Known as the land of the serpent, the entire colonial village of Concordia is dedicated to manufacturing handmade mahogany and cedar furniture, bricks, and clay pottery. Sights include a cathedral and busy plaza with a giant rocking chair. An annual horse parade takes place in January around the time of the Festival of St. Sebastian, when I visited last year. I saw more than 200 horses, some stinky and many prancing, with men riding them while smoking, drinking beer, and holding toddlers.
My group stopped before Concordia in Malpica, a tiny town with a church, tile-maker, and bakery (I selected a delicious caramel-stuffed empanada).
From Concordia, we continued to Copala, a 400-year-old former mining town in the Sierra Madre Mountains that is famous for its pottery. A walk tour through the old cobblestone streets passes the old prison, the San Jose Church dating back to 1740, the charming town square, and the town’s colonial-style homes with red-tile rooftops. Kids sell geodes found in local hills as well as hand-carved replicas of their village. Daniel’s Restaurant is in a gigantic open-air palapa and is famous for its banana coconut cream pie; rooms are also available starting at $22 and “skyrocketing to $30."
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image depicts Malpica bar, c2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers