Tecate Mexico: The Only Magical Town of Baja California (2023)

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Tecate lies in Baja California, Mexico’s border with the United States.

It preserves the beauty of its vast desert landscapes, ranches, and modern traditions, represented by beer and wine.

This Magical Town is the head of the municipality of the same name, located in the extreme north of the state on the border with the United States.

*There is also another small town named Tecate on the other side of the fence. It belongs to San Diego County.

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Where is Tecate Mexico?

Tecate Mexico is surrounded by the main Baja Californian cities. Only 48 km away is Tijuana, the busiest city in the state.

Then there’s the state capital, Mexicali, 132 km away, while Ensenada is 115 km away.

The closest international airport to Tecate is in Tijuana, from where the Magical Town can be reached in a 50-minute drive east on Federal Highway 2D.

How did Tecate come about?

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The meaning of “Tecate” is not known for sure, although some historians venture to affirm that it could be “cut stone” or “cut tree.”

The first appearance of the name in a document dates from the XIX century in the records of the Mission of San Diego.

The municipality was born in 1954, with Tecate as its capital.

A decree by President Juarez created the agricultural colony of Tecate in 1861, and the town was officially founded in 1888.

In 2012, the government’s Bureau of Tourism granted Tecate the category of Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) to promote the tourism use of its cultural and natural heritage.

What is the weather like?

Tecate has a pleasant climate, with an average temperature of 16° C.

The coldest months, as it corresponds to the northern hemisphere, are December, January, and February, when the temperatures average between 9 and 12° C.

It starts to warm in April, and in June, it is about 20° C, with August being the hottest month, with an average temperature of 28° C.

(Video) Baja California's Magical Town: Tecate! Wine, Gastronomy, and Desserts! | Baja Window to the South

Extreme temperatures can reach 34° C in summer and 2° C in winter.

Tecate gets very little rainfall, just 358 mm throughout the year, and this scarce precipitation is mainly from November to March.

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Top attractions in Tecate Mexico

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A tour of Tecate should begin at Hidalgo Park, the city’s nerve center.

Another good place to capture the spirit of the Magical Town of Baja California, before beginning an exhausting program of tours is the Community Museum.

The Wine Route, of which Tecate is the northern gateway, and the famous brewery that bears the town’s name are must-sees.

The Sacred Mount Cochumá, the community of La Rumorosa with the Campo Alaska Military Barracks and the Wind Park, and the Vallecitos Archaeological Zone complete a package of attractions that includes prehistory and history, ancient and modern attractions, and delicious drinks.

In Tecate, you can’t miss its bread, which has gained international fame.

The Hidalgo Park

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Hidalgo Park, located between Benito Juárez and Lázaro Cárdenas Avenues, is the center of social gatherings and the cultural heart of Tecate Mexico.

Presided over by a beautiful kiosk, it is the favorite place for locals to sit on its benches and chat.

While watching visitors browsing the craft stores or looking for an umbrella to have a drink or a bite to eat in the nearby restaurants.

The park is the scene of Mariachi performances, dance events, and a meeting point during the main civic commemorations.

Visit the Tecate Community Museum

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This museum is part of the Tecate Cultural Center (CECUTEC) at 40 Tláloc Street.

It has three limited spaces, one for the prehistory and history of the Kumiai (Kumeyaay) civilization, another for the so-called Epoch of the Ranchos, and another for the modern Tecate.

The Magical Town was the seat of several haciendas or ranches with their “big house” and ample land for extensive cattle raising.

Some of these ranches are equipped with spas and have been converted into comfortable resting lodges.

The community museum walks through this picturesque period of the Tecate ranches.

It exhibits some archaeological pieces found in nearby caves, old elements used in hunting, ceramics, and other objects.

Enjoy the Wine Route

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One thing that may surprise you about Tecate is its splendid vineyards in the northern part of the Baja California Wine Route.

(Video) Things to do in TECATE, Mexico

In several wineries near Tecate, you can enjoy guided tours through the plantations and the winemaking process.

The tour will end with tasting the area’s best wines, adequately paired with cheeses, cold cuts, and other regional delicacies.

