Ever since arriving in Guadalajara I’ve been polling anyone and everyone about weekend trip possibilities. A place called Tapalpa is always on everyone’s list. It’s even considered one of Mexico’s “magical towns.” But when I ask what there is to do there, I get a lot of stammering about nothing. And so off to the Internets I went, looking for more information about why exactly people visit Tapalpa. And I found… not a lot. The biggest attraction seemed to be a collection of giant rocks.
But, Tapalpa is only two hours from Guadalajara, quite a bit closer than any other weekend trip possibilities, so last weekend I booked two rooms at the nicest hotel that I could reserve online and off we went for an overnight—down the toll road every bit as nice as Interstates in the U.S., and then up, up, up into the mountains, along a curvy cliff-side road dotted with frequent in memoriam markers that don’t let you forget just how steep the mountain and just how close the road is to the edge. I tried to look out the window as little as possible, despite the great views, and before long we’d arrived.
Our hotel was lovely. Family owned and operated. Twenty something rooms, all with unique and different decorations. For one of the first times since arriving in Mexico, it felt like we were truly in Mexico.
Off we went to explore town.
We shopped. We peeked into a big church.
And into a tiny church.
We ate delicious meals.
We walked. We hung around. In the evening we tried alote, a traditional drink somewhat like eggnog, and Mexican hot chocolate too.
We bundled up in sweaters and stared longingly at the fireplace in our room that, being moderately responsible parents, we decided not to light.
And we visited those giant rocks, of course.
There’s not a lot to do in Tapalpa, but after visiting I realized that’s kind of the point. Between the wooden buildings, cobblestone streets, chilly temperatures and mountain views, it’s just a whole different atmosphere than most of Mexico. It feels calm and quaint. That’s why you go.