Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 7am

Dueling Pueblos Mágicos, Round 1: Mazamitla vs. Tequila

It seems as if every village in Mexico with a couple of old churches and a few decently-preserved adobe buildings wants a slice of the Pueblo Magico pie.

Like knighthoods or college degrees, the designation, part of an initiative started by the federal tourism board in 2001, promises to instantly imbue its recipient with an aura of respectability and a comely, romantic patina – one which, it is assumed, will attract tourists wont to leave behind large sums of money in their wake.   

But lest you think the Magic Town appellation requires of its recipients to fall in line with a narrow set of aesthetic guidelines, two towns that currently boast of P.M. status, Tequila and Mazamitla, are in many ways as mutually differentiated as a hamster and a fruit bat (two animals which have little in common on the surface aside from their status as rodents, just to clarify the simile).

And because I enjoy popping children’s balloons and sawing the horns of unicorns, I’ve made it my mission to pay a visit to as many of Jalisco’s Pueblo Magicos as is feasible given temporal and monetary limitations in order to see if they pass muster.

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