The Fiestas de la Vendimia, celebrated in September, is an ideal occasion to get to know Tecate Mexico and enjoy daytime and nighttime events with wine as the main protagonist.

Learn the history of the Tecate Mexico Brewery

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Tecate became known in the 1940s for the well-known brewery and beer brand of the same name, the first canned beer in Mexico, and a historic symbol of the Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma company.

Learn more about Mexican beers

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The Tecate Brewery offers a fascinating guided tour of the brewing process, which ends with a tasting in the Beer Garden.

In this tasting, you have at your disposal the different beer brands of the company, including, of course, Tecate in its classic and light versions.

You can also learn much more about the history of the famous beverage at the Beer Museum.

Why is Mount Cuchumá sacred?

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Cuchumá, at 1,530 meters above sea level, is Tecate’s sacred mountain because of its status as the ceremonial center of the Kumai community, the ancient settlers of northern Baja California.

It is located right on the border with the United States, and the metallic barrier installed by that country encloses the territory.

Of the ethnic group, there are about a thousand indigenous people, of which 220 speak the Kumai language.

They also practice the rites with which their ancestors devoted themselves to the sacred mountain’s spirit.

On the hill still survive some gallery forests formed mainly by oaks, sycamores, and alders, while its ravines are a refuge for several species of fauna.

What’s in La Rumorosa?

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La Rumorosa is located at the highest point on the road between Mexicali and Tecate.

Its name comes from the sound produced by the wind hitting the rocky walls.

The name was given by Second Lieutenant Jorge Zehtus, a government commissioner who was in charge of laying the first telegraph line that passed through the place.

La Rumorosa mountain range has spectacular views of the desert landscapes with its rock formations of irregular shapes sculpted by the forces of nature.

It is excellent for mountain biking, camping, and other outdoor activities such as zip-lining and rock climbing.

(Video) Tecate the Magic Town of Baja California Mexico | Tecate Bread | La Rumorosa and Vineyards

When was the Campo Alaska Military Barracks built?

This austere and sturdy building in La Rumorosa was built by the Baja California state government in the 1920s to house the federal troops and their staff.

Later, the building was converted into an insane asylum, colloquially called the House of the Insane.

In 2004, the National Institute of Anthropology and History, the Institute of Culture of Baja California, and other cultural organizations rescued the Cuartel Campo Alaska.

It became a regional history museum with a permanent exhibit, accepting traveling groups.

Admire La Rumorosa Wind Farm

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The constant winds that bothered Sub-Lieutenant Zehtus so much when installing the telegraph line are now used to generate electricity through an environmentally friendly process.

The wind farm generated its first kilowatt on January 13, 2010, and has five wind turbines whose metallic shapes stand out against the elevations of the desert landscape.

Its capacity is 10 megawatts, supplying around 3,000 families, although the electricity is used for public lighting.

Visit the Vallecitos Archaeological Zone

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Vallecitos is an archaeological site located near La Rumorosa.

It’s the only prehistoric site open to the public in the Mexican state of Baja California.

Its main attractions are the groups of cave paintings made by ancient members of the Kumai culture, showing geometric, human, and animal figures.

One of the most interesting images is El Observador del Sol, also called El Diablito.

Every December 21 or 22, the day of the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, the sun’s rays enter through the cavity and illuminate the eyes of the anthropomorphic figure.

What is the food like in Tecate Mexico?

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Apart from the bread, whose unique texture is said to be due to the action of the minerals contained in the water, Tecate is also known for its craft beers.

Similar to the case of bread, the quality of the beer is attributed to the action of the water on the yeast used in the preparation of the beverage.

In 2016, the First Craft Beer Festival was held in Tecate, with the participation of the best Baja Californian beers.

Several old ranches in Tecate produce excellent honey and fine-quality cheeses, ideal to accompany the wines of the peninsula.

Of course, the ocean’s proximity makes fresh seafood the protagonist of Tecate’s gastronomy.

How did the well-known Tecate Bread originate?

Again, Tecate is famous for its bread, salty, sweet, and different combinations.

It all began in 1969 when a family group founded a small bakery with which they only aspired to make a modest living.

(Video) A Brief Look at Tecate, Baja California!

