All over Mexico there are towns which have been given Pueblos Mágico (Magical Villages) status, towns which represent a true taste of Mexico. These Pueblos Mágicos have been specifically chosen by Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism due to their beauty, vibrancy and history.
Each and every one is unique, and each is worthy of your time. This is why, of course, it’s so hard to recommend just one; since the schemes beginning in 2001 over 80 Pueblos Mágicos have been named!
Pueblo Magico, San Sebastian near Puerto Vallarta
However, if you are already vacationing in Puerto Vallarta we would highly recommend the village of San Sebastian del Oeste which is but a few hours travel from the city. This town was established in the early years of Spanish colonization, around 1605, and was initially a mining town which, at its peak, house 20,000 people!
Since its foundation San Sebastian del Oeste has sat quietly in the shadow of the Sierra Madre mountain range, surrounded by lush vegetation and green jungle. If you want an adventure then you could always rent a car and take a day trip to this Pueblo Mágico from Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit. All other things aside, San Sebastian offers a welcome reprieve from the blistering heat of the coast and a change of scenery from Puerto Vallarta.
History and Architecture Near Puerto Vallarta
For those who love history and architecture, though, it has so much more to offer! The Church of Saint Sebastian, for example, dates all the way back to 1608 and is exquisitely detailed, even sporting Corinthian columns. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this house of God! For those who are more anthropologically interested there is the House Museum of Doña Conchita Encarnacion in which you can see a collection of personal objects and effects which once belonged to prominent mining and landowning families in the area. San Sebastian is an architectural tour of extreme interest, especially to those involved in the study of the Spanish colonial era.
The soul of this, now tranquil, town is undoubtedly the plaza in the centre of the town where you will find a pleasant gazebo surrounded by gardens and fragrant trees. The moss covered walls and trickling stream will provide succour from the heat of the day.
San Sebastián del Oeste near Puerto Vallarta now houses only 600 people, but is nonetheless still bursting with life and soul. Don’t overlook this truly magical village; it’s a living slice of Mexico’s not so distant past that can still be enjoyed today!