Pueblo Mágico

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The Programa Pueblos Mágicos (Spanish Loudspeaker.svg  ) ("Magical Towns Programme") was an initiative led by Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism, with the support from other federal agencies, to promote a series of towns around the country that offer visitors a "magical" experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural richness, traditions, folklore, historical relevance, cuisine, art crafts and great hospitality.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.


The Mexican Ministry or Secretariat of Tourism acknowledges that México´s magical experience is not only in the famous sun and beaches, it is much more than that. The success of Mexico is due in part to the great Mexican hospitality and culture, which keeps many tourists coming back.

The Government created the 'Pueblos Mágicos' program to recognize places across the country that imbue certain characteristics that make them unique, historically significant, with great traditions, and offer magical experiences to its visitors. A "Magical Village" is a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events, festivals, traditions, great food, and fun interactive shopping, day-to-day life – in other words, "magic" in its social and cultural manifestations, with great opportunities for tourism. Every Pueblo Magico offers a special experience to the visitor.

The programme was launched in 2001 and after 9 years and 32 towns selected, it was improved and relaunched in 2010 with significant resources to unlock the potential [1] and they were supported by a strategic campaign to promote them across the country. 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 it was part of the diversification strategy from Secretary of Tourism to promote culture and Mexican traditions.

The program has offered opportunities to citizens to create a living from tourism, and it has made significant contributions to the economies of not only the pueblos, but also the entire regions, as visitors' spending created important jobs in the towns with the most economic needs. Towns with over 5 thousand citizens are receiving more than 20 thousand visitors during the weekends, which contributes to the economy and the well-being of its residents.

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 Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). However, in February 2019 Humberto Hernandez, Under-secretary of Development and Tourist Regulation in the Ministry of Tourism, told a Mexican media outlet that the program would continue "more strongly than ever." Under the new strategy, while the tourism ministry will continue to handle qualification of prospective pueblos mágicos and promotion and branding of the program, it is expected that the state governors will handle allocation of government funds to projects in the towns. [3]


The objectives of this program are: [4] [5] [6] [7]

Ecotourism form of tourism

Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism. It means responsible travel to natural areas, conserving the environment, and improving the well-being of the local people. Its purpose may be to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights. Since the 1980s, ecotourism has been considered a critical endeavor by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention. Several university programs use this description as the working definition of ecotourism.


In order to qualify for the program the towns should have a population of at least 5 thousand, and should 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. [8] In addition to the town's municipal and state authorities requesting incorporation to the Secretariat of Tourism so that they can make an assessment visit to evaluate the potential of the site, [4] [8] [9] towns also had to meet specific requirements in order to be considered. The criteria included some of the following:

I. A formally constituted "Pueblo Mágico committee". This is a group of citizens who represent the pueblo or local community; if awarded the title, they were responsible for maintaining the declaration 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 and their work is 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 the inclusion in the program as their support is essential for the success of the town. This document provides 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. It is very important for each town to differentiate themselves from other towns. It should include 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 the experience always improved. The program should be updated every three years.

VI. Updated rules and local regulations with a touristic focus during current administration of the Municipality. This is to support and protect visitors and people dedicated to tourism activities. Clear rules and regulations offer certainty and clarity to the importance of these activities.

VII. Evidence of symbolic attraction of the aspiring community, or what makes the town unique and differentiates it from other towns.

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

IX. 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.


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. [10]