Today, “El Mejor Pan de Tecate” has its original headquarters and several branches in Tecate, where they bake a variety of 180 loaves in handmade brick ovens.

In 2007, the prestigious National Geographic magazine ranked El Mejor Pan de Tecate among the first four must-visit places in the city.

Get some handicrafts

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Tecate has an extraordinary artisan tradition in the work of clay, molding pieces for both decorative and practical use in the kitchen and at home.

The products are mainly destined for the nearby U.S. market. But on your visit to Tecate, you can appreciate and buy a genuine souvenir at the Cerro Azul Artisan Bazaar or the entrance to the Wine Route.

Another beautiful artisan tradition in Tecate is glass blowing, the work of glass blowers from Jalisco and Oaxaca.

Important festivals

Tecate’s Magic Fair celebrated its 57th edition in 2020. It is traditionally held during the first week of August, with the Adolfo López Mateos Park as the main stage.

The event features commercial, livestock, industrial expositions, gastronomic shows, concerts, palenques, and a rich theatrical program.

The main festivity in Tecate is the Guadalupana Summer Pilgrimage, a two-day celebration in July organized by the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe since 1954.

During the pilgrimage, the parish spaces and the surrounding avenues become a mass of people.

Every October 12, the city’s anniversary is celebrated with a great popular party in the Benito Juárez Park.

Hotels in Tecate Mexico

In Tecate and its surroundings, a group of cozy lodgings is installed in the old ranches built. Keeping the architectural harmony of traditional lines.

Most of these lodgings have spas, temazcals, ecological entertainment, and other facilities to have a restful season.

With all the comforts of recovering the body from the ravages caused by life in the big cities.

Among these accommodations are:

Tecate’s nightclubs and bars

A city so marked by perhaps the two most important alcoholic beverages in the history of humanity, wine and beer, well deserve a night of drinks.

Take your jacket because it gets colder at night and ask your hotel which places are the best and safest.

In almost all of them, various industrial and artisanal beers are produced in the city.

Ready to head to Tecate Mexico to enjoy its beers, wines, and places of interest?

I wish you a happy stay in this inspiring Magical Town of Baja California. Vamonos!

(Video) The 3 Magical Towns in the Baja California Peninsula Mexico | Tecate, Loreto and Todos Santos


Why is Tecate a Pueblo Magico? ›

A decree by President Juarez created the agricultural colony of Tecate in 1861, and the town was officially founded in 1888. In 2012, the government's Bureau of Tourism granted Tecate the category of Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) to promote the tourism use of its cultural and natural heritage.

Is Tecate a Pueblo Magico? ›

The city of Tecate was named a Pueblo Magico, or Magic Town by Mexico's Secretary of Tourism.

What is Tecate known for? ›

Tecate is a regional economic hub and popular tourist destination, known as home to the Tecate Port of Entry and to Tecate Beer.

Is it safe to drive to Tecate Mexico? ›

Other areas to avoid are Tecate and Mexicali. These border cities are known for major problems and we recommend staying away from border cities when you can. Gang violence and drug cartels are serious issues in northern Baja.

What cartel runs Tecate? ›

The Tijuana cartel is present in at least 15 Mexican states, with important areas of operation in Tijuana, Mexicali, Tecate, and Ensenada in Baja California, in parts of Sinaloa, and in Zacatecas.

What makes a magic town in Mexico? ›

Mexico is folklore, traditions, culture, history, nature and cuisine. All these attributes can be found in every corner of our country, but there are towns that concentrate this wealth in a cosmogony that makes them unique, and for this reason they have been called Magical Towns.

How many magic cities are in Mexico? ›

But, did you know that Mexico is also home to 132 pueblos mágicos or magical towns as they are known in English. These sacred towns have been selected due to their unforgettable place in Mexican culture and for the enchanting myths and legends that originate there.

Who is the owner of Tecate? ›

It's brewed in Mexico but owned by Heineken.

Heineken acquired Tecate, along with Dos Equis and Sol, in 2010. Other subsidiary siblings in the Heineken family include Strongbow and Amstel Light.

How old is Tecate? ›

In 1944, Cervecería Tecate® was officially born.

