(CNN) – It is possible to get your magic back – even in 2020.
It happened in Mexcaltitán, a tiny island village accessible via a 15-minute boat ride through a lagoon on the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico.The city was originally designated as Pueblo Mágico – or Magical City – by the travel authorities in 2001, but lost the designation in 2009 because Richard Zarkin “did not make any infrastructure investments by the state government,” according to Richard Zarkin, a manager for the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Thanks to nearly 35 million Mexican pesos in federal and state investment, Mexcaltitán recently regained coveted “magical” status.
“The small island, which can be crossed on foot in a day, is especially appealing during the rainy season as its streets are completely flooded and it is possible to travel through them by boat, which has earned it the nickname ‘The Mexican Venice’ receives, “said Zarkin.
Raised sidewalks allow pedestrians to go about their business in the rainy season. There are no cars in Petite Mexcaltitán, which is almost 400 meters at its widest point.Mexico now has 122 Pueblos Mágicos named by the Mexican Ministry of Tourism. The cities on the list are representative of traditional Mexico, with architecture and customs from pre-Hispanic times to the Mexican Revolution.
Many cities are having problems with population exodus to large cities and the hope is that tourism will help contain this flow and support the local economy.
Local crafts are part of what the Pueblos Mágicos program celebrates.
Daniel Stoychev Photography / Courtesy of Riviera Nayarit CVB
The Pueblos Mágicos program also promotes traditional crafts and festivals, aiming to preserve local customs and unique cuisine.
Mexcaltitán, near the Pacific coast north of Puerto Vallarta, is spot on, says Zarkin.
“This beautiful island is known for its charming tranquility, its preserved architecture, composed of a mosaic of picturesque tiled houses, and its preserved regional culture, ethnic customs and unique nayarit dishes, all a true representation of the cultural richness in its own Native Riviera Nayarit, “he said.
In Mexcaltitán, freshly caught seasonal prawns are part of many dishes, including shrimp ceviche or tlaxtihuil – a traditional corn-based prawn soup.
The Pueblo Mágico status of Mexcaltitán was announced in early October and will be formalized in the Feria de Pueblos Mágicos from November 26th to 29th in San Luis Potosi.