation with examples and details is made to the evaluation committee during a scheduled appointment in Mexico City.
  • The formal committee has representation from Secretariats of Tourism, Culture, Environment and several other government officials.
  • The evaluation committee reviews the file, ensures that all the requirements were met, conducts a physical inspection in the town, and reports back by documenting findings.
  • If 100% of the requirements are met then they approve the nomination and turn matters over to the Secretary of Tourism who is responsible to visit the Pueblo, invite the local authorities and local residents, and give the new "nomination" or declaration at the same time that it has to take the oath to the local committee representing the citizens of the town.
  • The local citizens and the committee are responsible to maintain the declaration and the town's "magic" standing. Nominations are not permanent, with annual revisions and audits for some towns.
  • If an applying pueblo doesn't meet the requirements, the details are shared back to the committee, and the pueblo will be asked to provide any requested missing information.
  • If the Pueblo doesn't qualify due to inability to meet the required attributes, a formal response is provided to the committee.

Mexico has more than 2500 municipalities; hundreds apply annually to this program with very few of them being selected. This is a very successful and prestigious program that provides benefits to local residents who benefit from the resulting economic activity bringing prosperity and various tangible and intangible benefits to their communities.[12]


# Image Town State Registration Year
1 Huasca de Ocampo Hidalgo 2001
2 Real de Catorce San Luis Potosí 2001
3 Tepoztlán Morelos Declared in 2001, status revoked in 2009, but restored in 2010
4 Mexcaltitán de Uribe Nayarit Declared in 2001, status revoked in 2009, but restored in 2020
5 Taxco Guerrero 2002
6 Tepotzotlán México 2002
7 Tapalpa Jalisco 2002
8 Comala Colima 2002
9 Pátzcuaro Michoacán 2002
10 Dolores Hidalgo Guanajuato 2002
11 Cuetzalan Puebla 2002
12 Izamal Yucatán 2002
13 Tequila Jalisco 2003
14 San Cristóbal de las Casas Chiapas 2003
15 Real del Monte Hidalgo 2004
16 Parras de la Fuente Coahuila 2004
17 Valle de Bravo México 2005
18 Mazamitla Jalisco 2005
19 Álamos Sonora 2005
20 Tlalpujahua Michoacán 2005
21 Cosalá Sinaloa 2005
22 Bernal Querétaro 2005
23 Coatepec Veracruz 2006
24 Real de Asientos Aguascalientes 2006
25 Cuitzeo Michoacán 2006
26 Santiago Nuevo León 2006
27 Todos Santos Baja California Sur 2006
28 Bacalar Quintana Roo 2006
29 Jerez de García Salinas Zacatecas 2007
30 Huamantla Tlaxcala 2007
31 Creel Chihuahua 2007
32 Capulálpam de Méndez Oaxaca 2007
33 Ciudad Mier Tamaulipas 2007
34 El Fuerte Sinaloa 2009
35 Santa Clara del Cobre Michoacán 2010
36 Tapijulapa Tabasco 2010
37 Palizada Campeche 2010
38 Jalpan de Serra Querétaro 2010
39 Malinalco México 2010
40 Zacatlán Puebla 2011
41 Teúl de González Ortega Zacatecas 2011
42 Tlayacapan Morelos 2011
43 Mineral del Chico Hidalgo 2011
44 Cadereyta de Montes Querétaro 2011
45 Tula Tamaulipas 2011
46 El Oro de Hidalgo México 2011
47 Xico Veracruz 2011
48 San Sebastián del Oeste Jalisco 2011
49 Xilitla San Luis Potosí 2011
50 Mineral de Pozos Guanajuato 2012
51 Sombrerete Zacatecas 2012
52 Angangueo Michoacán 2012
53 Cuatrociénegas de Carranza Coahuila 2012
54 Magdalena de Kino Sonora 2012
55 Pahuatlán Puebla 2012
56 Loreto Baja California Sur 2012
57 Valladolid Yucatán 2012
58 Metepec México 2012
59 Chiapa de Corzo Chiapas 2012
60 Comitán Chiapas 2012
61 Huichapan Hidalgo 2012
62 Tequisquiapan Querétaro 2012
63 Batopilas Chihuahua 2012
64 Chignahuapan Puebla 2012
65 Cholula (San Pedro y San Andrés) Puebla 2012
66 Pinos Zacatecas 2012
67 Lagos de Moreno Jalisco 2012
68 Tacámbaro Michoacán 2012
69 Calvillo Aguascalientes 2012
70 Nochistlán Zacatecas 2012
71 Jiquilpan Michoacán 2012
72 Tlatlauquitepec Puebla 2012
73 Tzintzuntzan Michoacán 2012
74 Mapimí Durango 2012
75 Papantla Veracruz 2012
76 Tecate Baja California 2012
77 Arteaga Coahuila 2012
78 Viesca Coahuila 2012
79 Jalpa de Cánovas Guanajuato 2012
80 Salvatierra Guanajuato 2012
81 Yuriria Guanajuato 2012
82 Xicotepec Puebla 2012
83 Jala Nayarit 2012
84 El Rosario Sinaloa 2012
85 Aculco De Espinoza México 2015
86 Atlixco Puebla 2015
87 Candela Coahuila 2015
88 Casas Grandes Chihuahua 2015
89 Coscomatepec de Bravo Veracruz 2015
90 Guerrero Coahuila 2015
91 Huauchinango Puebla 2015
92 Huautla de Jiménez Oaxaca 2015
93 Isla Mujeres Quintana Roo 2015
94 Ixtapan de la Sal México 2015
95 Linares Nuevo León 2015
96 Mascota Jalisco 2015
97 Mazunte Oaxaca 2015
98 Mocorito Sinaloa 2015
99 Orizaba Veracruz 2015
100 Palenque Chiapas 2015
101 San Joaquín Querétaro 2015
102 San José de Gracia Aguascalientes 2015
103 San Pablo Villa de Mitla Oaxaca 2015
104 San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula Oaxaca 2015
105 Sayulita Nayarit 2015
106 Talpa de Allende Jalisco 2015
107 Tecozautla Hidalgo 2015
108 Teotihuacán México 2015
109 Tlaxco Tlaxcala 2015
110 Tulum Quintana Roo 2015
111 Villa del Carbón México 2015
112 Zozocolco de Hidalgo Veracruz 2015
113 Nombre de Dios Durango 2018[13]
114 Melchor Múzquiz Coahuila 2018
115 Comonfort Guanajuato 2018
116 Zimapán Hidalgo 2018
117 Tlaquepaque Jalisco 2018
118 Compostela Nayarit 2018
119 Amealco de Bonfil Querétaro 2018
120 Aquismón San Luis Potosí 2018
121 Bustamante Nuevo León 2018
122 Guadalupe Zacatecas 2018
123 Isla Aguada Campeche 2020
124 Zempoala Hidalgo 2020
125 Ajijic Jalisco 2020
126 Tonatico México 2020
127 Paracho Michoacán 2020
128 Santa Catarina Juquila Oaxaca 2020
129 Tetela de Ocampo Puebla 2020
130 Santa María del Río San Luis Potosí 2020
131 Maní Yucatán 2020
132 Sisal Yucatán 2020