Is Tecate worth visiting? ›

It has many popular attractions, including Miguel Hidalgo Park, Museo Comunitario Kumiai, Tecate Plaza, making it well worth a visit. Tecate is a city in Baja California, Mexico. It has many popular attractions, including Miguel Hidalgo Park, Museo Comunitario Kumiai, Tecate Plaza, making it well worth a visit.

What are some fun facts about Tecate Mexico? ›

Tecate was not founded until 1892. At that point, it has been discovered by various farmers and ranchers who transformed the settlement into an agricultural marketplace. Aside from cattle, the city was well known for its production of grapes, grain, and even olives.

What does Tecate mean in English? ›

One of these theories says that the name is from native origins and it means 'cut stone' or 'cut tree'.

Is Tecate safe for tourists? ›

We also advise against all but essential travel to the city of Tecate including the roads 2D and 2 that connects Tijuana and Tecate. If you are crossing the border by toll road 1D you should try to do so during daylight, or exercise increased caution after dark.

Where is the safest place to go in Baja California? ›

La Paz is one of the safest cities to visit in Baja California, popular with families, couples, and solo travelers. Here you will find several white sand beaches, such as Balandra Beach. It also offers a relaxed atmosphere where you can walk up and down the Malecon day and night.

Is Baja Mexico safe 2023? ›

Baja California is a relatively safe part of Mexico for visitors, especially if you're careful about where you go. Rosarita, Ensenada, and the Guadalupe Valley are low-risk, tourist-friendly areas.

What is the toughest cartel in Mexico? ›

The Sinaloa Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Sinaloa), also known as the CDS, the Guzmán-Zambada Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance, is a large, international organized crime syndicate that specializes in illegal drug trafficking and money laundering.

What drug cartel is violent in Baja? ›

In August 2022, the New Generation Jalisco Cartel launched a series of public attacks in the state of Baja California, north of Baja California Sur. In 2022, the New Generation Jalisco Cartel has adopted “narco-terrorism” tactics including burning businesses and shooting and killing innocent civilians.

What is the baddest Mexican cartel? ›

With strong leaders backed by an internal criminal network of the world's most violent leaders, the Guadalajara Cartel, Sinoloa Cartel, Tijuana Cartel, Juárez Cartel and Gulf Cartel remain and will be known for a long time as five of the most famous drug cartels in the world.

Where is the most spiritual place in Mexico? ›

There are countless spiritual sites filled with history to visit – the famous Chichen Itza, the Mayan ruins Palenque or the Aztek pyramid in the Tepoztlán mountains or the giant spiritual site of Teotihuacan near Mexico City.

What is the witch area of Mexico City? ›

Catemaco is known in Mexico for its community of “brujos", which can be translated as 'witches' or 'sorcerers', as most are men.

Which city of USA is known as the Magic City? ›

Miami's most enduring element is its nickname, “The Magic City,” which has been a part of its story since the early days following the incorporation of the City of Miami in July 1896. Incorporation came on the heels of the entry of Henry M. Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway in April 1896.

Why are there so many Japanese in Mexico City? ›

Many Japanese persons had moved to Mexico City in the 1940s due to wartime demands made by the Mexican government. Multiple Japanese-Mexican associations, the Japanese embassy, the Liceo Mexicano Japonés, and other educational institutions serve the community.

What is the fairytale town in Mexico? ›

Strolling down the 24 blocks of cobblestone streets and alleys in San Miguel you will realize that the city has a fairytale ambiance thanks to its colorful houses, bright blue skies, and vibrant small shops selling an assortment of art galleries, souvenir shops, and cute boutiques.

What is the closest magic town to Mexico City? ›

Valle de Bravo is one of the closest magic cities to Mexico City. Valle de Bravo pueblo magico is a lake town that's located about 1.5 hours west of Mexico City.

How much alcohol is in Tecate Mexico? ›

Tecate Titanium (a fittingly epic name), is the first Mexican beer to have a high ABV, at 7.5%. An original Tecate, for reference, is 12 ounces and has a 4.5% ABV. The Titanium is double that—the single-serve cans are 24 ounces with nearly twice as high of an ABV.

