Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Mexico's Magic Towns | Pueblos Magicos



It's been a whole month since I packed my suitcase and jetted off to sunny Mexico. Although I'm very sad about that, I am super happy to have made some incredible memories, explored a new part of the world and embraced the Mexican culture. If you've been following my vlogs or social media, you will know that our first exterior excursion with Vallarta Adventures involved Mexican culture and visiting some of Mexico's 'magic towns'. This experience completely enlightened me and I believe it achieved a well-deserved post on the blog. Here is what we got up to and learnt on our 12-hour trip around the magic towns of Mexico...


MASCOTA






Waking up at 6:00am wasn't very easy, especially as we were on holiday and early starts are not my idea of relaxation. However, you will see as the post continues, it was SO worth it! After rolling out of bed, applying a thin layer of makeup and getting dressed, we headed to the lobby to call for an early taxi to our starting point. Once we arrived at the Vallarta Adventures camp, the sky was a deep blue and it looked gorgeous against the palm leaves (I had to capture the natural beauty on camera, as seen above). After registering our tickets, we helped ourselves to a generous buffet of fruit, pastries and drinks. I had a sip of apple juice, a croissant and of course, PINEAPPLE! Once we'd finished eating breakfast, we were introduced to our tour guide - Eduardo. I cannot praise Eduardo enough for his astounding knowledge of the country, the areas we visited and more importantly, his extensive English vocabulary. He was an absolute joy to be around all day, as he cracked jokes and told us about the history of the towns. The tour involved Eduardo, Aidan and I and 6 others who were all English - the small group allowed the excursion to be intimate and felt personal. After an hour on the mini van, we stopped at a small bakery. It was in the middle of nowhere  midst of the mountains and next to this incredible bridge that was only built within the last century. The views from the bakery were sensational, almost as sensational as the warm, fresh banana cake I bought from the kind Mexican couple that owned the bakery. I was completely obsessed with the bakery aesthetic - everything was super rustic, vintage and had a homely feel.








Our first Magic Town that we explored was Mascota - the valley of deer and snakes. When Eduardo told me this, I completely sh*t myself...I HAVE THE BIGGEST FEAR OF SNAKES EVER! Luckily, the only slithery reptile sighting was roadkill on the edge of the street, otherwise I might have had a completely different experience! One of the first things we did when we arrived in Mascota was visit a Mexican home. A welcoming family invited us into their home for homemade biscuits and hot chocolate - I was obsessed with the terracotta furniture and thoroughly enjoyed my snack. The house was filled with so much greenery - vines covered the walls and plants were literally everywhere. Another of our Mascota highlights was visiting the Unfinished Temple of Preciosa Sangre - we swallowed many a fact about the time period, the origins and the back story of this place. I couldn't help but take so many photos of this gorgeous building - it still isn't finished to this day but I still think that it looks so beautiful. We also visited numerous churches - there were embellished shrines, intricate architecture and amazing artwork plastered over the holy walls.










SAN SEBASTIAN DEL OESTE





Midday - At around 1pm we stopped just inside our next Magic Town for lunch. San Sebastian is a quaint little town with a lot of history behind it. For lunch, the eight of us gathered around a table in a remote outside restaurant. We were the only people dining at the time so the atmosphere was very intimate. The meal was delicious - black bean soup followed by meat platters, quesadillas and a variety of traditional Mexico dishes. I'm very fussy with food but pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. I tried so many different things and surprisingly loved most of what I tried throughout my entire holiday. 

In San Sebastian, we entered a coffee farm and learnt about the production of coffee. The family that owned the coffee farm had passed the business down for four generations, which is absolutely incredible! Eduardo even bought each of us a small bag of coffee beans each as a souvenir! The rest of our time in this magic town was spent exploring the gorgeous churches, beautiful scenery, taking a look inside a silver jewellers and finally, tequila tasting. I've never had an 'alcohol tasting' session before so had no idea what it was going to be like. The man who ran the Tequila business was also called Eduardo - he ran us through the entire process from fermentation to distilling, allowing us to try the liquid as it moved from step to step. He taught us how to 'properly' consume the drink - inhaling and exhaling, swallowing slowly and allowing the tequila to be wholly tasted. My favourites were the orange tequila and one that tasted exactly like Amaretto! We were all very happy on our way back to our starting point. The long journey was coming to an end - Aidan and I were very sleepy on the way back to our hotel in Nuevo Vallarta. The whole experience was completely worth it - the culture, history and beauty was lavishly explored with the help and guidance of Eduardo. We both thank Vallarta Adventures for a truly amazing trip that allowed us to see the rural parts of Mexico - a very different side to the tourist ridden hotel we were staying at.










What is your favourite experience? What is the best place you've ever visited?

Lots of love

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