Lookin’ For A Little Magic In Mexico

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Okay, you may have traveled to some “rustic,” “off-the-beaten-path,” or, dare I say, “quaint” towns during your travels, but how many of them can you say are actually denoted as being “magic”? And not by some made-up huckster like J.K. Rowling or Rick Steves, but somebody credible, like the Mexican Government!

As Jaunted reported back in June, Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism is in the process of spending $150 million to restore certain villages across the country, which will include makeovers for museums, convents and churches, all in an effort to draw more visitors to one of these lucky 35 Pueblos Magicos.

This week, the SF Chronicle hit up one such enchanted village, Valle de Bravo, a town known not so much for its local charm, but for its influx of wealthy Mexicans that head there for weekend getaways. But, as the paper notes, it’s not all bad. “Yes, Valle has been discovered by the Travel + Leisure contingent, but budget travelers who don’t require resort-style pampering will find plenty of affordable places to lay their heads within walking distance of the square.”

Nearby, travelers can also visit Taxco, known as a silver craft center, and further east (okay, quite a bit east), in the Yucatan is Izamal, the “yellow city” (because, well, everything’s yellow), where travelers can visit local craftsmen, Mayan pyramids, and the famed convent of San Antonio de Padua (where thousands of miracle seekers descend every year).

No word yet if nearby Cancun will get the anointed title of “magic” — something abut Senor Frogs not being authentic enough.

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