Small Towns in Mexico for Natural Beauty, Arts, and Culture

There’s always a special magic about visiting a small town. The slow-paced lifestyle, a sense of community that welcomes you, long-established traditions and crafts to learn from, and dishes that tell stories.

There are 132 magical towns throughout Mexico, and if you’re up for an enchanting adventure, here are a few to get started.

Bacalar, Quintana Roo

When you think of Quintana Roo, you might imagine white sand and turquoise waves, but the Lagoon of Seven Colors is the heart of Bacalar, not the beach. The town’s downtown is as quaint as you can imagine, with pedestrian-friendly streets with small restaurants, most of which serve fresh seafood. There’s also a group of streets called The Murals Route which has more than 100 street art murals that are dedicated to praise Bacalar’s natural beauty.

Tequila, Jalisco

Its name actually comes from a náhutl word that means “place of tribute” and here most places pay tribute to the art of turning the blue agave into a world-famous distilled beverage. In the past, this town was known for having big traditional haciendas.

They also have one of the top attractions of the town, a train — José Cuervo Express – that parts from Guadalajara and takes travelers through Tequila all the way to the hacienda. But Tequila isn’t just about the drink, it’s also a town with a strong crafts culture, especially for pottery lovers.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

This magical town is named after the patron saint of travel San Cristóbal, so that’s got to be a sign to visit. This is a unique place in Chiapas because it combines the beauty of colonial and colorful architecture with the lush jungle that surrounds the town.

The jungle brings in fog that gives the place a mysterious feeling. The carefully preserved collection of buildings that date back to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries with styles like baroque and neoclassical make the town a museum in itself.

Orizaba, Veracruz

This town is famous for being on the slopes of the Pico de Orizaba volcano, the highest mountain in Mexico. With that impactful, snowy landscape as its background, the town makes the most of its beauty as a colonial city. One of its architectural gems is the Iron Palace, a 126-year-old Art Nouveau building completely made from iron that was sent in pieces from Brussels to become the government building.

Izamal, Yucatán

Imagine a town where every building is painted in golden yellow and where the cultures from the past blend together. That’s the uniqueness of Izamal. Pre-Hispanic constructions coexist with colonial architecture and invite visitors to discover how they’ve nurtured their culture.

Although it’s a great town to explore on foot, there’s a more romantic way to do it: there are chaises pulled by horses that take visitors through its streets to discover the quaint squares, colonial mansions, and parks that are rich in history.

Palenque, Chiapas

This is the place to go if you want to be embraced by the natural beauty of the southern Mexican jungle. Palenque is a very small town, but its heart is the national park, where one of the most important Mayan cities is located.

The archeological site is nestled within the deep jungle, down walking trails covered in local flora. Palenque National Park can also be explored on foot, and there are regular guided trips to go hiking and birdwatching.

Xilitla, San Luis Potosí

There’s an inherent link between Mexico’s culture and surrealism, but this town really makes it shine.

Surrounded by the jungle of Huasteca Potosina and its beautiful waterfalls, it mixes the lush vegetation with a building-sized art piece that has unfinished concrete staircases, pillars, and labyrinth-like passageways.

Xilitla is also home to the oldest building in the state, a former convent built in the 16th century that shares the history of the different communities that lived in this town.

Valladolid, Yucatán

This is considered one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in the Mexican peninsula. Every building has an aesthetic that tells stories of the town.

It’s a place of traditions rooted in religion, so it’s rich in beautiful churches like the ones dedicated to Santa Lucía, Santa Ana, and San Juan, as well as old convents.

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

Cobblestone streets, colorfully painted houses, colonial mansions turned into museums, and the Church of Saint Michael the Archangel, carved out of pink sandstone, as the touchstone of the town: San Miguel de Allende is a place that combines the beauty and traditions of the past with modern trends and luxury living.

It’s home to several important art galleries and is a town often visited by national and international artists.

Cholula, Puebla

This town used to be the home of a large pre-Hispanic civilization with strong religious beliefs, but during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, many of their temples were replaced with new Catholic ones.

Cholula is also a town of crafts. The talavera is a unique form of glazed pottery with colorful decorations — most typically in deep blue. It can be found all around the town, from a mug you can buy as a souvenir, to a traditional accent in architecture. The complete façade of the Temple of San Francisco Acatepec is covered in colorful talavera tiles.

(Courtesy: Yahoo Life)

Images courtesy of Curly Tales, Savoteur, Roaming Around the World, Turismoi, Viator, Escapadas, Lugares Turisticos de Mexico, Merida Elite, Ecobnb and Mexico Daily Post

Share this post