Welcome to Zacatlan de Las Manzanas! This Mexican town is considered a "Pueblo Mágico", or magic town, due to the preservation of its architecture and customs. There are 121 Pueblos Mágicos in Mexico, and they all take you back to a different time when you walk through its streets.
Today, we want to tell you all the reasons why we believe you should definitely add Zacatlan de Las Manzanas to the list of Mexican spots to visit.
Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #1: Attend Feria de las Manzanas
There’s a reason why this Pueblo Mágico is called Zacatlán de las Manzanas. The production of this fruit is something people in Zacatlán are proud of.
Every year, during the week of August 15th, they celebrate the commemoration of the La Virgen de la Asunción. They do this with a mass to bless all of the apple production. They also choose the apple queen, who will host in every festivity of the year.
In the last day of the celebration they do a parade where everybody joins to admire carriages decorated with an apple theme. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas.
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Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #2: Barranca de Los Jilgueros
Definitely one of the best things to do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas is to visit the area of Barranca. From there you can truly appreciate the beauty of this Pueblo Mágico.
Here is where you will have the best views of Zacatlan de Las Manzanas. The landscape of greenery is breathtaking, and you can see two waterfalls from this area.
Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #3: Glass Platform
As if the views weren't stunning enough on their own, they have also built a glass platform so that you can see everything better. And there’s a very interesting phenomenon going on. Zacatlan de Las Manzanas sometimes gets a thick layer of mist. When this happens the whole area below becomes white, making it feel like a lake. If you’re visiting, this is one of the best things to do in Zacatlan.
Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #4: Enjoy its Mural
If you’ve ever been to Barcelona, you probably know who Gaudi is. The technique he uses in a lot of his art has a very unique signature. Well, now you will know another place in the world that has the same style.
First taught by Isaías Zagar, an artist from Philadelphia, USA, the technique is now known by several local artists. The mural is divided in sections, showing the history of the city and its richness. This includes the apple as a central symbol of the mural, and the clock business located here (we'll tell you more about it down below).
Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #5: Stay in a 300 Year Old House
This town has truly much more history than you might think. Purchased around 300 years ago, Rancho Coyotepec has been preserved to its fullest. Walls made of mud bricks, wooden tables that have served several generations and a fireplace that is still use are some of the perks you will see here. You can even see a replica of the monumental clock that was created there in the early 1900s.
The best part? The owners are not only the nicest hosts you will ever meet, but also they run the place under a very nice philosophy: you don't just book a room, you can actually use and share all common areas including a huge and well manicured garden.
Also, rooms have no TVs because the accommodation invites you to connect with the simple things in life. For example, walking through nature, connecting with other people, and giving yourself a moment alone with your thoughts.
(Don't worry, they also have Wifi in case you need it)
This place really makes you feel like it's a home away from home, with the nicest family, and the cutest dogs.
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Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #6: Check out Relojes Olvera Clock Factory & Museum
As mentioned above, in 1909 a man named Pablo Alberto Olvera Hernández decided he wanted to build a monumental clock. After 3 years, a lot of work, and many people thinking he was out of his mind, he accomplished his goal. Not only creating a beautiful piece of machinery, but also putting Zacatlan de Las Manzanas on the map.
Just to give you an idea of what he created, an example of a monumental clock is nothing more and nothing less than the famous Big Ben, in London. Yes, that's how big and incredible this project was. He even had to translate a French book to learn how to finish the process. Imagine the time & effort of doing that over 100 years ago!
That big project led into a clock factory that is currently run by the 3rd generation of clock men. They build all types of clocks for over a dozen countries around the globe.
What's amazing is that they have a tour for you, where they take you through different types of clocks, as well as the exact workshop they used back in time to create every mechanical piece, without electricity.
This visit is a must, and one of the best things to do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas.
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Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #7: Stop at the Reloj de Las Flores
Head to the main square in the center of town to enjoy the lovely atmosphere with plenty of shops and restaurants.
Also right in the middle of the plaza you will find a huge arrangement of flowers that make up a giant clock. This is not only a beautiful display, but a great representation of a big part of the history of Zacatlan de Las Manzanas.
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Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #8: Stop by Biblioteca Pública Municipal Profesor Baudelio Candanedo Castillo
If you're a history or literature fan, this place is a must. With a vast collection of old books from the 19th century on, you will find a lot of local value in this incredible spot.
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Things to Do in Zacatlan de Las Manzanas #9: Chase Waterfalls
When you enter Zacatlan, you will notice how green it is. The town is surrounded by waterfalls, which adds even more beauty to this already stunning place. The waterfalls are located right outside the center, and make the perfect places to hang out in the summer, or just to admire year round.
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Cascada San Pedro
Located right outside the center of Zacatlan de Las Manzanas, is a beautiful waterfall that is tucked away and hidden from mass tourism. You can park right on the side of the road, and go down a small dirt path. Just walk a few minutes, and you will find an adorable bridge taking you to this hidden gem.
When arriving you will actually reach the top of the waterfall, where you can enjoy the view from above, or walk along the top. It didn't seem that the bottom was accessible, but it was a nice stop to admire the water cascading down. It is also free of charge to visit (unlike most waterfalls in Mexico).
Cascadas Tuliman is much more than just one waterfall. Here you will actually enter an entire park, where you can spend a whole day! There are a series of trails, waterfalls, restaurants, and activities, such as ziplining and suspension bridges.
This park is located just a half hour south of the city of Zacatlan de Las Manzanas and is best reached by car. The entrance is just 100 pesos per person (about $5 USD) and is open from 9 am to 6 pm. Cabanas are also available for rent if you would like to stay the night.
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Zacatlan de Las Manzanas has definitely showed us that a place is not measured by its size, but by its culture. Every corner of this town tells a story, and leave its visitors enchanted.
We strongly recommend you to take a few days to get to enjoy what it has to offer. If you want to make a list of Mexican spots to visit, make sure to visit all our Mexican articles by clicking here. And if your trip involves some other destinations around the Caribbean Sea, click here to plan where will your next destination be.
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