#ImageTownStateRegistration Year
1 FacadeBautistaHuasca.JPG Huasca de Ocampo Hidalgo 2001
2 PlazaHidalgo.JPG Real de Catorce San Luis Potosí 2001
3 Taxco Santa Prisca.jpg Taxco Guerrero 2002
4 Tepozotlan . Pueblo magico.jpg Tepotzotlán México 2002
5 Tapalpa church.JPG Tapalpa Jalisco 2002
6 Comala.JPG Comala Colima 2002
7 FacSaludPatzcuaro.JPG Pátzcuaro Michoacán 2002
8 Igreja de Dolores Hidalgo.jpg Dolores Hidalgo Guanajuato 2002
9 Iglesia Cuetzalan Puebla.jpg Cuetzalan Puebla 2002
10 Izamal.JPG Izamal Yucatán 2002
11 SantiagoApostolTequilaJAL.JPG Tequila Jalisco 2003
12 SanCrisCathedralChiapas2.JPG San Cristóbal de las Casas Chiapas 2003
13 Mineral del Monte.jpg Real del Monte Hidalgo 2004
14 ParrasPuebloMagico.jpg Parras de la Fuente Coahuila 2004
15 PanVBravoSpires2.JPG Valle de Bravo México 2005
16 TemploMazamicla.jpg Mazamitla Jalisco 2005
17 Plaza de Alamos, Son.jpg Álamos Sonora 2005
18 FacadePedroPabloTlalpu.JPG Tlalpujahua Michoacán 2005
19 Cosala (17806372654).jpg Cosalá Sinaloa 2005
20 ParroquiaSanSebastianen Bernal.JPG Bernal Querétaro 2005
21 Catedral de Coatepec.jpg Coatepec Veracruz 2006
22 Real de Asientos2.JPG Real de Asientos Aguascalientes 2006
23 Convento de Santa Maria Magdalena Vista.JPG Cuitzeo Michoacán 2006
24 Calle de Santiago.jpg Santiago Nuevo León 2006
25 Iglesia de la Mision de Todos Santos.jpg Todos Santos Baja California Sur 2006
26 Bacalar Lagoon.jpg Bacalar Quintana Roo 2006
27 Jerez0002.jpg Jerez de García Salinas Zacatecas 2007
28 Procesion Huamantla Amanecer.jpg Huamantla Tlaxcala 2007
29 Tarahumara women at Arareco Lake 1063.JPG Creel Chihuahua 2007
30 Capulalpam26.JPG Capulálpam de Méndez Oaxaca 2007
31 Ciudad Mier.jpg Ciudad Mier Tamaulipas 2007
32 Iglesia el fuerte.jpg El Fuerte Sinaloa 2009
33 StaClaraCobrePuebloMagico.jpg Santa Clara del Cobre Michoacán 2010
34 ExConventoDominicodelaNatividadTepotzlan.JPG Tepoztlán Morelos Declared in 2001, status revoked in 2009, but restored in 2010
35 Tapijulapa.JPG Tapijulapa Tabasco 2010
36 Palizada centro.jpg Palizada Campeche 2010
37 FacadeMissionJalpan3.JPG Jalpan de Serra Querétaro 2010
38 MalinalcoPuebloMagico.jpg Malinalco México 2010
39 Cristo DSCF1685.jpg Zacatlán Puebla 2011
40 PlazadeArmasTeul.JPG Teúl de González Ortega Zacatecas 2011
41 Tlayacapan i01.jpg Tlayacapan Morelos 2011
42 MineralChicoPuebloMagico.jpg Mineral del Chico Hidalgo 2011
43 Cadereyta, Queretaro.jpg Cadereyta de Montes Querétaro 2011
44 Plaza2005.jpg Tula Tamaulipas 2011
45 GuadChurchElOroMX.JPG El Oro México 2011
46 Xico.jpg Xico Veracruz 2011
47 San Sebastian del Oeste.jpg San Sebastián del Oeste Jalisco 2011
48 Callejon en xilitla.jpg Xilitla San Luis Potosí 2011
49 Mineral de Pozos.jpg Mineral de Pozos Guanajuato 2012
50 San Francisco Church and Convent, Sombrerete, Zacatecas (25-10-2005).jpg Sombrerete Zacatecas 2012
51 SanSimonAngang.JPG Angangueo Michoacán 2012
52 Cuatrocienegas1.jpg Cuatrociénegas de Carranza Coahuila 2012
53 Kinotomb.JPG Magdalena de Kino Sonora 2012
54 SantiagoApostolPahuatlan02.JPG Pahuatlán Puebla 2012
55 Mision Nuestra Senora de Loreto.jpg Loreto Baja California Sur 2012
56 Valladolid, Yucatan church.jpg Valladolid Yucatán 2012
57 FacadeChpCalvarioMetepec.JPG Metepec México 2012
58 ChiapadeCorzoFuenteColonial.jpg Chiapa de Corzo Chiapas 2012
59 IGLESIA DE SANTO DOMINGO.JPG Comitán Chiapas 2012
60 Cruz-monolitica.jpg Huichapan Hidalgo 2012
61 TemploSantaMariaTequis2.jpg Tequisquiapan Querétaro 2012
62 Batopilas Chihuahua 2012
63 KIOSCO 019.jpg Chignahuapan Puebla 2012
64 Tepanapa3.jpg Cholula (San Pedro y San Andrés) Puebla 2012
65 Pueblo de Pinos.jpg Pinos Zacatecas 2012
66 Amanecer en Lagos de Moreno (Parroquia de la Asuncion de Maria).jpg Lagos de Moreno Jalisco 2012
67 Tacambaro de Codallos.JPG Tacámbaro Michoacán 2012
68 Presidencia municipal calvillo.png Calvillo Aguascalientes 2012
