Mexican Hub Cities: The Best Cities for reaching a Pueblo de Magico
So you want to find yourself some Pueblo Magic but don’t know where to start? Let’s face it, Mexico is a big country and there are more than 100 official Pueblos de Magicos, so it helps to have a good home-base with multiple destinations within reach. These options have been selected based on proximity to Pueblos de Magicos and accessibility for travelers (i.e. solid airports and transportation infrastructure, considered safe to visit):
CDMX is, without doubt, the hub of all activity for Mexico, so it’s no surprise that it also heads up this list of hub cities for exploring Pueblo Magic. Within a 2-3 hour radius of the city, one can visit at least 9 Pueblos de Magicos.
What’s more, Mexico City itself is a magical place, with an unlimited supply of history, shopping, food, and nightlife. I count CDMX as, perhaps, my favorite city in the world and I’ve been to more than a few cities worthy of contention!
I feel like Guadalajara deserves more respect. It’s Mexico’s second-city, features a dizzying number of important structures and art, and is an absolute firecracker of a nightlife scene.
In addition to its merits as a city, Guadalajara is within three hours drive of no less than 10 Pueblos de Magicos and if traveling from the Western United States, roundtrip flights can often be found for around $200-$300.
Cancun is not a Magical Place, unless we’re talking about how to make money disappear. There’s the absolute fleecing that’s hard to avoid when trying to get transportation out of Cancun International Airport, the cops always on the lookout for a “multa” opportunity, and then the US-priced accommodations and libations to be found on the hotel strip.
Still, Cancun is an important jumping off point for the official Pueblos de Magicos of Tulum, Isla Mujeres, and Valladolid. In addition, I would unofficially add Holbox Island to the list, as well as Playa del Carmen (though not at all for historical reasons). Then there’s Cozumel, which, although often overrun by cruise ship tourism, still boasts some of the best scuba diving available.
Tuxtla Gutierrez (Chiapas)
While there are only a few towns designated as Pueblos de Magicos in the vicinity of Oaxaca City, the whole region is regarded by many travelers as a magical place. Oaxaca is the state responsible for Mezcal and a number of food products and the region has a habit of sticking to traditional production methods.
A Mexican friend of mine once told me that in Oaxaca, they have a festival where the people make special foods and then invite anyone who wants to come to visit their homes and try the delicacies.
I’m not going to give this one my full endorsement, because although it’s on my list, I haven’t yet been to Morelia. What you should know first is that Morelia is in the state of Michoacan, a place that has had a number of high profile kidnappings and murders related to drug activity. While that certainly should give anyone pause, I haven’t written the place off yet and there are seven Magic Towns within a few hours drive.
Here, 20yearshence discusses Morelia, Michoacan’s capital city and why it might actually belong on this list, despite the state’s cartel-related problems.