Towns removed from the program[edit]

Below is the list of sites that were enrolled in the program, but had their titles revoked for failure to meet standards during the re-evaluation or audit. One of them received enhanced recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the other two were subsequently brought into compliance and reinstated as Pueblos Mágicos.

# Image Town State Registration Year Retirement Year
1 San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato 2002 In 2008 its status on the list was removed due to its inclusion as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2 Tepoztlán Morelos 2001 Status removed in 2009; reinstated in 2010.
3 Mexcaltitlán Nayarit 2001 Status removed in 2009; reinstated in 2020.


Some governments have tried to eliminate the program for political reasons but because this model is a citizen-based program focusing on empowering communities, these efforts have been unsuccessful. According to statistics from INEGI, the Pueblo Mágico program has provided great economic value, and created jobs for its participating communities. The program has been recognised by several countries around the world, as a role model domestically and internationally.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Destinan mil 900 mdp a 'Pueblos Mágicos'". www.zocalo.com.mx.
  2. ^ https://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/destinos-vivir-dia-muertos-mexico.html Day of the Dead in Pueblo Magico
  3. ^ https://www.sdpnoticias.com/economia/2019/02/12/gobierno-de-amlo-mantendra-el-programa-de-pueblos-magicos - SPNoticias,com, Gobierno de AMLO mantendrá el programa de Pueblos Mágicos (AMLO Government will maintain the Pueblo Mágico program), Feb. 12, 2019
  4. ^ Turismo, Secretaría de. "Anuncia la Secretaría de Turismo once nuevos Pueblos Mágicos". gob.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  5. ^ "Pueblos Magicos: A Guide to Mexico's Magic Towns". Journey Mexico. 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  6. ^ a b "Pueblos Mágicos, herencia que impulsan Turismo". gob.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  7. ^ Balslev Clausen, Helene; Gyimóthy, Szilvia (2016). "Seizing community participation in sustainable development: pueblos Mágicos of Mexico". Journal of Cleaner Production. 111: 318–326. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.01.084.
  8. ^ Pérez-Ramírez, Carlos Alberto; Antolín-Espinosa, Diana Itzel (2016). "Programa pueblos magicos y desarrollo local: Actores, dimensiones y perspectivas en El Oro, Mexico". Estudios Sociales. 25 (47): 217. doi:10.24836/es.v25i47.315. ISSN 0188-4557.
  9. ^ Uhnák, Adam (2014-06-01). "The Mexican 'Pueblos Mágicos'. A Qualitative Research Using Ethnological Methodology". Ethnologia Actualis. 14 (1): 8–18. doi:10.2478/eas-2014-0001. ISSN 1339-7877.
  10. ^ a b México, El Universal, Compañia Periodística Nacional. "El Universal - - Concierge Cómo identificar un pueblo mágico". archivo.eluniversal.com.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "DOF - Diario Oficial de la Federación". www.dof.gob.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  12. ^ "Las ventajas de ser Pueblo Mágico". www.elfinanciero.com.mx.
  13. ^ "México tiene 10 nuevos Pueblos Mágicos". Expansión. 12 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Example at internal level and to other countries" (PDF).

External links[edit]