Searching for accommodations in Mexico’s most smallest and interesting towns is quite hard to do using the internet. After plenty of experience –and last minute panic — I’ve developed a system to find not only plenty of hotel options via the net, but also an abundance of information to ensure your trip is a ‘magical’ experience.
It is no secret that I love visiting the small, traditional towns throughout Mexico. When Mexico Desconocido came out with the 2012 edition of the Pueblos Magicos book, I grabbed myself three copies! It included the complete guide to Mexico’s 54 Magic Towns… they hadn’t published one since 2007 when there were only 35! Those guides are my bible to discovering Mexico. It highlights on-and-off the path things to do, see, eat and experience. While the guides are spot on and have made each of my trips fantastical, there is one thing that it lacks – complete hotel information.
For almost all 12 of the Magic Towns (MT) I have visited, I have found it quite hard (near impossible) to find any hotel information online. Unfortunately, these small pueblos in Mexico still aren’t up with the times (but that’s what makes them charming, right?) and don’t really care to provide any online information. And Trip Advisor? Psh, forget it! So, I’m going to give you some advice on how to hunt out hotel information for small towns in Mexico. My best advice is think outside of the box; when your Google search with “Hotels in Mexico Magic Town” comes up useless, don’t give up!
Most likely, thanks to specific standards the MT program mandates, the town will have a tourist website. This is where I recommend starting. The information is usually hit or miss. In addition, the lack of design and SEO quality yield poor results in Google seraches, therefore usually not showing up on the first page (ie. Bernal, Queretaro). Most of the time they will list a only few phone numbers for hotels. You can try calling, but most of them are wrong anyways. Photos, we want photos!
I highly recommend contacting the town directly through their official Facebook (if they have one). While most of the individual tourism websites are quite sad, many of them keep a well maintained and updated Facebook account. I recently sent a Facebook message to Huamantla Pueblo Magico (because their website was informationless). The director replied within the same day and went on to e-mail me a complete Huamantla guide — including restaurant suggestions, hotels, and maps. Any additional information I asked for was provided to me thoroughly and promptly. Simple as that!
I have successfully found quality lodging time and time again on Twitter. Start by searching the cities name then re-search it again with a hash-tag (ie. #Xilitla) Reach out to anyone relevant and ask for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to write in English, but if you feel more comfortable in Spanish a simple “Hola, Quiero visitar ___, me puedes recomendar algun hotel?” will do!
Atlas Turistico de Mexico (Tourist Atlas):
This website is pretty darn cool. While it is extremely difficult to figure out what you are doing (too many buttons!) once you get the hang of it, you will find it an amazing resource for planning a trip to a Magic Town. Start by logging into the website AtlasTuristico and choose your destination. Once taken to the map, click the zoom-in button at the top left and drag the box to highlight just the area of the city. The result should look something like this:
From here, click the i button at the top and then start clicking the information on the map. If you click the blue H, an information box will pop up with the contact information of the hotel. Pretty cool, right? This website has tons of potential.
Foursquare doesn’t have as many users as Facebook or Twitter, but it is a powerful tool. It is like the yellow pages, but with photos, maps, and recommendations. Start on their search page and plug in whatever you are looking for and the city name (ie. hotels in Taxco, Guerrero) No matter what small village you are visiting, someone in the world has been there before and checked-in. Also, try searching ‘lists’ — for example I compiled a list on 4sq of all hotels in Valle de Bravo.
I stumbled upon this Mexican chain of hotel through Twitter. They have amazing social media efforts and are Mexican travel gurus. From there, I was led to their website where I discovered their program, “Puebleando con Mision” The word puebleando is slang and comes from pueblear which roughly translates into “To visit around the small towns”. This section on their webpage is focused on all their hotels near Mexico’s Magic Towns. It’s in Spanish, but simple to navegate and get information regardless (or you can always translate the website into English.) After seeing that they had a beautiful hotel in Valle de Bravo, I shot them a tweet and they replied within minutes. They have special promotions for followers of their social media and they hook it up!
Here are some other great resources I’ve found in helping me plan my trip to the Pueblos Magicos. The list of Pueblos Magicos is constanatly growing and changing but I find these websites have the most current information:
List of Pueblos Magicos – The spanish version is much more accurate than the english
Mexico Desconocido: Pueblos Magicos – If you can’t get your hands on the print magazine, this will work too
Pueblos Magicos on Visit Mexico – Mexico’s official website
Visit Magic Towns in Mexico – Resource from Journey Mexico on Pueblos Magicos for Beach Destinations