Jalisco is probably considered one of Mexico’s most Mexican states due to it being home to mariachi music and tequila, as well as boasting some of the country’s most beautiful destinations such as Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Most tourists stay in the city or on the beach, but if you’re not like most tourists, head to the state’s Magic Towns for some interesting discoveries and memorable experiences. We already did the legwork for you, so here’s our list of top 7 Magic Towns in Jalisco that you have to visit!
The nearest airports to the following Magic Towns are Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta, click here to search for cheap flights!
1. Lagos de Moreno
Lagos de Moreno is full of perfectly preserved architectural gems that led to the Magic Town being named a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site a few years ago. Notable buildings are the grandiose Templo del Calvario temple which was inspired by Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de La Asunción parish, famous for its huge towers and dome built in classic baroque style, as well as the unusual pink color of the building’s stonework.
If you’re spending the night there are a few guesthouses and hotels in the area, but for a fancier experience stay at one of the old estate houses that have been turned into beautiful hotels and experience the golden age of Lagos de Moreno for yourself!
Located in the heart of the Sierra del Tigre mountain range is Mazamitla, one of the best Magic Towns in Jalisco. The town attracts swathes of tourists with its cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and stunning natural surroundings. If peace and quiet, endless outdoor spaces, and vibrant sunsets is what you’re looking for then Mazamitla is your ideal destination.
After spending the morning shopping for artisanal souvenirs, treat yourself to some amazing traditional Mexican food at any one of the restaurants that line the town square. At night this is the best spot in town for people watching with a tequila in hand!
3. San Sebastián del Oeste
San Sebastián del Oeste is an old mining town in the west of Jalisco that once supplied the finest gold to the Spanish crown. You can still experience some of this Magic Town’s former glory through the incredible colonial architecture that’s been perfectly preserved over the years.
Learn about the town’s past by visiting the nearby Santa Gertrudis mine, or by spending an afternoon at the Hacienda Jalisco museum and hotel. If you stay for dinner at the Hacienda, you might notice that there’s no electricity, perfect for transporting yourself back to colonial Mexico!
For unbeatable artisanal shopping head to the temple of San Sebastián where hand-made souvenir stalls fill the building’s archways.
Tapalpa is a beautiful Magic Town at the foot of one of Jalisco’s most impressive mountain ranges, attracting tourists from far and wide. The town is mainly known for its incredible architecture, but it also happens to be surrounded by natural beauty and interesting historical sites.
The nearby Valley of the Enigmas is full of obscure rock formations and is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and even horse riding. If you need to cool down after a day under the Jalisco sun, take a dip under El Salto del Nogal, a 100m natural waterfall tucked away among the rolling hills.
You’ve probably already heard about Tequila, the most famous Magic Town in Jalisco, known for giving the world one of its favorite drinks!
As you may expect, the town is full to the brim with small shops selling all imaginable types of tequila, from commercial brands to small artisanal producers. Perfect for stocking up your liquor cabinet back home!
If you want to delve a little deeper into the history and production of tequila, take a guided tour through any one of the local haciendas. The best part? You get to taste freshly produced tequila at the end!
Head back into the town center to satisfy your appetite with a delicious Jalisco-style birria – spicy goat stew with fresh onion and cilantro.
Don’t miss out on Tequila’s architectural beauty before you leave. Visit the City Hall, and the Chapel of Calvary so admire a couple of the oldest buildings in Jalisco.
If you’re an outdoorsy person, Mascota will probably be your favorite Magic Town in Jalisco!
Mascota is just a short drive from Juanacatlán lake where fishing, boating, and swimming are the order of the day. There are also hiking and mountain biking trails nearby if you feel like working up a sweat!
If all that wasn’t enough, the Corrinchis Dam is surrounded by dozens of hiking trails, and small local restaurants serve up the catch of the say, Jalisco style! Our favorite hiking trail is the one that goes to the top of the dormant Molcajete Volcano; the view is worth the climb!
7. Talpa de Allende
Talpa de Allende is one of Mexico’s most visited Magic Towns, partly due to it being home to the Virgin of Talpa, attracting thousands of pilgrims every easter.
The Pilgrim’s Route hiking trail starts in Ameca and crosses the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range and takes you all the way to the Basilica of the Virgin of Talpa. This trail is packed with devoted local pilgrims in March and April, but foreigners are welcome too!
Being so close to Puerto Vallarta, Talpa de Allende enjoys an ideal climate most of the year, and is perfect for a quiet weekend away in the countryside.