A picturesque village of narrow cobblestone streets and foliage-bedecked verandas, El Quelite is a charming, walkable town where rural colonial architecture buts up against sidewalks brightly colored by bursts of bougainvillea.
Well-known for its regional cuisine, El Quelite is brimming with traditional delicacies like pork gorditas, charreria, and fresh jocoque cheese. Visitors can explore the cheese factory and ornamental fish tanks near the banks of the river, where you may also catch a game of Ulama; first played by El Quelite’s ancient ancestors, it remains a favorite pastime today.
Once a trading post and horse-changing station utilized for travel along the mining routes, El Quelite was an essential stop in the transport of precious metals to the coast. Dating from the 19th century, it was the site of many historic events involving rebel groups during the Mexican Revolution, including the infamous Laureanos, known for robbing horse-drawn wagons carrying gold.
Visitors today can explore El Quelite on foot, or from the perch of a horse or donkey. Experience the rich architecture of 19th-century homes, featuring vibrant red-tiled roofs and porch gardens filled with ferns and flowers. Tour the hot springs, grottos, and ancient petroglyphs, or take in an Ulama tournament. And don’t miss a visit to El Meson de los Laureanos, where the delicious dishes are made using fresh local ingredients and ancestral recipes. A unique gastronomic experience, it is widely enjoyed by diners of local and international origin.
Located just 30 minutes from Mazatlán, the lifestyle of El Quelite inhabitants is far removed from its urban neighbors. The people of El Quelite continue to keep ancient customs, and have managed to preserve the original architecture of old rural Mexico, making a visit to this town like a journey back in time.