Set in a valley of dramatic cliffs and ancient ruins, this pueblo mágico is rapidly becoming the next Tepoztlán. Weekends now see crowds, but still far fewer than those that descend on more easily accessible weekend escapes. The drive to Malinalco is one of the most enjoyable to be had in the area, with dramatic scenery lining the road south of Toluca.
There are already a clutch of hippie stores, a handful of international restaurants and, it seems, a surprising number of boutique hotels (eight have opened in the last two years). The town is far from fully developed though – and it’s almost unnervingly quiet mid-week, when it can still be a challenge to find a decent place to eat outside of the market.
The village itself has a charming colonial core set around a well-preserved convent and two central plazas which sit side by side. In the larger plaza, the tourist module offers limited help and there’s an ATM on Hidalgo, on the convent’s north side. Cyber Malinalco offers reasonably priced internet access.