What does the Tecate logo mean? ›

Tecate is a Mexican lager who's associated brand emblem is a black eagle. Chris was asked to bring the eagle to life by giving it a hero stance. This was achieved by broadening the eagle's shoulders and chest, whilst illustrating the eagle at a dramatic perspective angle.

Did Heineken buy Tecate? ›

Heineken's $5.5-billion, all-stock acquisition of Mexican beer brands including Tecate, Dos Equis and Sol is the latest beer industry merger, but probablynot the last, as global breweries chase growth in emerging markets.

Is Tecate popular in Mexico? ›

The most popular beers in Mexico are the ones that are also popular worldwide, including Corona (the country's most famous beer), Tecate, Negra Modelo, XX Dos Equis and Sol.

Why is Tecate so good? ›

Tecate has a touch of mineral acidity on the front end, quickly opening up into a nicely well-balanced flavor profile. The corny malts are all there, with some light bitterness accentuating and complementing the beer's expected sweetness.

What is Mexico's oldest beer? ›

Victoria (Compañía Cervecera de Toluca y México, México)

Mexico's oldest brewery is best known for its Vienna-style lager, produced since its founding in 1865 by Cerveceria Toluca.

Is it safe to travel in Baja? ›

Overall safety

The state of Baja California is in the second most severe category — “reconsider travel” — because of crime and kidnapping, especially homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. The State Department urges those who do travel to remain on main highways.

Is it safe to travel through Baja? ›

Baja California state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping. Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common.

Is Baja California beautiful? ›

The amazing Baja California (Mexico) peninsula is one of the most unique travel destinations in the world. Home to over 2,000 miles of stunningly picturesque coastline, the region spans from Tijuana/Ensenada in the north to Los Cabos at its most southern tip.

Can you walk across the Tecate border? ›

There is parking a 5-minute walk from the border crossing on the US side. With reasonable prices of $5 per day for cars. It is then straight forward to walk over the Tecate border into Mexico.

Does Tecate Mexico have snow? ›

When can you find snow in Tecate? Weather stations report no annual snow.

Is Tecate Mexico above sea level? ›

What's the most popular beer in Mexico? ›

Corona is the best-selling beer produced by Mexico, and the best-selling non-domestic beer in both the U.S., U.K and Australia. It is one of the five most-consumed beers in the world, available in more than 150 countries. It is a lager, and was created in 1925 to celebrate Cervecería Modelo's tenth anniversary.

Do you put lime in Tecate? ›

Procedure. The beauty of a Tecate® or Tecate® Light is that you can enjoy it bare or dress it up in a few simple steps. First add a dash of salt to the rim of your can, then some mild hot sauce to the top, and finally a lime wedge for a taste that will make you wonder why you hadn't tried this sooner.

What color is Tecate? ›

It's proudly brewed in our namesake town of Tecate to deliver a clear golden color, defined malt character and smooth bitterness.

What is the safest city in Mexico? ›

The city in Mexico considered the safest with the lowest crime rate is Merida, located in Yucatan. It's also one of the most affordable cities in Mexico, making it a popular destination for retirees and expats. Merida's low crime rate makes it an excellent choice for visiting or living.

What is the safest part of Mexico with COVID? ›

Merida is widely regarded as the safest city to visit in Mexico. However, there are lots of safe areas in Mexico with little to no violent crime. Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, and Queretaro are also generally safe destinations.

Is Mexico City safe for solo female travellers? ›

I did not feel unsafe as a Black solo female traveler in Mexico City. But it is a big city, and if you seek out dangerous spaces, that is always possible. Yet, I visited neighborhoods such as Condesa, Roma Norte, Coyoacan, Polanco, and Juarez and felt safe doing so.

What are the top 3 cities in Baja California? ›

List of Baja California cities
29 more rows

Which is better Baja California or Baja California Sur? ›

Baja California Sur is undoubtedly the more popular state for tourism — though both Baja states have things to offer. In Baja Sur, the famous beaches of Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo) and La Paz await!

Is Baja California cheap? ›

Lodging in Baja is almost universally cheap, whether you camp in a tent, a motorhome (like we do), or rent a place to stay. Hotels are the most expensive lodging option, but even hotels are very reasonable compared to U.S. prices (we've seen hotels priced as low as 400 pesos, or $20 USD per night).

