Cotija is approximately 60 km south of where I live but it takes an hour and 45 minutes to get there: the bad roads, the cerros (small mountains) , and the speed bumps all adds up to an exaggeratedly long trip.
I don’t believe Cotija shows up on most modern digital maps, so forget the rest of the tinier pueblos who lie between here and there so they are geographically absent as well.
Mexico is mysterious: historically, culturally, and geographically. Just get twenty miles off the beaten track and you are in old Mexico.
Cotija is famous throughout all of central Mexico for its cheeses. To the best of my knowledge it makes just three commercial cheeses: fresca (fresh farmer’s daily), a medium aged cheese, and a sharp, salty well-aged cheese. The town also produces milk and cream products.
We can buy the cheeses and cream in Sahuayo but I wanted to see the town for itself so that’s why I went there.
It’s a pretty little town nestled among the cerros. The main plaza is lovingly cared for.
And the main streets are broad and lined with the typical late 19th century architecture.
The main cathedral which lies at the north end of the plaza is quite grand.
And some of the courtyards and streets feature some great traditional Mexican architecture that in some cases here goes back a couple of centuries.
All in all, Cotija is a delightful town that gets close to zero foreign tourism. Why? It is too far from anywhere of note. So ungentrified, it clings to the delightful notion of its past.