69 Parian Nochistlan.jpg Nochistlan Zacatecas 2012
70 Mona tarasca- 2014-05-12 03-00.jpg Jiquilpan Michoacán 2012
71 Tlatlauqui5.JPG Tlatlauquitepec Puebla 2012
72 Tzintzuntzan.jpg Tzintzuntzan Michoacán 2012
73 Mapimidgo.JPG Mapimí Durango 2012
74 ChurchPapantla1.JPG Papantla Veracruz 2012
75 TecatePuebloMagico.jpg Tecate Baja California 2012
76 Pueblo Europeo en nl.jpeg Arteaga Coahuila 2012
77 Santa Ana de los Hornos, Viesca Coah.JPG Viesca Coahuila 2012
78 Plaza de jalpa de canovas.JPG Jalpa de Cánovas Guanajuato 2012
79 Parroquia de Nuestra Santisima Madre de la Luz. Santuario Diocesano en Salvatierra, Gto..jpg Salvatierra Guanajuato 2012
80 Yuriria.JPG Yuriria Guanajuato 2012
81 Palacio Municipal Xicotepec.JPG Xicotepec Puebla 2012
82 Jala Nayarit.jpg Jala Nayarit 2012
83 Iglesia rosario sinaloa mex.jpg El Rosario Sinaloa 2012
84 Templo de san Jeronimo.JPG Aculco De Espinoza México 2015
85 Atlixco9.JPG Atlixco Puebla 2015
86 Candela Coahuila 2015
87 Paquime0002.jpg Casas Grandes Chihuahua 2015
88 Cosco1.jpg Coscomatepec de Bravo Veracruz 2015
89 Guerrero Coahuila 2015
90 MunicipalPalaceHuauchinangoPuebla.JPG Huauchinango Puebla 2015
91 Huautla de Jimenez.jpg Huautla de Jimenez Oaxaca 2015
92 Beach on the Caribbean side of Isla Mujeres (4257546308).jpg Isla Mujeres Quintana Roo 2015
93 PlazaChurchIxtapan.JPG Ixtapan de la Sal México 2015
94 Palacio Municipal de Linares, Nuevo Leon, Mexico..JPG Linares Nuevo León 2015
95 Parroquia de Nuestra Senora de los dolores (vista lateral inferior).JPG Mascota Jalisco 2015
96 Mazuntesummermorning.JPG Mazunte Oaxaca 2015
97 Mocorito-Skyline EAL.jpg Mocorito Sinaloa 2015
98 Palacio de hierro de orizaba.JPG Orizaba Veracruz 2015
99 FacadeParishPalenque.JPG Palenque Chiapas 2015
100 Vista de San Joaquin. Al centro Templo Senor San Jose.JPG San Joaquín Querétaro 2015
101 Presidencia municipal san jose de gracia.jpg San José de Gracia Aguascalientes 2015
102 El Grupo de la Iglesia o del Norte.jpg San Pablo Villa de Mitla Oaxaca 2015
103 Convento San pedro y san Pablo Teposcolula.JPG San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula Oaxaca 2015
104 Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico.JPG Sayulita Nayarit 2015
105 Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Rosario de Talpa Jal 08.JPG Talpa de Allende Jalisco 2015
106 Tecozautla Hidalgo 2015
107 Mexico-3511 - Pyramid of the Moon (2214742994).jpg Teotihuacán México 2015
108 Parroquia de San Agustin.JPG Tlaxco Tlaxcala 2015
109 Tulum-27527-4.jpg Tulum Quintana Roo 2015
110 Villa del Carbon005.JPG Villa del Carbón México 2015
111 Roman Catholic church in Zozocolco.jpg Zozocolco de Hidalgo Veracruz 2015
112[[]] Nombre de Dios Durango 2018 [11]
113[[]] Melchor Múzquiz Coahuila 2018
114[[]] Comonfort Guanajuato 2018
115[[]] Zimapán Hidalgo 2018
116[[]] Tlaquepaque Jalisco 2018
117[[]] Compostela Nayarit 2018
118[[]] Amealco de Bonfil Querétaro 2018
119[[]] Aquismón San Luis Potosí 2018
120[[]] Bustamante Nuevo León 2018
121[[]] Guadalupe Zacatecas 2018

| 122 || [[]] || Apan,Hidalgo. 2018

Towns removed from the program

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. Two of them had their status restored and one received enhanced recognition.

#ImageTownStateRegistration YearRetirement Year
1 Iglesia de San Miguel de Allende.JPG San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato 2002In 2008 its status on the list was removed due to its inclusion as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2 ExConventoDominicodelaNatividadTepotzlan.JPG Tepoztlán Morelos 2001In 2009 its status was removed, and then restored in 2010.
3 Mexcaltitlán Nayarit 2001Status removed in 2009.
4 ChurchPapantla1.JPG Papantla Veracruz 2006In 2009 its status was removed, and then restored in 2012.


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. [12]

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