Pueblos Magicos: The desert town of Cuatro Ciénegas sits near the beautiful oases of Coahuila
The colonial town of Cuatro Ciénegas, a recent addition to Mexico’s Magical Towns, is located in the Northern Mexican state of Coahuila and sits next to a unique environmental landscape, known by biologists as “a showplace for biodiversity.” Early settlers named the town Cuatro Ciénegas, meaning “four marshes,” for its natural springs, which create an extensive area of wetlands located in the middle of the Mexican desert.
The small desert town sits quietly by Coahuila’s beautiful oasis. The narrow streets are lined with traditional Mexican buildings. The dust and sand from the desert settle in the street. A visitor walking around the town may not even realize the unique nature of the town’s location. Many wonder why such a remarkable town has only so recently been recognized as one of Mexico’s Magical Towns.
This unique environmental landscape is highly protected by the Mexican government. The combination of geothermal pools, marshes, ponds and rivers, varying greatly in terms of temperature and water chemistry, create an environment home to the greatest number of endemic species in North America, and many of the plants and animals found in Cuatro Ciénegas are listed as threatened or endangered. The water found in the wetlands is high in dissolved solids protecting the area from industrialization and agricultural development. The lack of development has allowed for many unique species to habituate in the desert area.
The Pueblos Magicos program identifies towns that reflect “the culture of Mexico” through attributes like architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. There are currently 52 destinations throughout Mexico that have earned the Pueblos Magicos classification.