The Programme “Pueblos Mágicos” (“Magical Villages”) is an initiative led by Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR), in conjunction with other federal and state agencies, to promote a series of towns around the country that offer visitors a “magical” experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance. The Mexico Tourism Board acknowledges that México´s magical element, and not only its sun and beaches, is what keeps many tourists coming back. Thus, they created the ‘Pueblos Mágicos’ program to recognize places across the country that imbue certain characteristics that make them unique and historically significant.
A “Magical Village” is a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events, day-to-day life – in other words, “magic” in its social and cultural manifestations, with great opportunities for tourism.
The programme was launched in 2001 and by 2012 a total of 83 towns and villages in all 31 states have been awarded the title Pueblo Mágico.
To structure a supplementary and diversified touristic supply within the interior of the country whose sites contain important historical and cultural attributes.
To create and promote craftsmanship, festivals, traditions and the cuisine of the place.
To create tourist products like adventures, extreme sports, ecotourism, and sport fishing.
Reassess, consolidate and reinforce touristic attractions of these towns in the country which represent fresh and different alternatives to meet the rising demand of national visitors and foreigners.
This program is also developed with the purpose of recognizing the labor of its residents who have kept known for all people the cultural and historical riches of their home.
In order to pertain to the program the towns should have a population of at least 20 thousand, and should be located no more than 200 km (124.27 miles) or the equivalent of traveling two hours by land, from the touristic destination. In addition to the town’s municipal and state authorities requesting incorporation to SECTUR so that they can make an assessment visit to evaluate the potential of the site, the criteria needed in order to be considered for incorporation into the program are:
I. A formally constituted Pueblo Mágico committee.
II. A town council accord (an agreement to apply for admittance into the program)
III. Agreement of the state congress
IV. Direct economic contribution towards touristic development in projects, action plans and programs.
V. A municipal touristic development program updated with a time frame of at least three years.
VI. Updated ordinations with a touristic focus during current administration of the Municipality.
VII. Evidence of symbolic attraction of the aspiring community.
VIII. Health and public security services for tourists in case of an emergency.
IX. Private and social investment in touristic development and quality marks.
X. Other elements that the committee considers relevant for touristic activity.