Christmas is one of the favorite seasons for Mexicans, and believe it or not, its magic is experienced in very different ways throughout the country. As the Christmas celebration is getting closer, Mexico has some gifts. You can choose some Magical Towns (Pueblos Magicos) that look great for their events, atmosphere, and crafts, transforming the Christmas season into an unforgettable experience for you and your family.
If you don’t know where to spend Christmas in Mexico, one of these landscapes and warm environments is perfect for you.
Tlalpujahua is one of eight Magical Towns in the state of Michoacan and is located between mountains and forests 170 km from Mexico City. It is a charming town with a rich mining history and a great tradition in manufacturing handicrafts, among which Christmas spheres stand out.
More than 30 years ago, Tlalpujahua became an important center for the production of blown glass Christmas balls, which is why many people visit to see the workshops where they are made and buy ornaments for their Christmas trees. The Sphere Fair is held annually from October to December, making it ideal for visiting the town and soaking up the Christmas atmosphere.
Not to be missed:
– Visit the Santuario del Carmen and Mexico’s first mining museum in the old “Las Dos Estrellas” mine. If you like nature, you should walk through the forests of the peaceful Campo del Gallo, and if you go to Tlalpujahua between November and March, don’t miss the opportunity to see the migration of the monarch butterfly.
Just 10 km from downtown is Hacienda Cantalagua, inside an 18th-century hacienda. The hotel has 125 suites and divides its rooms into 21st-century (with contemporary decoration) and 18th-century (in a colonial style). The hotel also has a golf course, an indoor pool, and a Mexican restaurant.
Tepotzotlan, State of Mexico
Tepotzotlan is located just outside Mexico City, making it an accessible destination if you live in the capital. A particular time to visit is during the Christmas season due to its famous Pastorelas that have been held for more than 50 years.
Tepotzotlan is home to the Ex-Convent of San Francisco Javier, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The complex consists of the National Museum of the Viceroyalty, the temple of San Francisco with its beautiful baroque façade, and the Convent Inn where the Pastorelas take place. The plays tell the classic story of the little shepherds who go to Bethlehem to meet the Child God, and on the way, the Greatest Devil and his demons try to stop them, all these mixing indigenous, Spanish, and Mexican traditions.
Not to be missed:
– At the end of the Pastorela, enjoy a delicious punch, buñuelos, and antojitos while you mingle with the cast. During the day, stroll through the town enjoying its markets, craft stores, and views of the 62-meter-high Aqueduct de Sitio.
Near the center of Tepotzotlán is Finca Las Hortensias. What better way to spend the holidays than in an outdoor jacuzzi?
Bernal is a small Pueblo Mágico in Querétaro, in the heart of the state’s wine region. With only 4,000 inhabitants, it retains a traditional and intimate atmosphere to enjoy during Christmas.
When you arrive in Bernal, you will be impressed by the views of the Peña de Bernal, the third largest monolith in the world with a height of 350 meters. It is possible to climb part of it and enjoy the scenery from the cliffs. The town has several handicraft stores and the Casa Museo del Dulce.
During Christmas, the tradition is to visit the Casa Tio Camilo hotel to see an extraordinary nativity scene with more than 60 handmade figures and 70 other nativity scenes from countries such as Japan, Denmark, and Peru. It is possible to take a guided tour of the exhibit with light and sound.
Not to be missed:
On top of everything else, every year, Freixenet’s Finca Sala Vivé offers a Christmas concert and dinner at the beginning of December, where you can enjoy good music and a delicious dinner with local wine pairings. In the end, enjoy the party and dance with DJ.
El Cantar del Viento is a boutique hotel on the slopes of La Peña, so beautiful views are guaranteed. It has six rooms, and you can relax with your family in one of the hammocks on the terraces, enjoy the Spa or eat the famous gorditas de Bernal.
San Juan Teotihuacan, State of Mexico
Only 50 kilometers from Mexico City is the Magical Town of San Juan Teotihuacan, famous for its pyramids but with many other attractions to enjoy during Christmas.
The main attraction is the 2,000 years old archeological site of Teotihuacan, once the largest city in the Americas. The Sun and Moon pyramids are not to be missed, but not so many people know about the different ruins that remain in the town of San Juan. Visit the neighborhood of Purificación, where you can see the remains of the Palace of Yayahuala and Zacuala, as well as other small vestiges.
In the center of town is the former convent of San Juan Bautista, with a baroque quarry facade, and the Templo de Nuestra Señora de la Purificación (Temple of Our Lady of the Purification). If you are visiting on a Monday, don’t miss the tianguis (street market), where you can buy obsidian handicrafts and taste its rich barbecue, mixiotes, and pancita. And the cherry on the cake would be to fly in a hot air balloon over the ruins at sunrise!
Not to be missed:
– Just 10 km. from San Juan is the town of Acolman, famous for two things: the Ex-convent of San Agustin and the place where piñatas were invented. The monks of the convent created the first piñata in 1587 to represent the seven deadly sins and the temptations of evil. Every year the Piñata Fair is held for several days with piñata contests, workshops that show how to make piñatas, dances, and posadas. There is no more Mexican Christmas celebration than this!
Very close to the archaeological site of Teotihuacan and the center of town, you will find Hotel Quinto Sol. This boutique hotel has an excellent staff that will treat you like a king on the terrace and in the gardens. Visit the lounge bar with unique cocktails right next to the pool, perfect for relaxing and sunbathing or toasting to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Tecate, Baja California
Tecate is a border town famous for beer of the same name, but it is also a charming place with history, culture, and nature, with much more to offer, particularly during the Christmas holidays.
Every December, there is a “Parade of Lights” sponsored by the brewery that takes its name from the town. The parade consists of floats that decorate different clubs in the city, among which there is no shortage of Christmas characters such as Santa Claus and his elves. The parade lasts about two hours and gathers many of the local people on the town’s main streets.
Not to be missed:
– During the day, you can enjoy all that Tecate has to offer, such as the Casa de Artesanías, where you can buy pieces in clay, glass, and wicker. You can also visit the wine and cheese houses with their vineyards in the nearby Valle de Guadalupe or go to the nearby town of La Rumorosa, with its spectacular road, cave paintings, and even snowfall during the winter.
Santuario Diegueño is a beautiful hotel that pays homage to the Kumiai indigenous tribes, whom the missionaries renamed Diegueños. It has 26 beautiful rooms, two restaurants, and a swimming pool. Stroll through its gardens or take one of the tours to La Rumorosa or the Guadalupe Valley.
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