Just 50 miles from Mexico City, the pre-Hispanic village of Tepoztlán has a well-established reputation as a hippie center. According to New Age theories, the town sits at a healing vortex allowing visitors to tap into the frequencies of the universe. The village is also the legendary hometown of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Throughout the year, Tepoztlán offers yoga and meditation retreats and its streets are lined with shops selling crystals, wind chimes and incense.
Set in a valley and surrounded by soaring mountains, visitors to the town will no doubt find its most uplifting feature is its incredible natural setting.
Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí
Once a prosperous silver mining town, the village of Real de Catorce is now one of Mexico’s most famous ghost towns. An elegant colonial destination with cobbled streets and a whitewashed church that is a popular site of pilgrimage, the location was used as a setting for the 2001 film The Mexican starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Surrounded by a vast desert that is sacred territory for the indigenous Huichol people, the tribe collects peyote, a psychedelic cactus, from the region.
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
Mexico’s top destination for surfers or beach bums is undoubtedly the town of Puerto Escondido in the southern state of Oaxaca. Famed for the surf break known as the “Mexican pipeline,” the region offers peerless surf conditions. During the high season in late spring or summer, the waves here can reach upwards of 20 feet. Several surf schools have sprung up in the area, and the town is also noted for its hip café culture and laid-back vibe.
Another top hippie and surf destination is Sayulita in the Pacific coastal state of Nayarit. The multi-colored town is off the radar for most foreigners but is a favorite among Mexicans. The town owes this popularity to its trendy bars, peaceful vibe and excellent surf conditions. The beautiful white stretch of sand fills with surfers during the months of December through April. A number of surf schools have also opened for business.
With laid-back cafes, art galleries and bohemian shops, the region has a similar vibe to Puerto Escondido but on a slightly smaller scale.
Todos Santos, Baja California Sur
This quaint town on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula was founded as a Jesuit mission in the 18th century and has recently acquired a reputation as a major artistic hub. Mexican artists have flocked to the area in the past decade, and new galleries and art studios are springing up constantly. The picturesque town is an engaging place to explore and the area also offers a range of opportunities to hike, snorkel with tropical fish or swim with sea lions.