Sayulita chosen to join Pueblos Mágicos
In 2015, at the second National Fair for Pueblos Mágicos 28 towns were chosen from 180 nominations and added to the list of just 111 Pueblos Mágicos in Mexico. Sayulita is honoured to be one of those Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Villages).
Pueblos Mágicos is a town development project launched in 2001 by the Mexico Tourism Board for cities, towns and villages with special symbolic features, legends and history, and tourism opportunities. The most important characteristic for the nomination, however, is possessing magic. A “Magical Village” is a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events and day-to-day life.
Sayulita certainly has magic. It is already well known as the surfing capital of the Riviera Nayarit has enchanted thousands of tourists with its cobbled streets, colourful buildings, unique shops, small kiosk and quant central square. It is perfect for adventurers, hikes and trekking as the surrounding vegetation covered landscapes are home to multiple species of birds and wildlife. See the Punta Sayulita article and video about local wildlife here. Sayulita also offers many other attractive activities besides surfing, such as snorkelling, boat trips and catamaran rides, spas, yoga, meditation and horseback riding. Read more about the History of Sayulita
The second important qualification to become a Pueblo Mágico is to have distinguishable aspects of local cultural identity. Recognised villages should maintain their traditional ways of life such as making handicrafts locally. Included in this criteria is the urban image of the town. All Pueblos Mágicos also comply with certain architectural guidelines.
The third aspect of being in Pueblos Mágicos is the uniqueness of the village, its surroundings and general environment. All Pueblos Mágicos towns have to differ from other villages in certain ways. All Pueblos Mágicos villages have at least one major attraction that is different from those in any other community of the state or the region.
For example, if you look at Sayulita’s beautiful village square (zócalo) or scenic surroundings, you can see why it was included on this list.
The next 5 years for Sayulita Pueblos Mágicos
Once a village is chosen to participate in the program, it receives financial support for tourism-related infrastructure and businesses such as handicraft shops and restaurants. Towns chosen for the program are entitled to a share of $23 million in federal funding in 2016 for spending on maintenance, rebuilding historic centers, improving infrastructure and developing tourism products. Each town will get approximately $400,000 U.S. dollars per year for the first five years they are in the program. Those five years are critical in that during those years the towns have the opportunity to significantly improve their infrastructure. Some of the plans are to upgrade the waste-water treatment plant, improving roads, traffic and parking, preserving green space while enhancing public works and urban planning. The Pueblos Mágicos officials are particularly interested in ‘streetscapes,’ so the question is, how do you establish some parameters for these activities without threatening the contribution they make to the charm of our town?.
While considered a great honour to be included in the Pueblos Mágicos project there are also important consequential benefits for Sayulita. Property values will steadily increase as the area will become more recognised and developed. Villages listed as Pueblos Mágicos become a priority for the local, state and federal governments. There are also so called social consequences as the process of becoming part of Pueblos Mágicos means a broad range of cooperation between all the community and their varied interests.
For Sayulita, the inclusion in the program and boost of investment capital will help improve the town’s service infrastructure. Development in Sayulita is strictly regulated to maintain the “Hippie Chic” atmosphere that makes it the capital of the Riviera Nayarit. In addition to being a renowned surfing mecca, it has become increasingly recognised for snorkeling, paddle boarding and whale watching. Read about Sayulita local and famous surfer Fernando Stalla here. The rich biodiversity of flora and fauna are some of the other elements that make Sayulita “magical.”