Mazamitla, One of Jalisco Mexico’s Magic Towns
Mazamitla is a mountain town about an hour and a half outside of Jocotepec . It is approximately 77 miles from Guadalajara in the Southeast region of the state. It is about the same distance as Sayula except further east. The scenery on the way is beautiful in the rainy season. Everything was green. Wild flowers were in the fields. The sky was blue with billowy white clouds.
The town looks like an alpine village. There are many houses built with wood. The air smells like pine because there are pine trees all around. It is a vacation spot on weekends and holidays for the people from Guadalajara. They go there in droves and rent cabins in the woods or stay in their own vacation homes. There are many mansions belonging to the wealthy. We tried to find the park setting where most of them are located but we got lost in the woods instead.
We were there on a Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday are good days to go if you want to avoid the crowds but not good days if you want to enjoy the nice restaurants. Many of them are closed at the beginning of the week. We found a small place in town that sold sandwiches. I made the mistake of saying “a little hot” and it was filled with ground up red chili peppers. I couldn’t eat it. I learned my lesson. Never say, “a little hot” to a Mexican cook.
The Magic Towns are towns that have something special about them, either cultural, historic or of social importance. If a town applies and is lucky enough to be granted the name of Magic Town, it is given federal money for publicity and beautification. Maybe they will put the wires underground. It is up to the towns to decide what to do with the money.
There is a Magic Town in every state in Mexico and some states have more than one. Jalisco is fortunate. It has three of them.
Tapalpa is another mountain town. It is further away from Ajijic than Mazamitla. I haven’t been there yet but I will visit it one day and write about it.
Tequila is forty miles northwest of Guadalajara. I hope to visit there soon. I have taken the bus through the area. Blue Agave plants are everywhere. They are used for making Tequila. There are tours through the Tequila factories and free samples. Sounds like fun.
The Magic Town program was started in 2001 by the Federal Department of Tourism. The first one was Mexaltitan, Nayarit. I hope to make it there sometime this winter. It is a small town on an island. In the rainy season people have to get around by boat as the roads are flooded.
If you want to see a list of all the Magic Towns and learn more about the program, go to: http://wikipedia.org/wiki/PuebloMagico
The name Mazamitla means “Place of the Deer” or “Place where arrows to hunt deer are made.” You can still see many old buildings in town.
The altitude is 7500 feet. It is cooler than in Ajijic or Lake Chapala. There are many cabins for rent for short vacations or just overnight. If you love the beauty of nature and outdoor sports, you will love this area.
There are two zip lines if you are brave. I didn’t see them. I am not brave. There are waterfalls, creeks and beautiful hiking trails. You can take tours into the surrounding areas in open buses. You can go horseback riding, or just relax in the beautiful plaza. There are many interesting shops to explore.
The shops are filled with cheeses, jams, candies, canned fruits, and interesting crafts. The town was getting ready for the 16th of September celebrations when we were there. Flags were everywhere and there were dry flowers wrapped around the store posts.
Mazamitla is a small town. You can walk the center of it in less than an hour. The people are friendly. The architecture is beautiful. The air smells fresh like pine trees. What more could a person want for a day trip?
My friend and I are both from Northern California and we were surprised to see how much the landscape looked like that area on our ride up the mountain. The hills were filled with beautiful wild flowers.
The dirt was red like it is in Red Bluff, California, which is my hometown. There were many rock formations like in the Gold Country in Northern California. It made us feel right at home.
There were beautiful views along the way. Mazamitla is a great place to visit during the hot summer months of May and June in Ajijic before the rains come to cool it off.
There are several major fiestas in Mazamitla. One is the Bullfight Celebrations. The bulls run through the streets. There is bull riding and music. It is the second half of February.
December 3rd through the 12th, there are the Guadalupan Celebrations. The town will be filled with music, dancing and fireworks.
Mazamitla Foundation Anniversary is a weeklong celebration to commemorate the founding of the town in 1537. It includes sport and cultural activities. It is always the last week of February.
The San Cristobal Celebration is for the patron saint and is celebrated with altars, dancing, music, food and fireworks. It is the last weekend in July.
If you like crowds, then visit during the celebrations. You can obtain more information by calling 01 (382) 538 0380 or online: www.mazamitlaconsejoturismo.org.
There are several nice hotels in town and also many cabins for rent. You can find them online. One hotel is: Hotel La Troje Call: 01 (382) 538 1799 or online: www.latrojedemazamitla.com
Two others are Hotel Sierra del Tigre Call: 01 (382) 538 0087
Hotel Real de la Sierra Call: 01 (382) 538 0946 or online: www.hotelrealdelasierra.com
These two hotels are located in the center of town.
I highly recommend a trip to Mazamitla, even if you are only planning on visiting this area for a few days.
If you want to know more about the area, we are here to help. You can contact me in the comments below and either I or one of the Access team members will be glad to help you and answer questions.