Thursday, August 16, 2018

Not So Magical Coatepec

From Xico we traveled a short distance to another "Pueblo Mágico", the town of Coatepec, the "coffee capital of Mexico".  The town is filled with picturesque architecture and in 2008 it was named a "Magic Town" for its unique atmosphere.  Unfortunately the town is a victim of its own success.  On a Sunday afternoon, it seemed as if every family in Jalapa (just five miles away) was here on a weekend outing.  

As we approached the center of town, the traffic was bumper to bumper.  We got out of the car while Javier parked at a parking garage.  The town square was jammed with people.  It was beyond lively... it was a zoo.

We stopped at a café facing the plaza which is owned by "Bola de Oro", the best known brand of coffee from Coatepec.  

However our visit to the sidewalk café was not the relaxing experience it should have been.  There was a stage set up on the plaza, and a rock band was playing at full volume.  To add to the cacophony, a street musician decided to serenade the café, playing the guitar and singing at the top of his lungs.  His voice was less than melodic, and we wanted to give him some coins just to get rid of him.  After the would-be Caruso left, I thought that perhaps we might be able to converse, but then the street vendors came to our table one after another.  I usually take vendors in stride, but I was beginning to lose my patience.  My responses of "No, gracias," were taking on a tone of irritation.  

After we finished at the café, we left the hubbub around the plaza, and Coatepec's charms and why it had been chosen as a "Pueblo Mágico" became more apparent.  There is much lovely architecture.

San Jerónimo is the town´s principal church.

The old houses are built in Spanish style, and have wide eaves to protect passersby from the frequent rain.

  The 19th century Church of Guadalupe is fanciful inside and out.

So, my advice to any visitor, is to come to Coatepec on a weekday when the town is quieter and when you can better appreciate its atmosphere.

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