What is the safest place in Baja Mexico? ›

La Paz — Safest Mexico Beach Town

This small town has virtually no violent crime, and isn't a hub for criminal organizations like the drug cartels. This a fun little city is in the beautiful state of Baja California Sur, located on Mexico's west coast.

Can I retire in Baja California? ›

The short answer is yes. The longer answer depends on where you are in Baja California Sur (BCS) and at what time of day or night. Baja California Sur is a very large state that takes about two days to drive through and is home to 800,000 people. Many of the rural cities are quaint and very safe.

What is the best time of year in Baja Mexico? ›

But the best time to visit Baja is from December through April. Our Baja cruises primarily operate during these months, taking advantage of pleasant weather and sailing conditions while avoiding the hottest summer months and the hurricane season.

What makes a Pueblo Magico? ›

Mexico's Magical Towns (or Pueblos Mágicos) are villages awarded with this designation for their mystical and mythical character and for maintaining their original architecture, culture, folklore, and history intact.

Why is Sayulita a Pueblo Magico? ›

In 2015, this charming and quaint town was designated as a Pueblo Magico due to the town's rich history and charm that enchants visitors. A day trip from PV to Sayulita will surely be a great way to enjoy the best of Mexico.

Is Tequila a Pueblo Magico? ›

The bluish-green landscape, characteristic of this region full of agave fields, is of great attraction and can be seen along the way through the municipalities of Tequila, El Arenal, Amatitán, Magdalena, and Teuchitlán in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

What was the first magic town in Mexico? ›

Named as the first magic town in Mexico, Huasca de Ocampo has an exciting mining past with haciendas dedicated to gold and silver.

How many magical cities are in Mexico? ›

But, did you know that Mexico is also home to 132 pueblos mágicos or magical towns as they are known in English. These sacred towns have been selected due to their unforgettable place in Mexican culture and for the enchanting myths and legends that originate there.

Is Mazatlan a Pueblo Magico? ›

El Quelite is often referred to as a magic town, though it is not yet large enough to obtain the official designation of Pueblo Magico (Magical Town) given by the Mexican government.

Is Puerto Vallarta a Pueblo Magico? ›

There are a handful of Pueblo Magicos in all of Mexico, but luckily, Puerto Vallarta has several Pueblo Magicos within driving distance. From the beaches of Nayarit to the jungles of Jalisco, this region is filled with magic. Learn more about discovering the Pueblo Magicos of Mexico with TIY Travel.

Is Sayulita safe from cartels? ›

Cartel-wise, you won't really get into trouble or even come across them unless you are directly involved so just don't buy drugs. You can live without it during your vacation because there are many other things to do in Sayulita than to party!

Is the cartel in Sayulita? ›

Is There a Cartel Presence in Sayulita? There's a cartel presence in Sayulita, but you likely won't notice it. That's because, unlike some popular Mexican tourist destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula, Sayulita isn't a hot spot for cartel activity.

Why is Sayulita famous? ›

Sayulita's surfing culture is what really made this town grow as a hot tourist destination. The main Sayulita beach is always filled with novice surfers (and also the pros too). The waves in Sayulita are ideal for surfing as they are gentle and rolling.

Is Isla Mujeres a Pueblo Magico? ›

Isla Mujeres was designated as a pueblo mágico for the first time in 2015, and since then, it has enjoyed a status as one of the most popular ones in Mexico.

What is the oldest tequila distillery in Mexico? ›

In 1795, Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo began selling the very first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo after receiving the first official charter from the King of Spain to produce tequila commercially. Cuervo has been producing tequila at La Rojeña, the oldest active distillery in Latin America, ever since.

Is Guanajuato Pueblo Magico? ›

As of 2021 there are 132 Pueblos Magicos spread throughout all of Mexico and the State of Guanajuato is home to five of them: Dolores Hidalgo, Jalpa de Canoves, Mineral de Pozos, Salvatierra and Yuriria.

What is the oldest town in Mexico? ›

History. Cholula, the most important settlement of ancient Puebla, was established between 800 and 200 B.C. and is considered the oldest continually inhabited city in Mexico. By 100 B.C., the Olmecs had developed Cholula into one of Mexico's most active cities.


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