Álamos has a lovely plaza. In most large cities and even smaller ones, the church is along one side of the plaza, and the municipal building, the palacio municipal, is across from the church on the other side.
Plaza and the church
Not so in Álamos. The church sits proudly on the south side of the plaza, sprawling an entire square block, but the palacio municipal sits a block down the street from the church. A gracious hotel sits to the west, offices to the east, and on the north there is a long low building with a portico across the entire front, graceful arches and all. In fact, Álamos is knows as La Ciudad de los Portales, the City of the Arched Walkways.
Shops are behind those arches, but take a look at the alternative transportation!
The plaza has the requisite bandshell along with palm trees, bougainvillea of many colors, and numerous green benches. On cool sunny mornings, old men sit in the sun, talking and smoking. On warm afternoons, mothers, small children, and grandmothers fill the benches. Evenings find people of all ages throughout the plaza.
This is a true Mexican town. A number of gringos have moved in, but they represent only about five percent of the 13,000 people who live here. Therefore, when in Álamos, you are in real México. It is nothing like visiting a typical Mexican tourist area – except there are tourists because Álamos is close to the US and is so very beautiful.
The alleyway is for walking, but some streets aren’t much wider than this.
There are fine hotels and restaurants, a great café or two, wonderful street food, and even an old mercado downtown.
Carneceria, or meat market, in the mercado
Fresh veggies in the mercado
A true mercado is getting harder and harder to find in México with the rush to building Walmarts, mega grocery stores, and mini malls, but Álamos has lovingly held onto its old market. It helps the town hold her history, her character. I love heading there for groceries or other supplies, to get some fresh tortillas – they will even sell me just one – or to grab a meal at one of the little restaurantes.
I’m waiting for my ceviche, a seafood cocktail.
Álamos is a designated pueblo mágico, a magic town. The Mexican government began designating towns as magic in 2001. To receive the designation, the town or city must be historically or culturally significant and offer natural beauty. Álamos wins on all three counts. It was established in 1685, it has a rich culture, and its setting is beautiful.
View from the hills to the east
Today there are one hundred eleven pueblos mágicos throughout México.
Impossible, but both your writing and your photography are getting better and better with every blog. You must be under spell of magic!
Oh, Marybeth, I am not so sure, but thanks anyway.
I spent my whole time in Alamos with a cane – leftover vertigo from that blasted dengue in November. I am on medicine now and getting better. Thank goodness!
Lovely! Thanks for so many pics. I love seeing where you are on all of your trips!
Glad you could “come along” on this trip.
Thanks for eyes in another place.. And hearing your voice while I read made it all the more beautiful. Thanks.
Thanks, James! Now I should be home for a few months. See you in writing group.
This certainly looks like magic to me, lovely! And I really like that “bus.” Who gets to ride on the horses? 🙂
I think the first one to grab a horse gets to ride it!
Lovely pictures! In old times the boys and girls met at the plaza and walked around in opposite directions, when a boy liked a girl he invited her to walk together. Didn’t you go to the “raspados”?
Well, old Mexican plazas have changed. But people still walk around them and they surely sit and talk. Mostly not sweethearts. Didn’t go to the raspados! I have to go back.
Loved seeing this.
Glad you enjoyed it, Carol!
I enjoyed your wanderings in Almos.I hope some of the local grocery stores survive till I get there.
No room in town for anything but those little stores. And I don’t think anyone wants them,
What a gorgeous place!!! Thank you Auntie Em!
Thank YOU Niecey Jess!
Oh, what a beautiful place, Emilie! And I LOVE the designation of magic towns. Thank you for sharing so evocatively all of the treasures of this lovely area. xx
I have been to several of the magic towns, and they surely are magical, each in its own way. It is my goal to visit every single one!
Looks absolutely lovely.
It is, Jack. Come on across and take a look!
sorry we didn’t connect while you were in Alamos, next time for sure. Nice photos and info.
Thanks, Cathy. That was my second visit to Alamos and I loved it. Again. I will likely be back next year for the film festival.
I’m so glad I visited with you, Emilie!
Glad to take you along, Ann!
looks like a jewellery box from a fairytale – revel away!
And revel I did!
Looks like wonderful town. I especially love the typical Mexican colourful houses, the yellow brick one is gorgeous! I believe that was the old mercado?
Yes, Inger, that is the old mercado. So many towns and cities have closed them down, but this one thrives!
Hola Emilie, your little town looks lovely, a combination of many towns in MX, a little bit Merida, Timizin, with roads made for carts, not cars. Hope you are feeling better. Alex
Yes, Alex, feeling better. This is just a town I visit, located in southern Sonora. Sweet, sweet town!
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