Mexico is blessed with slightly fewer than 40 small towns that have met the government’s strict standards and earned the right to be called Pueblo Magicos or magic towns. However, if you were only going to visit one of them we might recommend that you make it Tapalpa.
About two hours from Guadalajara at an altitude that ensures cool weather even when Guadalajara is sweltering, Tapalpa is compact but bustling, absolutely clean and gorgeous and has one of the best elote (corn) vendors we’ve come across in all of Mexico.Hiking trails to roaring waterfalls, a field of enormous boulders weirdly jumbled about and a charming nearby lake round out the picture.
The church that anchors Tapalpa's square.
It's not unusual for town squares to have fountains, however, the ones in Tapalpa were filled with Alcatraz, the Spanish word for Cala Lilies, when we visited. Gorgeous.
We visited Tapalpa with Tom, Iliana, David and Cristina who have allowed us to make their casa in Ajijic our casa in Ajijic and have become cherished friends in the process.
A basket of freshly picked pitalla which are the delicious and refreshing fruits that grow on local cactus once a year. They're like a delicious cross between a kiwi, a fig and a plum.
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The tiny but charming town of Talpa de Allende is in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Jalisco state. It’s normally pretty sunny and sleepy (except for bustling handmade candied fruit factories and a bustling coffee industsry). But the town also draws tens of thousands of visitors during annual pilgrimages to visit the town’s “miracle causing” virgin. We simply passed through Talpa one afternoon, but our brief visit was enough to make us want to return.
The church in Talpa de Allende is home to one of the most venerated virgins in all of Mexico. It's also home to a fake pony photo prop too.
The shrine of the Virgin Rosario of Talpa is one of the most venerated religious sites in all of Mexico. Three pilgrimages are conducted every year to the site. The Virgin allegedly has healing powers, and many people visit the statue annually to ask for miracles.
The Virgin Rosario of Talpa. She may be responsible for miricles but she sure is tiny.
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Sprinkled throughout Mexico are charming old towns that have met official government standards that qualify them as Pueblos Magicos or magical towns. We’ve visited quite a few of them and they’re always a pleasure with quiet streets, traditional architecture, welcoming town squares and a pristine small town feel.
We decided to visit the Pueblo Magico of Mazamitla to check out its charms and to check out what our Lonely Planet guide to Mexico assured us were the best tacos in the world. Unfortunately, the market area where the taco stand in question was located had been torn down right before we arrived so we wasted a whole day trying to find where the taco stand had re-located and by the time we found it the stand was closing for the day!
Mazamitla has an unusual and fanciful church.
Cobblestone streets are charming to look at but sort of a pain to walk or drive on if you want to know the truth.
Putting the "meat' in Mazamitla...
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